The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VII, Issue 7 - February 18, 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 #7 - February 18, 2008
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello Bocce Buddies,

I'm gearing up for a big corporate outing (with bocce) at the end of the month in Fort Lauderdale. I hope to have pictures and an interesting story to tell you when I get back on March 1st.

Meanwhile, we're just hoping for some good bocce weather to return to New England so we can get back outdoors to play. Our indoor venues are OK, but most of us prefer the good old outdoors. We envy you guys in the warm winter climates, but many of us are staying put - we're tough, stubborn (and maybe not too bright) New Englanders. Can't wait for someone to build a world class facility like Campo di Bocce or Palazzo di Bocce in our neighborhood.

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

Seen the courts at the Toccolana Club - home of the World Series of Bocce?

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

Got this email recently from Kathy S. -

"Have you used a bocce cup measure device? If yes, what is your opinion of it?"

{Yes, I've used that type of measure. And New Jersey's Mike Paccione used to retail something similar. The Resolver was very clever - a swiveling tape measure set atop an acrylic cube. Both are useful and OK for most informal play, but no serious player would be caught dead with them. They look down their noses at them as too inaccurate. They want inside measure which is the most accurate (measuring the inside distance - the distance between the ball and the target).

The diameter of the can is the concern. If it's too small you are likely to move the pallino when placing it over the target ball. If it's too large, you have the problem of centering it over the pallino so that the measurement is as precise as possible.

Having said that, I've got to tell you that I hear from a lot of recreational players who find that a can with string at the top center is easy-to-use, inexpensive, and accurate enough for their needs.

P.S. Make sure the hole for the string is dead center on the can.}


Speaking of measures...

Recently I had someone ask about my "return policy" for the Premier Boule Measure. The person indicated that "'s not any better than just a regular measuring tape."

I answered this way...

"I have no formal return policy because, in the twelve years I've been selling this item, no one has ever returned one. Ship it back to me and I'll refund the purchase price.

Or, I'll exchange it for one of the other two measures I retail which are also the same price. (I evaluated dozens of measures and selected three as the ones I thought best for the bocce playing public.) They are the Clubhawk Gold Measure which uses string and the Henselite Bowls Measure which is a telescopic measure. View them at

When you indicated that it is "not any better than just a regular measuring tape" it makes me think it isn't being used properly.

It is infinitely better than a 'regular measuring tape.' The peg at one end butts up with the object ball and the self locking tape has a pointed edge that is extended to the ball you are measuring. It also has calipers for measuring the really close ones and a mechanism for keeping score to boot.

Some people don't like the idea that there are no calibrations on the tape. They don't get it. We don't need to know the distances between the two balls in question, we just need to know which one is closer. Some people would calculate 8ths, 16ths, and 32nds of an inch rather than just compare how much Premier Boule Measure tape is extended to reach each ball. Go figure!"


Another Great Idea to Help Promote The Game

I've teamed up with New Hampshire Italian Language Instructor Dawn Alba. Our idea is to offer bocce to colleges that have foreign language departments. We could get the college kids playing bocce and Dawn would help hone their Italian speaking skills. We might even get some tournament action going - perhaps pitting the Italian and French Departments against each other.

We can set up template courts on the grounds (lawns) of the campus and run informal or tournament style play. Or, we can set up temporary courts indoors on any large carpeted area.

Is there a college or prep school in your area that offers foreign languages? If you send me the school's name, contact info or even better, someone you know at the school, I'd appreciate it. Please REPLY.


Don't forget Jason Schriml's big Special Olympics event on March 8 - 10 in Linthicum, MD. Jason is looking for help to run a Tactics and Strategy teaching session (coaches/clinicians needed). Contact Jason @ 1-800-541-7544 ext 118,, or



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

What’s the Score Anyway?

I hear about bocce players who play games to scores of 11, 12, 15, 16, and 21. I’ve always liked 12 because it’s sufficiently long to make for fair competition, yet doesn’t keep the on-deck players waiting too long (there always seems to be on-deck players). Some tournaments schedule games to 12 but increase it to 15 in the finals, presumably to ensure that the better team wins. (The shorter the game, the better the chance of an upset.)

In lawn bowls I understand that they sometimes play a set number of “ends” (frames or rounds) instead of playing to a set point total. They might agree, for example, that the leader after 15 ends is the victor.

A woman from a retirement home in Florida told me that they played games to 11 but tournament play went to 21. “Wow!” I said. “Those tournament games must take forever.”
“Well,” she countered, “We have a lot of time at the senior center.”

Players from the Crockett Bocce Club of California tell me they play “deuce game” – the winner must win by two points. Rick Bushong, webmaster for the Crockett site ( says that “the two point rule makes for some exciting finishes in close games.” Still, it seems to me that we all should be able to agree on a set point total and stick to it. Then we could all say bocce is a game that is played until one team reaches X points.

Hit REPLY and tell us what score you play to and whether you favor “deuce game.” Also, when you are scoring these points what are you using for measuring? – hands and feet – twigs – tape measure – carpenter’s rule – automobile antenna – special bocce measuring device. Experienced players can call “by eye” some really close points. They always stand by the object ball and get a vantage point where they can gauge the relative positions of the balls in question. I’ve consistently been on the losing end of matches with WWOBA president Rico Daniele of Springfield, Massachusetts. It not only amazes me how good a player he is, but also how he can “eyeball” a point that is “in” by a mere fraction of an inch.


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.

Support your favorite charity with a Bocce Auction...

Photos of the week
This week's photos come courtesy of Paul Cozzi of The Giardiniera Cup Championship (GCC) Committee.

The Giardiniera Cup Championship

Committee members = Vincent DiTommaso, Paul Cozzi, Brian Hepner and Brian Harrison.

It is the sincere pleasure of The Giardiniera Cup Championship (GCC) Committee to introduce to The Joy Of Bocce our annual men's bocce tournament that has been proudly operating out of Chicago for five years!

The Giardiniera Cup Championship takes place each August in the fields of Coloma, Michigan. Participants travel from Chicago and Los Angeles to compete in this all-day, round-robin played on three PBA regulation-sized bocce courts (60 x 10). Our two side courts are made by enclosing an area with 4X4 beams of wood. Our center court is a regulation bocce ball court made up of two feet of sand, one foot of crushed stone, six more inches of sand, and six inches of crushed pea stone. Pea stone is a regional replacement for the traditional crushed oyster shells, which are unfortunately not readily available in the midwest. This court is always home for our Championship Game.

The Cup began in 2000, when we decided to name a bocce tournament after Chicago's favorite pickled condiment (see Our first Cup took place in the summer of 2001, born out of a shared dream and a non-existent budget. The second Cup followed in the summer of 2003 with more food, more friends, and prizes. The Cup, still gaining popularity, has been celebrated every summer after that. In fact, it has captured the attention of so many friends and bocce enthusiasts nation-wide that The Committee had no choice but to make it an invitation-only event.

As one could guess, the food and Di Tommaso family homemade wine play a major role in the popularity of The Giardiniera Cup. The boar sausage, pork chops, and steaks are lovingly grilled to perfection by our chef, The Rog (pronounced "The Rodge"). Delicious Italian beef, roasted peppers, baked mostaccioli, meatballs, pepperoni loafs, and pizza are provided by Freddy's Pizzeria, an authentic Chicago-land Italian grocery store in business since 1968. This year The Committee is discussing a new addition... crawfish!

The bocce tournament itself is very competitive. It consists of a 12 team round robin, followed by a double elimination tournament of the top 8 teams. The championship team may end up playing 12 games over the course of the 10+ hour tournament. It is truly a mark of bocce excellence to win this hallowed tournament.

The Championship team is festooned with prizes including a red, white and green cup-style trophy, which is handed down year to year and two beautifully tailored red and green "Giardiniera Cup Champion" embroidered blazers, to be worn on all formal occasions attended by said winners until the next Giardiniera Cup Championship.

In the last few years, The Committee has been well-prepared for the many obstacles and challenges that come along with planning such an extraordinary event. Some tips we have for people who are planning a bocce tournament are:

1) Make sure to follow one set of rules agreed upon by all involved parties prior to tournament play.

2) If any conflict in rules should arise, the final call should be made by the referee of the match, and submitted for approval to your own committee

3) Be sure to have plenty of food and drinks served between and during matches. Have plenty of bottled water on hand to prevent dehydration.

4) Bring extra rope, chalk, spray paint and heavy duty measuring tape. Whistles, pens, paper, sunscreen and bullhorns or megaphones are a plus.

5) Respect, respect, respect.

When a team is no longer involved in the tournament, they either head to an unused court to play for fun or make side bets, or head into the deluxe barn for card games and pool. All in all, The Giardiniera Cup is a fantastic tournament and shall continue for generations.

This year, the Committee will donate a percentage of the proceeds to a not-for-profit organization (undecided, charity to be voted on by Committee members)

We would be proud to be recognized by the fantastic website, The Joy of Bocce!

{Yikes! This sounds like one to put on your list of "must see" bocce events. I wonder, if I hint around a little, they might invite me to watch, photograph, and EAT?

These photos (hope to add a couple more after the August event) will become a permanent part of the Joy of Bocce web site (Bocce Tidbits). Please follow Paul Cozzi'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}


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 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 – California - 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 4, 2008 – California - Martinez. Martinez Bocce Federation. OPEN, 2 players. Contact Gene Rittburg @ 925-370-0633.


July 12, 2008 - California, San Rafael. Marin Bocce Federation - Open - Men's Doubles. Contact Diana Pellegrini @ 415-485-5583


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 .


July 19, 2008 – California - Fairfield. Fairfield Bocce Federation. John Magnetti Memorial Tournament. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Nancy Scocci @ 707-428-4471.


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


August, 2008 - Michigan - Coloma. Giardiniera Cup Championship. Round robin seeding followed by double elimination for the top 8 teams. Great food & comaraderie. Contact Paul Cozzi @


August 9, 2008 - California, San Rafael - Marin Bocce Federation - Open - Women's Doubles. Contact Diana Pellegrini @ 415-485-5583.


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 @


Sept 27, 2008 - California, San Rafael - Marin Bocce Federation - Open - 4 players. Contact Diana Pellegrini @ 415-485-5583.

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