The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 35 - October 13, 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 #35 - October 13, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hi gang,

Another tough weekend for me. First, I traveled to Wethersfield, CT on Saturday for the UNICO tournament benefiting the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research. Then it was off to Derry, NH on Sunday for the Fourth Annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament benefiting kidney disease research at Massachusetts General Hospital.

When I say "tough" weekend I really mean "busy" weekend. It's never tough when you are involved with good people playing bocce and supporting good causes. The tough part is getting an ezine to press amidst all this activity. Pictures to follow. Note: looks like the Martignetti event raised $34,000 for kidney disease research - a tribute to the Martignetti Family's dedication to good causes. Visit the family business site here:

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

Bocce by the beach in Florida...

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

Last week's email from Tom Wcislo about the Bocce vs. Bocci spelling brought some responses...

His initial email...

"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?"

My initial response...

{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??}

Emelise Aleandri ( )

"I am going to take a stab at the bocci bocce controversy. It seems to me that bocci on the box was plural and meant more than one ball inside and that the word bocce stands for the name of the game. Just like we call it football not footballs or baseball not baseballs, but a box with baseballs in it is clearly labeled baseballs. Just my humble opinion. What do you think?"

{I've heard this explanation before, but those who speak Italian a lot better than I do say it just isn't so.}

Dr. Cordano shares this...

"There is only one way that our favorite sport is OFFICIALLY recognized in the US and at International levels and the word is BOCCE.

It is nice to hear about possible variations from people with interest in the sport and I would like to make some comments re: the related article in your most recent ezine.

BOCCE is plural in Italian and a single ball is called BOCCIA and that’s why the game is called BOCCE, because it is played with more than one ball.

Words that finish in E are usually plural for those that finish in A (feminine connotation), while those that finish in I are usually plural for words that finish in O (male connotation). However, there are exceptions to this, because the Italian language is so rich and sweet.

BOCCISTA refers to a person who plays or has interest in the sport.

I don’t have an explanation for the appearance of the word Bocci on the box you have from France.

However, I believe that for some people who started to play bocce in America, it was probably easier to pronounce bocce with 'I', because that’s the way the 'E' sounds over here."

Michigan's Michael Grasser chimed in with "If you want the Italian spelling why not look at the way the Italians spell it? There's no point in talking to someone in Africa about how to spell football. You'd ask the NFL. The World Federation's web site spells it BOCCE and when you purchase balls from Italy the invoice always reads BOCCE."

{Check out }

Bocce Standards sends this...

"As found in the dictionary, bocce, boccie, and bocci are used interchangeably, however, the dictionary states the derivation is:
'Etymology: Italian bocce, plural of boccia ball, from Vulgar Latin *bottia boss - Date: 1860'

Since it is well accepted that bocce is an Italian sport and played with more than one ball that bocce would be the correct name of the sport."

Luca Fontana (Stockton, California) is fluent in several languages and knows of what he speaks. He quite eloquently puts this issue to rest...

"Boccia is the Italian equivalent of a type of ball, small and heavy, 'bocce' is its plural form. The people from Tuscany or Toscana, always a bit more sophisticated than the rest of us, also call them 'palle', another word for 'balls'.

A soccer ball is called 'pallone' and a baseball is called 'palla'. Bocce is the name of a sport played in Italy according to very specific rules. Its most popular discipline is called Punto Raffa Volo or simply Raffa. The other popular variation is played with brass balls. In Italy they refer to it as 'Volo' and in France as the 'Boule Lyonnaise' or simply 'boules'.

Both of these rules have been adopted internationally and also by our United States Bocce Federation.

Bocci is the American pronunciation of Bocce. The plural of many Italian and Spanish feminine words usually ends in 'E' (pronounced like E in Vegas). However; Americans usually pronounce it 'EEE' (like Y in Tony). Chile Verde became Chili Verdi and Versace became Versaci.

Most American players play a game that vaguely resembles the Italian sport. The courts are much shorter, the balls often bigger and heavier and there are
basically no rules to be observed, no marking of balls' positions, players can shoot anything without declaring the intended target, etc. This game is often
referred as 'Open Rules'. Most people just call it Bocci...

Related words are:
Campo di Bocce: literally bocce field (court)
Bocciodromo: an indoor bocce arena also called Bocciaio
Bocciofila: a club or organisation for bocce
Bocciatore: the player who usually shoots (Shooter)
Boccino: the little ball mostly known as Pallino
Bocciapunto: the ball holding the point

Always nice to read your great website. Shoot 'em all."

{Enough said - let's play some bocce. I should have known better anyway - even my computer spell check underlines in red the word "bocci" but accepts "bocce".

Luca sounds like someone that would be great fun to hang out with, but I'm guessing he's not the opponent you would like to draw in a singles match - he'd likely send you quickly to the losers' bracket.}


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.


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


George Furlan sends news of his up-coming World Series Bocce Invitational from March 12 - 15, 2009 in Cape Coral, Florida.

Sponsored by International Marble in cooperation with CCBA, the event offers a guaranteed $6000 first prize.

New Veterans Park Bocce Courts (enclosed courts preventing weather delays), 4400 Coronado Parkway.

Entrance fee = $375 per team - 3-player teams must be registered NLT 2/25/09.

Thursday 3/12/09 = practice day

Friday 3/13/09 at 3:00 PM is registration/rules discussion/position draw followed by tournament play and will continue thru 3/14 and 3/15.

Contact George Furlan @ 239-275-9968


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 #16 - April 21, 2003

Chronicles from Italy: A Review of and Ancient Game

Jim Vaughan of Coronado, California was kind enough to send a copy of, and permission to reprint, his excellent article published in the Bargetto Wine Club’s newsletter. Excerpts follow – thanks to the Bargetto Wine Club, 3535 North Main St., Soquel, CA 95073 (see link to Bargetto web site below).

After visiting the hometown of the Bargetto family in Northern Italy, Vaughan came away with a newfound respect for bocce.

“What first attracted me to this ancient ball-to-target game was that virtually anybody could play – not only participate, but conceivably compete for the championship. A self-proclaimed non-athlete has a chance to be a legitimate contender. By the end of the day, a novice could be the equivalent of a 12 handicapper in golf. In contrast, a former athletic type could experience a nostalgic rush of adrenaline.”

Influenced by Bay Area Bocce Icon John Magnetti’s mantra of spreading the bocce word to the masses rather than hoarding it in private clubs, Vaughan was encouraged to “take the game on the road.”

“The last few years I have been introducing Bargetto wines to buyers and wine consumers with bocce as the sporting background. Some of the wine & bocce venues were on the traditional surface, while others were improvised. For instance, we played on the carpet of a French bistro in Singapore, a putting green on the island of Kauai, inside a warehouse in Seattle and alongside horse stables in Tucson.

The fusion of wine tasting, food, music and a relaxing (often very competitive) bocce tournament creates an appealing social dynamic.”

Vaughan’s bocce entourage began asking him more questions about the game (especially about its history) than about the wines. His research lead him to Storia Delle Bocce In Italia E Nel Mondo (The Story of Bocce in Italy and the World). Published in Italian by Signor Daniele Di Chiara, this three-volume set took the author thirty years to complete.

“The historical trilogy, however, isn’t available for purchase. The effort was primarily for the love and prosperity of the game. Copies were sent to affiliate bocce organizations around the world including: Canada, Argentina, China, Australia and the United States.”

Di Chiara discusses the evolution of the game, acknowledging the “…murky anecdotal evidence…” that surrounds its origin.

Following bocce through time, the author cites more conclusive evidence in the well preserved ruins of Pompeii (destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.).

“Inside one room was nine spherical stones, all perfectly round. One of the stones was considerably smaller, the target ball. This room became known as Bocciodromo (The Bocce Room).”

It is common belief that Greek colonists introduced bocce to the Roman Legions. Di Chiara explains, “The Romans developed a better quality of the game of bocce. They took it from simple manifestation of force to proof of ability. Not a matter of distance but how the stone would make the other one move.”

According to Vaughan “The Greeks were shot putting, and the Romans gave it a degree of skill and wit. This version was introduced as the Legions marched, conquered and expanded the Roman Empire. It was not only popular with the soldiers during their free time, but enjoyed by local artists, the noble elite, politicians and the common citizenry.

By the Middle Ages, most European countries were playing some form of bocce (also referred to as ‘boules’). To this day, France and England have the closest cousins to bocce: petanque and lawn bowling.”

Vaughan concludes that “Daniele Di Chiara and his team of editors and researchers have truly captured the passionate spirit of the ancient game.” Jim Vaughan’s well written review of the text captures that spirit equally as well. Many thanks to him for bringing this entertaining history lesson to our attention.

MUST SEE for wine lovers - Bargetto web site -


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 host a bocce ribbon-cutting event...

Photos of the week
Dave Wilson pays a great compliment and sends pictures to boot!

"Thanks for writing your book! It has been a great addition to my library and a joy to read and carry to Monday Bocce!

Here are some pix of the Bocce courts in Sky Park, located in Scotts Valley California (about thirty miles south of San Jose).

We have senior leagues every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and other mixed leagues going on almost every day and some early evenings. They were built a short time ago thanks to one man's effort's in raising cash and materials from the community. Situated in the city park, near the children's play area, we get a lot of young parents and their kids watching and getting interested in the game. This morning, after the games had been played (My team won! Yea!), a grandma brought her very young grandson onto the court to show him how to "roll" the ball and not "throw". He had watched us play for about a half-hour. He'll be playing the game real soon.

Keep up the great work! We look forward to your weekly input.

{"They were built a short time ago thanks to one man's effort's in raising cash and materials from the community." This is often the case - one individual making a difference.

I like the idea of the youngsters playing in viewing distance of the courts. "He'll be playing soon" is music to my ears.}

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}


Bocce Ball Sets

Gifts and Products for Seniors/Elderly

Childrens Desks

riding toys

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 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.


March 12 - 15, 2009 - Florida - Cape Coral. World Series Bocce Invitational. $6000 first place guaranteed. New Veterans Park Bocce Courts. 3-player teams - round robin. Contact George Furlan @ 239-275-9968.


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