The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 2 - January 14, 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 #2 - January 14, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Happy New Year my bocce friends,

I'm hustling to get this issue out before the big snow storm arrives and the power goes out. If you are reading these words, I made the deadline and am outside shoveling (and we probably had to cancel our Monday morning bocce league due to hazardous driving conditions).

Keep the ball rolling until better bocce weather arrives,
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Seen our pictures of bocce in Boston's North End?

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

Joe Radosy, President of the PNA (Polish National Alliance) White Eagles Lodge #1746 in Canonsburg, PA sends the picture to the right (click on it to see a larger version).

He's built an indoor court similar to the ones we use in our North Andover indoor league. They are what he calls "...our Temporary Removable Indoor Bocce Court set-up." (Imitation is the highest form of flattery).

The court is 12’ x 60’, with 6” x 6” x 9’ vinyl fence posts for side boards and 2”x 10” x 13’ wood back boards.

{This idea works best if you have a carpeted room to set the court(s) on. Our temporary courts are set up on Astroturf at the local baseball/softball school. But if you don't have a carpeted room, check out this ingenious solution... }


Last week's Jump For Joy bocce photo (The Eagle-Tribune) was a big hit with readers. It was taken at our annual Bocce in the Park tournament for families at our local library (Methuen, Mass.). If you missed it, check it out here:

The high jumper in the picture is Jessica and here are her mom's kind words...

"Not sure if you saw the Tribune's: Photographer's Favorite Photo of the Year.

(Photographer) Katie McMahon captured Jessica's exuberance. Something that we sometimes take for granted.

Just wanted to thank you for the experience. Bocce has become a favorite tradition. It is amazing how our actions can touch the lives of so many people.

You have certainly made Methuen and beyond a better place."



Several people have told me about how they play "cut-throat" bocce and I wrote a little about it in The Joy of Bocce. I'd like to hear from any readers who play this game and I'm interested in what guidelines they use.

Cut-throat (a really bad name) is a way for three players to compete in bocce in a unique way. First off, you need three different colored balls, say red, green, and yellow. Yellow would be a nice set to have on hand in case any color-blind players are in the line-up. (We have two color-blind players in our Monday morning league and they tell us they can see yellow bocce just fine).

For the start of the game you have to decide who will roll the pallino and who will roll first, second, and third. After the first ball rolled by each player, the one who is farthest away always rolls next.

We play with 3 bocce balls each, but you could just as easily play with 4 or even just two. After all balls are rolled, the closest ball scores three points, the second closest scores two points, and the third closest scores one. So, more than one player can score in a frame. In fact, all three could score (3, 2, 1). The game goes to 21 points or 30 points (pick your own winning score).

You might want to alter the scoring (like 5 points, 3 points, and 1 point). The person who had the "3-ball" (the closest in the frame) will roll the pallino in the next frame. So, if two players scored 3 points in a frame (one got the 3-ball and another got the 2 and the 1), the one with the 3-ball has the pallino advantage. If one player scores all six points (the 3 closest balls), the player with the 4th closest ball rolls second in the next frame.

That's it in a nutshell. Can any reader add to the discussion? Better still, can anyone come up with a better name than cut-throat? Please REPLY.


Don't forget "Bocce Bum" Ben Musolf's alert...

"On January 21, 2007, the very first television special on Bocce will air. The 2007 Madden/Mariucci event and the finals of the 2007 United States Bocce Federation National Championships will be a part of a show with commentary and commercials. The show will premier on Fox Sports Net Bay Area at 7:00PM and will be aired 3 more times afterward.

The exposure radius is as follows:

Oregon Border to Monterey, CA.
As far east as Reno, NV. (From California)
If the audience wants more, than it can be aired at Fox Sports Net’s discretion."

Benjamin Musolf
Campo di Bocce


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.


Drive to get Bocce to the Senior Games in 2009

Bocce is a senior game event in many states (i.e. Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida) but is not yet at the national level.

There is a National Games committee that reviews the process of adding new sports to the Summer Games. I was able to coax my friend Carl Fetteroll of the Massachusetts Senior Games to put in a formal request that bocce be considered.

If you know of Senior Games officials in your state, please have them do the same. The request should go to:

Ray Hoyt
Director of National Games and Athlete Relations
National Senior Games Association
PO Box 82059
Baton Rouge, LA 70844-2059

If we can get the games recognized, that would mean that 2008 would be a qualifying year and 2009 we could compete in the "Senior Olympics" in San Francisco, CA. This would go a long way toward getting our sport the notoriety it deserves. Send an email - send a letter - offer to host a qualifier in your state if there is none. Bocce is headed to the mainstream. It just needs a little push from people like you and me.

Wine Racks

Steps for a successful bocce ribbon-cutting ceremony...

Photos of the week
Frank Scenna of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania sends a nifty series of photos showing the construction of his home court, which has a surface of outdoor carpeting (this seems to be getting more popular as bocce aficionados seek out low maintenance courts).

"These are a series of photos of my new bocce court, built this past May and June (2007). I had to replace my old court, which was made with 2X10’s back in 1993.

First I had the material delivered and staged in the driveway, which consisted of 10 tons of “2B” slag, 1o tons of “1A” or “dust” (pulverized limestone), 10 tons of top soil (for around the court), 12 – 6” X 6” 12 feet long (pressure treated), and a 12 feet by 60 feet roll of outdoor carpeting.

The next step was to place 3 coats of stain on the 6 by 6’s and to drill ¾-inch holes through them. After a co-worker, Jeff Lupinski laid out the court with his transit, he dug a 12-inch deep hole 12 feet wide by 60 feet long.

Next, making numerous trips with his “Bobcat”, we placed 3 inches of the “2B” slag and used a vibrating plate compactor to compact it. This was followed by 3 inches of the “1A” (dust) and also compacted with the plate compactor. I should mention that I had help from my neighbors and fellow bocce players, Ed York, Joe Elliot, and Donna Maceiko.

The next step was to place the 6 X 6’s and drive ¾-inch reinforcing rods through the holes of the timbers. This was followed by rolling out the carpet, trimming it to size, cutting and placing the 2 X 6’s that were used on a 45 degree angle in the corners. Just for looks I placed miniature, concrete “Roman” columns with marble bocce balls affixed to the top of each column.

The final step was to paint the lines on the court and with the help of a stencil, I painted a letter “S” (for my last name) at mid-court. I used paint made for synthetic football surfaces.

Mario, if you are ever in the Pittsburgh, PA area please call. We would love to have you as our guest for some bocce, home made wine, some good food, and to meet some of my great bocce friends. Canonsburg is 23 miles southwest of Pittsburgh and also hometown of Perry Como."

{Bocce, home made wine, good food, great bocce offer too good to refuse. I wish I had known about Frank a couple years ago when I played softball in Pittsburgh in the Senior Olympics. That year I made a side trip to play bocce with Guy DiCarlo's bocce gang - photos here: }

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
I finally got around to digitizing the Joy of Bocce logo for embroidery. That's it to the right (with the words Experience It! beneath - experience the joy of bocce, what else?). Click the image, then scroll down to see the first item we'll offer with the embroidered logo - Port Authority Silk Touch Sport Shirt with Stripe Trim.

{Light brown with white trim}

Click here and then scroll down a bit to view the embroidered shirt...

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}

Powerful Antioxidant in Isotonic form from Market America...OPC-3

I discovered this wonderful product after my first couple of knee surgeries while seeking relief from inflammation in my arthritic joints. I wasn't disappointed.

As an added bonus, I learned that the anti-oxidant also improves circulation and boosts immunity.

The entire vitamin supplement line is in an "isotonic state." By adding a specified amount of water to these powdered vitamins they approximate the composition of your body fluids. There is no need for digestion, the product passing directly into the small intestine and the blood stream. It becomes what nutritionists call bio-available, not like pills and tablets which are poorly assimilated by the body.

Vitamin C
Vitamin B-12
Trace Minerals
Co-Enzyme Q10

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

Click for more info on anti-oxidants and your health...

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 1, 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 .


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.


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


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 .

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