The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 38 - November 3, 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 #38 - November 3, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello my weekly readers,

Halloween was a real "trip" this past Friday. First off, I should tell you about my Halloween tradition. Each year I dress in a college basketball uniform and shoot hoops in my well-lighted driveway. Since I visited Gotcha Bocce a couple years ago I've been sporting my Louisville Cardinals outfit.

I try to get the trick or treaters to make a basket, telling them "No hoop, No treat." In fact, they'll have to give ME candy if they miss - just an idle threat. It's been great fun over the years and one parent even told me his son practiced all year so he could score at my place on Halloween night.

I regularly have Snow White, Buzz Lightyear, Jonathan Paplebon, assorted New England Patriots Cheerleaders, Frankenstein, Bobo Fett, and a host of Scream characters clanging them off the iron. I try to guess who they're dressed as. One guy was regaled in realistic pirate gear.

"Johnny Depp?", I asked.
"Nope! Jack Sparrow" was the curt reply.

My bad.
Sparrow swished his shot on the first try, eye patch and all.

I thought I'd seen everything...

Every year parents from a nearby community drive their kids to my neighborhood to trick or treat. It's partly because it's a nice neighborhood, but mostly because the houses are pretty close together making it easy for a reveler to maximize his loot collected per given time period.

But this year one driver would let the gang out of the car, drive a couple houses down the road, then pick them up and deliver them to the next street on the route. Valet Trick or Treating - go figure!

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

Pete Chimento's court in Millstone Twp, NJ...

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

T-shirt idea from artist and bocce advocate Frank Ansley...

"We have designed and printed a Bocce t-shirt that has been doing very well in our local Napa Valley bocce league.

We would like to offer this shirt to your readership to consider for bocce tournaments and other special events. Tournament or event names can be added to the shirts for an additional cost. The 8 color image on the shirt is from a bocce painting 'Volo' from a series of paintings by Napa Valley painter of bocce scenes Frank Ansley.

The T shirts are high quality 100% cotton and come in white or sand in sizes S M L XL. There are a few XLs available in light blue grey. Shirts are $20 plus shipping and handling. Larger orders will be at a discounted price.

For more details contact Jack or Frank at Grape Impressions. 800-822-9463 or 707-963-1177 (email = )."


Alessandro Bettucchi of the Italian American Citizens Club of South San Francisco writes...

"They say that volo is going out of style. Well, in South San Francisco our annual volo (steel ball) tournament was a great success. Marco Cuneo and Benji Tosi of San Francisco took first place and Roberto Leonardo of Concord, together with Teresa Wagstaff, took second place. Thank you for having the date (October 18th) on the Joy of Bocce. That really helps."

{Yes, Yes, get the info to me and I will get the word out here about any bocce event. Nowadays, we have more than 10,000 readers on board.}


The Pallino D'Oro is Back

Da Vinci Bocce LLC Presents: The 2008 United States and North American Pallino D’Oro Championships.

Host Club: Ciociaro Club, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Dates: United States Pallino D’Oro
Friday, December 5, 2008, 12:00pm to 7:00pm.
Saturday, December 6, 2008, 9:00am to 12:00pm.

North American Pallino D’Oro
Saturday, December 6, 2008, 1:00pm to 9:00pm.
Sunday, December 7, 2008, 9:00am to 12:00pm.

Format: The top eight finishers in the U.S. Pallino D’Oro will compete against the top eight finishers in Canada's 2008 Pallino D’ Oro on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Both tournaments will follow Punto Raffa Volo International Rules.

Players must be members of the U.S.Bocce Federation or Canadian Bocce Federation to compete. Both tournaments to follow round robin format.

Cost: $100.00 U.S. Currency U.S. Pallino D’Oro*
$100.00 Canadian Currency North American Pallino D’Oro*

* Per player per event.

Prizes: $750.00 1st place, $450.00 2nd place, $300.00 3rd place, $200.00 4th place. Both tournaments. Trophies for both events, all four places.

Food: Buffet lunch Saturday at 12:00 noon included.

Contact Michael B. Grasser, owner DaVinci Bocce LLC.
Ph# = 248-505-4744, e-mail = .


Bocce Arizona'a Pasquale D'Aliesio says...

"Thank you to all the players who participated in the bocce tournament, it was a big success. Phoenix got 1st place, everyone had a lot of fun, our Italian friends had a good time and next year the tournament will be in mid-November."


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 #26 - June 30, 2003

Tie-breaking woes

Round robin tournaments are gaining popularity in many sports today. Instead of a double elimination event, where a team is only guaranteed two games, round robins afford the opportunity for more matches.

For example, with eight teams in a tournament, you could make two groups of four teams each. You would play the other three teams in your group (guaranteeing three games for each entrant). The teams would then be seeded first through fourth in each group. The bottom two seeds on both sides are eliminated (hey, at least they got to play three games instead of two). Then the top seed on one side plays the second seed on the other side and vice versa, so those teams will get a fourth game. The winners play for the championship (their fifth game) and, if you like, the losers can play a consolation game for third place (their fifth game).

One problem that arises with round robins is that you often need tie-breakers to decide seeding (several teams might end up with the same record). We break ties in baseball or softball with things like record against each other, least runs allowed, and most runs scored.

At the U.S. Bocce Championships in Illinois they used some interesting tie-breaking methods approved for International play.

In volo singles play, the matches concluded after 1 hour and 15 minutes or 13 points, whichever came first. If time expired and the score was tied, the pallino was left in its position at the end of the last frame, and each player rolled one ball in an attempt to outlag the other. Closest to the pallino won the match.

Another US Bocce Championship tie-breaking situation…

Three teams were tied with the same record, and only two could advance to the next round. Record against each other could not break the tie (e.g. all three teams ended up 2 and 1…Team A beat team B but lost to C…Team B beat C but lost to A…Team C beat A but lost to B), so tourney officials went to total points scored as the tie-breaker.

Then, once the top scorer was determined, officials went back to "record against each other" to break the tie between the remaining two teams. This can cause some hard feelings because it is possible that the team that doesn’t make it to the “money round” scored more total points than the team that did.

I had never seen this tie-breaking method before, but, it makes good sense.


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.

Protecting courts from the elements...

Photos of the week
Elizabeth and James Nixdorf send photos of "our new bocce courts at Honey Brook Borough Park in Honey Brook, PA. We just had our inaugural tournament, and it was a huge success.

We constructed the courts with a base of nut sized aggregate and then finer material. The finish was called 'Bocce Mix' from a local company, Martin's Limestone. We are so excited. We have such great courts and what a game it is. I hope these photos will give you an idea of our construction. Total size 20' X 60'.

We are going to try and form a league next spring and of course another tournament. I am spearheading this sport. I went to our borough council in the fall of 2007 with a presentation to put courts at our park. A couple of months later they came to me and said they would do it. This July the construction started. It only took about a month. They run north and south. They drain beautifully. We bought a nice shed to store the rake and broom and ball sets, etc.

We put a sign up at the borough hall advertising 'Tournament teams forming'. We had to take the sign down in 2 days. The response was huge. Our tournament was a 10 team double elimination event. Thank you for your love of the game and support to all of us who are rolling along."

{We see success again with the same model - a couple of motivated people petitioning local government and making things happen. Congratulations!}

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}


Save $15 at with code KC-6983

Shop Just Air Hockey Tables Today!

Shop Today


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.


November 13 - 16, 2008 – Nevada - Reno. Peppermill Hotel & Casino. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Peppermill @ 800-648-6992.


December 5 - 7, 2008. Canada - Windsor, Ontario. Ciociaro Club. Da Vinci Bocce LLC Presents The 2008 United States and North American Pallino D’Oro Championships. Contact Michael Grasser at 248-505-4744 or .


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.


March 30 - April 5, 2009. Italy - Bavena. Women's Raffa World Championship. Details TBA.

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