The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 18 - May 5, 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 #18 - May 5, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Welcome, my Monday morning bocce friends,

I was working out at the gym the other day (non impact stuff - Recumbent Bike, Elliptical, Arc Trainer per orders of my orthopedist) and watching one of the monitors that aired a commercial for Payless Shoes. Every time I see that name, Payless, I think it's dumb. They mean that you will "pay less" for their shoes. But it looks to me like it's a payless store (without pay, free...payless, like penniless or brainless). You can shop there and you won't need cash or credit card because it's, well... payless.

Our Mass. Senior Games Bocce which doubles as a fund-raiser is this coming Saturday. We've reached 92.1% of our $10,000 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 7.9% of the way home ($790) ?

Please click below to make a modest (or humongous) contribution. The funds run senior sports (including bocce) in the name of my late friend and 9/11 victim, 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 stress level)

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

Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Check out bocce @ Sons of Italy Lodge #2780, St. Augustine, FL...

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

Charles Apuan of Las Cruces, New Mexico sends this...

"I enjoy reading the Joy of Bocce, and I look forward to purchasing the 3rd edition. I've attached a picture of a painting made by Frank Ansley, an artist and illustrator of children's books, and a member of a bocce team in northern California. I just bought a copy of the painting."

{See Charles Apuan's beautiful home bocce court here:

The Ansley bocce painting is great - how can I (and readers) purchase his paintings? I found links to some of the children's books he's illustrated, but not a web site offering his work. Can any reader REPLY with info?

Here's a link I located to his illustrated books... }


Bocce Guy (yours truly) headed to Jersey...

I've decided to take a drive to NJ to photograph and write a piece about the NJ Invitational run by Frank Valanzola. I'll even do a book signing while at the tourney. If you are going to be there, please come by and say hello.

The event sounds like an excellent one with proceeds benefiting NJ charities and Operation Shoebox which sends "care packages" to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you are located anywhere on my route from Massachusetts to NJ via RTEs 91S and 95S (through CT, NY, NJ) I wouldn't mind "hooking up" to view and photograph your bocce venue.

REPLY if this is a possibility. I'll be driving out Friday morning, May 16th and will spend the next day, Saturday, May 17 at the NJ bocce venue (Colonial Park - Somerset County).

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


Shooting vs. Lagging

In the Havana Rollers Bocce League playoffs recently I played pretty well. The courts are short (64') and knocking an opponent's point away is relatively easy for a half decent shooter. I was popping close points away with regularity, and one guy on the other team was getting aggravated.

"Why don't you try a skill shot?" He'd yell at me from the other end of the court. At the time I just chalked it up to poor sportsmanship. But more recently I got an email from a reader that included the following line:

"I understand that many people think that shooting takes less skill than lagging."

It never occurred to me that anyone would think such a thing. But maybe that was the guy's point at the Havana Rollers playoffs. I called a couple experienced bocce players to get their take on the shooting/pointing debate.

Everybody I talked to agreed that neither one is more skillful or more important than the other. There are two skills in this game, and if you want to advance to high levels of play, you had better work on both of them. USBF President John Ross, who has seen and participated in bocce at the highest levels, says "The more skillful players are the shooters...but they can lag too."

He attributed a wonderful quote to his late friend Michael Delmonaco from Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos.

"Anybody can shoot" said Delmonaco. "But not everybody hits."

What's your take on the skill sets of bocce? Shooting - pointing - you make the call. Please REPLY.


Richard and Barbara Heisler have moved closer to "bocce heaven" which is good news for me and my readers. They send great pictures of their bocce travels.

"We have sold our home among the redwoods and have moved to Stockton at the epicenter of California bocce.

They have raffa leagues here and in Livermore and raffa pickup nights at both as well. Italian Athletic Club in Stockton will have new world class resin courts by the end of May.

I'll try to get you some of our photos as soon as the dust settles from our move."

{Music to my ears!}


Big Doins' @ Campo di Bocce

Campo di Bocce's Teena Marie keeps us in the loop about bocce happenings at her favorite venue...

"I just wanted to let you know about some exciting upcoming events at Campo di Bocce in Livermore.

On June 4th we will be celebrating 10 Years of Giving with the 10th Annual Madden/Mariucci Charity Bocce Tournament. Since 1998, Campo di Bocce has been the proud host of this fundraiser. The proceeds of this year’s tournament will benefit Easter Seals Kaleidoscope, the only program of its kind in the Tri-Valley area that serves children and young adults with developmental disabilities and the Special Olympics! Aside from the opportunity to play with NFL greats and celebrities, players and guests enjoy excellent food and of course, vino! For more information on this event please contact Jennifer Albanese at 925.249.9800.

2008 Western Sector Raffa Championships are being held on June 7th at Campo di Bocce in Livermore. This tournament is the last Western Sector tournament before the United States Bocce Championships and is filling up fast. Entry fee is $50 per person and includes continental breakfast and buffet lunch. For a registration form or more information contact Teena Marie at 925.249.9800 or


Robert in Sebastopol, CA writes...

"I have a couple of questions about our bocce court. We built our court and this is the third season. It is an outdoor court, pretty much regulation size and we use the oyster shell type top dressing. We have a couple of questions. In the winter after the rains the bocce court has spots of moss that are difficult to remove and we were wondering if there is something we can do to prevent this. Second question is how often should a refresh on the top dressing be put on? Thanks for the help and maybe your readers have some insight."

{I had the same problem (moss) on my Har-Tru court and used a formula recommended by John Ross of the USBF. John told me that one year he and some other bocce enthusiasts tried a variety of remedies for moss and the "winner" was 3 cups of bleach to one gallon of water.

I wouldn't think there would be much need to "refresh" your top dressing, although I don't have much experience with oyster shell here in New England. Contact the oyster shell guru - Boccemon Tom McNutt at . Can readers offer any insight?}


Landscape Lighting Shop


Blast from the past...

Volume #1, Issue #13 April 1, 2002

Bocce quote of the week

The bocce quote of the week comes from Mike Hogan of Raleigh, North Carolina. His line is a take-off on "Field of Dreams." Threatening to build a backyard court of his own for years, he only committed to the construction project when he finally grasped an all-important concept. In Mike's very shrewd words - "Build it and they will come...with beverages."

{Do you have a bocce quote? Please hit REPLY and share it with our readers}


Here's a pdf file to download for registration for the July 26 event in Syracuse, NY - the 5th annual Spaulding Support Services Bocce Tournament @ Bishop Ludden High School.

You can scroll down to Tournament Update for more info, or download this brochure...


Sweetheart Inn Summer League (Schedule Change)

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

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


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.

Do-It-Yourself Court Construction (not for the faint of heart)...

Photos of the week
This week's photos depict a court in the public domain in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Located behind George's Restaurant and the Tap in Haverhill, the city built a lovely court by the Merrimack River.

The court was funded by donations and city workers constructed it. As is often the case, they called me in for consultation after it was already built. I'd have tried to convince them to squeeze in two narrower courts - it's awfully tough to run events on a single court.

The workers did a good job, considering. They found some plans on line and followed them. No swingboard or dead board - hey, we can live with that. They used a couple inches of Rapid Dry for top dressing. That's the stuff college and professional baseball teams use to dry the field after rain storms. It plays too slow. It's too dusty. It will never cure or harden. You make footprints when you walk on it - like playing bocce in the desert.

But run a tourney on a single court is what we did. We ran a successful 12-team tourney that coincided with an annual Italian festival.

The event organizers were smart enough to get their tourney sanctioned by the United States Bocce Federation (USBF), the Governing Body of Bocce in America. You should do the same for your event - contact USBF President John Ross or Treasurer Andrea Ross at Visit the USBF web site at .

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 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.


October 25, 2008 – California - Los Gatos. Campo di Bocce, “Big Ben Tournament”. RAFFA, doubles. Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-857-0074.

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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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