The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 11 - March 17, 2008 
•   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 7, Issue #11 - March 17, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hey Bocce Gang,

Eleven weeks into 2008 and this is our eleventh weekly issue. So far so good on my promise to get back to a more consistent publishing schedule.

You can help by continuing to send questions, comments and pictures. Together, we're connecting the bocce community.

Stay close (to the pallino),
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Check out pictures of Sacramento's East Portal Park...

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

Some musings on book signings...

I've had some modest success via traditional publishing houses. A book I wrote on education was a McGraw-Hill BOMC selection. Another on computers got the single best review the mid-sized publisher ever received. One of my books on computers (and education) got the most flattering foreword imaginable by one of the most respected names in education. John Holt wrote..."It is by far the clearest explanation of this difficult and rather forbidding subject that I have seen. Indeed, it is one of the best explanations I have ever seen of any scientific subject. Mario is a superb explainer..."

My wife is always quick to point out that the successes have always been artistic rather than financial.

Thank you sweetheart. As Billy Crystal said as Miracle Max in the wonderful movie The Princess Bride, "Why don't you just give me a nice paper cut and pour some lemon juice on it.?"

Over the years I've done quite a few book signings. The one at our recent corporate bocce outing in Ft. Lauderdale (click here if you missed the photos: ) was great fun. The client purchased copies of The Joy of Bocce for each of the attendees (80 took part in the event). Each recipient told me how much they enjoyed their bocce experience that day and then suggested what I might inscribe on their autographed copy.

"Make it out to the best bocce player in Des Moines", said one.

"Make mine to the bocce rookie of the year," requested another.

A husband and wife were placed on different teams via our random color-coding system (for info on color-coding teams click here: ). The wife was on the championship team and asked for her copy to read "To the bocce champion and her husband."

I've done book signings over the years for each of the 6 books I wrote. Most signings are not very successful in terms of the number of books you sell. Unless you're a celebrity, a professional athlete, or a very talented fiction author, writing is a tough way to make a buck.

My wife is fond of setting up book signings for me at the local Barnes and Noble or Borders Books, so I "go along to get along". I tend to sit there for an hour or two reading my book and, with a little luck, sign a half-dozen copies. Not the best bang for your buck in terms of time spent per item moved.

Even though I've had success with other books that I've authored, the best results I ever received via a book signing was with the first edition of The Joy of Bocce. It was at a Salem, NH Barnes & Noble which is a couple miles from my northern Massachusetts home. We set up a small portable court and advertised free bocce lessons. It was in early December and we sold scores of books. First off, everyone knows someone who plays bocce, and secondly, it was a pretty inexpensive holiday gift (first edition was $12.95.) People were bringing me 3, 4 or 5 copies to autograph saying "Make this one out to Bob and this one to the Colletta Family."

It's interesting to note that the current edition is with AuthorHouse, a print-on-demand outfit that is really a self-publishing house. Bookstores look down their noses at self-published books. Most won't even entertain the idea of a book signing. It's an arduous task to land a publisher. I've been through it several times and can wallpaper a good sized room with rejections. But, I'm going to give it one more whirl. Don't get me wrong, AuthorHouse has been good to me, and if I don't land a traditional publisher I'll go with them again. Anyone out there have any clout with publishing houses? If so, please put in a good word for me and my Joy of Bocce Third Edition.


Campo di Bocce's Ben Musolf wants to set up a kind of bocce venues database to help spread the word about out game...

"Now is the time to make everyone aware of the USBF (United States Bocce Federation). Now is also the time to make the United States aware of how big bocce is as a game, sport and BRAND. I am asking all of you and your acquaintances to acquire any and all information regarding any and all location(s) that may have bocce as a recreational pastime, activity, competitive entity, or even a back yard. The goal is to make bocce an exposed entity for anyone and everyone, no matter where they may travel and have the ability to play bocce. This includes bars, restaurants, parks and IAC’s (Italian Athletic Clubs).

I know that the Joy of Bocce has done a great job canvassing the surface and going where no bocce guru has gone before, but let’s work together, spread the word and dig deep. I will do my part to help instrument the communication and the progression of our game, sport and BRAND. I am calling on you, the ambassadors of our game to help bring bocce to the forefront of the American culture. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you really want bocce to thrive. Just look at your local club and assess the average age. I know that in California the average age of a field of contestants on a Saturday afternoon is well over 55-60 yrs. Our game needs you. Let’s revive our sport.

Bocce: See it, Do It, Roll It

I think the next President of the USBF should definitely focus on the growth of Bocce in the United States and create a new identity of what bocce is and what it can be.

Remember, nobody is bigger than the game itself!"

{ Contact Benjamin Musolf @ }


Officials of the May 3rd Saint Augustine Sons of Italy Lodge #2780 Bocce Tournament have sent pdf files for you to download.


Registration form:


The New Jersey Bocce Invitational set for May 17 (supporting New Jersey charities) has a pdf file for you to download:

Also, you can contact Frank Valanzola @ 973-793-5406 or for more info. View the web site at


Marilena Cugini of Powell, Ohio announces...

"The First Annual Co-ed Youth Bocce Tournament will be held Sunday June 22nd from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. It will take place at the Abruzzi club located at 8397 Cleveland Ave NW (street also known as Hanawalt) in Westerville, Ohio 43081. Children varying from ages 5 to 16 will compete together with a grandparent or parent in a mini bocce tournament.

Cost is $15.00 per team for members and $20.00 for non members and it covers the court fee, participation medals, awards for the children and adults as well as prizes for the winning teams. Pre-registration is required and the deadline is June 18, 2008. Playing times and team sizes will be determined after registration forms are received.

For more info, contact Marilena Cugini at 740-549-0076 or by email at or Lisa Solazzo at 614-890-1945. We look forward to an event where children of Italian and non-Italian descent can savor the traditions of the wonderful game of bocce.


4th Annual Co-Ed Bocce Tournament

You are invited to the 4th Annual Co-Ed Bocce Tournament at Palazzo Di Bocce on Thursday March 20th. The tournament is open to spectators and to players of all skill levels.

There is no fee for spectators and the registration fee for players is only $30 per player and includes a buffet dinner.

Where: Palazzo Di Bocce
When: Thursday March 20, 6pm - 11pm

Don't miss this opportunity to join the fun at Palazzo Di Bocce, "Americas First Palace of Bocce".

{Phone # = 248-371-9987}


St. Patrick's Day CafePress Special Code = STPAT1050

$10 off any purchase of $50 or more in honor of St. Patrick’s Day – use coupon code STPAT1050.
Limited time only. Click here for Joy of Bocce items... .



Volume #1, Issue #5 - February 4, 2002

The Skills of the Game - Hitting

Most of the recreational players I meet and play with have the same "flaw" in their game. They can point pretty well, but are weak at hitting. When I say "hit" I mean trying to roll a ball that will knock an opponent's ball out of position. Sometimes the other team places a ball so close to the object ball that it is easier to hit away than to "outlag." I hear a lot of "Well, I'm not very good at that, so I'll try to get close instead." To be a complete player you have to be adept at all facets of the game. Major league baseball teams look for the "multi-tooled player" - the one who can throw, run, field, hit, and hit for power. Top flight bocce calls for the deft touch of pointing, the skillful precision of hitting, and the cerebral aspect that tells us when to do which. The first step for recreational players is to go ahead and try to hit when the situation warrants it. You won't get any better at hitting by avoiding it. Consider this...a very shrewd basketball coach once told me that "A good shooter is a bad shooter who kept shooting." Keep hitting.


Joy of Bocce 3rd Edition - Photos Needed

I’ve decided to do a third edition, re-doing almost all the photographs. I’ve got a great new digital camera and can re-take many of the shorts. In addition, I’m asking readers to submit new shots – at least 300 dpi is the goal. I'm asking you and my friends like court builders David Brewer, Mike Grasser, and Tom McNutt to re-submit photos of their best courts. The new edition will probably not be much different in terms of text (although I may tighten it a bit – friends of mine say to me…”Leave it to you to write a book this thick on bocce”).

I'll need your help with this effort. Please submit high quality (300 dpi) pics (and permission to reprint) of bocce in your neck of the woods. This project will be my main focus for 2008. Please help.

Pictures from the 2007 US National Championships...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were taken by yours truly during a side trip while my bocce posse and I were in Florida to run a corporate bocce outing.

The outing was run by Kirkland Event & Destination Services, Inc. Their client was Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co. (If you missed the photos, view them here: ). Visit Kirkland's web site at They are a first-rate outfit that I can recommend without reservation.

This week's photos show off the courts at the Golden Isles Tennis and Bocce complex in Hallandale, Florida. Dr. and Mrs. Cordano took us on a little tour of bocce courts in Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding area. Golden Isles is in Hallandale. The complex features three excellent bocce courts that measure approximately 13' by 78' and are surfaced with a fine red clay and Florida stone dust mix (70% - 30 %).

They are beautifully maintained by Joseph Santagada (the supervisor and also an excellent player). At one point in a match we played he should have tallied three points but misfired on one attempt and had to settle for two. In his best broken English, the good-natured Santagada offered "I make-a sale. I make-a discount. One-third off!"

{These photos are now a permanent part of the Joy of Bocce web site at Bocce Venues.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
BoHo Bocce Special
Joy of Bocce subscribers...

This product I first described last October - issue 29 in 2007. The company, "Outside In", is bringing outdoor games indoors safely.

At that time I wrote...

"As I frequent antique shops in search of old bocce balls (especially nailed boules from France) I see a great many decorative bocce ball-like spheres for sale. These Boho Bocce mimic those but are made of tennis ball-like material instead of polished stone or plastic. So, you can put these on display on your coffee table and then take them in hand to roll a game when the spirit moves you.

I like the idea. You're playing bocce indoors safely with what are essentially oversized tennis balls."

The smartly packaged set includes:

four purple balls and four green balls (about 4 oz. & 3 ½ inches in diameter)
smaller white pallino (balls handmade in Nepal with 100 percent solid wool and Swiss dyes – machine washable).
Choice of baskets: pewter wire, twig, rattan spaghetti weave, small wire mesh, large wire mesh
Carry bag
Measuring string
Instruction booklet

From Outside In's promotional material...

"Enjoy your beloved game of Bocce, rain or shine, with this unique indoor version, which doubles as a beautiful home décor piece. Hand crafted in Nepal, these solid felt balls are furniture-safe so you can use your entire home as a playing field. No court required."

Click the photo or the link below and use this special promotion code for Joy of Bocce subscribers – DSC225 for a 20% discount on BoHo Bocce.

Click for info - don't forget the promotion code DSC225

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}


Tournament update
{chronological order}


Don't let the West Coast players hog all the space!


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.


March 21, 2008 - Massachusetts - North Andover. Come on down for an informal bocce event at our indoor venue at 1600 Osgood St, off Rte. 125. We'll sign up at 7:00 PM and draw teams for play beginning at 7:15 PM. Might be doubles, triples or four-player teams (depending on the turnout). $30 covers play, prizes, and refreshments (pizza and soft drinks). Call Mario @ 978-686-8679 or email .


March 22, 2008 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


March 29, 2008 – California - Los Gatos Campo di Bocce. Twelfth Annual Los Gatos Bocce Club Tournament. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Bill Schlaefer @408-379-9409.


April 5, 2008 – California - Stockton. Waterloo Gun and Bocci Club - OPEN, 4 players, including at least 2 women. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


April 12, 2008 – California - San Francisco - Aquatic Park Bocce Club. VOLO, Men’s U.S. Volo Championships, Progressive Throw and Precision Throw. Contact Benji Tosi @ 415-238-7995.


April 13, 2008 – California - Martinez. Left Coast Bocce Club, RAFFA, doubles, 1 woman and 1 man. Contact Maria Narayan @ 415-454-7853.


April 19, 2008 - Washington - Bellingham. 6th annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament - Http://www. . Open rules - 32 four-person teams. Contact Tom @ 360-224-2909 or check the link at to register.


April 19, 2008 – California - Fairfield. Fairfield Bocce Federation. OPEN, 4 women players. Contact Nancy Scocci @ 707-428-4471.


April 26, 2008 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club - OPEN, 3 players. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


May 3, 2008 – California - San Mateo. Beresford Park. Peninsula Italian American Social Club. OPEN, 4 women players. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


May 3, 2008 – California - San Mateo. Peninsula Italian American Social Club. RAFFA, 3 players. Contact Adriano Undorte @ 650-591-3318.


May 3, 2008 - Florida - St. Augustine. "Bocce on the Beach"- Open Rules - $20 per person. Barbeque lunch. First, Second, and Third place cash prizes. Contact Guy Tomasello @ 904-824-7043.


May 10, 2008 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. RAFFA, 3 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


May, 10, 2008 - Massachusetts - North Andover. Massachusetts Senior Games. 4-player teams may be male, female or co-ed. Players must be at least 50 years of age. Great food, fun, and competition. Contact Mario Pagnoni @ 978-686-8679 or


May 17, 2008 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club - OPEN, 4 players, 2 women and 2 men. Contact Susan Botti @ 650-589-4356.


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


May 24, 2008 – California - Carmel Valley. Carmel Valley Athletic Club. OPEN, 4 players, 2 women and 2 men. Contact Giovanni Napoli @ 831-521-5092.


May 31, 2008 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club, RAFFA, women’s doubles. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


June 1, 2008 – California - Sutter Creek. Italian Benevolent Society. OPEN, 4 players including at least 1 woman. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


June 7, 2008 – California - Livermore Campo di Bocce. Western Sector Raffa Championships. RAFFA, 3 Players. Contact Teena Marie @ 925-249-9800.


June 7, 2008 - New York - West Albany. Italian benevolent Society, 50 Exchange St. Outdoors under a pavilon with six bocce courts. Men's and Women's divisions. Contact Gloria Pacella @ 518-438-8545 or


June 16 - 17, 2008 – Illinois - Highwood. (Monday - Tuesday). Highwood Bocce Club. United States National Open Championships. OPEN, 4 players. “A” Division and “B” Division. Contact John Ross @ 408-892-2983.


June 18 - 21, 2008 – Illinois - Highwood. Highwood Bocce Club. United States National Punto, Raffa, Volo Championships. RAFFA 4 players, (3 player teams are also acceptable). Match Play (triples, singles, doubles). Women’s Team Division and Men’s Team Division. Contact John Ross @ 408-892-2983.


June 22, 2008 - Ohio - Westerville. Co-ed Youth Bocce Tournament. The Abruzzi Club, 8397 Cleveland Ave NW. Children ages 5 to 16 together with grandparent/parent. Pre-registration required. Deadline June 18. Contact Marilena Cugini @ 740-549-0076 or email or Lisa Solazzo @ 614-890-1945.


June 28, 2008 – California - Antioch. Antioch Bocce Federation. OPEN, 4 women players. Contact Lydia Romo @ 925-754-4890.


July 4, 2008 – California - Martinez. Martinez Bocce Federation. OPEN, 2 players. Contact Gene Rittburg @ 925-370-0633.


July 12, 2008 - California, San Rafael. Marin Bocce Federation - Open - Men's Doubles. Contact Diana Pellegrini @ 415-485-5583


July 18 - 20, 2008 - New York - Rome. 35th annual World Series of Bocce. 4 person teams - open division and ladies' division. Contact Al Orbinati Jr. at or download application at .


July 19, 2008 – California - Fairfield. Fairfield Bocce Federation. John Magnetti Memorial Tournament. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Nancy Scocci @ 707-428-4471.


July 26, 2008 – California - Martinez. Martinez Bocce Federation. Nor – Cal Championships, OPEN, 4 players. Contact Donna Allen @ 925-229-2644.


August 2, 2008 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. Western Sector Open Championships. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


August, 2008 - Michigan - Coloma. Giardiniera Cup Championship. Round robin seeding followed by double elimination for the top 8 teams. Great food & comaraderie. Contact Paul Cozzi @


August 9, 2008 - California, San Rafael - Marin Bocce Federation - Open - Women's Doubles. Contact Diana Pellegrini @ 415-485-5583.


August 16, 2008 – California - Antioch. Antioch Bocce Federation. OPEN, 4 players, 2 women and 2 men. Contact Manny Romo @ 925-754-4890.


August 22 - 24, 2008 - Ohio - Mayfield Heights. Marshall Ford Cleveland International Challenge Cup of Bocce. Mayfield Heights City Park. Sponsored by Marshall Ford, Club Molisani, and City of Mayfield Heights. Wayne Farinacci, Tournament Director (initiated this tournament in 1984). Open and Women's divisions, 4 person teams. Entry Fee $150 per team. Prize money to be determined. Contact Wayne @ 216-509-4353 or


August 22 - 24, 2008 - Ohio - Wickliffe. WICKLIFFE ITALIAN-AMERICAN CLUB. 25th annual CLEVELAND CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE sponsored by Pat O'Brien Chevrolet. $5000 first prize, $15,000 in total prize money. Contact Gino Latessa @ 216-789-6393. Applications and info online @


August 23, 2008 – California - Los Gatos. Shady Oak Cellars “Little Johnny Tournament”. RAFFA, doubles, 1 woman and 1 man. Contact John Ross @ 408-354-0625.


August 30, 2008 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. RAFFA, 3 players including at least 1 woman. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


September 13, 2008 – California - South San Francisco. 23rd Annual Italian American Games. Italian American Citizen’s Club - RAFFA, 3 players. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


September 20, 2008 – California - Los Gatos. Los Gatos Bocce Club Tournament, RAFFA, 3 players. Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408-379-9409.


September 21, 2008 – California - San Mateo. Beresford Park. Peninsula Italian American Social Club. OPEN, 4 players including at least 1 woman player. Contact Adriano Undorte @ 650-591-3318.


Sept 27, 2008 - California, San Rafael - Marin Bocce Federation - Open - 4 players. Contact Diana Pellegrini @ 415-485-5583.

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