The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 6 - February 11, 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 #6 - February 11, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Bocce friends,

Still going strong on my promise to get the ezine out more regularly this year. Sixth week, sixth issue this year (are you keeping track?). Don't forget, if it doesn't show up in your in-box on any given week, it's probably already archived on the Joy of Bocce web site under Back Issues. You'll have to scroll down to the bottom of the page, through six years' worth ezines.

Please keep me posted on bocce happenings in your area. We get lots of feedback from the West Coast crowd, less from the rest of the USA. people want to hear about the game they love (and see snapshots), no matter how big or small the event.

This month we are gearing up for a big corporate outing in Fort Lauderdale on February 29th - photos and details to follow right after the event.

Keep on rollin',
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Seen the courts at the Villa Roma resort in the Catskills?

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

Michigan's Mike Grasser sends the picture to the right. It's of the Wenson family who, playing under the name La Familia, took second place in the 2007 Michigan State Bocce Championship held last July at the Sylvan Lake bocce courts. Mike says "the Palazzo di Bocce team took first place."


Florida's George Farruggio asks...

"If you win the coin toss, you toss the pallina and now your bocce ball hits the backboard and you must toss again. Must the same player toss the bocce ball or can his teammate toss? My answer is you can have your teammate toss the bocce ball. As long it's the same team. What's your take on this?"

{I agree. First off, we're talking open rules with the backboard being dead unless a ball strikes another ball first. If you toss the pallino and then hit the back with your first roll, I'd suggest, from a tactical point of view, that the same player roll again. That way he can adjust, rolling with less force on this subsequent roll. But, I don't think there is any rule preventing a teammate from making the roll, as long as the correct team is rolling and no one player rolls more than his allotment of balls.

Another question that often comes up is...Does the person who rolls the object ball have to roll the first ball?

Although this is almost always the case, I don't think it's against the rules to have a teammate make the first roll.

In international competitions the captain often rolls the pallino, then designates who will attempt the first point. So, I guess open rules should follow the same procedure. Michigan's Mike Grasser runs both international and open rules events and, in open rules tourneys, always defers to international rules when something occurs that is not covered by open rules. Heck, they've got the international rules standardized to the nth degree - we might as well tap into them.}


Richard Morris asks...

"When one end throws the other end scores, does the person throwing have the right to interfer with the score or is it up to the other end and referee? I say according to the rules I read, you can't go past center court. What say you?"

{By interfering, Richard means he wants the people at each end to handle the measurements, etc. and the other players to stay at their end. There are some old rules still hanging on that say you can't go past half court. I don't like the idea. In our league, we let whoever has a measure in his pocket go up and help determine the points (of course, everybody else looks over his shoulder to make sure the measurement is on the "up and up").

In international bocce, even before a roll, you can go up and survey the "lay of the land", so to speak, as long as you get permission from the referee first. S/he might deny permission if the event is behind schedule and s/he wants to keep things moving or thinks there is no good reason for you to come up to take a look.

The other "antique" rule that hangs on in some areas is that you can't measure if one team has used up all its balls. I guess they want you to guess if you are IN before you roll?

We let players asks for a measurement at any time, so they know what the situation is before they attempt a shot.

Here's one scenario: both teams are tied at 11 in a game to 12. Team A has one ball left to roll, the other team has none. Team A has the winning point but doesn't know it because the rules won't allow a measurement. Forced to roll the last ball, he accidentally nudges the opponents' ball IN for the game winner. Do you really want to win that way? If you do, I certainly don't want to play with or against you.

I don't know what the justification or rationalization for this is. Do any old timers know what they were thinking when they made this rule? Please REPLY.}


Jason Schriml of Special Olympics Maryland writes...

"I really enjoy your e-zine and find the information quite valuable for myself but also for my coaches and athletes. I had the great honor of recently representing Team USA as an Assistant coach in Bocce at our World Games in Shanghai, China last October.

I am writing to you today to see if you would be able to post a Special Olympics Coaches and Officials school I am hosting from March 8-10th in Baltimore (More specifically Linthicum, MD). We are hosting it for both new and old coaches and officials. So maybe there are some people who would like to get involved with us in Maryland in some capacity that I could reach. We are conducting a rules review Friday night and the officials portion will be on Saturday with the coaches' portion on Sunday. I am sure other coaches out there might be involved in Special Olympics who might be interested who are getting your newsletter.

Are you aware of any clinicians/coaches in the Baltimore area that might be able to help us with a Tactics and Strategy session on Sunday morning? I have spent years coaching and organizing but I believe a new voice might help get through to some of the more experienced coaches.

I can provide lunch and if they have to stay over Saturday night I can provide hotel accommodation."

Contact info:
1-800-541-7544 ext 118


Just about every week someone writes asking about how to get a league started. I have a chapter in my book on the subject and there's even an e-book version that is only $4.95 and no shipping because you just download it.

Find it here:



From Joy of Bocce Weekly Volume 1 Issue 1 - January 7, 2002

{I've been nostalgic lately.}

Let’s Talk the Talk – bocce jargon

One of the things that has always fascinated me about bocce is not only the variations of play in pockets across the country, but also the jargon that has evolved in different locations. It bugs me no end when someone asks, “Want to play some bocce ball?” I think of a kid going to the hockey rink or frozen pond and asking his friends if they want to play some “hockey puck.” Although the game in America is a long way from standardization, it seems to me that we should at least agree to call the game “bocce”, and reserve “bocce ball” for the round object we roll in the direction of the pallino. Some refer to the object ball in the masculine (pallino) while others in the feminine (pallina). I also hear jack, kitty, pill, cue ball, and every variation beginning with the letter P from Pauline to piñata.

Hitting an opponent’s ball to displace it because it is “in” for a point is one of the nifty skill shots in bocce. If it happens to be a red ball that has the point, I’ve heard the other team talk about making a shot called a “Visine” – one that’s designed to “get the red out!” And on the south side of Chicago they “toots it up” when they tap a ball gently to push it closer to the pallino to score the point.

What do players in your area call the object ball? What other colorful language do you hear in your bocce travels? Let me know so I can share it on with our readers. Click REPLY below – also let me know what part of the country you are from – I’ll report back next issue.


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 shorts. In addition, I’m asking readers to submit new shots – 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. Please help.


Drive to get Bocce to the Senior Games in 2009

Still time (But it's getting late) to lobby to get Bocce to the national senior games.

Write, email, or snail mail:

Ray Hoyt
Director of National Games and Athlete Relations
National Senior Games Association
PO Box 82059
Baton Rouge, LA 70844-2059

If we can get the games recognized, that would mean that 2008 would be a qualifying year and 2009 we could compete in the "Senior Olympics" in San Francisco, CA. This would go a long way toward getting our sport the notoriety it deserves.

Learn how to get your league to the next level...

Photos of the week
This week's photos come courtesy of Frank Valanzola.

They show off the courts in Colonial Park in Franklin Township, New Jersey (home of the New Jersey Bocce Invitational). The annual event is scheduled this year for May 17th. See Tournament Update below.

The courts were built by The Somerset County Park Commission. {Smart move! Moving the game into the public domain is the best way to promote the growth of our sport.}

From the web site:

“The New Jersey Bocce Invitational is an Italian-American Cultural event which was designed to allow people of all backgrounds to compete for the benefit of local New Jersey charities. With the support of volunteers we intend to host an Annual Bocce Tournament each year going forward with the intent to give back to our community and uphold the tradition of a sport which has long been a part of our Italian heritage."

View the web site at

There's a good photo gallery and a nicely done video gallery too.

{These photos will become a permanent part of the Joy of Bocce web site (Bocce Venues). Please follow Frank's lead and send pictures of bocce in your area.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week

I've evaluated these and they are great. They're very sturdy and obviously of high quality. What a bonus - they're the "right" size for bocce – 107 mm.

These are not the balls that glow under black lights, these have internal lights that blink when you activate them.

All you need do is turn the cap on each ball clockwise to start its light flashing. Turn the cap counterclockwise to turn off the light. These are great fun to play on the carpet in the rec room with the lights turned off. Children and adults seem to like them equally well.

Playaboule always has the most reasonably priced bocce items on the web. Their low prices make some of us in the "bocce business” wonder how they make any money.

Worth every penny of the $89.95 list price, this set is a “steal” at the sale price of $49.95.

For more info or to order, check out Playaboule's newly revised (and much improved) web site which includes a well done video on how the light up bocce set works. {Click the picture above - copyright Playaboule - or the link below.}

From the web site:

We own the molds.!!

This set is the ONLY official Bocce size 107mm dia Lighted Bocce Ball set available anywhere in the world. We guarantee it.!

• This set includes ALL of the following:
• Set of 8 FLASHING Glo Bocce balls
• 2 Glow Green, 2 Glow Blue, 2 Gow Red, 2 Glow Yellow
• 1 Glow White jack ( pallina )
• Nylon carry case with webbing handles
• 2 sets of batteries ( one is preinstalled for testing purposes)
• Screwdriver ( to undo battery enclosure )
• Instructions
• Measuring string and Tape measure
The balls are made of a high quality, durable resin material, with the Playaboule logo molded in. Because the balls are translucent the LED light can shine through making the balls flash and glow in the dark. Simply rotate the screw-cap to turn the light on/off (see video) to activate your lighted bocce set.

Note: Replaceable Alkaline batteries are pre-installed and are included for testing purposes only. A fresh set is also included. Batteries can last for much more than 20 hours.

We designed these balls as a solid sphere then drilled and threaded a hole in the side for the LED plug. Being solid, these balls are almost unbreakable.!!! You can crash the balls together without fear of damaging the balls or the LED components.

Great recreational set and perfect for evening play! At the beach, camping, back yard, etc. When the sun goes down don't stop playing, START playing with this glo bocce ball set."

{P.S. There's an equally good Glo Boules set that are petanque size... click this link: }

Check out Glo Bocce at Playaboule...

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}

Bar Stools

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.


February 17, 2008 - Illinois - Northbrook Pinstripes Tourney begins at noon. 32 teams of 4 with a buy-in of $25/person. First place is $2500 cash, 2nd place = $500 Pinstripes gift card, and 3rd place = $250 Pinstripes gift card. Contact Janine Bobko @ or 847-480-2323.


February 23, 2008 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. OPEN, 3 players including at least 1 woman. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


March 8 - 10, 2008. Maryland - Linthicum. Special Olympics Coaches and Officials school. Volunteers/coaches/clinicians needed (especially for Tactics and Strategy teaching session on Sunday morning). Contact Jason Schriml, Sr. Director of Coaches Education and Training - Special Olympics Maryland.
1-800 541-7544 ext 118


March 15, 2008 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. Elkhorn Bocce Club’s Inaugural Tournament. RAFFA, 3 Players. Contact Luca Fontana @ 209-931-4639.


March 21, 2008 - Massachusetts - North Andover. Come on down for an informal bocce event at our indoor venue at 1600 Osgood St, off Rte. 125. We'll sign up at 7:00 PM and draw teams for play beginning at 7:15 PM. Might be doubles, triples or four-player teams (depending on the turnout). $30 covers play, prizes, and refreshments (pizza and soft drinks). Call Mario @ 978-686-8679 or email .


March 22, 2008 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


March 29, 2008 – California - Los Gatos Campo di Bocce. Twelfth Annual Los Gatos Bocce Club Tournament. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Bill Schlaefer @408-379-9409.


April 5, 2008 – California - Stockton. Waterloo Gun and Bocci Club - OPEN, 4 players, including at least 2 women. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


April 12, 2008 – Californai - San Francisco - Aquatic Park Bocce Club. VOLO, Men’s U.S. Volo Championships, Progressive Throw and Precision Throw. Contact Benji Tosi @ 415-238-7995.


April 13, 2008 – California - Martinez. Left Coast Bocce Club, RAFFA, doubles, 1 woman and 1 man. Contact Maria Narayan @ 415-454-7853.


April 19, 2008 - Washington - Bellingham. 6th annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament - Http://www. . Open rules - 32 four-person teams. Contact Tom @ 360-224-2909 or check the link at to register.


April 19, 2008 – California - Fairfield. Fairfield Bocce Federation. OPEN, 4 women players. Contact Nancy Scocci @ 707-428-4471.


April 26, 2008 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club - OPEN, 3 players. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


May 3, 2008 – California - San Mateo. Beresford Park. Peninsula Italian American Social Club. OPEN, 4 women players. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


May 3, 2008 – California - San Mateo. Peninsula Italian American Social Club. RAFFA, 3 players. Contact Adriano Undorte @ 650-591-3318.


May 3, 2008 - Florida - St. Augustine. "Bocce on the Beach"- Open Rules - $20 per person. Barbeque lunch. First, Second, and Third place cash prizes. Contact Guy Tomasello @ 904-824-7043.


May 10, 2008 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. RAFFA, 3 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


May 17, 2008 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club - OPEN, 4 players, 2 women and 2 men. Contact Susan Botti @ 650-589-4356.


May 17, 2008 - New Jersey - 2nd annual NJ Bocce Invitational supporting New Jersey charities. Contact Frank Valanzola @ 973-793-5406 or . View web site at


May 24, 2008 – California - Carmel Valley. Carmel Valley Athletic Club. OPEN, 4 players, 2 women and 2 men. Contact Giovanni Napoli @ 831-521-5092.


May 31, 2008 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club, RAFFA, women’s doubles. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


June 1, 2008 – California - Sutter Creek. Italian Benevolent Society. OPEN, 4 players including at least 1 woman. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


June 7, 2008 – California - Livermore Campo di Bocce. Western Sector Raffa Championships. RAFFA, 3 Players. Contact Teena Marie @ 925-249-9800.


June 16 - 17, 2008 – Illinois - Highwood. (Monday - Tuesday). Highwood Bocce Club. United States National Open Championships. OPEN, 4 players. “A” Division and “B” Division. Contact John Ross @ 408-892-2983.


June 18 - 21, 2008 – Illinois - Highwood. Highwood Bocce Club. United States National Punto, Raffa, Volo Championships. RAFFA 4 players, (3 player teams are also acceptable). Match Play (triples, singles, doubles). Women’s Team Division and Men’s Team Division. Contact John Ross @ 408-892-2983.


June 28, 2008 – California - Antioch. Antioch Bocce Federation. OPEN, 4 women players. Contact Lydia Romo @ 925-754-4890.


July 18 - 20, 2008 - New York - Rome. 35th annual World Series of Bocce. 4 person teams - open division and ladies' division. Contact Al Orbinati Jr. at or download application at .


August 2, 2008 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. Western Sector Open Championships. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


August 22 - 24, 2008 - Ohio - Mayfield Heights. Marshall Ford Cleveland International Challenge Cup of Bocce. Mayfield Heights City Park. Sponsored by Marshall Ford, Club Molisani, and City of Mayfield Heights. Wayne Farinacci, Tournament Director (initiated this tournament in 1984). Open and Women's divisions, 4 person teams. Entry Fee $150 per team. Prize money to be determined. Contact Wayne @ 216-509-4353 or


August 22 - 24, 2008 - Ohio - Wickliffe. WICKLIFFE ITALIAN-AMERICAN CLUB. 25th annual CLEVELAND CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE sponsored by Pat O'Brien Chevrolet. $5000 first prize, $15,000 in total prize money. Contact Gino Latessa @ 216-789-6393. Applications and info online @

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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.
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