The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VIII, Issue 23 - July 27, 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 #23 - July 27, 2009
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2009
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello again bocce friends,

I've been experimenting with creating videos and have learned that they are difficult to do on your own. Another pair of eyes and hands would be helpful. So, when my number one son gets back from his summer vacation, I'll ask him to lend a hand. He's got a degree in communications/film, so maybe we'll turn out some decent stuff. I'm hoping to answer some frequently asked questions via video.

World Bocce League's Phil Ferrari sent me a recent email that went something like this..."With your excellent bocce book and weekly ezine you have truly become the voice of bocce." I like that - the voice of bocce. I could create bocce video clips featuring the voice of bocce. I hope I don't have an identity crisis - the bocce guy - the voice of bocce. Anyway, maybe someday they'll let me do color commentary or play-by-play during a nationally televised bocce championship.

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

Bocce Arizona...

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

Joy of Bocce - Third Edition Update

A first-rate graphic artist has been working on the cover for the Joy of Bocce's 3rd edition. It is fabulous! I hope to post it as early as next week so that Joy of Bocce Weekly readers can comment. My hope is that the ezine readers can help shape the book, which, if done correctly, should go a long way towards getting the game more widespread recognition.

I'll be posting some requests in the next few weeks for photos or other information. Right now I could use what has been called "advance praise" - you know, those little blurbs you see on the back cover. They have to be positive, of course, and could be from anyone. If you have an impressive title, like president of this or that bocce association, all the better. Please send to . By the way, if you are concerned that you haven't seen it yet - it will be a much tighter, more streamlined version of the previous edition and it will have high resolution images. Whatever you can say about the last edition should hold true for the next.

Also, I know that some of the west coast bocce people work some charity bocce programs with John Madden and Steve Mariucci. I'd love to get one of them to write a foreword for the new edition. Heck, one could write a foreword and the other could write the after word. Can any reader hook me up with their email and/or snail mail address so that I can make a formal request? Please REPLY.


The Bocce Guy on Video

I'm struggling a bit with my video efforts, but posted the previous attempts on the Joy of Bocce web site on a new page called Bocce Video.

If you haven't yet seen them, click here:

One is of Margaret Shindellis’ outstanding performance in the Raffa Shoot-out at Campo di Bocce.

A second, short video shows Michigan’s Michael Constantini hitting a raffa in the USBF shoot-out and a nifty volo in the trick shoot-out run by World Bocce Association’s Phil Ferrari.

A third shows young Josh Wenson making a remarkable shot in the trick shooting competition.


Big Money Tourney in Massachusetts?

Recently I met with a very interesting gentleman whose job is to bring events into the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. He'd like me to run a $ tourney in August of 2010.

Worcester is located in central Mass. within driving distance of Boston, Springfield (site of the Basketball Hall of Fame), and Providence, RI. The venue would be the DCU Center which has a massive carpeted ballroom which could easily house 10 or more bocce courts.

I thought I'd run this by the readers to see what kind of initial response it generates. To my knowledge there has never been a large prize money bocce tourney in New England. Players could fly into Logan. Worcester is about a 50 minute car ride from Boston.

We could have a reception for the players on Thursday night followed by bocce action on Friday and Saturday and perhaps a closing banquet on Saturday evening. The entry fee would include hotel and other amenities. Hotel check out could be Sunday morning for those who need to get back to work on Monday.

We'd line up other activities for friends and family (trip to Boston, perhaps a bus to one of the Connecticut casinos, etc.).

What do you think? If the prize money was large enough, do you think we could draw enough 4-player teams to make this work? Please REPLY with comments, suggestions, or questions. This is just in the talking/planning stage right now.


Roger Weiner asks a couple questions that might be good ones for video responses...

Can you reiterate the official size dimensions for an outdoor bocce court?

{No official size in America. Whatever fits in your backyard and your pocketbook is OK. International Punta Raffa Volo courts are standardized (metric) with English system equivalents of approximately 87' by 13' or 14'.}

Also, what is the official bocce ball size? In Foster City, CA the rec dept. had been using the 107mm size, but recently bought all new larger size balls with small white pallino. Balls now much larger and heavier. I thought 107 mm was the standard?

{107 is the international standard, but you will find all different sizes and weights in the USA. Still, I think it's best to learn and practice with the 107 mm, 920 g bocce balls if possible. Get them from ,, or Epco - see this link for more info: }


The 13th Annual Cedarburg Bocce Classic (in Cedarburg, WI) will be taking place on August 15th, 2009. 32 participants from across the country will gather in a single-player format (adapted rules that we made up 13 years ago as 17-year-old kids who didn't really know what bocce was) to decide the Grand Champion. Of course, there will be t-shirts and trophies...

Photos and video can be found on


Tom Wcislo writes...

"As an update on your request for pictures of our league and courts, we now have one of the best websites in the area, and have added Friday nights to our schedule to accommodate a long waiting list for teams. After a major rain delay last Thursday night, we finished our Spring season playoffs. I'm captain of the team of misfits' called Pallino Pirates and wearing pirate shirts in some of the pix, and we finished 4th out of 46 teams.

You can check out the Conshohocken Boccista Club at "


Michael J. Constantini promises to send photos...

"We are going to take some pictures of our courts during league play (Men’s & Mixed Leagues) and needed to know the quality of camera you are looking for to update your new revision to 'The Joy of Bocce'.

Also, a term (misused) in this area for a Raffa or Spock is 'Smocka'. The word or term was probably picked up years ago when the old Italians probably said 'Spock Ah'.

I will send you the pictures along with our DABA (Dickinson Area Bocce Association) logo/symbol. Different team club logos would also be interesting in your revised addition."

{Most of the newer cameras will be of high enough quality. The photos need to be 300 dpi (dots per inch - resolution) for print reproduction. In the last edition many of the photos were low res - 72 dpi.

I used to hear "spock" for hitting quite often - haven't heard it in a while hereabouts.}


David Canclini sends a monthly newsletter re: bocce in his sector. I've copied and pasted much of it here:

July, 2009

Bocce News

2009 National Championships

The 2009 Championships were quite a success. Ben Musolf and the staff of Campo di Bocce of Livermore when out of their way to host this first class event. Competition was fierce as players from all over the United States competed in several events: Open Division A, Open Division B, Men’s Raffa Singles, Women’s Raffa Singles, Under 21 Raffa Singles, Men’s Raffa Shooting, Women’s Raffa Shooting, and Under 21 Raffa Shooting.

Players from out West dominated the competition by winning 32 out of the 42 medals awarded! Congratulations to all the medal winners! Highlighting the results: Jorge Moreno of Chicago won the Men’s Raffa Singles, Maria Narayan of San Rafael won the Women’s Raffa Singles, and Joey Bernardi of Livermore won the Under 21 Raffa Singles. All three of these players will represent the United States at the World Bocce Championships!

Winning the Open A Division were Jo Ann Jacobs, Lydia Romo, Laura Delarosa, and Teresa Passaglia. Winners of Division B were Bob Tomasello, Ed Citti, Chuck Loney, and Julian Luci. They finally won the gold after several attempts and now are officially “A” players.

Trip up North

Western Sector President Vern Cooper, his wife Sharon, my wife Judy, and I recently made a trip up to Oregon for a Bocce Adventure. It was wonderful to get away from the valley heat but more rewarding meeting many wonderful bocce people and experiencing new rules and different court surfaces.

Our adventure began in Florence, Oregon. Here we were greeted by Lou and Kathy Ures. They moved to Florence from California and played a lot of bocce on the Martinez courts. Hooked on the sport and not having a place to play in Florence, Lou built a court in his back yard.

He thought of everything. His court is 80 feet long, has sideboards in concrete, swing boards, removable partitions to shorten the court to 60 feet (To practice before playing in tournaments with 60 feet courts.), lights that swing out-of –way for shooting, covers at both ends, and a beautiful concrete patio between the house and courts. The surface of the courts is natural material with oyster shells rolled in.

Lou is quite an ambassador for bocce in Gresham. Little was known of the sport up there before he arrived. Now a lot of people know, including the Mayor and the City Counsel. He is working on having the City construct courts in the near future.

It was a pleasure to meet several of Lou’s bocce friends and to play several games with them. We lost the first two out-of-three competition but the bottom line is we had a wonderful time. Lou enjoys having people over for bocce. Anyone traveling up the Oregon coast should give Lou a call or send him an e-mail to arrange a game. He can be contacted at: or (541) 997-3647.

The Florence area is noted for its Oregon Dunes. There are acres and miles and miles of dunes that reach all the way to the Pacific Ocean. It is fun to drive or ride ATV’s over them. People can use their own vehicles, rent them, or book a guided tour.

Next, we traveled to Gresham, Oregon. Gresham is located near Portland and the bocce courts are at the Paesano Club in Cedarville Park at 3800 W. Powell Loop, Gresham, Oregon 97030. There are six courts 60 feet long located in a beautiful park setting. They have a natural surface that is flat and fast! The courts are groomed by Larry Cereghino who takes very fine material and screens it into a dust. I have never seen a natural surface court of this caliber. You will not either!

The festivities began on Saturday with competition between Oregon players and players from neighboring Washington. The format was triples, doubles, and singles. There were many outstanding games as these were some of the best players from each state. At the end of the day, Washington was the winner by a 18 to 17 margin.

That evening we enjoyed a nice dinner at the Paesano Club, met many wonderful people, and danced to the music of a Country Western Band. The next day, Sunday, was the Rossi Tournament. Sixteen teams were entered from Oregon, Washington, and California. We had a little trouble adjusting to the rules but were able to finish in the money at fifth place. It was a well run tournament, the food was awesome, and we want to thank everyone for making us feel welcome.

The 18th Annual Portland Festa Italiana will take place from August 22nd to August 29th. In conjunction with the Festa there will be a bocce tournament on Sunday, August 23rd at the Paesano club in Cedarville Park. This would be an excellent opportunity for the rest of you to experience the Paesano courts and all that the Portland area offers. For more information, contact Larry Cereghino at .

There is also a tournament on August 23rd down south at the Downey Club in Downey, CA. Players from San Diego north will be participating. If interested, contact Don Gaggiano at (949) 770-7313.

Upcoming Tournaments

August 1st San Rafael Western Sector Open. Contact Diana Pelligrini: (415) 485-5583

August 8th San Rafael Open – Two Women Players Contact Diana Pelligrini: (415) 485-5583

August 15th I.A.C.C. Open – Four Women Players Contact Rose Viscuso (650) 349-7732

August 22nd Los Gatos Raffa – Three Players Contact Bill Schlaefer (408) 379-9409

August 23rd Downey Open – Four Players Contact Don Gaggiano (949) 770-7313

August 23rd Gresham, OR Open – Four Plalyers Contact Larry Cereghino

August 29th Sacramento Open – Four Players Contact Vern Cooper (916) 961-2404


Paul E Cunningham - President, Bocce-at-Sea Club - sends this...

"Perhaps you could tell the players in your tournament about the event that my club is promoting. This will be a lot of fun for those who can take advantage of it."



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: . }

Glow bocce by Playaboule...

Photos of the week
This week's photos come courtesy of Georgette Cash and display courts at the Cuneo Cellars. Says Ms. Cash, "We are an Italian winery located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Our specialty is Italian style wines (mostly 'big reds').

We installed two bocce courts in the fall of 2003 and had our first bocce league last summer with ten teams playing weekly."

{Note: these photos were first featured in Vol. III, Issue 46, December 13, 2004. That's back in the day when I used to delete the photos each week to make room for the new photos. I'm in the process of re-posting some of those old pictures and making them a permanent part of the Joy of Bocce web site.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Bob and Barb Gross have introduced a new product to the bocce community. "BarbnBob Enterprise" is located in Fayetteville, PA and their new web site can be visited by clicking here

They've created a cleverly conceived and well constructed miniature bocce board for indoor play. The game uses large marbles for bocce balls and a smaller metal pallino. The board is expertly crafted and features a billiard table-like (felt) playing surface. The game includes...

1 - 50" x 13" Standard BocceBoard™
8 - 1 inch bocce balls - 4 red and 4 blue
1 - 9/16th inch chrome pallino
1 - Pocket measuring tape with level
1 - Velour Ball Bag
1 - Bag Hook

It looks like Bob and Barb have thought of everything. There's a bag to store the balls in, a leveling device that includes a tape measure, and even a hook in case you want to conveniently hang and display the game board on your rec room wall.

Note: on the bottom four corners of the board are adjustable knobs that you turn by hand to level the game board before playing.

This nifty product doesn't eliminate our need for indoor bocce venues in cold climes. But it is a pleasant diversion and the best constructed of these type miniature boards that I've yet seen.

Click for more info...

Non bocce product of the week

Shop 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.


July 31, 2009 - Massachusetts - Methuen. Bocce in the Park at the Nevins Memorial Library. Sign up at the library's Children's Department. Open to middle school kids and thier parents/grandparents. Contact .


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


August 7, 2009. Pennsylvania - Koppell. Co-ed tourney. Contact 724-847-4488.


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


August 14, 2009 - Pennsylvania - New Galilee. 4-player teams. Contact Jessie Pomerico @ 724-622-4792.


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


August 15, 2009 - Wyoming - Cheyenne. Mia Maria's 4th Annual Bocce Festival. 10 AM to 6 PM at Frontier Park's Indian Village. 2 player teams, food and beverages available. Contact Jeff or Nola Thompson at 307-638-6756.


August 15, 2009 - Wisconsin - Cedarburg. The 13th Annual Cedarburg Bocce Classic. 32 participants from across the country - single-player format (adapted rules that we made up 13 years ago as 17-year-old kids who didn't really know what bocce was) to decide the Grand Champion.

Photos and video:


August 21 - 23, 2009 - Ohio - Mayfield Heights. Club Molisani & the City of Mayfield Heights host the MARSHALL SUPERSTORE CLEVELAND INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE. With 53 teams in our first year and 72 teams last year, Club Molisani is expecting over 90 teams in this year's tournament. $150 entry fee. Tournament t-shirts for all participants. 1st & 2nd place trophies for Men's Division, which pays 12 places with $4500 for first place (all guaranteed). 1st place trophies for Women's Division, which pays four places with $1000 for first place (based on 16 teams that participated last year). Four person teams - double elimination. Free pool passes for out of town teams, gambling casino, fireworks, rides for kids, several bands - all on our grounds. Contact Wayne Farinacci, tournament director, at 216-509-4353 or .


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.


October 24, 2009 - California - Stockton I.A.C. RAFFA - 3 players. Western Sector Championship. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


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


November 14 - 15, 2009. Arizona - Phoenix. Arizona International Open. 4-player teams - double elimination. Contact Pasquale D'Aliesio @ 602-569-9149 or . More info:


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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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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