The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 23 - June 16, 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 #23 - June 16, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello bocce faithful,

This week is the week of big doins' in Illinois. The Highwood Bocce Club (Highwood, Illinois) is the site of the National Open Championships as well as the National Punta, Raffa, Volo Championships. I'm sorry to miss the festivities, but I have so much going on here with my non-profit senior sports group (Ken Waldie Senior Sports Circuit, Inc.) that I can't easily get away. On the bright side, some of our bocce, softball, and basketball players are beginning to "step up" and take a more active role in the programs. This will free me up a lot more in the future, he said hopefully.

Also, photos of the big doins' have been promised. Stay tuned. I took some photos of the Highwood Club during the North American Championships a couple years back. View them here:

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

Arizona Italian-American Club...Phoenix, AZ...

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

Rock Gunnoe sends news about that tourney he alluded to in the last JOB issue...

"Very happy to pass along to you that my team, Cricketeers, WON the tournament - besting 30 teams in fine sunny Arizona weather. We will now play the Eastern Intergalactic Bocce tournament in September at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware, with the assistance of Draft magazine.

Photo - From left to right, Tim, Matt, Rock, Levi"

{Don't you just love it when they play well AND make a fashion statement!}


Knoxville's Joe Pelliccia writes...

"Thanks for writing Joy of Bocce - It was very helpful to me as I figured out how to build a bocce court in my backyard in Knoxville, TN. Needless to say there aren't many bocce courts around here and not many Italians either. The Italians that are here love coming over to play and the non-Italians all fall in love with the game."

{Yes, this is standard fare, standard operating procedure for our great game.}


Colorado's Anthony Lombardi sends this...

"Our group, the Morra Society of Denver are going on a cruise with Costa Cruise and they have a bocce court on board. Has anyone played on it? I have been on the same ship and have seen the court but never played on it. I suppose it would be challenging if we hit bad weather!

Also, does anyone know of any other Morra clubs? We have 60 members and 10 teams. We play every Friday night from October to April. We would love to travel and play other teams.

Also, I want to put a cover over my bocce court. Does anyone know the best way? I am considering totally enclosing it so we can play during the cold months.

Mille Grazie"

{I'm very interested in this "cruising with bocce" concept. Anyone have any experience with it? Please REPLY to any of Anthony's questions. I'll post responses here...}


I asked Peter Chimento about his synthetic turf as I get a lot of questions about artificial surfaces ( ). People want a low maintenance court and, with carpet, they are concerned about how to create the subsurface so that there is little or no bounce.

"Appreciate you adding my photos to your magazine! I live in central NJ which is about an hour and 40 minutes from Sparta. As for the synthetic turf. It has its pros and cons. It looks great and maintenance is easy...just a leaf blower does the trick. It drains well, I have three drains under the turf. There is also a crushed stone base under it which keeps it level and a silica fill on it that gives it a natural roll when tossing a bocce. My only complaint, is that it is a fast rolling surface. When tossing on this type of course 12x60 you must not over power your throw. It is more of a softer roll, if you will, otherwise hitting the backboard is a problem. You can see samples of this turf if you Google synthetic putting greens."


Jeff Widen of the Detroit Petanque Club keeps us posted...

"I know you like to keep aware of all things bocce, so here's a hot tip... they're now playing bocce at Cadillac Square in Detroit, Michigan right alongside where petanque is played. There will be regular bocce club meets weekdays 12-1pm. Good stuff!




Dr. Cordano updates us on Florida bocce...

"The city of Cape Coral has almost completed a project for bocce at Jefferson Park. All 6 bocce courts have been covered with a beautiful roof allowing players to enjoy the game without suffering dangerous sun exposure which many days run in the high 90’s and even lower 100 ‘s F.

Being relatively close to the ocean the breeze is joyfully enjoyed and the 90’s are not so bad.

There is no doubt that the city government and Parks and Recreation understand the value of bocce in this community that has several hundreds of players and aficionados.

At completion with the illumination under the roof, players will enjoy night play too. There are several well organized leagues and you could see lots of activity on the 6 courts. I was told that this last project cost was around 140 K.

SONS of ITALY. St. Petersburg :

In their new facilities, 3 new bocce courts have been built (75 f by 10 f) and members did 90% of the job and with the help of some players and few other members, the project was financed with practically no cost to the organization.

Due to space availability, there was some constriction about # of courts and the width aspect. The base of the courts was made with cement and covered with in-out type of carpet. The bouncing is minimal and allows good playing."


Donna Allen sends this...

"I've attached a flier for your convenience. This is our 30th annual Northern California Bocce Championships. Let's make it the best yet! Remember, there are two divisions so those of you that don't regularly attend tournaments can participate in the fun without the stress! This is also a good time to sign up a team and participate.... even if you haven't played before. It is also a good time to introduce the game to family members and co-workers.

It's amazing to think that Ken (Dothee) and I have been doing this for three decades! You can help me promote this event by printing out a couple of fliers and posting them somewhere or passing them on to friends.

Thanks and I hope to see you on the 26th!"


Frank Ansley of St. Helena, CA writes...

"Speaking of a women's bocce league (Joy Of Bocce e-zine June 9) I once heard that the first women's bocce league in the U.S. started in Hibbing, Minnesota (my home town) in the early 1900s. Does anyone out there know anything about this?

There was a large influx of Italians into that part of northern Minnesota due to the newfound iron ore deposits and the need for mineworkers. I can't ask any of the old timers there because I don't live there anymore. There is still an active bocce league going, year round I believe. You should see the courts they built out of old mining equipment!"


Blast from the past...

Volume #1, Issue #21 - May 27, 2002

Wow! Hard to imagine that this is what I wrote 6 years ago. Things haven't changed so much I guess...

"I've been doing quite a few radio and newspaper interviews recently and a pattern is emerging. There is a lot more interest in bocce than I have seen in recent years. Maybe that big explosion into America's national consciousness is at hand. But, there is still that segment of the population that has no idea what the game is about. Talk show hosts continue to ask 'How do you play?' and 'What is the object?' And callers to the radio station ask if bocce is similar to shuffleboard, lawn bowls, and boules. Most obvious is that bocce still suffers from an 'image problem'. People envision cranky old coots smoking cigars and drinking wine while engaged in 'geriatric lawn bowling'. And the tone of voice and demeanor of the talk show hosts often reveal their sense that bocce is not really to be taken seriously. While chatting with the very capable John Donabie of CSRB in Toronto the other day (the largest talk radio show in Canada) the sports director chimed in with 'Hey Mario, is there any checking in bocce?'

Those of us promoting this wonderful sport still have our work cut out for us. The up side is that virtually everyone we introduce the game to enjoys it. Anyone can play, regardless of age, strength or physical condition. If you can roll a ball about the size and weight of a candlepin bowling ball, you can play. Having moved slowly but steadily away from its ethnic and male dominated upbringing, bocce has reached the mainstream. It's really only a matter of time."

{The reference to a candlepin bowling ball is a good one for New Englanders, maybe not so good for people from other parts of the USA.}


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.

SetUp/Breakdown Courts...

Photos of the week
This week’s photos come courtesy of Elizabeth Jade Wong Fontana and were taken by Richard Heisler.

"I must explain that when the men were competing in this Trick Volo competition, I was standing on the sidelines wishing that I could compete also, but I was intimidated by all of these talented men, and had already changed into my dress. Then Jorge, the USBF men's champion encouraged me to make an attempt, I tried my 1st throw wearing my dress. My throw was close to the target, but a miss. So I decided to get serious, and I changed my clothes to really compete.

Now, I can see that I will have to work on my form, because I look like a frog. But this frog won the event! They surprised me that evening, awarding me a bottle of wine, as Champion of the Trick Volo. And that's how the story goes. Life lesson learned: Never just stand on the sidelines. Go out there, have fun, and compete!!!

Tanti baci, Elizabeth

I asked Elizabeth to explain a little more about the Trick Volo competition and she provided this...

" In the Trick Volo competition there were 4 events. You only had 1 attempt at each event. The 1st one was where you had to hit the target raffa ball behind another raffa ball set where the pallino is placed at the beginning of each game. It is a rather long volo shot.

The 2nd event is where someone banks the moving target ball off the left side wall, then you can shoot at it once it passes the volo line. Remember it is a moving target at a diagonal angle.

The 3rd is against the right side wall.

The 4th event is where 2 people roll distracting balls diagonally while a 3rd person launches the target ball directly. You can only shoot at your target after the other 2 balls have crossed each other. As you well know that it is difficult to focus on a stationary target, let alone a moving one, then to top it off, you have the 2 distracting balls that you must keep an eye on."

{Yikes! This sounds difficult and challenging, to say nothing of impossible. Still, it sounds like something I'd like to take a whack at - pun intended. Check the photos for top flight amphibian form.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Precision Bocce Measures

Choose the Clubhawk Gold, Henselite Bowls, or Premier Boule Measure. You can't go wrong with any of the three choices. Once a bocce aficionado has a set of bocce balls and my book, the next logical acquisition is a first-rate measure.

Each retails for $24.95 plus $5.00 shipping and will be shipped US Priority Mail.

Click the photo for more info, pictures, etc.

Click to go to merchandise order...then scroll down a bit

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.


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, 2008 - Massachusetts - Methuen. Nevins Library Bocce in the Park for Kids. Third to sixth graders (parents & grandparents too). 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM. Register at 978-686-4080 - . Come join us for this popular annual program - the library's most eagerly anticipated program of the summer. Run by the Bocce Guy - Mario Pagnoni.


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 or 925-229-2157.


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. Second annual MARSHALL FORD CLEVELAND INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE, Mayfield Heights City Park. Sponsored by Marshall Ford, Club Molisani, and the City of Mayfield Heights, Wayne Farinacci, Tournament Director. Open Division with $11,910 in guaranteed prize money. Women's Division with $1,950 in prize money, based on 16 teams. Trophies for top teams and tournament t-shirts given to all participants. Four person teams (plus one substitute) - $150 entry fee per team. Contact Wayne at 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.


November 13 - 16, 2008 – Nevada - Reno. Peppermill Hotel & Casino. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Peppermill @ 800-648-6992.

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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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