The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 21 - May 26, 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 #21 - May 26, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hey Gang,

Yikes! Twenty-one weeks without missing an ezine issue. I don't know how long I can keep this pace up. Keep sending info and photos. That makes it easier for me to keep publishing.

I had a great weekend in NJ at the New Jersey Bocce Invitational. I put 800 miles on my car, but I got to see a great program for a great cause and I was able to connect with some bocce friends on the way down and back. {Some photos in this week's issue, others to follow.} I purchased a GPS - Garmin nuvi 680 for the trip. Wow! What a technological marvel. I don't think travel will ever be the same for me...don't know how I ever got along without it.

Stay close and always be up front,
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Marin Bocce - San Rafael, CA...

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

George Farruggio of Punta Gorda, Florida says...

"We are now making these score boards {picture to the right}. If anyone is interested in buying one please let them E-Mail. The price is $250.00 Plus Shipping. (remember - the name of the game is BOCCE)"

{Contact George @ - George gets a little testy when people refer to our game as "Bocceball" rather than Bocce.}


Dr. Angel Cordano expresses his desire to attract top players to the Nationals by offering cash prizes.

"I would like to reiterate the importance of finding a way to have the open tournament at the Nationals with some, or a lot of money involved. We had a successful one at St Louis years ago!

There are many, many good players that would love to come to a National, if there were some 'green' along with the medals. Those players will have a chance to see the 'real' game ( P - R - V ) and eventually fall in love with it.

On the east coast as in other areas of the country, it is literally impossible to convince anybody to compete without money involved.

We have several new members on the board and I am sure that they will help in defining this extremely important aspect for the development of the sport."

USBF President John Ross clarifies...

"This issue was resolved at the board meeting June 22, 2005 held at the Palazzo di Bocce in Orion, MI. The board voted that the host club of the national tournament could hold an open tournament for medals or have a money tournament. The host club of this year's event chose to have a medals only event. Last year's host opted for the money tournament."

{Here's the crux of the problem - as I see it: we'd all like to see the best bocce players America has to offer compete for the USA in international competitions. The USBF is the governing body of Bocce in America, and as such, runs qualifiers and sanctions participants to represent our country.

The rest of the bocce playing world is playing PRV (punto, raffa, volo - international rules) while the good old US of A is playing mostly Open Rules. Dr. C argues that once top players experience PRV (which largely takes the element of luck out of the game) they will gravitate toward it. Says the good Doc, "It's the difference between chess and checkers."

This may very well be true. If you're the type of competitor that gets really aggravated when a lucky shot beats you, you might just naturally want to transition to PRV. I remember a game last summer where my team was ahead 11 - 9 (12 points wins) and had the game point in place. With their last ball the opponents tried to hit our game winning point away. The attempt missed "by a mile", striking the wrong ball and starting a chain reaction of balls colliding with other balls. When the dust settled, the opponents had 3 points and the win. In PRV the ball missing its target would have been declared dead and all displaced balls put back to their original positions.

So, I'm thinking maybe top players would gravitate to this PRV game once they see that skill prevails over luck. The question is, do we have to offer prize money to get them exposed to this game?

I don't know. I do know that the PRV game is in dire need of exposure in many parts of the country. I don't believe there is a single person in all of New England playing the game. I promoted it to our local group once and there was some interest. But, I'm not comfortable with all the rules and nuances of play. Groups like mine ought to be able to petition the USBF to send and finance a representative to instruct us for a couple days.

We can read about the PRV game and look at all the pictures we want. But we need to experience the game with a coach who knows of which s/he speaks.

If we played a couple days with an expert, we'd catch on much more quickly than by reading a rule book. Then, players would be able to say either 1) wow! that game's for me or 2) no thanks, I'm gonna pass and go back to open rules. I know that if I were more comfortable with the international rules, I'd promote their use hereabouts.

What's your take on all of this? Please REPLY.}


Bill Marinelli sends bocce news...

"Buongiorgno Mario,

I'm Gaetano 'Bill' Marinelli and thought you'd like to know that Portland,Oregon, the State to the north of another WEST Coast State also plays Bocce. The Bocce league was formed in 2003. The matches are played in SW Portland Monday thru Thursday evenings, May till Labor Day weekend.

Club Paesano is over 50 years old and has grown from 2 courts to 6 courts over the years. The Club is also starting a youth program this year.

The Club Paesano holds several Tournaments each year - this year's events are: The Annaul Rossi - July 13th, The Club Paesano Picnic - August 10th, The 17th Festa Tournament.

Thank you in advance for allowing us to introduce our presence to your readers. Come see us."

{Contact Gaetano Marinelli @ }


Got an email from CafePress that declared...

"Scan the sports page - browse our sports section for fun designs and gear."

When you click on the Shop Now button all manner of sports show up including Bocce! Remember the trouble we had getting this outfit to recognize bocce? Thanks to all of you who sent emails to CafePress declaring indignantly that our sport was shortchanged.

Bocce is there on CafePress now! It's under Bocceball, but it's there! See for yourself...


Anthony Lombardi of Golden, Co. asks...

"Has a anyone put a roof over a bocce court? I am contemplating enclosing my court so we can use it during winter months but not sure how to make it appealing to the eyes of neighbors! Any suggestions are appreciated."

{Please REPLY if you've been there - done that. "Appealing to the eyes of neighbors"...good choice of words.}


Thanks to all who helped sponsor the bocce segment of our Massachusetts Senior Games. Please consider patronizing our important sponsors...


Blast from the past...

Volume #1, Issue #16 - April 22, 2002

Bocce quote of the week

I've been hearing recently about people in carpeted office buildings playing bocce on their breaks and lunch hours. The down time is too short for them to get to the gym and back, and the brief diversion (mental and even a tad physical) is just what the doctor ordered. One advocate of the practice declared it perfect for "high powered business types who want to compete, but don't want to work up a sweat."


An interesting query from Teena from Campo di Bocce...

"Do you know of any young women players out there? Our Campo di Bocce Ladies team would love to see more people our age playing competitively. We range in age from 22 to 30."

{My non-profit group runs senior sports - age 50 and over. Nowadays 50 is still a young pup...but there aren't get a lot of twenty-somethings playing hereabouts. I expect it won't be long, as just about everyone we introduce the game to likes it. Anyway, your group will grow as the word gets out - it's inevitable. The game sells itself!}


Advertisers need not apply...

Got an email from a reader who chastised me for my recent statements regarding bocce products. He was laboring under the mistaken belief that I was pandering to my advertisers.

Hello... I don't have any advertisers. What I write is what I believe to be true.

I don't have plans to accept ads for the near future. I just don't think the ezine or the web site is big enough yet to make it a true value for advertisers. Sure, we have thousands of readers every week and yes, gets many thousands of hits per week (sometimes several thousand hits in a day). I have friends who tell me I'm nuts for not selling ads.

Still, I'm not ready for that just yet. I like the idea that I might make a buck promoting this game I love, but I'm not driven by money. Heck, this week George Farruggio might sell a half-dozen scoreboards that I've posted above. If he does, I'll make sure he buys me a coffee when I'm down in Punta Gorda. But I'm not looking for a commission, and he's not paying for an ad. We're both just trying to help the game grow.


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.

Getting your league to the next level...

Photos of the week
This week’s photos were taken by yours truly during my recent trip to the New Jersey Bocce Invitational at Colonial Park, Somerset County, NJ. The annual event raises funds for NJ charities and Operation Shoebox which sends "care packages" to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The photos show off the 8 courts in the public domain and highlight the well-run event from opening ceremonies to the championship.

Event organizer Frank Valanzola did yeoman's work pulling this event together. Says Valanzola, "Through the hard work of OPSHBX volunteers and event attendees we were able to prepare over 750 care-packages and raise over $60,000. We anticipate doing a ceremonial check presentation of $50,000 to the Cancer Institute of New Jersey with Dr. Bertino and Dr. Drachtman with Nick Valvano of the Jimmy V Foundation and UNICO president, Joe Agresti."

One interesting side note...I met and played a local during a little "down time." Deb kept my unblemished travel record intact of getting beat by everyone I meet on these trips.

There were two notable exceptions to my bocce travel record. When I first visited the North End of Boston to play on their great courts, I beat their top player in a singles match. He was suitably intimidated, thinking that since I was the author of The Joy of Bocce, I must be a great player. Once he found out that wasn't the case, he trounced me regularly.

On another occasion at the Palazzo di Bocce for the 2005 World Championships (photos here: ), I played one of the European champs and beat him handily. I don't often admit that the contest took place at two in the morning and my opponent was just ever-so-slightly inebriated.

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}

Kids furniture mart

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 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 11 - 13, 2008 - Ohio - Dayton. Bocce Classic XIV at Bella Villa (Dayton). 70+ teams compete for more than $7200 in prize money. This event has raised more than $75,000 for local charities. Information and entry forms at .


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.


November 1, 2008 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.

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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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