The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VIII, Issue 31 - September 21, 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 #31 - September 21, 2009
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2009
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello again my bocce friends,

My posse and I ran an excellent corporate outing last week at the outdoor courts in Boston's North End. It's one of my all-time favorite bocce venues. The courts are beautiful, well-maintained by the local bocce gang, and overlook the Charles River with the Bunker Hill Monument and "Old Ironsides" just across the water. And there is so much of historical and culinary interest within walking distance. See this week's photos which are also posted on the web site under Bocce Tidbits. As usual, I like to post them as a kind of pictorial explanation just in case readers want to "copy the model" and run a similar event.

Reminder: Our 5th annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament is set for Sunday, October 11, 2009 at the SportsZone in Derry, NH. This year the proceeds will benefit the Michael J. Cleary Fund.

The fund honors First Lieutenant Michael J. Cleary, a U.S. military munitions expert who was killed during valorous service in Iraq in 2005. More details below - for now, please mark your calendar and join us if you can. This is a great event that has raised money for great causes like The Jimmy Fund, Joey Fund, Alzheimer's research, and kidney disease research.

Note: Please add to your whitelist or address book in your e-mail program, so that you have no trouble receiving future issues!

Also, click "Confirm" at the end of this ezine to further ensure consistent delivery.

Did a friend send you this? Sign up to get your own here - - it's entertaining, useful, and complimentary.

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

East Hills Bocce League (Pennsylvania)...

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

John Catizone, Jr. sends the photo to the right (click on it for a better look) and the email below...

"I just moved to Hampton NH, bought your book, and the court is almost ready! For now it has 3” of blue stone dust on 5” of crushed stone surrounded by 6”x6” timbers. If things get real serious maybe we will add some crushed oyster shells later. The last time I played bocce was over 20 years ago so please feel free to stop by, call, or email if you are so inclined. I also have made wine for many years and could probably provide a bottle or two to make the trip to Hampton worth it!"

{Such an offer - who could refuse? Hampton, NH is about a 30-minute drive for me. I hope to "hook up" with John and report back (with photos)}.


Fred Wilburn asks...

"How smooth should the court surface play? Given either Oyster shell/rock dust; Rock Dust; Clay (Brick Dust) surface, to what extent should the rolling of the surface be for an even playing texture: absolutely smooth, fine grit, or playable flat grit like surface. I have Rock Dust from my local Kansas quarry. The more I roll it the finer - smoother it gets until now it doesn't hardly have any resistance to a bowled ball - not quite concrete finished smooth but pretty darn tight. I've never played or seen the Oyster shell finished court but I imagine that it is really smooth but probably has some resistance due to slight softness or give against the weight of the Bocce ball? Please give me your thoughts on the texture/smoothness of the court."

{Most good players want the hard, smooth, fast playing surfaces which make touch and finesse the key skills. But it's fun to play the game on most any surface. It's just a matter of adjusting to those different surfaces.

Courts that have some hills and valleys (not perfectly smooth) are said to have "personality" and you have to get to know them before you can play well on them.

I haven't played on oyster shell as there aren't any courts near me that feature that surface. Boccemon Tom McNutt ( ) swears by the surface and has a proprietary blend that he will ship most anywhere.

Please keep me posted...and send photos if you can.}


Gary Lund is in the oyster shell business...

"I have the barge facility located in Newport, Minnesota. We have been in business since 1939. We provide oyster shell to local producers and feed mills in this area for their preferred calcium needs.

Recently we have been getting calls from people looking for crushed oyster shell and oyster shell flour for their bocce courts. I have corresponded with Bryan @ a few times regarding bocce courts beginning in 2001 when I read an article in the USA today paper.

I had Kevin Thies in my office last week to pick up some oyster shell flour for 4 bocce courts that he is planning on constructing around Madison, Wisconsin in the near future and he mentioned your name.

We currently have oyster shell flour in 1 ton bulk totes but are working on a bagged product. This spring we supplied oyster shell for an indoor bocce court in a restaurant which you may see on their website at near the Xcel energy center in St. Paul, Minnesota."

{I don't know much about oyster shell and bocce, never having played on the surface. Contact Lund at or Boccemon Tom McNutt who has developed a proprietary blend especially for bocce. Contact him at .}


Dr. Cordano sends his comments on Zander Ponzo's Burlington, Vermont Bocce operation...

"Glad to see Mr. Ponzo's comments with a combination of open and PRV game without the multiple lines on the court.

It is almost a perfect mixture to improve the quality of the game and remove most of the lucky aspects of 'Open Rules'.

Just to clarify, the 6” circle, is slightly over the raffa or volo distance valid limits in international play, between 2 or more bocce, or pallino that is called 'bersaglio' (13 centimeters between objects - corresponds to 5 1/8 “).

I don’t see the need of making a circle around or invent new distances (6“ and 36” when the world over is accepting 5 1/8” and 29 1/4” ).

Instead of the circles, to simplify, I would like to suggest marking on the floor the center of the balls and pallino that are in the vicinity by using the 'referee stick' of the PRV (70 centimeters = 29 Ό”) with the attached L-end of (13 cm =5 1/8”).

Any person that knows how to weld can easily build the raffa stick (L shaped).

If Mr Ponzo runs an invitational tournament with some prizes, it will be the best excuse for me and my wife to visit Burlington and make and enjoy new friendships and play open with those rules. I am sure that the USBF will be very supportive of his activities and ideas.

P.S. Had a great time playing a few weeks ago at the Wickliffe Italian American Club. What a facility with 7 courts and 6 of them recently beautifully wood covered at a cost of above 140 K.

Gino Latessa and his excellent crew are doing a great job promoting the sport and covered most of the costs of the renovations with catchy advertisements surrounding the ceilings.

They organized and ran an excellent tournament with 92 teams, even if some players (my team too), were playing around 1 AM on the first night. This situation will be solved next year, when 2 more additional covered courts will be available.

The fair aspect of the surrounding area was spectacular with good music, singers and kiosks with mouth watering food and superb desserts.

I still have trouble to fully enjoy the sport, when playing with 'cannon balls' in 60 foot long courts with 'rough surfaces' and live back boards. How nice it would be to see these types of competitions played with 107 mm diameter bocce, in 75 plus feet long courts with better and faster surfaces. Maybe I’m asking and hoping for too much, but with some effort, most changes can easily be achieved.

However, I was extremely happy to see hundreds of young players that will keep the bocce momentum moving forward, as well as several old veterans (above 85) playing extremely well and winning many games."


Mike Grasser sends notice of the Pallino D'Oro...

"I am going to have the USA Pallino D' Oro at the Palazzo Di Bocce on Friday, November 20, 2009 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. and finishing Saturday morning, November 21. Round robin play - all USBF and Canadian Bocce Federation players welcome.

I am going to also have the North American Pallino D'Oro on Saturday, November 21 starting at noon and finishing Sunday morning. It will be a single elimination tournament. The top16 USA players and the top 16 Canadian players will compete. They will qualify in the USA Pallino D'Oro. Thanks for posting this. I am the contact person - Ph# 246-505-4744. The costs and prizes will follow in a week."


Wish I was close enough to the Palazzo di Bocce to drop in for their Buffet di Bocce...


Pete Rabito adds a little info on last week's NYC Championship posting...

"The event is for four-person teams, double elimination. Top three finalists get cash prizes and ride on a Bocce float in Manhattan on Columbus Day."

"Here is the link for 15th Annual Citywide Bocce Tournament in New York...You must register online to participate...


Don't forget Sandro Martignetti's request for help with this year's charity bocce tourney...

Proceeds from this year’s tournament will be donated to the Michael J. Cleary Fund, which honors First Lieutenant Michael J. Cleary who was killed during valorous service in Iraq in 2005. Michael, a true American hero, lost his life at the hands of a roadside bomb. The goals of the Fund include supporting causes in the community that Michael gave his life supporting, aiding wounded veterans, helping families of our fallen heroes, and supporting other organizations which support OUR U.S. veterans. Plus, we hope to bring awareness to the daily sacrifices made by our servicemen and women in keeping our country safe.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to seeing you on October 11. (Details of the event can be found at .)

{If you are going to be in the neighborhood of Derry, New Hampshire and can help, please REPLY to . If you can make a contribution, please send to MFCBT c/o Martignetti Enterprises, 29 High St., Woburn, MA 01801.}


Joy of Bocce - Third Edition Update

The current plan is to keep the 2nd edition in print, while updating and tightening the new edition to make it more helpful to the average player and the person interested in learning the game. Of paramount importance for the new edition are an attractive, high impact cover, high quality images throughout, and simple, easy-to-read chapters for beginners and devotees.

Still need a foreword from someone with a pretty high profile – am attempting to contact John Madden and Steve Mariucci regarding this. They are not only high profile, but they love bocce.

Please feel free to comment and help shape the new edition.

Looking for high resolution photos (300 dpi) of the following:

great looking bocce courts
lawn bowls play
petanque play
kiss the fanny image

Send to along with your name for proper credit and permission to reprint. Thanks.


Pat Pezzin sends news of an event...

The attached link is the Application but below I've highlighted some of the details.

Toronto 777 Bocce Club -1st Annual Classic Cup
Date: September 25 - 27, 2009
Format: 2 person team, open rules with no direct backboard contact, double elimination and games to 16
Entry Fee: $100 per team
Prizesl: 1st Place $3000 - total Guaranteed prize pool of $6000 with prizes from 1st -8th places
Location: Ciociaro Social Club featuring 4 indoor professional sized courts, 7412 Kipling Ave , Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada

Contact: Joe Defilippis @ 905-856-5956 ext 5250 or e-mail


Lio Giannotti is running a charity event...

"I am heading up a Charity Bocce Tournament at the end of October. It is for a foundation call Italidea. Italidea is a not-for profit organization created in 1995 with the purpose of promoting and expanding the knowledge of Italian language and culture throughout. Working in close relationship with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and with the Education Office of the Consulate General of Italy, Italidea organizes a variety of private courses and promotes several public and private school programs for the teaching of the Italian language, providing financial support for teachers' salaries as well as instructional materials."

{View the pdf file brochure here: }


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."

{Met with Paul recently and can recommend him to you without reservation. He's spending what should be his retirement years giving back to the community by sharing his cruise earnings with various charities.}



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: . }

Glo Boules by Playaboule...

Photos of the week
This week's pics show how my posse and I ran a nifty corporate outing for textbook publishing giant, Pearson Education. The good people at Pearson were able to get permits for the three municipal bocce courts in Boston's North End. Then they were clever enough to hire me and my gang to make the event come off without a hitch.

First thing I did was touch base with the local bocce gang to make sure they knew about our plans. They were more than accommodating, even showing up to offer a hand on the day of the event.

Please feel free to copy the model and run an outing in your neck of the woods.

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Precision Bocce Measures

Choose the Clubhawk Gold, Henselite Bowls, or Premier Boule Measure. You can't go wrong with any of the three choices. Once a bocce aficionado has a set of bocce balls and my book, the next logical acquisition is a first-rate measure.

Each retails for $26.95 plus $5.00 shipping and will be shipped US Priority Mail.

Click the photo for more info, pictures, etc.

Click to go to merchandise order...then scroll down a bit...

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}

Thinking about Fall weather yet?

$15 off With Coupon KC-6983 at

Costume Kingdom

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.


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


September 27, 2009 - California - I.A.C.C. - South City. RAFFA - 3 PLAYERS. 24th Ital.-Amer. Games. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


October 3, 2009 - New Hampshire - Plaistow. Clambake Bocce Tourney. Join us for a New England Clambake and bocce tourney. We'll put on a team - play begins in the morning, is interupted for the clambake then resumes afterwards with the final match. Menu ($40 pp covers the tourney too) includes 1.5 lb. lobster, steamers, clam chowder, corn, baked potato, Italian sausage and peppers, salad, bread and butter, beverages & dessert. Contact Mario Pagnoni @ 978-686-8679 or .


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


October 3 & 4, 2009. Vermont - Burlington. Vermont state bocce championship. Singles and doubles. Oakledge Park - doubles on Saturday and singles on Sunday. Contact Zander Ponzo @ 802-658-0240 or .


October 3 & 4, 2009 - New York - New York. 15th Annual Citywide Bocce Tourney. Visit


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


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


October 11, 2009 - New Hampshire - Derry. 5th annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tourney. Proceeds benefit the Michael J. Cleary Fund. Details .Contact .


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


October 23 & 24, 2009. Illinois - Franklin Park (9230 Belmont Ave.). 4-person teams. Contact Lio Giannotti @ . View pdf file here:


October 23-25, 2009. Arizona - Surprise - Kokopelli Winery & Bistros Grape Crush Festival featuring a Bocce Tournament, Wine stomping competition, wine, beer, & food demonstrations, music, local vendors, kids play area, & art show by Arizona Art Alliance. $20 per 2-person team (part of fee goes to the Chamber of Commerce). Contact Melissa at 623-556-4810 or .


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. Nevada - Las Vegas International Open. 4-player teams - double elimination. Contact Pasquale D'Aliesio @ 602-569-9149 or . More info:


November 20 - 22, 2009. Michigan - Palazzo di Bocce. USA Pallino D' Oro and the North American Pallino D'Oro. Contact Mike Grasser at 246-505-4744.

November 21, 2009 - California - South City I.A.C.C. – RAFFA-2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @


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

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