The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VIII, Issue 12 - April 6, 2009 
•   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 8, Issue #12 - April 6, 2009
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2009
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello again bocce friends...

Did you hear the story this week about the two guys in Lawrence, Mass. who were in the right place at the right time and prevented a tragedy? A young child fell from a third story window and these two fellows actually caught her before she struck the ground. The child was unharmed and the story attracted national attention.

One of the two heroes, Bob Lemire, is a neighbor and former student of mine. A contractor and all around handy-man, Lemire put his sure hands to work making a really great catch. It reminded me of something that happened to me years ago. I wrote about it in my first book, The Complete Home Educator (Larson Publications, 1984) which was a McGraw-Hill Special Interest Book of the Month Club selection. Honest, I was on the promotional flier right next to Erma Bombeck!

Anyway, I've reprinted that story below with permission from...well, me. It's not exactly a bocce story, but it is a sports story and one that I think you'll enjoy.

My group is again hosting the bocce segment of the Mass. Senior Games on May 16, 2009. The event doubles as our non-profit group's annual fund-raiser. Let me know if you are interested in placing an ad in our program book (which we will also post in the ezine at no extra charge). I'll send you the details via "snail mail".

We need to start a serious effort to get bocce recognized as a national event in the Senior Olympics and I am asking you to send an email supporting this effort. The details are listed below under "Bocce news".

Thanks for helping us make this important step for the growth of the game in America.

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

Hawaiian Bocce ...

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

Here's the story I alluded to above. That "young pup" to the right is me when I was a fleet-footed college outfielder...a long time ago.

Little White Shoestring Catch


Mario Pagnoni

First printed in The Complete Home Educator, Larson Publications, 1984 (A McGraw-Hill BOMC Selection)

My wife says that if sports was excluded from the conversation, most of my friends would be mutes. It’s true. They’re former athletes and no matter how hard you try to switch the discussion to politics, philosophy, or literature, the ball always seems to bounce right back into their court.

Last time, three of them described outstanding catches from their days as amateur baseball players. Trying to outdo one another, each outlined a play that demonstrated more skill or played a more prominent role in an even more important game. Some of this was even true.

Frank told of his running one-handed snare of a line drive that preserved the pitcher’s no-hitter. Gary topped that with his perfectly timed, leaping snag of a fly ball at the outfield fence. That prevented a homerun in THE BIG GAME. Andy’s offering, a defensive gem made on a rain-soaked field, was a classic. He deemed it the ultimate in fielding prowess. It demanded exceptional timing and leaping ability, came at a critical time in a crucial game, and featured a fifteen-foot-long belly-slide through a puddle. The sprawling spear prompted applause and hearty laughter from the spectators. That was not only superb ballplaying – that was entertainment.

A lively conversation it was, and not long ago I’d have been right in the middle of it. One-upmanship used to be my strong suit. But I’ve grown away from that. I’m a different person now, with different concerns – or so I thought.

Later that evening, lounging in my easy chair, I too found myself recollecting my stellar defensive plays from days gone by. A medley of memorable sports memories passed quickly before my eyes. I saw a young boy sprinting after fly balls – a fleet-footed fellow who knew every inch of his neighborhood ball field. Once, in full flight, he actually took his eye off a line drive to locate that drainage basin in centerfield, so as not to stumble over it. Then, relocating the ball, he completed the catch, all without breaking stride.

I relived an assortment of leaping, staggering attempts, including one made while dashing up an ill-placed hill in deep centerfield, all the time looking homeplateward for the ball. That was a nifty one. Then there was a college right fielder frantically chasing that white sphere headed toward centerfield. He had no play on the ball, and when the centerfielder called out in desperation, it was clear he had no play either. Instinct must have summoned up that diving try. He was in flight, parallel to the ground. Somehow the ball nestled neatly into the webbing of his outstretched glove. That HAD to be the best one.

Piano chords roused me from my reverie. It was my son, the fourth-grader, practicing. Could it be that he really is a nine-year-old? Seconds ago I was at the pinnacle of a mediocre baseball career. That boy groping at the keyboard was just an infant in diapers. Why, I remember the time I was reading the newspaper at the dinner table while he sat across from me in his high-chair, munching on some toast. Several quiet minutes passed with me absorbed in an article and the toddler absorbing the toast. I looked up from my reading just as he began to plummet, head-first. Flinging down the paper, I toppled over the seat between us and, tumbling down, cradled my right hand under his head before his skull could strike the floor.

“Hey dad,” interrupted the pint-sized pianist, trying to bring me back to the present. “Whatcha thinking about?” Oblivious, I leaned back in my recliner and stared pensively down at my hands. Slowly and deliberately, a delightful smile worked its way across my face.


Ace bocce reporter Elizabeth Jade Fontana continued to give us a play by play description of recent action in Bavagna...

She says "Be sure to watch the 4 videos that I was able to shoot and post : I hope that in the future there will be more people willing to send in their short bocce videos (max. 9 minutes) to this site."

The USBF's Peter Rabito sends this...

"If you want to watch any of the World's Woman's Bocce Championships from Bavagna - please check out this link: "

Pete also located a great photo which I've posted here:

Many of the USBF officers and board members received email updates from Elizabeth and she got well deserved rave reviews for her efforts...

Great job reporting the World’s. All in the U.S. know the great job you are doing.
Mario Veltri

I want to thank you very much for taking the time to document the event in both print and media formats! You are becoming quite the bocce journalist and all of this information is much appreciated.
Pete Rabito

Elizabeth, What a great job you are doing. Thanks. I am really enjoying this .
Mike Grasser

Thanks for all you are trying to do for the USBF and American bocce in general. Send me any links that you think are appropriate and I'll post them in the ezine.
Sounds like you are having a great time. I envy you!
Mario Pagnoni


Blast from the past...

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

Volume #4, Issue #22 - June 20, 2005

Ron Grassi of Coralville, IA responds to last week's issue - commenting on "lights, mosquitoes and other such things"...

"As to the lights, you can use the lights that sit on a tripod that are carried by WalMart, Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, and probably some others. They can be raised and lowered and set on the side of the court, illuminating the court, but not blinding the players having to look into the lights.

As for mosquito control, one of the propane foggers seems to work well here at my home."

{Has anyone else had experience with this type of lighting? The way my house is configured in relation to the neighbors, this might be the best way for me to go - temporay lighting set up on tri-pods when the need arises. Please REPLY if you have input.}


I've been getting quite a few emails like this one lately...(from Dr. Dennis Noss):

"Great reading your back issues. I am a new player and thoroughly enjoy the sport."

{Great to hear from so many "newbies." Refer newcomers to back issues here: - warning: there are 7 years' worth of them archived there - and we're working on year #8.}


Tournament news from Ben Musolf and the Campo di Bocce...

The events this year for the United States Bocce Federation Championships are as follows:

1. Men's Singles
2. Women's Singles
3. Under 21 Singles (As long as the entrant turns 21 in 2009 he is eligible)
4. Precision Shooting and Lagging Competition

There will also be an Open Invitational hosted by Campo di Bocce prior to the National Championships. There will be an A and B division, some rules and stipulations will apply, please see entry form for details.

Contact - 408-857-0074



As a not for profit organization, the USBF is recognized by the AAU, FIB, CBI and several Special Olympic organizations.

{We should all be card carrying members. Every club should be affiliated. For the sport to gain the attention it needs we need to boast of many thousands of members. Download a USBF Membership Application here: . }


We need to get Open Rules bocce into the Senior Olympics. This would go a long way to get increased exposure nationwide.

If you want to help lobby for this, send an email supporting bocce as an event at the National Senior Games.

Send it to:

Philip Godfrey, President and CEO

Send a cc to Mark Zeug, NSGA Chairman

2010 is a qualifying year for the National Games which are scheduled for Houston, TX in 2011 (you qualify one year and represent your state the following year). This from the Senior Games 2011 web site:

"Competitive events will include: archery, badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, race walk, racquetball, road race, shuffleboard, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, triathlon and volleyball. In addition, there is the possibility of adding additional sports for 2011."


Roger Tolfa writes:

"We just started our bocce league at our country club (Palmetto Pine Country Club) in Cape Coral Florida. I have six set of balls but one set has some stone chips on them. Is there a product or way I can repair the chips and if I wanted to repaint them is there a paint that will not chip when playing? I just joined your ezine and I am looking forward to it. We are using temp courts right now but are putting in six permanent grass courts."

{I don't think there is any way to repair chips. Balls like the Italian made Perfetta and Martel hold up a lot better. Many department store bought balls were made in China and tend to chip and some even break into pieces. Some players tell me that when a ball breaks in two, only the position of the larger piece remains in play. The American made Epco balls also are a lot more durable than these department store balls.

Bocce balls will all lose their luster after playing for a time on most surfaces. Grass might be kinder to the balls than stone dust or other surfaces. In the big bocce facilities in California and Michigan, etc. they have a poured surface that is very forgiving to the bocce. Anyway, I don't think a paint job would look so good or last so long.

You could look into replacing the chipped ones if only one or two are chipped.

Good luck and please send photos once you are up and running on your six permanent grass courts.}


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.

Imported bocce balls (from Italy, where else?) by Perfetta...

Photos of the week
This week's photos come from bocce buddy Peter "Pic" Picarillo (my doubles partner from Methuen, Mass.) who recently traveled to Florida and returned with pictures.

His photos show off courts in Wellington, New Smyrna, and Venice, Florida. That's the handsome devil in the photo right (Venice Isles Mobile Home Park - Venice, Florida). Pic and I also teamed with Rich D'Agata to win the Massachusetts Senior Games Triples Championship two years ago and we'll try to defend our title this year (May 16, 2009).

{Please follow Peter's lead and send photos of bocce from your travels.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Bocce Court Maintenance Tools

I’ve seen all kinds of home-made court maintenance brushes and scrapers. Two things have always struck me about them. 1 – they look like they are home-made and 2 – they tend to be HEAVY.

7' Drag Brush

Manufactured by Lee Tennis (makers of the Har-Tru surface material), this court maintenance tool created for tennis courts works exceptionally well for bocce courts. The 7-foot drag brush is light-weight and, even if you have a 13- or 14-foot wide court, you can smooth it over with just two passes. This is quick enough to do between games without keeping players waiting very long.

Bristles are 4 ½ inches of synthetic fibers and the strong but light-weight frame is aluminum. Retails for $169.95 plus shipping.


This strangely named 30” wide device is actually two implements in one. It is an all-aluminum combination tool for scarifying, leveling, and removing loose court material.

Strong and sturdy, the tool is light enough to handle with ease and is excellent for spreading new material during top-dressing. The concave shape of the 30” wide blade allows the tool to “float” along the surface without digging in. Use the serrated edge to scrape material from high spots, then flip the tool over to rake and smooth that spot and drag the loose material to fill in a lower point. Retails for $63.95 plus shipping.

Besides a heavy roller, the lute/scarifier and 7-foot drag brush should be all the maintenance tools a bocce court owner needs.

Click to go to merchandise order...then scroll to bottom of page.

Non bocce product of the week

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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.


April 18, 2009 - California - Los Gatos. OPEN - 4 Players. Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408-379-9409.


April 25, 2009 - Washington - Bellingham. The 7th Annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament. Proceeds benefit the Bellingham Food Bank. Contact Tom McNutt @ .


May 2, 2009 - California - San Mateo (P.I.A.S.C.). RAFFA - 3 players. Contact Adriano Undorte @ 650-591-3318.


May 2, 2009 - California - San Mateo (P.I.A.S.C.). OPEN -4 women players. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


May 9, 2009 - California - Sacramento (East Portal). RAFFA - 3 players. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


May 9, 2009 - New Hampshire - Hampstead. Donald B. Christensen Family Support Center bocce fund-raiser. Four player teams. Contact Al Pappalardo at or 978-618-0513.


May 16, 2009 - New Hampshire - Hampstead. Massachusetts Senior Games. Triples - 3 players per team, men, women, or mixed play in one division. All participants must be at least 50 years of age. Contact or 978-686-8679.


May 16, 2009 - California - Fairfield. OPEN - 4 women players. Contact Vergie Trammell @ 707-425-5301.


May 22, 2009 - Illinois - Herrin. HerrinFesta Italiana Corporate Bocce Tournament. More info at & .


May 23, 2009 - California - Carmel Valley A. C. OPEN - 4 players. Contact Giovanni Napoli @ 831-521-5092.


May 23, 2009 - Illinois - Herrin. HerrinFesta Italiana Adult/Child Tournament. More info at & .


May 24, 2009 - Illinois - Herrin. HerrinFesta Italiana International Tournament. More info at .


May 30, 2009 - California - I.A.C.C. - South City. RAFFA -2 women players. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


May 31, 2009 - WESTERN SECTOR MEETING - I.A.C. - Stockton. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


June 6, 2009 - California - Stockton I.A.C. RAFFA - 3 players. Western Sector Championship. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


June 7, 2009 - California - Sutter Creek. I.B.S. OPEN - 4 players. At least one woman. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


June 13, 2009 - California - Martinez. RAFFA - 2 players. Contact Jeremy Calhoun @ 510-450-2545.


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. View pdf here:


June 20, 2009. California - South City. I.A.C.C. OPEN - 2 men and 2 women players. Contact Rudy Bertolozzi @ 650-583-9936.


June 22 - 24, 2009 - California - Campo di Bocce Livermore. Open Invitational Tournament. Contact Ben Musolf @ or 408-857-0074.


June 22 - 27, 2009. California - Campo di Bocce Livermore. US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-857-0074.


July 4, 2009 - California - Martinez. OPEN - 2 players. Contact Jeremy Calhoun @ 510-450-2545.


July 11, 2009 - California - San Rafael - Marin. OPEN - 2 men players. Contact Diana Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


July 11, 2009 - Washington - Auburn Bocce Club. OPEN - 4 players. Contact Salvatore Gascon @ 253-939-3502.


July 18, 2009 - California - Fairfield. OPEN - 4 players. John Magnetti Memorial Tourney. Contact Vergie Trammell @ 707-425-5301.


July 25, 2009 - California - Campo di Bocce Los Gatos. RAFFA - 1 man and 1 woman. Contact John Ross @ 408- 354-0625.


August 1, 2009 - California - San Rafael -Marin. OPEN - 4 players. Western Sector Championships. Contact Diana Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


August 8, 2009 - California - San Rafael - Marin. OPEN - 2 women players. Contact Diana Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


August 15, 2009 - California - I.A.C.C. South City OPEN - 4 womwn players. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


August 22, 2009 - California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce. RAFFA - 3 players. Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408- 379-9409.


August 28 - 30, 2009 - Ohio - Wickliffe. WICKLIFFE ITALIAN-AMERICAN CLUB. 26th annual CLEVELAND CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE sponsored by Pat O'Brien Chevrolet. $5000 first prize, $15,000 in total prize money – GUARANTEED. $150 per team entry. Trophy’s and medals for Champion and second place finishers and tournament t-shirts for all participants. Four person teams (plus one sub) Contact Gino Latessa ( @ 216-789-6393 for more info. Applications and info online @


August 29, 2009 - California - Sacramento - East Portal. OPEN - 4 players. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


September 12, 2009 - California - I.A.C.C. - South City. RAFFA - 3 PLAYERS. 24th Ital.-Amer. Games. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


September 19, 2009 - California - I.A.C. - Stockton. RAFFA - 1 MAN AND 1 WOMAN. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


September 20, 2009 - California - P.I.A.S.C. San Mateo
OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. At least one woman. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


September 26, 2009 - California - I.B.S. - Sutter Creek. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Gold Country Classic. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


October 3, 2009 - California - Stockton - Waterloo. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


October 4, 2009 - California - South City I.A.C.C. VOLO - 2 PLAYERS. Contact Ale Bettucchi @ 650-697-7702.


October 10, 2009 - California - San Rafael - Marin. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact Diana Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


October 17, 2009 - California - Sacramento - East Portal. RAFFA - 3 PLAYERS. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


November 12-14, 2009. Nevada - Reno. Peppermill Casino. OPEN - 4 players. Contact Dana Shores @ 800-648-6992.


December 5, 2009 - California - Stockton. I. A. C. OPEN – 4 PLAYERS. At least two women players. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.

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