The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 44 - December 22, 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 #44 - December 22, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello bocce buddies,

Such a week I had! I'd love to report a heartwarming holiday story, but...not this time.

While working out at the gym, my locker was broken into (they cut my lock and made off with my sweatpants and wallet). I don't know which was worse, getting ripped off or heading outside in the winter cold clad in skimpy running shorts.

By the time I had finished my run on the track, the crooks had racked up $7000 on my credit cards at places like Toys R Us, Best Buy, etc. (they hustle, knowing there is a short window of opportunity before the cards are canceled. Often, they first get gas to see if the card is good - you can swipe the card at the pump and don't have to show it to anyone. Once they find that the card works, they go for a big ticket item - like $2000 at Best Buy).

I filed a police report, and, while I won't be responsible for the charges because of the credit card fraud, it doesn't appear that the authorities are going to put out any roadblocks or initiate a manhunt. "This happens every day" said one officer.

"The theft was in Massachusetts but the charges were in New Hampshire," said another, "so you'll have to file with the NH authorities." (Methuen, Massachusetts is on the Salem, NH border.)

On the bright side was the way the gym handled things, offering to repay the cash that was taken, giving me a new workout outfit and offering other perks. You can tell a lot about a business by the way they handle complaints and other problems.

The theft won't hamper my holiday spirit. I'm a glass half full kind of guy anyway. I have some good bocce friends who continually remind me that "The glass is half full...of Chardonnay."

Best holiday wishes...

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

Bocce in Sky Park - Scotts Valley, California

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

Ken writes to ask about measuring...

"I hate to bother you by asking you to repeat something that has probably been repeated already a dozen times, but here goes. There is a way of measuring who is closest by drawing a line between two colored balls, then a 90 degree line from the pin to the line you just drew. Whichever of the two balls is closest to that line is the winner. I think it was a triangulation theory. Can you advise or direct me to a place that might better explain?"

{This is reprinted from the Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition...}

Measuring Via Geometry

Believe it or not, you can skip the measuring device and use the Pythagorean Theorem to determine which ball is in. Stand by the bocce balls and form a triangle with the object ball (pallino) at the apex (see photo).

1) Draw an imaginary line (A - B) between the two bocce balls (see photo - RED to the left, GREEN to the right).
2) Now draw an imaginary perpendicular (C - D) from the pallino to line segment AB
3) Since AD is obviously shorter than DB, then AC has to be shorter than the RED ball is in. If you had known this strategy in high school, I bet you would have tried to stay awake in geometry class. This might also indicate, as previously suspected, that the ancient Greeks played some serious bocce.

{Works just as well if you take the more traditional approach of standing by the pallino and forming the imaginary triangle, i.e. orient yourself by standing at point C in the photo.}


Elizabeth Jade Wong Fontana sends a couple neat links from YouTube...

"Check out this YouTube posting of Nike's Bocce commercial:"

"Here's national coverage of this sport on YouTube:"


Frank Valanzola is already gearing up for the 2009 New Jersey Invitational, which supports New Jersey charities.

"Dear Bocce Supporter,

We kindly request your attendance and participation of this Red, White & Blue event. We are working diligently to organize a worthy list of organizations to support our 3rd Annual Bocce Invitational benefiting Operation Shoebox New Jersey and Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey.

The aforementioned 501© 3's are of particular importance due to their continuing efforts to make a difference in the lives of many New Jersey residents and their families. Operation Shoebox New Jersey provides much needed care packages to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey are committed to enhancing the quality of life of children. Boys & Girls Clubs have created a line-up of tested and proven nationally recognized programs that address today’s most pressing youth issues, teaching young people the skills they need to succeed in life. They offer programs in the areas of education, the environment, health, the arts, careers, alcohol/drug and pregnancy prevention, gang prevention, leadership development and athletics."

A great event for a great cause - very well organized. To offer support, contact Frank Valanzola at, 908.400.0851 or visit .

Click here to view a pdf file.


Jim Brossman asks...

"How do I purchase those red and green coins I saw in your article in solving flipping a coin? I think that's a great idea. I would love to use them in my tournament this summer."

{Pictures of the coins Jim alludes to are posted at under Bocce Tidbits ( ). Wayne Farinacci first told us about these flipping coins that he purchased from Gino's Awards, 4701 Richmond Rd., Cleveland, OH 44128. Check out for contact info (phone = 216-831-6565 - ask for Gino).


Blast from the past...

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

Volume #3, Issue #42 - November 15, 2004

{We were discussing wagering on the outcome of bocce games...}

Floridian chimes in on gambling on bocce matches...

"On the subject of wagering for cash in a scheduled or organized bocce game...I hesitate to do that here in Herons Glen, Florida for fear of losing the beginner. This year however, we may have a few extra games where we will play for money for those who may be interested."

{My comment from 2004 - "We wrestled with this lately in our group. There is a faction that wants to play for $5 a game to add a little incentive/zest/competition to the contest. It has served to segregate our group somewhat - not a good thing."

My comment from 2008 - "Nowadays those in our group (a small faction) who want to play for a couple bucks stick around and play after our league games are completed."

Anyone with an opinion? How do you feel about wagering in bocce? Please REPLY.}


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.

No carpet for your indoor court? No problem...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were sent to Playaboule's Bede Kortegast who in turn sent them along to me. They are terrific shots of night-time glo bocce/petanque on a Mexican beach.

The pictures were taken by Jon Orton of Redmond, Washington who liked Playaboule's Glo Boules set so much that he sent Playaboule the following...

"I just wanted to send a quick note and tell you what a great product you have. I bought a set of glo boules for my parents last year and now they are a regular attraction at our family events.

I took a few photos (attached) of my family playing a night game on the beach in Mexico.

Feel free to use the photos on your web site, etc. if you want. The daylight photos there don't do the game justice."

Bede posted the photos at and says "I'm thinking of making a page for photos and offering prizes for the best ones that use our products."

{What a great idea! We'll keep you posted here if this comes together. Anyway, enjoy these nifty shots.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Holiday gift ideas for the bocce lover in your life...

I've had some special items in my office for about 6 months now that I never put on the web site or in the ezine. Hey, I never said I was a good businessman.

Anyway, I've added them recently and listed them in order of price, so you can decide how much you want to spend and then maybe pick an item.

Two things I've never posted before are bocce ball bags with the Joy of Bocce embroidered logo and chamois (bocce towels) also with the embroidered logo.

Of course, I think an autographed copy of The Joy of Bocce would be a great gift. Make sure to think up a really cool inscription for me to include.

Click the link below to view the items...

Click for a holiday bocce shopping experience...

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}

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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.


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