The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 17 - April 28, 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 #17 - April 28, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello again bocce friends,

I'm still "out straight" planning the bocce portion of the Mass. Senior Games that's on tap for May 10th. Once that event is over, my "retired life" get back to its semi-normal routine (putting in 40 hours/week running senior sports instead of the current 60).

I was talking with one of our good friends and supporters, Sandro Martignetti, recently. I was saying how sometimes, when planning events, the task at hand is overwhelming. I'll be on "system overload" with such a hectic schedule that it doesn't look like there is any way things can work out in time. But in the end, somehow, it always seems to come together.

"Mario," Sandro said, in an almost chastising tone. "You're doing God's work. He's not going to let you fail."

That is a lovely and reassuring compliment coming from a dear friend. But alas, I am stressing as the event date nears. We've reached 88.5% of our fund-raising goal, but things have slowed down now that we are in "the stretch run."

We're making one last push. Can you help us get the last 11.5% of the way home?

Please click below to make a modest (or humongous) contribution. The funds raised help run senior sports (including bocce) in the name of my late friend, Ken Waldie. Learn more about the Naval Academy grad here:

Make a contribution here: (you'll be supporting a good cause and helping to lower my blood pressure and stress level)

Hope to see you somewhere on the bocce circuit...

Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Check out Waterloo Gun and Bocci Club...

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

Cleveland's Wayne Farinacci sent some info regarding the flipping coins featured in a recent ezine edition...

"The bocce coins can be purchased at:
Gino's Awards
4701 Richmond Road, Cleveland, OH 44128.
Fax - 216-831-5720
Phone - 216-831-6565, ask for Gino Zavarella Sr. ext. 112.

The coin can be used just like a quarter (if you call red or green correctly, then you get to choose which color you want). However, I had in mind what you have in mind - (I flip, you call red if you want the red balls and the pallino). If it comes up green, I get my choice of red or green and the pallino. I put the pallino on both sides of the coin because the winner will get that color ball and the pallino. It's a unique gift, even if it is used like a quarter."

{"Even if it is used like a quarter"...I like Wayne's method better - it streamlines and speeds up the coin toss procedure.}


Steve from San Jose, CA sheds light on the lighting issue...

"This is a little premature because I have not sent you my pics yet but here’s what I did about court lighting.

I bought 3 of these:

from Bryan Scott at: Barn Light Electric Company at 1-800-407-8784 SUPER FAST ship and very friendly service.

As a wannabe Italian, I ordered one green, one red and one white. I plan on stringing a thin braided cable down the center of the court (supported at each end by a tall, heavy decorative post with integrated table for glasses, etc.) and attaching the electrical wire to this braided cable. The lights themselves can accommodate up to a 200 watt bulb. Not sure how much light 'splash' from above I’ll get but will advise later."

Landscape Lighting Shop


Mother's Day at the Palazzo

Check out this promotion from the Palazzo di Bocce...a great meal and moms play bocce free!

Make Her Day Special

Moms are the best - they pick us up when we fall down, offer hugs and kisses to make the hurt go away, and give us unconditional love. This year show your mom how much she means to you. Celebrate Mother's Day with us at Palazzo Di Bocce:
All You Can Eat Buffet $19.99



More news from the Palazzo...

Palazzo Di Bocce and the Detroit Lions Tony Filippis Memorial Bocce Tournament

"If you want to try something different – that is great fun with celebrities, delicious food and big prizes – the Lions’ Tony Filippis Memorial Bocce Tournament is just the ticket! Proceeds go to Detroit Lions Charities including, in part, the Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame, a partner for the second year in this great event!

Lions’ 'Bocce Day' is May 22nd at the beautiful Palazzo di Bocce in Orion Township, just north of the Palace of Auburn Hills. This year’s honorary captains will be Lions’ Edwin 'Big Ed' Mulitalo, Cory Redding and Roy Williams. In 2008, Tony Battaglia, AJ Filippis and Mike Utley will serve as honorary chairmen.

Targeted for novice and accomplished bocce players alike, sponsorships range from individual tickets at $150 to banners at $1,000 to team sponsorships at $2,500 to $10,000. Annually, 400-500 persons attend the event."


South San Francisco's Alvaro Bettucchi writes...

"Regarding Robert Agnelly commenting that it takes more sill to lag the ball at the end without hitting the back or your ball is dead. I totally agree with him. The current fad is a shooter's game. The United States Bocce Federation, Western Sector, allows tournament directors to use either rule. The majority of teams in Northern California play the lag system. Also, we all use two balls per player. Finally, all clubs throughout the United States, if playing invitational tournaments, should play by the USBF rules. We traveled to Seattle to play a tournament, and put the two California teams against each other (where one knocked the other out of the tournament) and had to play by their home rules. If you play by home rules, don't invite outsiders."

{Alvaro's points are well taken. But I have mixed feelings about the home rules debate. For tournament play it only makes sense that we have one set of rules like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, international bocce, etc. But for informal play, there is an undeniable charm to learning variations of play that have evolved in different parts of the country. What's your opinion?}


Ron Grassi of the Iowa City Bocce Club chimes in...

"The Iowa City Bocce Club uses the rule that if a ball DOES NOT hit another ball on the court, and hits the backboard, that ball is dead!

Because some people play with the angle boards on their home courts, or play balls off the backboard, we decided to use the dead ball rule described earlier. We also teach this to anyone who uses the public courts within City Park here in Iowa City, Iowa.

We play this way in league, and have done so for the past 3 years now."


Blast from the past...

Volume #1, Issue #12 March 25, 2002

Bocce quote of the week

Some bocce friends of mine and I are volunteer officials for the Special Olympics World Games. After completing a certification course to get accredited, we practiced refereeing bocce matches with Special Olympians from around New England. In 1995 we traveled to West Haven, Connecticut for the World Games which was the largest sporting event on the planet that year. And bocce, it turns out, is the fastest growing sport in Special Olympics (hey, anyone who can roll a ball can play). As the athletes age, some switch to bocce from the more rigorous events like track and field, softball, and basketball. In 1999 the World Games moved to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and again was a huge success. Once more, bocce grew in popularity. Countries from all over the world bring bocce teams, and those that don't come to the bocce venue to find out how to get on board next time. In 2003 the Games will be hosted outside of the USA for the first time. We're headed to Dublin, Ireland and the number of bocce participants will be greater than ever.

More than 150 countries from Albania to Zimbabwe compete in these games. You could referee a match featuring teams from Nebraska and Nepal. Although we witnessed some poor sportsmanship from the participants, the spirit of fair play is strong among the majority of players. In Connecticut, the fiercest competition came from their coaches and fans. The "ugly Americans" made their presence clearly known. Bocce event director, Jack Hogan gets credit for the bocce quote of the week... "I had more problems and complaints from the coaches from the USA than from the rest of the world put together."


Sweetheart Inn Summer League

Good news for anyone in my neck of the woods. Finally a summer league on multiple outdoor, covered courts.

The Sweetheart Inn, 80 Myrtle St., Methuen is building covered, lighted courts for outdoor night play. There will be a women's league on Wednesday evenings and a men's league on Thursday evenings beginning in June.

Send an email if you want a registration mailed to you. Otherwise, drop by the Sweetheart Inn to pick one up, or keep an eye on this ezine for more details.


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


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 shots. In addition, I’m asking readers to submit new pics – 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.

Hosting a bocce court ribbon cutting ceremony...

Photos of the week
This week's photos are courtesy of landscape architect and bocce aficionado Michael Grasser. They show off the four 76' by 12' limestone and Har-Tru courts he built on Sylvan Lake, Michigan.

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 material), 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 keeping players waiting very long.

Bristles are 4 ½ inches of synthetic fibers and the strong but light-weight frame is aluminum. Retails for $169.95 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 $63.95 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}

Shop at

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.


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 @ 908-400-0851 or . View web site at


May 22, 2008 - Michigan - Palazzo Di Bocce and the Detroit Lions Tony Filippis Memorial Bocce Tournament
Proceeds to Detroit Lions Charities including, in part, the Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame.


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 6, 2008 - Washington - Seattle. 3rd Annual Woodland Park Bocce Classic. Open play 4-person teams on grass courts (putting surface quality). Registration fee $15 per player includes barbecue. For registration form, send e-mail to or call Mark Charonis @ 206-524-1416.


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.


October 11, 2008 – California - Sutter Creek. Italian Benevolent Society. OPEN, 4 players including at least 1 woman. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


October 17 -19, 2008 - Arizona - Phoenix. 3rd Annual International Bocce Tournament. Arizona American Italian Club. Four-person teams. Contact Pasquale and Vince D'Aliesio via


October 18, 2008 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club, VOLO, doubles. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.

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