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

Hello bocce faithful,

Our annual Bocce in the Park at the Nevins Memorial Library was another smashing success. Fourteen teams of four players (mostly middle school kids, but a smattering of parents and grandparents too) showed up to play on the beautiful grounds of the library.

We set up five courts, but I think next year we'll have to add a sixth as the event gets more popular each summer. Children's Library director Kathy Moran-Wallace runs a host of excellent summer programs. She tells me that the bocce tourney is the most eagerly anticipated program of all.

See photos here:

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

Bocce Bill Wallace's court in Sonoma County, CA...

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

Bob Williams of Endicott, NY writes...

"I have been enjoying your on-line Bocce newsletter as well as corresponding with Carmine D’Agostino for tips on my bocce court construction.

I’m pretty close to completing my 68’ x 10’ stone dust court. Just a few more aesthetic touches and I’ll be there.

Carmine thought you might like to see my progress to date."


Zeke Goulbourne sends this...

"The second 'New York Bocce Ball Charity Tournament for the Kids', is official. It will be held in Coney Island next to KeySpan Park baseball field right on the ocean. Yes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean how sweet is that !!!! It will be held August 23, 2008 on the Cyclones annual Italian Day game.

This will be the first of what will hopefully become an annual event in Brooklyn at Cyclones (KeySpan Park) with our partner the Brooklyn Cyclones they will be partnering with Hunter Green Assoc LTD. I was reluctant to have the event this summer because I wanted to put a big event together this year. But as John from the Cyclones said to me, 'Let's get this one started and we will build it out next year.'

He is right Bocce Ball fans let get ready to BOCCE!!!!!

There will be about four to six courts to play on. There will be prizes and it will be a day of Bocce and baseball. We will choose Bellevue hospital for this season’s charity and will be supporting others in the future with your input. We will be sending out weekly information that will lead to the big day."

{For more info contact Zeke at }


Don't hear much about bocce in Wisconsin. Here's news of a tourney in Cedarburg, WI...

Twelfth Annual Cedarburg Bocce Classic

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

Visit or email


Campionati Italiani Seniores Maschili anno 2008

This championship match between Formicone and Chiapella is worth viewing even if you don't understand or speak Italian...


Teena Marie at the Campo di Bocce of Livermore is accepting advertising for the Singles Showdown listed in the last ezine...

"We are doing a very exciting Singles Showdown starting July 13th through December 7th and have advertising opportunities. We have 32 regular participants and 8 alternate players on top of the 1,000's of spectators and guests that will see the banner ads the duration of the event."

For more information, call 925.249.9800.


We got John Luther's email address incorrect last issue so we're running the piece again...

John Luther is spreading the joy in Texas...

"A business development in Austin has constructed two courts with Astroturf surface. Four retired guys (me included) play twice a week and have been approached by the manager concerning establishing a bocce club, encouraging more players and holding contests there in the fall. Although we love to play, we are pretty new at this and are seeking information, advice, and assistance in starting a formal group. Any assistance you can provide would be appreciated.

{First off, just start playing and you will attract newcomers as you go. See what you can do to get the word out (emails, posters hung in conspicuous, well traveled places, notices in newspaper, etc. Next, get players to sign up for the Joy of Bocce Weekly and stay informed about all things bocce. Maybe you'll want to travel to an event to see how they run things.}

The courts seem to have a hard base, then a thin layer of sand covered with Astroturf. It looks nice, but plays very uneven with the result that the balls do not always run straight and true. What can we suggest to the owners to improve the court and get an even flat throwing surface?

{Sometimes, playing on uneven surfaces can be fun, requiring you to "read the green". This problem of subsurface below the carpet or synthetic surface is one we are all dealing with. As you build a group, someone with ideas for court improvements will miraculously appear.}

Many thanks in advance for your help. We are trying to bring bocce to Texas and share the joy."

{Great! Keep at it - you can't help but succeed. Anyone with ideas or suggestions, or anyone who wants to join the Texas group can contact John directly at }

Fellow bocce player Dave Kemptner adds...

"He (Luther) would really like to hear from as many BOCCE players as possible.

Thanks for all you do to bring us news on BOCCE. We are really hoping to get some courts established so the folks up North have a place to play outside in the
winter time. It is really nice in Central Texas starting in September.

Come on down and show us how to play BOCCE. We are eager learners."


Matt Snell says..."What a great web site!"

"Finally an interactive Bocce site were you can see other small bocce operations. I am one of founders of The Snell Bocce Federation in Oshkosh, WI started by the Original 6. We have been around for three years but 2007 was our first tournament and the field has doubled for 2008 BOCCEFEST.

As we started playing bocce ball we realized there were so many rules - we took ones we like and added things. One point for hitting the jack; this brings a 4 pt play and a 3 pt play to the game and speeds up play - watch out for comebacks.

It's one on one in our play, no boards - if it goes out it's out but it may go out and come back in. On grass, if you hit the jack out of play that pitch is done and you are awarded one pt (match cannot end on a blastoff), that's just some of the weird ones.

Our goal is just to have fun and build a good core group so we can have more and bigger events. We also have a newsletter and a drink called Bocce Balls. I wish we would have found this site sooner."

{Build a core group and have fun - perfect mission statement.}


Here's a pdf file with all the info you need for the October 17, 18, and 19 bocce event in Phoenix, Arizona.


Blast from the past...

Volume #1, Issue #35 - September 16, 2002

Players from the Long Island Bocce Club recently asked “What is some of the cool terminology bocce players around the country use?”

{They had suggestions of their own. For example, when a team gets all four points in a frame with a neat cluster around the object ball they call that “four on the floor.” Pallino advantage to them is “pallino power” or “power of the pallino”. In Massachusetts players talk about “running the rail” for bank shots or rolls that hug the sideboards, and on the south side of Chicago they “toots it up” when they want to tap their previously played ball a tad closer to the object ball. Do you know of or use colorful language that adds to your enjoyment of the game? Please REPLY and share with our readers.}


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.

Pictures from the 2007 National Championships...

Photos of the week
Annandale, New Jersey's Tom Diemer sends great bocce court photos and the step-by-step construction details below...

"I was inspired to take on this project by an article on backyard games/sports in This Old House magazine as well as trips to Italy with my wife where we play exciting games of bocce in my father-in-law’s home town.

Years ago I became known as the 'Americano' who got the winning point in the Ferragosto tournament. I came across your website and book about ½ way into my project, both have been very helpful. My court is about 60 X 11 and currently has a stone dust surface which I may top dress with the Har-Tru or oyster shell since the stone dust does play a little soft. My construction was more challenging since I live towards a top of a hill which gives me great views but not a lot of flat land plus I am one of those who likes to over build if you know what I mean.

I hired a guy to do the excavation with his bobcat and he dug out the site in the side of a small hill in my backyard. He did not get overly technical with the leveling, as he was an old timer who did it by sight. He was pretty darn close when we broke out the transit/level. Next came the 64 pressure treated 6 X 6 X 12 and the challenge of building in area of the yard that was not that accessible. The lumber truck got within about 40 feet and then it was the wife and I hauling it the rest of the way. Those timbers are pretty heavy. In case you have not done the math, I stacked the timbers 5 high to build a deep court to ensure proper drainage and also deal with the change in grade, did I mention I like to overbuild?

I set the first layer of timbers on a gravel footing and spent time making sure I was square and level (but probably not enough – looking at Camanooch’s bocce court construction - he did it right).

When I got two layers down I drilled and hammered steel reinforcing rod (rebar) through the timbers and into the ground to hold them in. I cut the rebar flush with the top of the second timber. I added a third layer of timbers this time nailing it to the second layer with 12 inch galvanized spikes. (I marked the location of the spikes in the inside of the timber so I would not nail the next timber in the exact same place). I put the third layer on and left an opening for a 4 inch drainpipe.

Now came the stone. I started with a bottom layer of 5/8 clean gravel. The delivery truck was able to get right to the edge of the court so I just needed to move it the length of the court with my trusty wheel barrow. This bottom layer was about 8 inches after I compacted it. I then put the drainpipe the length of the court wrapped in filter fabric and exited it at the one end with the opening. I added the final 2 layers of timber using the same method as before. Next came the compacted pack/quarry process (0-3/4) mix, this ending up being about 8 inches compacted. On this day the grass was wet and the tri-axle delivery truck almost capsized in my back yard (I was not home but got a panicked call from my wife) needless to say the driver took it in stride and dumped the load about 25 feet from the court – more work for the wheel barrow.

Since I wanted to have a nice finish to the court (no offence to the natural wood look), I encased the top timbers in Trex decking using 1 x 12 fascia board for the inside walls (I like the look of a higher inside wall plus it keeps more balls in the court) and 1x 6 for the top and outside. Lastly I put in a couple of inches of stone dust (again a wet day so more wheel barrowing work) and my wife and I screeded it like you did your top dressing of Har Tru.

We played our first games in late fall and it was great. Winter came and while we played a few games here and there the rest of the project still beckoned. This spring I began to finish the adjoining patio and retaining wall. This gives us a complete dedicated bocce area in our backyard. I still need to add lights and complete the landscaping. I had some extra stone dust from the patio so I added more to the court.

The court is a lot of fun to play on though we have not had a big tournament yet. My neighbors are preparing for one. As I mentioned, the stone dust plays a little soft but I will see how it develops before changing. The Trex plays a little less lively than the wood but not a dead as I expected.

Not including the adjoining patio and wall, below is a rough estimate of the cost of my court – not including the pain in my back and the endless nagging from my wife that it would never be done. I did most of the manual work myself with occasional help from my wife, brother-in-law and kids. I did hire my neighbor’s laborers for a day or two when my back was not feeling up to it.

Excavation of bocce area and other site work $500

64 timbers (pressure treated for ground contact) $1,800

Gravel, stone, stone dust etc. $1,200

Trex $1,600

Spikes, drainage pipe, compactor rental, other - $400

Total - $5,500

Prior to starting I had a well respected landscape contractor who was doing some other work for me give me an estimate to build the court. He had never built one but was anxious to add one to his resume so I gave him the specs. He gave me an estimate of about $15 thousand, which I consider in the range of others I have spoken to. Needless to say I decided to take on the challenge myself and while it may not have a perfect fit and finish of a court build by a pro, I don’t think I did half bad.

If I had to do it over again I would probably make the court a little longer as 60 feet is a little short for the strong players as you note in your book/website.

Thanks a lot for your website and book, they are great reads. Sorry I missed you when you were down my way in Somerset, maybe next time."

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week

I've evaluated these and they are great. They're very sturdy and obviously of high quality. What a bonus - they're the "right" size for bocce – 107 mm.

These are not the balls that glow under black lights, these have internal lights that blink when you activate them.

All you need do is turn the cap on each ball clockwise to start its light flashing. Turn the cap counterclockwise to turn off the light. These are great fun to play on the carpet in the rec room with the lights turned off. Children and adults seem to like them equally well.

Playaboule always has the most reasonably priced bocce items on the web. Their low prices make some of us in the "bocce business” wonder how they make any money.

Worth every penny of the $99.95 list price, this set is a “steal” at the sale price of $59.95.

For more info or to order, check out Playaboule's newly revised (and much improved) web site which includes a well done video on how the light up bocce set works. {Click the picture above - copyright Playaboule - or the link below.}

From the web site:

We own the molds.!!

This set is the ONLY official Bocce size 107mm dia Lighted Bocce Ball set available anywhere in the world. We guarantee it.!

• This set includes ALL of the following:
• Set of 8 FLASHING Glo Bocce balls
• 2 Glow Green, 2 Glow Blue, 2 Gow Red, 2 Glow Yellow
• 1 Glow White jack ( pallina )
• Nylon carry case with webbing handles
• 2 sets of batteries ( one is preinstalled for testing purposes)
• Screwdriver ( to undo battery enclosure )
• Instructions
• Measuring string and Tape measure
The balls are made of a high quality, durable resin material, with the Playaboule logo molded in. Because the balls are translucent the LED light can shine through making the balls flash and glow in the dark. Simply rotate the screw-cap to turn the light on/off (see video) to activate your lighted bocce set.

Note: Replaceable Alkaline batteries are pre-installed and are included for testing purposes only. A fresh set is also included. Batteries can last for much more than 20 hours.

We designed these balls as a solid sphere then drilled and threaded a hole in the side for the LED plug. Being solid, these balls are almost unbreakable.!!! You can crash the balls together without fear of damaging the balls or the LED components.

Great recreational set and perfect for evening play! At the beach, camping, back yard, etc. When the sun goes down don't stop playing, START playing with this glo bocce ball set."

{P.S. There's an equally good Glo Boules set that are petanque size... click this link: }

Check out Glo Bocce at Playaboule...

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 Grills Direct

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.


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 3, 2008 - Wisconsin - Cedarburg. Twelfth Annual Cedarburg Bocce Classic. Visit or email


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.


December 6, 2008 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. OPEN, 4 players, including at least 2 women players. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.

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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.
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