The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 27 - August 4, 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 #27 - August 4, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello my weekly bocce pals,

I have a good friend who is a financial planner and bocce aficionado. He tells me that one of the reasons he enjoys my company is because I'm different from most of his other acquaintances who are so concerned with finances and the stock market. I've never been one who's driven by money. I'm from the 1960's crowd that was influenced by service, ask not what your country can do for you...the torch has been passed to a new generation...

I have good health, a small pension from 32 years of public school teaching, a house that's paid for, and a life-style that includes regular doses of senior softball, basketball, and bocce. Life is good!

Some of my friends say "When I come back for my next life, I want to be Mario."

Still, my friend from the world of finances keeps telling me I ought to charge for The Joy of Bocce Weekly newsletter.

"Charge a nominal fee - $10 or $12 for the year, for crying out loud." He's probably right, I should look into charging. But, not as easy as it sounds, it would be a big effort on my part to gear up for such an endeavor...and I'm busy running programs and playing ball. Plus, I like the fact that, when I am overwhelmed with other projects and events (like last week), I can opt to skip a week of publishing. That wouldn't go over so well with a paying readership.

Also, even at just 10 bucks, I suspect I'd lose a significant percentage of subscribers.

To this, my friend counters, "So what? Even if you retain just a couple thousand, you'll be way ahead of the game."

True enough - but the goal has always been to reach the largest possible audience, and be a strong voice for the growth of the sport. I'm gonna opt for the status quo right now. Maybe some day I'll charge for the ezine and maybe even charge for advertising on the web site. But not yet. Let's just keep at it for now. Life is good!

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

Griffin Country Club (Georgia)...

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

Don Herman asks...

"I want to find a kiss the fanny plaque as a gift. Can you help?"

{Most of the "kiss the fanny" objects I see are on eBay, usually (France). Does anyone know where Don and others could locate one? Please REPLY.

P.S. The fanny tradition comes to us from petanque. The losers, when shut out 13 - 0, must kiss the fanny (usually ceramic) in the presence of the victors.}


Peter Rabito asks an interesting question...

"Do you know anything about pallinos that have an audible tone that visually impaired people use to play? I know some people will stand over the target and ring a bell but I was wondering if you may have posted something in your ezine.

One of the Special Olympics coaches in New York has a visually impaired athlete and we thought we should look into this."

{Interesting - I don't know of any such device. Can any reader offer help? Please REPLY.

Photos on the bell ringing that Peter refers to can be viewed here .}


A question from Fairfield, California...

"We have a bocce club in Fairfield, CA with app. 100 members. We need to purchase software for league and tournament play.

We have four outdoor and two indoor courts. Please suggest what and where we can purchase this.

I have your 'Joy of Bocce', second edition, book. It's the greatest. I want to practice more and become a shooter."

{I know that Playaboule has software. You can visit their web site at . The scheduling softwate is listed here: .

I've been running leagues and tourneys (including baseball, softball, and basketball) all my life and haven't had much use for software. Unless your event is very big, or has a lot of variables like playing on different days of the week, home vs. away locations, etc., you may be able to get by without scheduling software.

On the other hand, if the software was very easy to use - just type in the team names and the variables and it spits out the schedule perfectly balancing all the parameters for all the teams - that would be something very valuable and worth the one-time purchase price.

Have any readers had success with scheduling software? Please REPLY.}


This from Peter Martin...

"My company, Tidal Rock, is hosting a fund-raising event on August 9, which includes a bocce tournament."

Peter is looking for participants and also for help securing multiple sets of bocce balls for the event.

Bocce tournament information can be found at . Contact Peter @ .


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...


They play bocce in Maine?

Recently my bocce posse visited with Jean Anthony's Bocce Buddies of Bath (Maine). We played bocce on two outdoor stone dust courts and two indoor carpeted, make-shift courts. The materials and labor were mostly donated and Jean spearheaded the project.

The Bocce Buddies were excellent hosts and we enjoyed some fine dining after the bocce play. One of our group members, Kathy Flynn, summed things up quite eloquently...

"It was a peek into the process of developing a bocce group from literally nothing but one devoted fan. Jean has had to deal with the quirks of her particular population; and has crafted a loyal and enthusiastic following for the game. And the playing meets so many needs within the senior group. I loved the fact that so many of them were excited about stretching their boundaries beyond their current habits. They're at the level to know that there is another level. Good for them!

Doesn't this present a 'real' example of what you have set out to do with the KWSSC?"

{Ken Waldie Senior Sports Circuit, Inc. - my non-profit group running softball, basketball, and bocce for those over the age of 50. Visit the web site here }


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 #37 - September 30, 2002

A great email from Dr. Cordano...

“First of all congratulations on your book which besides being an ABC for beginners is very well written, easy to read and provides insight on many of the ways bocce is played in the US.

In issue #33 you ask for comments on the subject of the pallino and I agree entirely that the tossing is a vital part of the success in your game for all the reasons you mentioned: your strength, weakness of the opponents, etc.

I disagree in regard that the one who toss the pallino must roll the first bocce ball, because some players never recognize the cerebral part of the game and neither have the finesse to do it. Also some people can't control a smaller object well. At international level the pallino can be tossed by anyone and usually is the best player who does it, to assure the position that's more convenient for the team.

{I didn’t know this – as a matter of fact, I am embarrassed to admit that I have never seen International play. I see now that it is very important that I view this style of play to broaden my bocce horizons.}

I agree entirely about playing the first ball in front of the pallino not only for the "nuisance value" you mention, but to allow your "hitting man" or "shooter" to be worry free to take the team's ball away after hitting the opponent’s target.

On October 18,19 and 20 at Highwood, north of Chicago, the North American Bocce games will take place in an inside, air-conditioned environment. Newly built synthetic surface courts (4) 86 feet long will allow all to see the skills of the best PUNTO-RAFFA-VOLO from the US and from Canada. There will be three men’s teams and two women’s teams from each country. The competition will be in the 3 international modalities (SINGLES, DOUBLES, and TRIPLES) and players walk up and down after the completion of each frame. The speed of the courts and the international rules will showcase the finesse of the game as well as the power of the RAFFA and VOLO actions. Every ball to be hit (the target) has to be called to a referee and VOLO is obligatory up to the 54 feet line. Raffa is allowed only after that line. If you hit the wrong target the ball is removed from the court and the target is placed back on the marked position. Referee marks every played bocce ball.
Dr. Cordano”

{Note: I did make the trip to this venue in 2002 - photos and international rules explanations are posted here: }


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.

Lakes Region Bocce (NH)...

Photos of the week
From Mike Scerra...

"Just thought I'd send you a link to a bunch of pictures from the 2008 World Series of Bocce at the Toccolana Club in Rome, NY. The pictures were taken by one of our members, Dennis Grimaldi, and show our facilities and many of the players from the tournament. We increased the number of teams up to 80 this year and hope to keep growing!"

{There are over 400 pictures. I like a lot of them because they show many of the "behind the scenes" people who do the planning and cooking and serving, etc. that goes into making a big event like this a success.

Also, there are quite a few photos of women playing (great to see the game growing among the female population) and younger people. This is a very good sign for our sport, whose average age is dropping as younger and younger players come on board.

Great job on the photos - many thanks to Dennis Grimaldi.}

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.


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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