The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 36 - October 20, 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 #36 - October 20, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hi bocce pals,

Finally, our senior softball season is over and I can focus more attention on senior basketball starting in November and running some new bocce programs in Hampstead, New Hampshire.

New Hampshire is not exactly a hotbed for bocce activities, but we've made a connection with the good people at the Phanzone (indoor soccer and fitness facility) where we hope to run some excellent bocce activities. If you are in our neighborhood, play begins Monday evenings at 7:00 PM at the Phanzone on Rte 111. If you are not in our neighborhood, but might be visiting New England some day, send an email and we'll "hook up" and roll a few together. We'll have Monday morning leagues and Monday evening leagues where you can fill in as an "alternate."

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

Bocce in Sylvan Lake, Michigan...

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

Gary Carlson of Pleasant Hill, California sends a great email...

"First of all, thanks for the Joy Of Bocce-2nd Edition. I have it right next to the chair, & have been picking out great tips for next year's league play. After 6 years of casual play, I was fortunate to be on a team that by pleading, we got into the Martinez 'A' league. They actually wanted to start us in 'C', as they do with all new teams.

We started out by not winning any games the 1st two nights. Not discouraged, we actually got our act together & made the play-offs, & came in 4th overall in the league. Quite a year for us, just imagine if I had your book earlier this season. Best thing during the final play-off day was some of the chat going on prior to starting was 'who were those guys who knocked out Tony's team?'

I live a couple of miles from the courts in Pleasant Hill. The Rec. Center has a small league, Spring/Summer & Fall. Two courts, was told they are the 90 ft. by 12 ft. size. I will keep playing in Martinez, but am trying to get on a team during the Fall. The league only has 10 teams for Fall, usually 28 for Spring/Summer. With only 2 courts, they rotate teams to play different days each week. The courts seem to be slightly different color, one slightly more reddish than the other. Martinez seems to have a couple of people that maintain the courts for play.

Pleasant Hill pretty much is groomed before play by the teams using them. The lights for Pleasant Hill are portable, & they get put away at night after games are finished. Hey, whatever it takes, all good.

Anyway, thanks again for your passion, it lets all of us in on what Bocce is about & how to improve. That's valuable info to those wanting to enjoy more Bocce. I did include a few pics of Pleasant Hill, CA."

{Interesting about how they start out teams in C and advance them, presumably based on how well they do. Most leagues and events hereabouts are just open to anyone who wants to join. Although sometimes in tourneys, we run two brackets - an Open Bracket and a Novice Bracket. We do this because beginners might not enter if they think they are going to be matched up with "professionals" or those who play all the time.}


Parlez vous francais?

If so, you can click the link below and read quotes from me and Peter Rabito in the publication, French Morning...

The article's author, Alexis Buisson wrote...

"I interviewed you one year ago about the growth of bocce in the US. I was thinking of bocce recently and couldn't remember if I had sent you the article I wrote about it. Anyways, here it is. It's in French but you might be able to understand most of it."


Norman Alexander of the Saratoga Retirement Community (Saratoga, CA) asks...

"Would you be so kind as to provide the answer to---

What is the rule when a ball collides with one or more other balls which in turn strikes the pallino with an impact that causes the pallino to jump out of the court? Is the pallino placed at the point where it cleared the side wall or end wall? If so, is it placed next to the wall or is it in the middle of the court? If not, where placed?"

{Whenever the pallino is knocked out of the court the frame is dead and no points are scored. The frame is started over from the same end with the team that held pallino advantage again tossing the target ball.

If this happens often you might want to switch to one of the stainless steel pallinos which has a lot more mass (283 g and 41 mm) and is difficult to hit out of the court. I have a couple on hand - send me a REPLY if you want to order one and I will "hook you up." Also, they are available at Michael Grasser's .

Note: my group has adopted one small variation. If the league is one where two teammates are stationed at each end (four players per team, partners play only one end of the court - no walking back and forth), we'll start the new frame at the opposite end if more than half the balls have been played when the pallino gets knocked out of the court. Let's say, on the 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th roll in the frame, the pallino leaves the confines of the court. Most of the balls are down the other end, and besides, those players at the other end have been waiting for their turn. So, if it happens when fewer than half the balls have been played we play the frame over from the same end - more than half play it from the opposite end. If the game is singles, doubles, or triples where all players play both ends of the court, we always play the frame over from the same end.}


The new leaders at Bocce USA have made good on their promise to keep us informed...

"The Fall Season got off to a roaring start Monday night at the Bocce USA courts in West Frankfort. Bocce USA President, Bill Lipscomb of Benton took a few minutes to announce that the courts, located in the Northeast wing of the New Beginnings Church in West Frankfort, will have a new name in memory of its founder and past President, Bob Whitlow, who recently passed away. Heretofore, they will be known as the 'Bocce USA - Bob Whitlow Memorial Bocce Courts.' The facility attracts players from Benton, Christopher, Mulkeytown, Marion, Herrin, Desoto and Whittington as well as from West Frankfort.

Lipscomb also took some time to thank all those who had been most helpful in the transition phase of the passing of the torch. This included the other three board members: Jay Bussler, Mary Lynn Whitlow and Joyce Fogelman.

Play began promptly at 6 p.m. with Northern Baptist vs Lions Club on the west court. It was a total team effort on the part of Lions in rolling 29 points over Northern's 18. Lashanda Utley and Val Griggs were top rollers for the church but they were no match for the roar of the Lions, led by Captain Mario Allois.

On the east court, Captain John Holland led his Stotlar Lumber team to a victory over Franklin-Williamson Human Services team in what proved to be the longest series of games of the evening with Stotlar winning the first two of the three games. Stotlar finished 34 points to FWHS's 24 points.

In the second round of play, J&S Pharmacy came out on top with a very narrow margin of victory over Severin's All Stars and Stitches on the west court. Captain Mary Lynn Whitlow and Loretta Abbott lead an aggressive attack against the Pharmacy. However, in the end, Tyler Mathews pulled his team out of the slump and managed to lead them to a 29 to 25 point win to take two of the three games.

On the east court, Southern Illinois Bank stood out as the shining star of the evening as the only team to take all three games as they battled Galli Auto Body. Betty Mochino, back from a long haitus last season, and Jan Tripp were outstanding rollers for the bank.

The final game was played between Boneyard Bocce Club and McCords Market. Captain Debby Bussler and Donna Ellis led the attack for McCords, taking the first and last games of the three game series. Boneyard sneaked by to win the second game 9 to 7 with Pat Hollada having the hot hand for Boneyard. Final Scores were 35 to 17 points."


Lou Ures of Florence, Oregon writes...

"I am so fortunate with the five man team I was able to organize. We play every Wednesday evening (of course the court is set up for night play) from six to about nine. My team is relatively new to the game but they share the passion for the game every bit as much as you and I. For me Mario, it's just a continuous sight to behold. I'm searching out area courts for bocce play but they are few and far between here in Oregon. I have my work cut out for me. On another front I have recently become a member of the city's park and recreation committee (newly formed) who will be meeting in the next few weeks. Could there be bocce courts in Florence's future? Could be. I would hope to show off my court as a possible incentive to create bocce interest. I know that bocce is always thriving out your way, you lucky guy. I miss the activity in California but all in all we're glad we got out of the hectic life there and have been able to find an altogether different world here in Oregon."

{It's great that Lou got named to the park & rec. committee. We've seen so often that one individual can make a huge difference by getting involved. In most communities good work always seems to get accomplished by a small number of people who are do-ers, not talkers.

Take a peek at the way the Wethersfield UNICO group sold commemorative bricks to help cover the cost of the two courts they built in the public domain at Millwoods Park. }


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 more 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.


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 #19 - May 12, 2003

David Brewer of sends this...

"I noticed you have some of the courts we designed and built here in Northern California on your web site. As far as I know, Tom McNutt and us are the only contractors who specialize in this field.

We read your book years ago and it was an inspiration to investigate court design and construction. We have built 65 courts in the last three and a half years, including courts for John Madden, George Lucas, headquarters for, wineries, hotels, restaurants, public parks, retirement communities and private homes. One of your most recent courts on display on your web site (HERON HILL) is one of ours. Check us out at ."

{Wow! How about that? I helped (kind of) get David Brewer started in the bocce court construction business. I'm proud!}


Teena Marie of Campo di Bocce sends these links to photos from this year's nationals...


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 2009. Please help.

Seen Carmine D'Agostino's do-it-yourself court?

Photos of the week
Bruce Lanke sends photos of courts at his Pennsylvania church in a north suburban area of Pittsburgh called Perrysville...

"Here are photos of our Bocce courts built by our Men's Group at our church in 2005. They are 12 feet wide and 80 feet long. We have Men's Open Play...Monday Nights, a Co-Ed League...Thursday nights and Special Olympics practice Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Also, we play night bocce with lighted balls the first Friday of the month and the ever popular Winter Tournament in January. We are currently planning to add lighting and a pavilion in the future. I would invite you to come and play with us the next time you are in the Burg!

Please use these photos with our permission for your web site, bocce weekly and book if you wish. Keep up the great work promoting the game of Bocce!"

{Courts at the church - God LOVES Bocce!}

Bruce adds "As far as the top dressing, we used two inches of stone dust. Also, the courts were built from the construction plans from the USBF website."

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Corporate Outings/Parties by the Bocce Guy and His Posse

{This is the best bocce "product" we offer. That's me talking to "the troops" in the photo to the right}

We're scheduling company outings and parties for the winter season (outdoors in warm climates or indoors in function halls in cooler climes). What better way to promote this in the ezine than by reprinting a thank you from a satisfied client?

This one is from Heather Huebner, Manager, Corporate Events, Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. We ran an event for her in Ft. Lauderdale on the grounds of a mansion.

"I wanted to officially thank you for the GREAT afternoon of Bocce in Fort Lauderdale on February 29 for my group. After months of planning, exchanging ideas and talking through the various aspects of the event, a very fun, organized Bocce outing was orchestrated perfectly. Your organizational skills and attention to detail were very evident throughout the planning process and execution.

The color-coded team tags, scoreboards, referee outfits, ten Bocce courts, team brackets, etc., all made the event flow smoothly. As we said would happen, everyone had a grand time and wanted to play the championship round - even the 'skeptical' folks played until the end! My guests truly enjoyed themselves and talked about the Bocce Outing for the remainder of the seminar.

Thank you again, Mario, for all your hard work in making the Bocce Outing a very successful event - I welcome the opportunity to work with you again."

{Contact me at or 978-686-8679 to discuss a possible outing for your group.}

View photos of the outing referred to above...

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

Patio Furniture

Photo Albums

Potting Benches

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 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