The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VIII, Issue 3 - January 26, 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 #3 - January 26, 2009
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Bocce friends,

My non profit group (Ken Waldie SSC) just got the OK to host the bocce segment of this year's Massachusetts Senior Games. In a kind of odd twist, we've moved bocce operations to the PhanZone in Hampstead, New Hampshire. So, the Mass. Senior Games will be held in NH for the first time. {Visit the PhanZone here: }

The tourney date is Saturday, May 16, 2009 and this year it will be a Triples affair (3 players per team). Teams may be made up of men, women or both men and women. Players must be at least age 50.

I know that many serious players hope to see bocce in the Olympics some day, but so far, it's not even at the national level of the Senior Olympics. Once again we need to renew our efforts to get bocce on the "dance card" of these National Senior Games. Note: the National Senior Games are often referred to as the Senior Olympics.

I'll be posting more on this in the weeks ahead, enlisting your help and the help of the United States Bocce Federation to make this happen. In sports that are at the national senior games level, like basketball and softball, you qualify one year and represent your state in the Senior Olympics the following year. What an opportunity for us to spread the game around the country as the Senior Games are hosted in different parts of the USA every other year. Stay tuned.

{For now, check out and note the conspicuous absence of our sport - yes, they have lawn bowling but not bocce - go figure. Next year (2010) will be a qualifying year for the 2011 games, so we need to get our voice heard this year to make it happen.}

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

Bocce in Honey Brook Borough Park, PA...

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

David Camardo (from the USBF Western Sector) sends his Confession of a Bocce Addict...

I have a confession to make. I am a "bean counter". I wasn’t always a bean counter. I’ve only been one for a month now. Let me explain.

Whenever I practice or play a game of Bocce, I have two kinds of dry beans in my right pocket, white and black beans. When I shoot, be it raffa, volo or a pallino shot, I move one of the beans into my left pocket: a white bean if I hit, a black one if I miss. At the end of the game and at the end of the day, in the privacy of my chamber, I count my beans!

Then, using my trusty pocket calculator, I enter the number of white beans I have (representing my hits) and then I tap the divided by button. Next, I enter the total number of beans in my left pocket (representing the total number of my attempts/throws). Then, I tap the equals button. The result of this gives me the answer to the question:

What is my percentage of accuracy as a shooter?

Here is the formula:

White Beans
_________________ = % of accurate hits

Total Number of Beans


Luca Fontana adds his comments on a recent topic...

"My two cents about voluntarily hitting the pallino out of the court; If one thinks it is easily done, then you'll never lose another game!

This particular shot is mostly taken as a final desperation shot, when the game is seemingly out of reach. I have had the great opportunity to see this shot being taken in two different finals at world level. Once by Dante Dalessandro, the best world player in history, against a Croatian player in Chicago, the other by the Brazilian Fabio Fin against none other than Dalessandro himself and Jose Botto, another great player.

In both instances the two players had virtually lost the game and they used the last ball to hit the pallino out of the court, ON THE FLY! They were successful in doing so and went on the win the tournament. And for Fabio and his Brazilian partner Andrea that meant earning a $17,000 check (yes, you're reading correctly) that Mr. Tony Battaglia from Palazzo di Bocce in Lake Orion, Michigan, was kind enough to offer. This was the highest first prize ever in any tournament around the world.

And in Chicago? Well, the wonderful people at Highwood Bocce Club got stuck with the bill to replace the cracked window..."

{Wow! I'm speechless. Well, almost...That international size pallino is a small enough target to hit even via raffa, but to hit it out of play on the fly in a do-or-die situation is incomprehensible to me.}


Albert Pantone has a plan for bocce in Pittsburgh and could use some help...

"I would like some direction for my idea about indoor bocce ball. I would like to convert an old bowling alley into an indoor bocce ball center for leagues and open play.

Food would be served along with beer and wine. The court would be built with indoor/outdoor carpet or something like Astroturf.

These ideas of course are just in the planning stage.
Have you heard of something like this? Any information you can give me would be helpful."

{Can any reader help with advice or suggestions? My group has been trying to get something like this going here in Massachusetts and, so far, we are struggling to find a location that we can afford to rent/lease. Our courts are ones that we set up for play and break down when we are done. See them here:

It has worked out well for the last couple years, but we are ready and eager to have permanent courts in place without the nuisance of set-up & breakdown.

One place we looked at used to be a Walgreen's and has been unused for almost two years. Walgreen's is still paying the lease to the tune of $18000 per month - a little steep for our non-profit group.}


Rock Gunoe (Tucson, AZ) chimes in on search engine rankings mentioned last issue...

"Google thinks bocce is spelled boccie. I know because I use a Gmail account and the spellchecker always calls it wrong!

If you make that change, the rankings go up. I don't know how to make the Google people believe it is spelled bocce, but they are in a position to know how most people who search for it do.

Love the newsletter, and thanks for the tip on the local restaurant with bocce!"

{Rock refers to Aunt Chiladas in Phoenix - }


Robert Battaile sends a press release...

Santa Rosa Bocce League Moves Forward

One good news item this Christmas is that a Bocce League for Santa Rosa is in the works and slated to start play in April of 2009. Please visit to find out more and take a Survey if you're interested in playing.

The Santa Rosa Bocce League is an informal group of citizens working together to establish bocce as a vigorous sport and community activity. Robert Battaile, Interim Director and Michelle Jensen, Organization
Committee member met recently with key people in the Santa Rosa Recreation and Parks Department. Eric Jorgeson, Deputy Director; Rick McLaughlin, Recreation Supervisor; Denise Anderson, Parks Superintendent; and Brandon Hamann, Recreation Coordinator were very friendly, had lots of suggestions and genuinely want to make this work for the community.

The recent effort started with a letter from Battaile to the City Council which responded with enthusiasm for the League and for positive citizen interaction at Julliard Park located in downtown Santa Rosa.

The park has four bocce courts on its west side.
"The City Council was very supportive but cautioned that we would have to make this happen on our own," added Battaile.
"Recreation and Parks are facing tough budgets and staff layoffs. Luckily for us, the costs are low and the fun is huge!"

Battaile, a Video Producer/Web Designer and Musician, formerly played in the St. Helena Bocce Leagues and was taken by the social scene and friendly competition. Last summer, St. Helena had over a thousand
people on 89 teams playing. Not bad for a city of 6,000. Bocce works best with potluck food and wines shared by the players. In St. Helena, the weekly newspaper posts the bocce scores. Here in Santa Rosa, Monty Montague and some friends started building the bocce courts with a couple of rakes about thirty-five years ago.

Informal play happens on Thursday, Friday and Sunday mornings but a true league has yet to manifest itself.

"Bocce is a great game that favors neither age, strength nor sex. It's all about technique and strategy," continues Battaile. "I've seen burly truck drivers humbled by little old ladies."

There are also bocce courts in DeMeo Park and Battaile hopes the West End Neighborhood will have at least one team. "If the original Julliard group also forms a team, I think we've got six teams already."

Oakmont bocce community is interested and Denise Anderson, Parks Superintendent wants to lead a city team. "I've got two teams from my friends, most of whom just learned the game."

Battaile sees a team as ten players and the season as starting in mid-April and running for 12 weeks.

"Depending upon the interest, I think we'll have two-three nights per week of reserved play from 5-8 pm on three of the four courts at Julliard."

After the season, Battaile hopes the best team will play in a regional match at the Park. "It would be great fun to have an Exhibition Match with teams from Martinez, San Francisco, St. Helena and others, say at the end of June."

Teams will pay registration fees of $100-200 per team which will be used for insurance coverage and other necessary costs. "If Santa Rosa gets involved, this can go on for years and years." Stay tuned for more information.

{Contact Robert Battaile @ }


Pat Doucette asks...

"My husband subscribes to your newsletter and recently mentioned he had seen an article about red pallinos. I would like to buy one for him but he had already deleted the edition containing the information. Could you let me know if it is possible to buy one and if so where?"

{ Playaboule has the 40 mm sized ones here: }


Dan Piselli sends a YouTube link to the CBS spot on Bocce mentioned in recent issues.


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.


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 #5 - January 31, 2005

Jeff Ryan informs us that "We have just completed a website that features the sport of Bocce. Our site contains 3-D Diagrams of the traditional Bocce Court, Bocce History, a list of the major Bocce Governing Bodies and a Bocce How-To page."

Click here to check it out {Note: as with most bocce sites, this one contains a fair share of misinformation and outdated info.}


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.

Lakes Region (NH) Bocce...

Photos of the week
In the early days of The Joy of Bocce Weekly I was in the habit of deleting each week's photos and replacing them with new ones. I was afraid that my web site would get too big and unwieldy. This caused a different problem - people clicked on an archived issue looking for the Photos of the Week that went with the archived issue, but found the current week's photos instead.

So, about two years ago I started adding a new page for each week's photos, making them a permanent part of the web site.

This week I've reposted the photos of the Pontelandolfo Club (Waterbury, CT) that I originally posted in 2003.

The Ponte Club is a banquet hall facility that also features ten bocce courts on site. Four are indoors, four are outdoors and uncovered, and two are outdoors and covered. The indoor courts are 10' by 75' and play very fast.

I met club member Nicola Palladino there who showed me around and proceeded to annihilate me in a singles match. So what else is new?

{Please send photos of bocce in your neck of the woods. With your permission, I'll post them on the web site under Bocce Venues.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week

Holiday gift ideas for the bocce lover in your life...

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 other items...

Click for a post 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}

Shop Today!

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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.


January 28 to February 10, 2009. 19th Annual South Florida Senior Games. For info, call the Senior Games HOTLINE at 954-828-4600 or e-mail: . Also, click or


February 14, 2009 - California - Los Gatos Campo di Bocce. Maureen Albanese Valentine's Day Tournament. 2 men, 2 women. Contact Ben Musolf at or call 408-395-7650.


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.


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.


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