The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 29 - September 1, 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 #29 - September 1, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hi again bocce friends,

Got some interesting feedback in response to last week's email from Tom Grella who suggested I charge for the Joy of Bocce Weekly newsletter. See below...

Some good news in my neck of the woods as Zorvino Vineyards in Sandown, NH began installation of two 75' by 10' courts on the grounds of their beautiful property. The vineyard features a gorgeous function hall built with the timbers cleared from the site.

We might run a short, outdoor fall bocce season under the lights there - photos to follow shortly. We're also planning to run some "upscale" bocce programs there. Our plan has always been to pair bocce with fine dining and fine wines - as opposed to the image that bowling has of fast food and a brewski.

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

Anderson Family Bocce (Salinas, CA)...

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


Here are some interesting stats I have been pondering recently. These are the top 10 and bottom 10 US states in terms of Joy of Bocce (the book) sales over the last several years (not bookstore sales or publishing house sales, mind you - just books that I have sold/shipped from orders on my web site and by places like and for whom I drop ship the books.

I don't know what to make of the results - but I made a couple guesses...note: I've shipped to all 50 states, DC, and 7 foreign countries.

Top ten JOB sales by state via The Bocce Guy

1) California (of course!)
2) Massachusetts (I run a lot of programs hereabouts)
3) Illinois (lots of bocce there)
4) Florida (bocce is big wherever the climate is mild)
5) New York (Peter Rabito promotes the game there)
6) Washington (The Boccemon promotes The Joy of Bocce)
7) Michigan (Mike Grasser country)
8) Pennsylvania (Bocce Boomtown)
9) New Jersey
10) Connecticut - tie
10) North Carolina - tie

Bottom 10 (actually 12) sales by state

These states are virtually tied as there are only a smattering of yearly sales in each...

Ranked fewest to largest (although largest is a relative term)...

1) North Dakota
2) Wyoming
3) Mississippi
4) Montana
5) Nebraska
6) West Virginia
7) Arkansas
8) Kansas
9) Utah
10) Idaho
11) Oklahoma
12) Alaska

What's your interpretation? REPLY if you have an opinion/guess. Do you think the book sales or lack of sales by state reflect where the game is being played and where it is still relatively unknown?

Tom Grella's email suggesting I charge for the Joy of Bocce Weekly generated a lot of feedback. Quite a few offered, "Just say the word and my check will be in the mail." James Capossela of Bridgeport, Connecticut even sent a check (which I will return) and a note reading "I love your newsletter and have no problem paying $10 per year. I am new to bocce and can't get enough. Thanks for a great job."

David Recchione added...

"I am a weekly reader of this e-zine and would have absolutely no problem giving my $10 bucks for the awesome e-mag. I am a weekly player and need to get some more people in Southern California to contact me, so we can play, promote and just enjoy a good day of Bocce. Please contact me @ and we can enjoy a game or two. I live in Rancho Cucamonga and play on 3 - 80' x 12' clay courts in Fontana, every week.

Thanks again Mario for the awesome e-zine every week, I look forward to it every Monday."

A particularly thoughtful, well written response came from Tom Coppola of Arco Bocce...

"None of us really do it for the money. Even if we collected a fee for our services, we would probably just re-invest it into our programs.

And further, if players and aficionados actually did want to donate to keep bocce being well promoted, their contribution would be given better to their local volunteer bocce organizers.

In the Mahoning Shenango Valleys of Northeastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, we bocce enthusiasts are blessed with many fine bocce facilities ranging from the 'super' club level to back yard courts. For example, in this metropolitan area of about 800,000 I can play in no fewer than ten summer bocce leagues (having at least a dozen men’s teams) within a 15 minute drive from my home.

In the winter that number drops to six leagues with about 20 teams each. In addition we have a local tournament circuit in the summer that averages about 22 entries per event.

I have first hand knowledge of how many resources and how much time and effort it takes to run a bocce facility. My home club has a 20 team winter league in the winter and both a men’s and women’s league with 12 teams each in the summer. We are struggling financially to keep this pastime going.

Our region has been decimated with the loss of tens of thousands of old economy manufacturing jobs which provided the impetus for the social club and the bocce game here. Up to the 1990’s the fraternal organizations and service societies competed for the working man’s attention. Courts were added throughout the area at a rapid pace. Bocce enthusiasm seemed to have exploded, since our local teams had success in the big money tournaments in Rome, NY and Toronto. As a consequence of the job losses and out migration of the 25-45 year old age cohort, however, many more bocce courts, covered, uncovered, or inside, etc. go under-utilized or are becoming in disrepair. And the volunteer workers and organizers are beleaguered.

So I DO agree with Tom Grella that Mario Pagnoni deserves much credit and some compensation for his efforts to unify bocce players and educate all of us on the evolution of our game. Yet I would be remiss if I did not also recognize our local leaders such as Mike Adrosko of Farrell, PA, Nick Gentile of Struthers, OH, Walt Minnick and Rich Simchee, of Girard, OH, and my good friend Wayne Farinacci of Mayfield Heights, OH. And my apologies to all who I have omitted here.

So, when you see your local organizer make sure at a minimum you tell them how much you appreciate their efforts. You can buy them a drink or pick up the dinner tab once in a while too! One of the best things you can do is encourage them. And every now and then lend them a hand when they call for volunteers to help out.

Keep rolling close and hitting and sticking."

{Coppola's point about giving the organizers a pat on the back is one I have utilized for years. I participate in many senior softball, basketball, and bocce tourneys. Sadly, most are poorly run. Of course, I'm probably a good deal more critical than most since I know how to run good programs. But, when I see an honest effort on the part of organizers, I make a point to introduce myself and tell them what a great job they are doing. They tend to hear complaints from the critics but not kudos from the satisfied customer. If they get enough static without getting "stroked" once in a while, they tend to stop running programs. Then, we all lose out. So, please, make an effort to pat a tourney organizer on the back next time you see a job well done.}


T.B. Prince of Fort Myers, FL has started a bocce joke web site...

"The other day someone sent me a cartoon joke about boules. I thought there must be some good bocce jokes around but when I googled everything I only found one bocce cartoon joke and no regular jokes.

To remedy this situation, I converted the boules cartoon to a bocce cartoon and found a dozen other sports jokes that could be converted to bocce jokes. I have set up a website for only bocce jokes at for the pleasure of our bocce community.

I know that among our millions of bocce players there must be some more bocce jokes out there. If they will send them to me at I will consider them to go on the website. Also, if anyone has a website they are welcome to put a link to the bocce jokes website on their website."


George Farruggio of Punta Gorda chimes in on the subject of flooded courts...

"I felt sorry for the guy who said here is a quick fix when your courts are flooded. He forgot to mention all the work it takes and expense. To me there is only one solution. First the name of the game is BOCCE. Second, make all your courts from concrete with the proper topping. When the court gets flooded just push the water out on the sides where drain holes are and your ready to play BOCCE - no hard work and no expense. Think about it - No maintenance - No expense. Just play BOCCE.

{I hear from readers who say that these so-called "weep holes" are the way to go. Drill large (1 inch) holes in strategic positions around the court into which you can push the water to drain to a low spot outside the court.

Do any readers have experience with weep holes? Good results or bad? Please respond. }


Massachusetts State-wide Sons of Italy event coming this fall.

October 5, 2008 - Belmont, Massachusetts. All players must be SOI members in good standing. Contact Steve @ . Click for Entry Form:


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 #41 - October 28, 2002

This email came from Peter Rabito in response to a newsletter issue devoted entirely to International Style Bocce that I watched, photographed, and wrote about in 2002. The event was the 2002 North American Championships - view the issue here:

From Pete Rabito of the Long Island Bocce Club…

“Your last ezine was fantastic! I would love to have been there. This is why I sent you the question a couple of weeks ago, for those of us who can’t experience Bocce on a 'professional' level. Some of the players must have been a pleasure to watch. I was very interested in the rules. Sounds complicated but I guess like everything else, you get used to it.

Are the matches very long? If the referee marks every ball and replaces them when hit inadvertently, it seems that the match can go on forever. Is there more then one referee?”

{Thanks, Pete…yes, the players were a pleasure to watch. It was interesting to note that so many high level players could have such varying styles, especially in pointing. Some stepped forward as they rolled, some planted their feet, some delivered from directly in front of their body, others slightly to the side. Dr. Cordano told me “There is only one rule in pointing. Leave the ball in front of the pallino.”

The matches can tend to be long. Sometimes they set a time limit. But skilled players tell me that experienced referees know how to manage the pace and keep the game moving so that the length of matches is nearly comparable to that of open rules matches. These games had only one referee, but you could use one for watching the foul lines and another marking the balls and measuring points.}


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.

Bocce at the beach - Port Charlotte, FL...

Photos of the week

Jean Anthony used volunteer power and donated materials to create highly successful indoor and outdoor bocce programs at the Bath Senior Center (Bath, Maine).

View the photos to see how she got the job done with the help of her Bocce Buddies of Bath. Maybe someone you know could do the same in his/her neck of the woods.

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}


Fire Pits

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.


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 13, 2008 - Pennsylvania - New Oxford. Scozzaro’s Old Mill Inn (4797 York Road). Four-person teams - fee of $100 per team includes refreshments and buffet. Contact Bob Massaroni at 630-8264.


September 19 - 21, 2008 - Canada,- Vaughan, Ontario (10 miles north of Toronto). North American Championships. 8 Men's Teams (4 USA and 4 Canada) and 6 Women's Teams (3 USA and 3 Canada) playing in a group format and following the International Rules of Punto Raffa Volo. Teams qualified to represent thier respective countries earlier this year.

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 5, 2008 - Massachusetts - Belmont. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (Sons of Italy) Tournament. 93 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA. All players must be SOI lodge members. Contact Steve @ . Click for Entry Form:


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.


June 20, 2009 - New Jersey - Franklin Twp. 3rd Annual Bocce Invitational at Colonial Park. Proceeds will support Operation Shoebox New Jersey and Boys & Girls Club of New Jersey.

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