The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VI, Issue 33 - November 19, 2007 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Bocce news & readers' feedback
•   Non bocce product of the week
•   Photos of the week
•   Tournament update
Notes from the publisher
The weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume 6, Issue #33 - November 19, 2007
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2007
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello bocce pals,

I couldn't get an issue out last week. We ran another charity bocce event and, in addition, I am dealing with a family friend with a terminal illness.

My hope is to get the ezine through the holiday season and then refine the publishing schedule to make things more efficient in 2008.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Are you interested in other outdoor games? Click here...

Bocce news & readers' feedback
{Publisher's comments in brackets...}

Bocce Bob Whitlow got some good ink for his bocce efforts in a Southern Illinois newspaper, appropriately named The Southern. I wasn't able to link to the article, so I've copied and pasted it below. The author is Tara Fasol. The caption that goes with the picture to the right is...

"Orvel Edwards (right) of Ewing prepares to throw his bocce ball as Bill Lipscomb of Benton takes aim with his bocce ball in the other court on Tuesday night at the Old Frankfort Elementary School. In bocce ball, players toss the balls at a smaller, white ball called the pallino, and score points based on how close the bocce balls are to the pallino. (Daniel Celvi) "

Text of Article

Italian tradition continues to roll along in West Frankfort

By Tara Fasol, The Southern

WEST FRANKFORT - In 1907 a nickel would get you into a movie; it was around $4 in the 80s. Prices of movies and other forms of entertainment have continued to rise over the years.

However, there is one activity in Southern Illinois that is 7,000 years old and is still free to the public.
Bocce USA is located in West Frankfort and owner Bob Whitlow said the public is welcome to come out and play free of cost in the only indoor bocce court south of Chicago.

"It is free just about every place you play," Whitlow said.

Tuesday night, community night, is open to any players interested in trying their skills at the traditional Italian game. Whitlow said Bocce USA offers a league night on Mondays and collects $10 from team players. The teams are sponsored at $100 a year by local businesses. Those funds combined allow for upkeep of the facility, use of the complex, and league items such as team shirts and snacks.

"That allows us to provide Bocce on Monday night and we can offer the Tuesday night Bocce, too," he said.

Whitlow said there are 11 teams that play in a round-robin type of tournament, 10 of which have been playing for years.

"They are what we call seasoned veterans," he laughed. "They definitely compete with one another. It's a lot of fun."

Bocce is sometimes called Italian bowling and is played today as it was modified from the original techniques by Giussepi Garibaldi.

The game generally begins with the capos or captains flipping a coin for the first toss of the pallino - smaller ball - or for choice of the team ball color.

The ultimate point of Bocce is to toss the ball as close to the pallino as possible. This is how teams acquire points.

J & S Professional Pharmacy in West Frankfort has sponsored a Bocce team for several years. Team member Tyler Mathews said it is the excitement of the competition and family atmosphere that makes the game so much fun.

Matthews said pharmacy owner Joyce Fogleman is not only a player but also the cheerleader for their team as her outgoing presence keeps everyone entertained.

"There were some people who hadn't met her yet," he said about the last game Fogleman attended. "I told them they would know when she is there. When she is there you can't hear anything but her. She has the loudest whistle. It will set off hearing aids. We were doing better than we had done all year. There for a while we were sharing for first. She started kidding about not being there and being afraid to come because we were winning. Finally, she went last Monday, a couple of days ago, and we played McCord's Market. They wiped the floor with us."

Matthews said he later told Fogleman that he had more fun when the team lost, although he loved to win.

"It just seems like we have more fun when we are losing," he laughed. "Everyone gets to talking and we just have a good time. It's like a family down there."

Matthews said Whitlow is the "glue that holds Bocce together" and noted that his favorite part of the game is that anyone can play.

"We have little old ladies out there that you wouldn't think could do much," he said. "They just get out there and they are some of our best players. It's a great game."


Sparse Tournament Calendar Listings

There's not a whole lot of tournament action on the calendar around this time of year. It would be a good time to post your tourney info for 2008. The more times it is listed in the ezine, the better chance of potential players seeing it and getting on board. Send us the info even if your event is well into 2008.

Email the date, the city and state it will be played in, the format (doubles, triples, four-person), any pertinent info as well as the contact info (email and/or phone number) of the tourney director. Include a link to your web site or pdf file, if you have one.


Drive to get Bocce to the Senior Games in 2009


I have written here before and lamented the fact that bocce is a senior gameS event in many states (e.g. Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida) but is not yet at the national level.

There is a National Games committee that reviews the process of adding new sports to the Summer Games. I was able to coax my friend Carl Fetteroll of the Massachusetts Senior Games to put in a formal request that bocce be considered.

If you know of Senior Games officials in your state, please have them do the same. The request should go to:

Ray Hoyt
Director of National Games and Athlete Relations
National Senior Games Association
PO Box 82059
Baton Rouge, LA 70844-2059

If we can get the games recognized, that would mean that 2008 would be a qualifying year and 2009 we could compete in the "Senior Olympics" in San Francisco, CA. This would go a long way toward getting our sport the notoriety it deserves. Send an email - send a letter - offer to host a qualifier in your state if there is none. Bocce is headed to the mainstream. It just needs a little push from people like you and me.


John Pennucci of Watertown, MN writes...

"I am a recipient of your Bocce e-letter and a lover of Bocce. I am in the process of trying to get my little town of 3500 to build a bocce court. I am planning on meeting with the city planners at their monthly meeting in December. I would like to go in with both guns loaded (if you know what I mean) to pitch the idea. I was wondering if you had any info available on relative costs, style of courts, etc. that you might be able to make available to me. Thank you for your time and
your great e-zine."

{I think a great model to follow is the one set by UNICO of Wethersfield, CT. The photos of their ribbon-cutting ceremony are posted here . The style and dimensions of the courts pictured are good, cost-effective choices. And they opted for two courts. Two don't cost twice as much as one, and running events is awfully tough on just a single court. Good luck. Keep us posted on your progress. Do readers have advice for John and the good folks of Watertown? Please REPLY. }


Bob Parella of EPCO in Massachusetts writes about some of the inferior bocce balls on the market...

"I enjoy reading 'The Joy of Bocce Weekly'. In the most recent issue the article about the problem with bocce balls being produced sometimes that are out of balance is somewhat true at some companies. However, our manufacturing process is such that this problem does not happen with bocce balls produced by EPCO. We have prided ourselves in the fact that our reputation for precision products is unsurpassed. Perhaps that is the reason, in some cases, we are not the least expensive provider of bocce sets. Our quality costs a little more.

Keep up the good work."

{ I haven't heard any out of balance or improper roll complaints from EPCO balls. I visited the plant one summer and was suitably impressed with their quality, American-made products. }

Bocce for the sightless...ya gotta see this to believe it...

Photos of the week
This week's photos come from Carmine D’Agostino, the famous Camanooch of Franklin, Massachusetts.

Says Camanooch...

"I hope everyone across the United States appreciates, as much as I do, your time and effort in promoting the great game of Bocce. I’m doing my small part to get everyone hooked on Bocce in my back yard. I read your newsletter a few weeks ago about lighting ambiance. I have to say I go for the functionality of the 'Stadium' look as far as lighting a bocce court. This is evident on my recently updated website which chronicles my lighting project.

{Warning! Camanooch is a do-it-yourselfer of the highest order. The photos present a daunting do-it-yourself task. Unless you are skilled like Carmine, I vote for calling in a certified electrician.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Time to start thinking about holiday gifts

Order now so you won’t have to sweat the December delivery rush

Here are two inexpensive gift ideas…

1) Autographed copy of The Joy of Bocce – $19.45.

Nowadays, everybody knows someone who plays. Here’s an inexpensive gift that will delight. You pick the inscription. Build up the recipient’s self esteem with the likes of “To the best bocce player in Wisconsin” (New York, Nevada, Florida, California…fill in the blank).

Or, give ‘em the business with something like “Read this book and maybe you’ll be able to give me some competition when we play.”

Click to order…

2) Pick any one of three precision measuring tools. Premier Boules, Clubhawk Gold, or Henselite Bowls. $24.95 each. Designed for inside measure which is the most accurate way to decide who gets the point.

Click to order… … scroll down to view the measures.

Non bocce product of the week
{Hey, bocce's great, but I'm always on the look-out for all kinds of good products for my readers}

artificial christmas trees

Tournament update
{chronological order}

Please - anyone running a tournament - do me a favor - put a notice near your tourney bracket board informing players that they can go to and "opt in" for my FREE Ezine on bocce. Click the logo to the right to opt in if you do not already receive this ezine every Monday.


Please consider designating someone as "official event photographer" and directing that person to send snapshots for us to reproduce as photos of the week. Our readers love seeing bocce action from around the continent.


December 1, 2007 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. OPEN, 4 players with at least 2 women players per team. Contact Ron Jacobs @ 209-957-1223.


December 1-3. Florida - Cape Coral. Florida Senior Games State Championships. The women will compete on Dec. 1st & the men on Dec. 2nd. Dec 3rd will be reserved for any games not completed. Four players to a team. For more info, contact Rudy Diaz @ 239-542-8877 or email


May 17, 2008 - New Jersey - 2nd annual NJ Bocce Invitational supporting New Jersey charities. Contact Frank Valanzola @ 973-793-5406 or . View web site at

Joy of bocce t-shirts, mugs, buttons, magnets, etc.

Merchandise still available at

Check out the first-rate equipment we offer. The finest measuring devices for bocce (made in UK by Prohawk for lawn bowling, petanque, and bocce) - the finest bocce balls in the world (made in Italy by Perfetta) and the number one selling instructional book on bocce in America - Check them out.
 Check out the merchandise