The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 3 - January 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 #3 - January 21, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello again bocce faithful,

Last week I spoke (on bocce, of course) at the Lawrence, Massachusetts Exchange Club meeting. These talks are always well received. The secret is to be brief (I've learned) and to use humor (right up my alley). The Exchange-ites laughed when they were supposed to. But an unexpected bonus came out of the luncheon get-together.

During my talk, my book was passed around the audience. When we adjourned, one of the guests sought me out to give me suggestions for finding a new publisher. It turns out that he used to be in the publishing industry and has some important contacts still.

"This is a terrific book and it should go national," he said. I'm following up on his suggestions and will keep you posted in this column. My plan is to just "keep on keeping on" until we get this game the attention it deserves.

Keep on rollin',
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Seen our pictures of the Most Scenic Court in the South?

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

Greg from Illinois sends news of a tournament at Pinstripes.

"The tournament is at Pinstripes in Northbrook, IL starting at noon on February 17. We are looking for 32 teams of 4 with a buy-in of $25/person. First place is $2500 cash, 2nd place is $500 Pinstripes gift card, and 3rd place is $250 Pinstripes gift card. The contact person is Janine Bobko at or 847-480-2323."

{Check out the "Bowling and Bocce Bistro" at - they even have my book for sale in thier pro shop...what a smart outfit! I hear they're looking to build more Pinstripes around the USA. I'd like to see one in New England.}



Last week's piece on cut-throat bocce brought this from Dr. Cordano:

"Here some comments about playing among 3 players. I have nothing against an innovative idea, but have been a 'purist' for the rules. I feel there is an easier way, that doesn’t require 3 sets of different balls or assignments of multiple points for the ball positions, plus other situations that differ from a regular game.

At my old Italian club in Lima, Peru we used to play among 3 players in a quite 'simple' fashion: In a rotating system (determined by previous agreement among the players), each one of the 3 players is to use 4 balls (like in singles) against the other 2 with two bocce each.

All 3 games may go to 8 or more points and if there is a TIE among the 3 players (one victory each), record keeping of points will determine the loser for whatever type of bet, if any has been agreed upon before the start (drinks, dinner, etc.).

With relation to the name of such game, ours was not any better…since we called this type of play 'diablo', but was really fun to play and I still do if the occasion arises, when visiting my Circolo Sportivo Italiano in Lima and also locally at my club in Florida.

By the way, playing 'Diablo' is one of he best practices that top players may have while preparing for a tournament and can even help a coach to make a better decision on who is in best shape to play singles."

{Someone suggested "Every Man for Himself" as a better name, or even "Every Woman" or "Every Player" if political correctness is your bag.

Dr. C's idea is a good one. The game is two against one, but the one player rolling four balls actually has an advantage over opponents who are rolling just two each. (He'll have four tries to make a good point - more chance that he will adjust to the distance, grade, etc.). But this is OK because each of the three players will get his/her chance at rolling all four bocce. As the good Dr. indicates, if teams have identical win/loss records, you'll have to use tie-breakers like point differential or least points allowed or most points scored.}


Don't forget "Bocce Bum" Ben Musolf's alert...

"On January 21, 2007, the very first television special on Bocce will air. The 2007 Madden/Mariucci event and the finals of the 2007 United States Bocce Federation National Championships will be a part of a show with commentary and commercials. The show will premier on Fox Sports Net Bay Area at 7:00PM and will be aired 3 more times afterward."

Peter Rabito got to see it already and congratulates Ben...

"Just wanted to let you know that we (Rainbow Network Communications) received the Madden Mariucci show and it is prepped for the January 21 airing! I watched it and wanted to say great job! John Dine and Jorge Moreno are officially TV stars!

It's a nice way to break the sport into the television broadcast arena and the next objective should be a production of one of the big four: Pallino D'oro, US Nationals, North American Games, World Championships."


Ken Driscoll responds to our recent "The Year in Review."

"I think you might be on to something with this being the year. I've been playing since 03 so I am new.

We have seen more and more sets being sold in our local stores. By this I mean stores having a large selection where we used to have to check many stores to find one set and take what you get. Now Target has them, Wall-Mart, Sports Authority, and many others.

We are beginning to see sets in thrift stores, and the best part of all, at a local park we saw several groups of families playing Bocce, old and young alike. Three years ago I had to explain the game to anyone seeing us play. Now we see tons of people playing.

We built a small court in our back yard. It's only 8 ft wide and 40 ft. long but works great. That said, we found a baseball diamond works nice rolling from 1st to 2nd. We carry three sets of balls in our van, a wood set, for grass and uneven terrain, a normal set for baseball diamonds, and a metal set just for the heck of it. Actually having these different sizes and materials has paid off. We find a lot of people interested in playing, and with different skill levels, different terrains etc., it is nice to have different balls. So often we'll break out the different balls, different sizes provides different weights, different materials and we'll find the set that works best for the terrain and skill levels of those playing with us, making the game fun for everyone involved.

I'm in a wheelchair and will roll most balls from the chair, although I can stand on one leg to make a roll if need be. The point of this letter is to let you know I think you are correct in saying this could be the year for Bocce to go mainstream here in he US. We're not far from Baltimore's Little Italy where they have open public bocce courts. This is a big game, a great game, and with all the variations it can be played by anyone, old, young, handicapped - it doesn't matter. In fact, at the wheelchair bocce tournament a couple of years ago here in Baltimore, where those in wheelchairs compete against anyone willing to play, a man in a wheelchair won over many players that could walk.

Thanks again for the great ezine."

{Thanks for the email, and next time there is a wheelchair event, please send us a photo or two.}


Bocce Bob Whitlow reminds us of how to do a press release...


Severin’s All-Stars-n-Stitches assisted in tightening the point race by winning two out of three games from the league leaders McCord’s Market. Severin’s took the first two games by scores of 9-8 and 9-1 as Mary Lynn Whitlow of West Frankfort and Ted James of Herrin lead the way. McCord’s took the third game 9-6 with Donna Ellis and Betty Stipes doing the scoring.

The Franklin-Williamson Foundation won two out of three games from Northern Baptist Church keeping them in second place in the standings. Nadine Battioli and Karl Hammann of Herrin were the Foundation’s top pointers. The church won the second game 9-7 with Lashanda and David Utley scoring the points.

The West Frankfort Lion’s Club came out roaring winning the first two games 9-6 and 9-1 from Boneyard Boccie Ball Club. It was Gary Harrum and Mario Allois doing the damage for the Lion’s. However, in the third and final match, Boneyard caught fire, downing the Lions 9-0 with
Pat Hollada of Benton and Orvel Edwards of Ewing scoring big for Boneyard.

The Barney sisters of Hurst found the rolling groove as they took two games from Edward Jones, 9-6 and 9-0. The third match was Edward Jones winning 9-6 with Gayla Kain and Barb Sanders rolling the points.

Greg Galli Auto Body won the first two games from J & S Professional Pharmacy 9-3 and 9-5. Norman Galli had the hot hand for the body menders. The third game belonged to the Pill Pushers as team captain Joyce Fogleman did some terrific coaching resulting in her team winning the match 9-7.

Southern Illinois Bank enjoyed the night off with their bye and automatic 42 points.

Standings as of Jan 14, 2008

McCord’s Market………………………………..438
Franklin-Williamson Foundation…………….424
Southern Illinois Bank…………………………413
Severin’s All-Stars-n-Stitches………………..410
Greg Galli Auto Body…………………………..401
Stotlar Lumber Company……………………..384
West Frankfort Lions Club……………………363
J & S Professional Pharmacy………………...352
Edward Jones……………………………………346
Boneyard Boccie Club…………………………346
Northern Baptist Church………………………272


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 shorts. In addition, I’m asking readers to submit new shots – 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.


Drive to get Bocce to the Senior Games in 2009

Bocce is a senior game event in many states (i.e. Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida) but is not yet at the national level.

There is a National Games committee that reviews the process of adding new sports to the Summer Games. I was able to coax my friend Carl Fetteroll of the Massachusetts Senior Games to put in a formal request that bocce be considered.

If you know of Senior Games officials in your state, please have them do the same. The request should go to:

Ray Hoyt
Director of National Games and Athlete Relations
National Senior Games Association
PO Box 82059
Baton Rouge, LA 70844-2059

If we can get the games recognized, that would mean that 2008 would be a qualifying year and 2009 we could compete in the "Senior Olympics" in San Francisco, CA. This would go a long way toward getting our sport the notoriety it deserves. Send an email - send a letter - offer to host a qualifier in your state if there is none. Bocce is headed to the mainstream. It just needs a little push from people like you and me.

Camanooch's do-it-yourself court...

Photos of the week
John Scarpelli was kind enough to send us photos of his backyard bocce court construction. Joy of Bocce Weekly readers LOVE seeing other people's courts and many are especially interested in how they were built.

John had this to say about his Har-Tru top dressed court...

"The court is located in my backyard in Beavercreek, OH (near Dayton). The dimensions are the same as our local Sons of Italy league (12' x 60'). There are 6' concrete platforms at each end, as well as a sidewalk along the east side of the court. The court is also illuminated by four 150-watt halogen bulbs allowing night play.

I have also since made a scoreboard which is mounted at the south end of the court. The wooden scoreboard itself is removable from a set stainless steel base protecting it from theft and the elements."

{Please follow John's lead and send photos of bocce in your neck of the woods. With your permission, I'll make them a permanent part of the Joy of Bocce web site - currently 127 Megabytes of bocce info (and growing each week). That's real information for real players. While the web is filled with bocce misinformation, I have become fond of proclaiming at that "THE MISINFORMATION STOPS HERE!"}

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 $159.95 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 $59.95 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}

Powerful Antioxidant in Isotonic form from Market America...OPC-3

I discovered this wonderful product after my first couple of knee surgeries while seeking relief from inflammation in my arthritic joints. I wasn't disappointed.

As an added bonus, I learned that the anti-oxidant also improves circulation and boosts immunity.

The entire vitamin supplement line is in an "isotonic state." By adding a specified amount of water to these powdered vitamins they approximate the composition of your body fluids. There is no need for digestion, the product passing directly into the small intestine and the blood stream. It becomes what nutritionists call bio-available, not like pills and tablets which are poorly assimilated by the body.

Vitamin C
Vitamin B-12
Trace Minerals
Co-Enzyme Q10

Click the link below to get more info...improve your health and maybe even your bocce game too!

Click for more info on anti-oxidants and your health...

Tournament update
{chronological order}

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.


February 1, 2008 - Massachusetts - North Andover. Come on down for an informal bocce event at our indoor venue at 1600 Osgood St, off Rte. 125. We'll sign up at 7:00 PM and draw teams for play beginning at 7:15 PM. Might be doubles, triples or four-player teams (depending on the turnout). $30 covers play, prizes, and refreshments (pizza and soft drinks). Call Mario @ 978-686-8679 or email .


February 9, 2008 – California - Los Gatos Campo di Bocce. Maureen Albanese Valentine's Day Tournament. OPEN, 2 women and 2 men players. Contact Teena Marie @ 925-249-9800.


February 17, 2008 - Illinois - Northbrook Pinstripes Tourney begins at noon. 32 teams of 4 with a buy-in of $25/person. First place is $2500 cash, 2nd place = $500 Pinstripes gift card, and 3rd place = $250 Pinstripes gift card. Contact Janine Bobko @ or 847-480-2323.


February 23, 2008 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. OPEN, 3 players including at least 1 woman. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


March 15, 2008 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. Elkhorn Bocce Club’s Inaugural Tournament. RAFFA, 3 Players. Contact Luca Fontana @ 209-931-4639.


March 22, 2008 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


March 29, 2008 – California - Los Gatos Campo di Bocce. Twelfth Annual Los Gatos Bocce Club Tournament. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Bill Schlaefer @408-379-9409.


April 19, 2008 - Washington - Bellingham. 6th annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament - Http://www. . Open rules - 32 four-person teams. Contact Tom @ 360-224-2909 or check the link at to register.


May 17, 2008 - New Jersey - 2nd annual NJ Bocce Invitational supporting New Jersey charities. Contact Frank Valanzola @ 973-793-5406 or . View web site at


June 7, 2008 – California - Livermore Campo di Bocce. Western Sector Raffa Championships. RAFFA, 3 Players. Contact Teena Marie @ 925-249-9800.


June 17 - 18, 2008 – Illinois - Highwood. Highwood Bocce Club. United States National Open Championships. OPEN, 4 players. Contact John Ross @ 408-892-2983.


June 19 - 21, 2008 – Illinois - Highwood. Highwood Bocce Club. United States National Punto, Raffa, Volo Championships. RAFFA 4 players, (3 player teams also acceptable) - Match Play (triples, singles, doubles). Contact John Ross @ 408-892-2983.


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 .


August 2, 2008 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. Western Sector Open Championships. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


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 @

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.
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