The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 13 - March 31, 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 #13 - March 31, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Greetings bocce faithful,

Most of you know that I run a non-profit senior sports organization in memory of my late friend and 9-11 victim Ken Waldie ( ). Besides bocce, we offer basketball and softball. By the time you read this I expect to have been notified by my orthopedist that I've played my last basketball game.

I think I'm due for my 10th knee surgery. Ten surgeries is a tad excessive, even for a lifelong, die-hard jock like me. In the final playoff game of our age 50 and over full-court basketball league, I could only limp through about two "garbage" minutes near the contest's end. My teammates set me up for one final three-point attempt. I swished it, called a time out, and left the game to a thunderous ovation...(or maybe it was a smattering of applause).

I often think about how hard it is for me to give up hoop. If it's that tough for me, how difficult must it be for world-class players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson?

Since I'll probably be out of the basketball line-up, I should be able to play more bocce...and improve! I always think that I should be a lot better player than I am. Heck, I was pretty good at pretty high levels of baseball and basketball. I should be able to transfer that level of talent over to bocce...and stave off more knee surgeries in the process. While I'll sorely miss the hoops, I'm thankful to have the true lifetime sport of Bocce in my future.

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

Check out bocce venues in Solano County, CA...

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

I was a little surprised by this email from Ft. Myers, Florida...

"In a recent Corporate outing, you show a bocce scoreboard. However, I cannot find it in your Merchandise section. What is the cost and how do I order three of them?"

{I hadn't planned on retailing these scoreboards - having created them especially for corporate outings. But I’ve already have several requests. I know there is a big market for a good, but reasonably priced scoreboard. Are other readers interested in a Joy of Bocce scoreboard? REPLY with your comments/inquiries. If there is interest, I'll twist the scoreboard creator's arm (one of my bocce posse) to coax him to build a batch of them. We'll check on production costs and, if readers REPLY with interest, we'll post the info (size, specs, cost including shipping) in a future issue.}



Once again me and my non-profit group ( ) will host the bocce segment of the Mass. Senior Games. This May 10th event doubles as a fund-raiser as it generates funds for the Senior Games as well as for the Ken Waldie Senior Sports Circuit, Inc.

We have struggled to get bocce to the Senior Games at the national level, and have come up empty so far. Our best bet is to keep growing and improving our Massachusetts event in an attempt to make it a model for other states to follow.

You can help.

We are seeking teams, sponsors, and contributors for this event. To enter a team, see the listing below under Tournament Update - May 10, 2008.

If you are interested in sponsoring, we are offering ads in our program booklet for $1000 (back cover), $500 (full page), $250 (half page), and $100 (quarter page).

We'll post your sponsor info in The Joy of Bocce Weekly with a link back to your web site. REPLY with your interest and I'll get all the details to you.

If you want to make a contribution (just because you like the good work we are doing) click here:

To learn more about my friend and 9-11 victim, Ken Waldie (for whom our non-profit corporation is named) click here:


Art Bjork, State Bocce Director for Special Olympics Florida
reports that he...

"Just forwarded the recent Joy of Bocce Weekly Florida bocce venues pictures to Miami Special Olympics. They are starting up their program again this time with about 140 athletes."


Big Apple Bocce

Found this NY Parks and Recreation site that lists the locations of public bocce courts for Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island:

Also, there is news of a new indoor venue that's in the planning stages...

"We (Guy DeSantis, Jack Bilancia, and Angelo Lotto) are trying to promote bocce on the East Coast. In the process of opening an indoor bocce facility in the New York Metropolitan area (located in Yonkers, New York), we are eager to know or gauge the interest level of such a membership club. Knowing there are many players in the area, we would like to provide a year-round indoor facility. An indoor bocce club would operate successfully with the minimum of 250 members. Membership fee is pending due to our current pursuit of sponsorship from local merchants and other companies.

This indoor facility would also enable us to host winter tournaments in the New York City area. Currently, there are very few, if any, such tournaments held during the winter months."

Facility features include:

4 courts (12' x 75')

Leagues for all skill levels

Tournaments: male, female, and mixed (singles, doubles, 3 player, and 4 player teams)

Heating and air conditioning

Parking on premises

If interested in becoming a member of our club or would like more information, please contact us via e-mail at:

Geographical Information:

Yonkers is located in southern Westchester County, NY.

Easy access from many major highways

Only 10 minutes from Manhattan; 10 minutes from Bronx; 25 minutes from Queens; 35 minutes from Brooklyn; 40 minutes from Long Island.

{You can also contact Guy DeSantis by telephone @ 914-310-8814. This would be great for bocce on the East Coast.!}


Mike Grasser responds to last week's Blast From the Past where I reprinted a 2002 column on International rules bocce...

"Just read your comments on international rules play.

'Even top players think international rules are a tough sell in this country. Critics claim that international play is too complicated and makes the game long and dull.'

I would be very interested to know who these top players are. Top players of what ...Open Rules? Who are the Critics? Players who play open rules? If the rules are too complicated, than how is it that anyone in this country can play or watch football, basketball, baseball or soccer? I played all of these sports and their rules and rule books look like an encyclopedia compared to the Bocce International Rules Book. My international rules book is only 12 pages long. Check out the open rules book at the Rome, NY tourney if you want to see a lot of rules.

There only about seven rules you even need to know to understand 99% of the game. Several years ago I helped run a Saturday morning international rules bocce league in Windsor, Ontario. There were 32 children from 7 years to 15 years of age. We taught them international rules which they learned in about four weeks. In international rules you have one minute to make your play. No walking back and forth, up and down the court arguing with your teammates about what to do and dragging the game out. On Monday nights at the Palazzo di Bocce we played international rules from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. An open rules league ran from 8:30 until the games were finished. I played in both leagues. The international league games averaged about 45 minutes. We played to 15 points. The open rules games averaged about 40 minutes. We played to 12 points.

If having to shoot a volo shot in the volo zone is boring compared to throwing a spock shot that is good no matter what ball it hits first, then I don't understand boring. Does anyone watch "any ball goes" billiards on television?"

{The international rules devotees are passionate about their game. { Visit Mike's site at } I particularly like a comment that Dr. Cordano once made to me concerning international vs. open rules. "It's the difference between chess and checkers," said the good doctor.

Still, I can't find a single person in New England that is playing international rules bocce. It's hard to imagine that it will soon catch on with the masses. I always feel like the best way to go is to get as many people as possible playing open rules. Some of them (probably the better players) will gravitate toward international rules, even if the masses don't.}


Good news for anyone within driving distance of Sparta, NJ...

The Mohawk House Restaurant is putting in two outdoor bocce courts with a Har-Tru surface. More details to follow. For now, check out the restaurant's web site. Looks like a place I'd definitely like to dine...and roll a game or two.}


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



Volume #1, Issue #8 February 25, 2002

Here's the Bocce Quote of the Week from days gone past...

Publisher's note: This true bocce anecdote is rated PG-13 because of adult, suggestive language - puritanical types please skip to the next section (like that's really gonna happen!).

The court at the Chattanooga Southeastern Bocce Tournament is well groomed, compacted and hard, and always plays very fast. You don't have to impart too much energy to a roll to get the ball coasting all the way to the endboard. This is truly a game of finesse and touch. Overlooking the majestic Tennessee River at the Bluff View Arts District, the venue is touted as the most scenic court in the south. The week-end tourney is limited to 16 teams or so and the court action is always ringed by a throng of fans, friends, and on-lookers. There are four players per team, two of each situated at either end of the court. Your teammates play down in one direction and then, after the score is determined for the round, you get to play back in the opposite direction. Twelve points is the winning score.

One team featured a husband and wife team, both very competitive and quite good players. At a crucial point in the game the wife, situated at one end, was being rooted on by her husband and teammate from the other end. When she released her important shot the husband knew right away that it was going to be too long. "Oh no!" he shouted. "That's too hard...way too don't want to roll the ball that hard...what's the matter with you? Don't you know that's way too hard a roll?" He was right of course, though not exactly using the tact to "pick your teammate up" as we say in the world of sports. The ball sailed to the end board and the point was lost. Spectators looked at the wife, hoping that she would put her overzealous husband in his place. She didn't disappoint. In her best southern drawl, the wife shot back with "Listen, sweetheart...of ALL people YOU shouldn't be saying nothin' about HARD."


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.

Cleveland International Challenge Cup of Bocce...

Photos of the week
This week's pictures were submitted by Henry Salustro of Marion, Massachusetts. They show the stages of construction on his backyard court.

Henry has a terrific looking crew doing yeoman work on the court. But, the more court construction photos I view, the more I want to hire someone to build my next court. These guys are working it!

These photos will be a permanent part of the Joy of Bocce web site under Court Construction.

{Please follow Henry's lead and send photos of bocce in your neck of the woods.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
A reader who was considering top dressing his court with either Har-Tru or oyster shell sent this...

"You must get this all the time but here goes….Is there a less expensive top dressing that will perform? I am sure this is a 'get what you pay for' situation but I just did not account for this much cost for the surface material."

Yes, I do get this all the time, and it's partly because you can find plans on-line for "bargain basement" courts that, for the most part, are more trouble than they are worth.

Ya gotta spend some bucks to get quality. You need to look at projects like this as a one-time expense. Do it right the first time and get many years of enjoyment thereafter.

Sure, you might find some oyster shell and flour and slap a court surface together (one reader told me he gets oyster shell at a local feed store). But someone like Boccemon Tom McNutt has spent years developing a proprietary blend that is mixed "just so" for bocce play. See his Rain Country Blend here:

Har-Tru makes a great tennis and bocce surface too. The problem is that it ships from the warehouse in Virginia. If you are on the West Coast, it's gonna cost more to ship than for the cost of the product.

One thing you can do is check with local tennis court builders. They might just have a couple tons of Har-Tru in stock that's left over from a big tennis court job.

Some builders tell me that the way they cut down on the Har-Tru cost is to mix it with a lower cost top dressing. They then say they have a Har-Tru/stone dust or Har-Tru/granite fines mix. We recently posted photos of courts in Hollywood, FL that were 70% clay and 30% Har-Tru ( ).

I've never been the type to cut corners. I'd rather "bite the bullet" and "pony up" for a quality product. If you want a quote on a Har-Tru surface for your bocce court, click the link below and fill in the data on your court dimensions. We'll email a price quote including shipping ASAP.

Get a quote on Har-Tru top dressing for your bocce court...

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}

Here's a "non-bocce" product that has relevance for bocce players too...


One of my bocce posse, noted entertainer/hypnotist Jerry Valley (that's the dashing looking guy in the photo to the right), has collaborated on a golf DVD that might just help your bocce AND golf games. {I can't vouch for his golf, but I know he's an excellent bocce player as well as a first-rate hypnotist and entertainer. Click the photo to view his web site.}

"Bob Toski, of Coconut Creek, Florida, famous golf instructor, Golf Teacher's Hall of Famer, Top PGA Money Winner and TV Broadcaster and Jerry Valley, of Methuen, Massachusetts, world-renowned stage and certified hypnotist have teamed up to produce a unique and dynamic DVD by which the golfer will learn how to apply self-hypnosis.

By combining Bob Toski's teaching expertise with self-hypnosis, golfers, at any level, can improve their golf game consistently and dramatically. This DVD will teach them how to feel calm, relaxed, confident and develop Super Focus. They can also recall their best shots and eliminate doubt, fear, anxiety and have the ability to block unwanted habits and shots.

This is what Bruce Davidson of Canada, a golfer for 40 years with an index between 4 to 7 had to say about our product:

'After 9 straight days of using your DVD and playing 6 rounds of golf, I am both impressed and happy with the program. My ball striking is solid and my approach shots leave me with several birdie opportunities.' "

{This is a 97 minute, professionally produced, high quality DVD that focuses on self-hypnosis to keep the right mental images in your head. The idea is to get yourself into a calm, relaxed, receptive state before listening to and viewing the golf pro's instructions.

Many of the techniques and strategies in the DVD readily transfer to bocce. Visualize successful shots. Learn to Super Focus on your game. Develop "instant amnesia" when you make a poor shot. You'll learn better and play much better when in a calm, relaxed, confident state of mind.

Retails for $39.95 plus shipping. Click below to Buy-Now.}

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.


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 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 - Raffa, women's doubles. Contact Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


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, OPEN, 4-players, 2-men & 2-women. Contact Susan Botti @ 650-589-4356.


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.


July 26, 2008 - New York - Syracuse. 5th annual Spaulding Support Services Bocce Tournament. Bishop Ludden High School. Proceeds benefit the not-for-profit Human Service agency providing services to persons with developmental disabilities. More info: Kshedd@spaulding


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.


October 4, 2008 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club - OPEN, 4 women players. Contact Elda Mazzanti @ 650-588-4924.

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