The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 34 - October 6, 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 #34 - October 6, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Bocce Brethren,

Hey, I like that, Bocce Brethren...a lot of emails that you receive have your name in the greeting. That's because when you sign up they ask for your name and email address. The program plugs your name into the greeting to give the illusion that it's a personal email.

That never fooled me and I doubt it fools smart readers like you, so I am not disappointed that I can't put your name in the greeting. But anyway, we know we're Bocce Brethren. We share a bond in that we are the enlightened ones who experience the joy of bocce and we pity those who haven't caught on yet.

Not to worry though, they'll come around soon. You and I are just ahead of the curve.

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

Golden Isles - Hallandale, Florida...

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

Tom Wcislo brings up an item I've pondered for some time...

"I am a member of the 'Conshohocken Boccista Club', founded in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania in 1933. We've been told by some of the 'seniors' that 'bocci' is the correct, but shortened spelling of boccista, and that the 'Medagons' (Americans) spelled it with an 'e' (bocce)because that's how it sounded. Any comment?"

{Does anyone have any info on this? I have an antique set of nailed boules in its original wooden box. It has the word "BOCCI" painted on it. I know these came from France, so I'm wondering if Bocce with an "i" is of French derivation??}


New Hampshire fall league forming...

Anyone in our neck of the woods who wants to play in a newly forming fall league come on down Monday nights to the Phanzone in Hampstead, NH.

The Phanzone, the new home for my non-profit group's bocce operations, is an indoor soccer facility. We'll set up our four 80' by 12' courts right on the field turf soccer surface from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. We'll have two courts open for free play and the other two to teach any newcomers how to play. After a couple Mondays of open bocce, we'll see if there is enough interest for a Monday evening league.

The Phanzone is located at 142 State Rt. 111, Hampstead, NH.


I've been following an interesting discussion on the Yahoo Group Bocceanonymous...

Kevin Gammell of Reno, NV wrote...

"Newby here.... We are putting road base in our new backyard court this week. So what's the best playing surface to place on top? Oyster blend? Sand? Please share your knowledge/expertise.

{A difficult question for anyone to answer. Many factors to consider - expense, materials indigenous to the area vs. those that have to be shipped long distances at high cost, personal preference, etc.}

One responder said that he didn't like oyster shell because...

"Most of the time they are not crushed into tiny pieces. You have to be specific in fact finding when ordering them. Clam shells crushed to the correct size is the better choice.

{I never heard of clam shells as a top dressing. To get the recipe for oyster shell right, I'd recommend Boccemon Tom McNutt who has considerable experience in this arena - .

Against advice I received on the Bocce Anonymous postings I went with stone dust. Here's the important part. It must be sieved thru a #10 sieve/screen at the plant/quarry.

The key is that none of the aggregate is larger than 3/8" so it is actual stone dust with particles of small stone. This is a by-product of the stone base they use for roads called CR-6 or Crush & Run. A lot of times at quarries they are giving the stuff away because of the surplus from making Stone Base. Shipping is the big cost as you know.

{The problem I've encountered is that stone dust means different things in different parts of the country. The advice is right though - it has to be fine, sifted so that any particles are small enough to compact, not sit on top of the playing surface.

The top players want the hardest, fastest playing surfaces, so that finesse and touch are key elements of good play.}


Patrick from Club Molisani writes...

"I just wanted to let you take a look at this website:
Here you will be able to find pictures from the 2008 Marshall Ford Cleveland International Challenge Cup of Bocce tournament that Dr. Cordano mentioned in the September 8th ezine. This was a great tournament and definitely put together very well."

{Great pictures - warning - there are a couple hundred of them. It will keep you occupied for a while.}


One of our faithful Joy of Bocce Weekly readers wrote to me disheartened by some poor bocce sportsmanship he recently encountered.

My response...

"I am so sorry you ran into poor sportsmanship in your recent bocce competitions. I think you will find that, for the most part, the sportsmanship is better in bocce than in other sports. In fact, that's one of the things that drew me to bocce as I come from the "dog eat dog" world of competitive baseball and basketball.

Most bocce lovers that I encounter thrive on the camaraderie and good-natured competition that the sport engenders. On the other hand, competition does tend to bring out the worst in people, and, if you are playing solely for the competition, then there are likely to be the same kind of problems as in other sports. Keep the faith. Keep the competition in perspective. Friendship first - competition second."


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 #14 - April 7, 2003

Here's a question from a reader back in 2003 with my response and my 2008 additional comments...

Joe Helleny, a member of the Herrin (Illinois) Bocce Club Board of Directors asks…

“I am curious about singles tournaments. Do you know of any?”

My 2003 response was...

{I was wondering about this myself. I hear tournament directors talk of running doubles events because it is easier to round up two players per team rather than four. But I haven’t heard of any singles events, except as part of an international rules tourney which includes singles, doubles, and triples play.

Maybe it’s because the real draw of bocce is in the camaraderie with teammates, so singles play is not so attractive. Anyone who cares to weigh in on this, or who knows of singles events please REPLY and we’ll get the word out here.}

My 2008 additional comments...

{I love to play singles. There's something about having no one but yourself to rely on combined with the lure of rolling all 4 balls in each frame. I might even try a second hit if I miss on my first attempt. Heck, I'll still have two rolls to close in and "minimize the damage".

I know that Michigan's Michael Grasser runs an event patterned after Italy's Pallino D'Oro, a singles event earning the victor a gold plated pallino. There are a couple problems with singles events that come readily to mind. One is that you will have a lot of standing around unless you have multiple courts at your disposal. After all, only two competitors can be in action at any given time on a single court.

Also, from the standpoint of staying "in the black" when you run an event, you can only collect so much money for an entry fee from a single participant. Of course, with a Pallino D'Oro you'd only have to award a single prize.}


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.

How to run a charity bocce event...

Photos of the week
Joe Sandri, Sr. submitted this week's photos...

"Here are photos of my Bocce court I built in my back yard in Columbus, Georgia in 1994. The surface of the court is pulverized granite rock. It is 60 feet long and 12 feet wide. As you can see there is a deck at one end. You may print these photos in Joy of Bocce 3rd Edition if you like."

{Wow! This is a guy after my own heart. He likes bocce, sends great, hi-res photos and gives permission to reprint. Please follow his lead if you can.}

Sandri also asks - "Do you or any of your readers know of any Bocce aficionados in Columbus, Georgia?"

If you do, contact him directly at

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}


Music Boxes

Christmas Lights

Shop at

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.


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

{Come by & say hello - I'll be at this one.}


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 @ .

{Come by and say hello - I'll be at this one.}


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