The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 33 - September 29, 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 #33 - September 29, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Greetings Bocce Friends,

A busy weekend for me - our 6th Annual Fall Bocce Clambake on 9/27, 2nd Annual Haverhill Downtown Association Bocce Tourney on 9/28, 3rd Annual Ken Waldie Softball Tourney also on 9/28, and opening of our Fall Bocce League on Monday 9/29 (plus I have a wedding to attend on Saturday sometime in between events). Any time management experts out there who can give me advice...or therapy? I like keeping busy, but this is ridiculous! The good news is - there soon should be plenty of new photos for the ezine & website.

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

Jefferson Park - Hollywood, Florida...

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

Debby Bussler writes about last week's passing of Bocce Bob Whitlow...

"Thanks for printing the articles on Bob Whitlow. He loved your publication. It will mean a lot to his family that he was remembered with such esteem. Before he passed away, he passed the torch of reporting bocce news to me. I will do my best. Debby Bussler - Publicity, Bocce USA.

{Debby sounds like she will do Bob Whitlow's memory proud.}


United States Bocce Federation president Danny Passaglia updates us on the recent North American Cup...

"I just wanted to give everyone a brief update regarding our participation in the 5th North American Cup. It was hosted by the Ciociaro Club from Vaughn, Canada. They did a great job and made everyone feel at home. Very nice accommodations, friendly people, and some great food including Italian style wood oven pizzas.

I just received a very nice compliment from our hosts and they were extremely happy with the conduct of our players, coaches, and guests both on and off the courts. The highlight of the event was on Saturday afternoon, when play was stopped for an outdoor BBQ, and the Club hosted a Youth Clinic for around 90 kids. The children ranged in age from 5-16 and represented a very diverse ethnic group. They were exposed to bocce, many of them for the first time, and the parents seemed extremely happy with the treatment their children received. It was certainly heartwarming to see all the curious and smiling faces.

As for the results, we did very well. In the Men's Division, we were able to place one Team ( DaVinci #1) in the semi-finals but they had to face the "home" team from Toronto and lost. As for the Ladies, our National Champs made it to the finals against a very tough Montreal Team. A Team they had actually beaten once in the preliminaries. They tried their very best and almost pulled off a victory. They did however take home well earned 2nd Place trophies."


Jim Capossela sends news of a tourney coming up October 4th & 5th in Milford, Connecticut...


Alvaro Bettucchi sends results from the 23rd Annual ITALIAN AMERICAN GAMES RAFFA TOURNAMENT held on September 13, 2008.

Says Bettucchi... "Great tournament! The final ended 14 to 15 with the last ball winning the point in a cluster of balls, all in a bersaglio situation."

1st Place = SOUTH CITY CAR WASH: Giuliano Brunelli (Capt.), Marino Lari, Sam Pretari

2nd Place = SAN FRANCISCO: Roy Bellafronte (Capt), Giovanni Napoli, Tony Randazzo

3rd Place = STOCKTON: Alberico Leonardi (Capt), Norman Freschet, Luca Fontana

4th Place = MARTINEZ: Bob Faraone (Capt), Denny Kinsel, Tracy Benetti


Paul DiCicco sends results too (CLEVELAND CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE )...

"I wanted to tell you a little about our tournament last month (8-22).

We had 78 teams this year in our 25th Annual Tournament, with the grand prize of $5,000 going to Team Rochester for the second time in as many years. Second prize went to DaVinci Club out of Michigan. We paid out a total of $15,000 in prize money to sixteen teams.

The crowd for the weekend was treated to GREAT bocce, Italian Food, Music and Entertainment, and our inaugural cornhole tournament. We are already planning next year's event scheduled for August 28th - 30th. We'll get you more detailed info when there is more to get you...thanks for all your help and see you around the courts."


Are you lugging 50- and 80-lb bags of Har-Tru or other material to top dress your bocce court? Here's a coupon good for a few bucks off a purchase at

Hand Truck


Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament set for Sunday, October 12th in Derry, NH.

New England's largest charity bocce tourney. This year's proceeds go to kidney disease research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Come play and/or contribute. There's a big bonus: you get to meet me and my bocce posse who will serve as referees for the event. Contact Sandro Martignetti @


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...

It's fun to look at back issues to see where we were and where we might be headed.

Volume #2, Issue #11 - March 17, 2003

Bocce website featured…

Collegium Cosmicum ad Buxeas (located at gets my vote as the most impressive, informative and complete bocce site on the web.

The Latin translates as the “Universal College of Bocce.” The site is actually an affiliate of an organization by the same name headquartered in Rome, Italy.

Webmaster Ron Broglio has created a well-written, effective resource for bocce lovers.

There is an excellent, entertaining section on History…

“While bocce today looks quite different from its early predecessors, the unbroken thread of bocce’s lineage is the consistently common objective of trying to come as close to a fixed target as possible.”

We learn early on when viewing this site that we are in the hands of a master craftsman – a writer with class, style, and more than a touch of panache.

Exhibit A…

“Throw out a pallino and become part of the long heritage of the game from great thinkers such as Galileo and da Vinci, to rulers Augustus and Queen Elizabeth, to the noble Sir Francis Drake and even America’s own George Washington. Enjoy the world’s oldest sport, a sport known to revive the body and mind, and next to soccer, the most popular game in the world.”

The link to Rules goes into great detail and is very easy to navigate.

The Hall of Fame section lists Robert J. Barone (1941 – 1995).

“He ranks among the most respected and popular players and raconteurs in the history of modern bocce.”

Credit Broglio with perhaps being the first person to use raconteurs and bocce in the same sentence. A bit of a story-teller myself, Barone sounds like someone I would have liked to meet.

The Court Design section contains detailed drawings that are of incomparable value – anything else I have seen is “minor league” in comparison. Broglio is part of an engineering firm whose work appears to be exceptional. These intricate drawings are the highlight of this wonderful site…a must see!

While browsing, check out the Gift Shop which offers apparel and accessories - everything from bocce balls to bocce shoes and socks to referee shirts.

Warning - visit at your own risk – you will be drawn in and, if you love bocce like I do, you will likely spend hours soaking in the knowledge and the ambience.


Get Ready For Football season

Recliners Plus


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 & 2009. Please help.

Color code your bocce event...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were recently taken by yours truly. Medford (Mass.) Boat Club bocce organizer Tony Aliberti invited me to speak at their banquet right after the finals of their men's league.

The 10-team league plays Thursday nights on a single 13- by 65-foot court with games at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00 PM.

The Medford Boat Club also has bocce leagues for Women, Couples, and Children. Visit their web site here:

The well maintained court is a mix of clay and stone dust and play here is steeped in long-standing tradition. No one seems to know when the court was built, but senior members say that the court was there when they were kids just growing up.

And tradition dictates that no measurements for point may be taken. The referee carefully "eyes" the placement of balls, and calls the point(s) as he sees 'em. It is considered "bad form" to question the referee - these guys have class!

Another quirk of tradition is that players must place one foot on the back wall when rolling. No foul lines - just keep contact with the backboard when delivering each roll.

They play the backboard dead hereabouts with a unique variation. Once a ball hits the backboard without first touching another ball, it is dead. They let it come to rest before removing it from play and here's the unique part: they leave any ball disturbed by the errant roll in its new position. {Having no swingboards exacerbates the problem.}

It's a given in officiating all sports that a player can't commit a violation and gain an advantage as a result of that violation.

Here's a scenario to illustrate:

You try to hit and you miss, your ball striking the backboard without first hitting a ball.

The ball is allowed to run its course until it comes to rest.

In the process it knocks one of your team's balls in for the point.

You committed a violation and gained an advantage. That's a NO-NO from the referee's point of view.

The Medford Boat Club is a great facility enjoyed by some terrific people. They take their bocce seriously and are successfully promoting it to a wide and varied audience. I hope they invite me back next year!

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Introducing...THE BOCCE CADDY

Bocce aficionado Michael Delucchi is bringing a great new product to market. The Bocce Caddy can help those of us with bad backs to effortlessly pick up bocce balls.

You may recall that South Carolina bocce buddies Gene Youtsey and Don Allen developed the Bocce Ball Retriever. This from The Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition page 111: "The device has what looks like a Tupperware bowl attached to a telescopic rod that can be adjusted to the user's height. With a little practice you can get a deft little wrist snap going, and pick up your ball without bending or stooping. The South Carolina duo retails the device. Email Gene at ."

The Bocce Ball Retriever is a very ingenious device, but the Bocce Caddy is the next generation. Lightweight yet durable, it can pick up two bocce balls at once. Click here for some photos and more info on the Bocce Caddy:

View photos and info on the Bocce Caddy

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}


artificial christmas trees

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 28, 2008 - California - Eureka. Sons of Italy Italian Festival and Bocce Tournament. Contact Gene Senestraro @ 707-442-6396.


October 4, 2008 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club - OPEN, 4 women players. Contact Elda Mazzanti @ 650-588-4924.


October 4 & 5, 2008 - Connecticut - Milford. 1st annual Bocce 4 United Way Tourney. Two-person teams/double elimination. Entry = $30 per team. Contact Dan Worroll @ 203-464-9632.


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 11, 2008 - Connecticut - Wethersfield. 1st Annual Wethersfield/UNICO BoccePalooza to benefit Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research. Open - 4 players. Contact Mike Fortunato at Entry form at


October 12, 2008 - New Hampshire - Derry. Fourth Annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament. Held at the SportsZone, Derry, NH. Proceeds benefit kidney disease research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Bonus: come and meet The Bocce Guy and his posse who will serve as referees. Contact Sandro Martignetti @ .


October 13, 2008 - Kentucky - Louisville. 5th Annual Bob Valvano Celebrity Bocce Tournament. Jim Patterson Stadium - contact Bob Valvano at .


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 Clubs 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