The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VI, Issue 4 - February 12, 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 #4 - February 12, 2007
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2007
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Bocce faithful,

This week I'll be visiting the YMCA in Melrose, Mass. to try rolling a few bocce balls on their Taraflex surface to see if it might be acceptable for bocce play.

Recap: last week I met with some investors who are building an indoor sports facility in Peabody, Mass. that will have space for soccer, lacrosse, basketball, and other sports. There will be Astroturf in some areas Taraflex on others. Taraflex is somewhat similar to the kind of surface on the bocce courts at the Palazzo di Bocce.

The concept I pitched the facility builders is this...why not have the frames for bocce courts hoisted to the rafters and out of the way and only lowered for bocce play? I have been envisioning this since I coached baseball at our local high school. For Spring indoor practice in the field house, I'd push a button to lower the batting cage, then push the same button to raise it after practice to get it out of the way of the next day's physical education classes.

An arrangement like this for bocce would mean virtually no set-up time. The incoming bocce group could run their event and then quickly and easily leave the facility ready for the next soccer or basketball group.

I'll keep you posted,
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

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

Michael Scerra sends some info...

"I am writing in response to the person who was looking for places to play bocce in New York state (I believe in the Glens Falls area). I know of outdoor courts in Amsterdam, NY at a place called Port Jackson Bocce Club (I believe). I'm also pretty sure that there is a bocce club in Albany with indoor courts. Lastly, as a Roman, I have to plug the Toccolana Club in Rome, NY, home of the World Series of Bocce. The Toccolana Club has 6 newly renovated indoor courts as well as 9 outdoor courts. There are many tournaments at the club year round as well as the World Series of Bocce held every July. The World Series is the biggest tournament in the area with roughly 80 open division teams and 40 Women's division teams entering play each year. For info on the World Series....

Hope this helps and I'd urge anyone who loves the game and lives in the Northeast to check out the World Series. With the growth in popularity of the sport, I'm sure the open division will exceed 100 teams very soon which will only help increase the level of competition and excitement. Keep up the good work on the newsletter, and maybe we'll see you at the World Series!"

{I haven't been to the WS of Bocce in a couple years. It is a very popular and extremely well run event, drawing teams from all over the USA and Canada. The courts are short (60 footers). As always, on short courts, the good hitters "kill" you, rarely missing those close targets. Hitting the bull's eye on an 80 - 90 foot court is a different matter.}


Bryan Mero sends this...

"JoAnne is looking for her Italian birth parents...I made a page for her here:

Take a look and consider posting for your newsletter."

{OK - let's hope she finds them!}


Bocce Bob Whitlow had a recent problem with faulty bocce balls...

"What was supposed to be a special occasion where league players at Bocce USA were to have the opportunity to roll and break in two new sets of bocce balls actually turned out to be a nightmare for players in the early session.

I acquired two new sets of name brand balls that were to be used in the second half of our league bocce season. After play started, players began to complain that the balls where not rolling straight and were curving to the left or right at the end of the roll. Players were missing their target by as much as three feet.

At first I thought the balls were just a sensitive type composition and the players were either twisting their wrist or putting a finger roll on the ball making them curve when released. Then after a few of our more experienced players begin to complain, I knew something was definitely wrong.

I chose four players that I knew consistently rolled a straight ball. After observing sixteen rolls from these four selected players, fifteen of the rolls never came close to the pollina or target ball. They rolled like they were magnetized or jinxed.

After a detailed examination of the two sets, it was determined that the balls were actually out of balance and the weighted side of each ball was making the ball curve as they slowed.

I’ve played bocce for over fifty years and this was the weirdest thing I ever observed. They reminded me of a car tire that is out of balance.

We immediately stopped play, and replaced the inferior balls with two new sets of red and green Perfetta brand balls that are made in Italy.

Afterwards, I had no more complaints, The players were happy and were executing their rolls to near perfection.

{When asked what he did with the inferior sets of balls, Whitlow stated “I made a special trip south on State Route 37. I stopped at the bridge, and presented them to the catfish that reside in Pond Creek.” }


Guy Tomasello sends tournament news...

"The Sons of Italy # 2780 from St. Augustine, Florida is the sponsor of this Bocce tournament. The money raised will go directly to Northeast USO. Half of the monies from the players will go to players and the rest to US0.

Last year we had around thirty-two teams (two players per team). We raised one thousand dollars for the USO, with the rest going to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. This tournament will be open to all and will be guided by US Bocce Federation Open rules. The cost is $20.00 dollars per player if pre-registered and $25.00 at the day of the Tournament.

There will be a barbeque lunch provided for players. The courts are a mixture of coquina and clay. Registration is at 9 AM and the games begin at 10AM."

Contact Guy Tomasello @ .


Pete Rabito writes...

"Hello everyone...Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and pass on a funny Bocce Instructional Video...

You've all probably seen it as it has been around a while but I still get a kick out of it to this day!"


Here's another take on last week's discussion of standardized open rules:

{ I keep thinking about what Dr. Cordano (one of the most skilled and experienced players in the USA) told me years ago... "I'd like the rules standardized so that we all play the same way, but I'll play any way at all - I just love to play." AMEN. }


Here's the latest from Gail Terp who is writing a children's book with bocce in the mix...

"I have been busy studying your book, a wonderful read. I am just starting to write the chapter in which my main character, Anna, is introduced to bocce by her grandfather and feel that I really need some first-hand knowledge. Here’s a fantastic coincidence – I was telling my sister about my book and she told me that she and her husband used to go to the local Knights of Columbus to play bocce! I called the K of C today and was told there is a ladies’ league game Tuesday night. I’ll be there!"


Great Back Yards

View Joy of Bocce Weekly back issues...

Photos of the week
This week’ photos are now part of the Bocce Tidbits page at (will be available permanently - not just for the week).

George Danner (Griffin, Georgia) sends info and pictures from the Third Annual Doc Holliday Bocce Tournament.

“It was a sunny day but the fire pits were very popular after the sun went down. We had 40 rollers and 10 teams. Bill Dunn, distant cousin of John Henry ‘Doc’ Holliday was the guest of honor. Bill is the president of the Doc Holliday Society and owner of the Doc Holliday museum in Griffin.

Clint Ivie and his ‘Sol Junky Band‘ performed. Movie producer and director Shaun Benton rolled as a ‘rookie’ but became hooked real fast. I became interested in the history of Doc when I met Bill ten years ago at the Doc Holliday Fair.

I visited Tombstone in 1998 and was given the VIP treatment by Ben Traywick, national historian of Tombstone, a long time friend of Bill's. I found a photo of a saloon in the basement of The Bird Cage Theater named Danner Saloon.

The first sheriff of Tombstone was shot and killed in this saloon. Since that time I've been reading everything I could find on Doc and his life. Along with Bill, I've visited his old homestead, (he lived in Griffin until he was 12), his dental office and his grave. Not the grave in Glenwood Springs Colo., but his grave here in Griffin. Many people believe that Doc's father, Major Henry Burroughs Holliday, had John Henry's body brought back to Griffin. Doc's older sister, Martha Eleanora Holliday is buried in Griffin, she died in 1850 at 6 months of age. John H. Holliday was born on August 14, 1851 in Griffin, GA and died on November 8, 1887 in Glenwood Springs, CO. The famous gunfight was in Tombstone, Arizona on October 26, 1881.

The latest book on J.H. Holliday is the best work to date and most accurate according to Bill. ‘The Life and Legend - Doc Holliday, by Gary L. Roberts. Interested people can email Bill @ or call him @ 770-412-9180 for more info.”

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Bocce Court Maintenance Tools

I’ve seen all kinds of home-made court maintenance brushes and scrapers. Two things have always struck me about them. 1 – they look like they are home-made and 2 – they tend to be HEAVY.

7' Drag Brush

Manufactured by Lee Tennis (makers of the Har-Tru surface), this court maintenance tool created for tennis courts works exceptionally well for bocce courts. The 7-foot drag brush is light-weight and, even if you have a 13- or 14-foot wide court, you can smooth it over with just two passes. This is quick enough to do between games without players standing around waiting very long.

Bristles are 4 ½ inches of synthetic fibers and the strong but light-weight frame is aluminum. Retails for $149.95 plus shipping.


This strangely named 30” wide device is actually two implements in one. It is an all-aluminum combination tool for scarifying, leveling, and removing loose court material.

Strong and sturdy, the tool is light enough to handle with ease and is excellent for spreading new material during top-dressing. The concave shape of the 30” wide blade allows the tool to “float” along the surface without digging in. Use the serrated edge to scrape material from high spots, then flip the tool over to rake and smooth that spot and drag the loose material to fill in a lower point. Retails for $54.95 plus shipping.

Besides a heavy roller, the lute/scarifier and 7-foot drag brush should be all the maintenance tools a bocce court owner needs.

Click to go to merchandise order...then scroll to bottom of page.

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}

Market America Isotonix® OPC-3

From the Market America company web site..."Composed of grape seed, pine bark, red wine, bilberry and citrus extracts, Isotonix OPC-3 is a safe, nontoxic antioxidant that delivers unparalleled protection from free radicals and helps support the body’s circulatory system."

"Potent free radical scavenger & neutralizer Helps maintain healthy circulation Supports healthy blood glucose levels."

Click the link below to get more info...improve your health and maybe even your bocce game too!

Click to learn more about OPC-3 and other great products...

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.


February 17, 2007 - California - Los Gatos. Maureen Albanese Valentine's Day Bocce Tournament. Campo di Bocce. 4-player teams, $30 per player. Contact Cassie Duren @ 408-395-7650 Ext. 117 or . USBF card required.


February 24 & 25, 2007 - Washington - Auburn Bocce Club. OPEN - 4 players. Contact Sal Cascone @ 253-939-3502.


March 9 - 11, 2007. Florida - Cape Coral - Veterans Park Bocce Courts, 4140 Coronado Pkwy. 4 player teams w/ 1 alternate. Open Rules, Round Robin format. Prize money to top 5 place finishers. 1st place $7,000.00 guaranteed. 2nd - 5th place amounts determined by number of teams entered. Entry fee = $400.00 per team. Must register by Feb 10, 2007. More info: George Furlan at 239-275-9968 or 1-800-226-0604 - Cell 239-229-2348, e-mail = .


March 17, 2007 - California - Sacramento - East Portal Bocce Club. OPEN - 4 players. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


March 24, 2007 - California - Vacaville - Nut Tree. Grand Opening Tourney. OPEN - 4 Players. Contact Kelli Valle @ 707-448-6411.


March 31, 2007 - California - I. A. C - Stockton. OPEN - 3 Players (at least 1 woman player). Contact Ron Jacobs @ 209-957-1223.


April 7, 2007 – California - Los Gatos. Campo di Bocce. OPEN, 4 Players. 11th Annual Los Gatos Bocce Club Open Tournament. Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408-379-9409.


April 19 - 21, 2007 – Nevada - Crystal Bay, Lake Tahoe. Biltmore Hotel and Casino. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Biltmore Casino 1-800-245-8667.

April 28, 2006 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club. OPEN, 3 Players. Contact Ron Del Carlo @ 650-359-2310.


April 28, 2007 - Washington - Bellingnham. Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament - Http://www. . Contact Tom Mcnutt @ or call 360-224-2909 for info or to register.


April 28, 2007 – Florida – St. Augustine. Open Rules – 2 player teams. $20 per person if pre-registered. $25 if registering on the day of the tourney. Lunch provided. Proceeds benefit the Northeast USO. Contact Guy Tomasello @ .


April 29, 2007 – California - San Francisco. Aquatic Park Bocce Club. VOLO, Precision Throwing (Singles, Skill Competition). Contact Marco Cuneo @ 415-713-5939.


May, 6, 2007 (rain date May 20) Colorado - Fort Collins - "Bocce for Meals" Ice Breaker Tournament (1st year); benefit for Fort Collins Meals on Wheels. Pre-registration required. Call 970-484-6325 or email 4 member teams; $100 registration. 2-3 games guaranteed.


June 3, 2007 - New Jersey - Franklin (Colonial Park). Bocce Invitational - "Proceeds benefit our soldiers through the efforts of Operation Shoebox New Jersey." Contact Frank Valanzola @ 973-793-5406. {Note: Operation Shoebox is an initiative to create a "care package supply line" to US troops serving overseas.}


June 16, 2007 - California - Los Gatos Campo di Bocce. U.S Pallino d' Oro (TM) 2007 Women's, singles, raffa, International rules bocce tournament. $150.00 per athlete. Prizes: 1st $1,000.00, 2nd $650.00, 3rd $450.00, 4th $250.00. Trophies for 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th.

Information and registration: Mike Grasser 248-495-4059 or 248-505-4744 or


June 16 & 17, 2007 - California - Livermore. Campo di Bocce. US Pallino D' Oro (TM) 2007 - Men's, singles, raffa, International rules bocce tournament. $200.00 per athlete. Prizes: 1st $2,000.00, 2nd $1,200.00, 3rd $800.00, 4th $400.00. Trophies for 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th.

Information and registration: Mike Grasser 248-495-4059 or 248-505-4744 or


July 20 - 22, 2007 - New York, Rome. The World Series of Bocce. 4-player teams - Open Division (all men or co-ed) and Women's Division (all women). Visit for information, an application, and various bits of interest, or contact Al Orbinati @ or Chris Klepadlo @ 315-271-9701.


September 15, 2007 - Virginia - Oronoco Park, on the Potomac - First Annual San Gennaro Italian Festival of Alexandria. Ben Brenman Park in Alexandria Virginia (just outside Washington DC). Info on website: . Contact = Jay DeCianno @


September 16, 2007 (rain date Sept. 23rd) - Colorado - Fort Collins - 3rd Annual "Bocce for Meals" Tournament; benefit for Fort Collins Meals on Wheels. Pre-registration required. Call 970-484-6325 or email 4 member teams; $100 registration. 2-3 games guaranteed.

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.
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