The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VIII, Issue 35 - October 19, 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 #35 - October 19, 2009
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2009
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello again bocce friends,

We're finishing up our outdoor bocce season here in New England. It's snowing as I type these words and I expect I'll be sending an email cancellation notice for tomorrow morning's matches. If you are in our neighborhood, our Fall indoor session starts on Monday, November 2nd. Shoot me an email if you want to join in the festivities.

This week I've posted photos from our 5th annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tourney. Despite the difficult economic times, the Martignetti family pulled off another successful drive, generating $37,000 for the Michael J. Cleary Memorial Fund. Fabulous!

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

Ruby Hill Golf Club (Pleasanton, CA)...

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

I took a drive to Leominster, Massachusetts to meet with Mrs. Danielle Colvert, the parochial school principal who last week asked about bocce tourney fund-raisers. She has access to a couple excellent bocce venues and we may put something together for the spring.

While there I met with Joe Pellegrini who is an officer at the Foggia Social Club (73 N. Main St.). The 50 - 75 member club is accepting new members who might want to play on their two indoor 60' by 12' stone dusts courts.

Interested? In the Leominster, Massachusetts area? Contact Joe Pellegrini at 978-537-4949. That's him in the photo of the courts at the Foggia Club. Click the photo for a better view.


D'Vicenizano Grimaldi sends a link to photos of this year's World Series of Bocce...

"I invite all Bocce players to view the 2009 World Series of Bocce held in Rome, New York this past July."

{There are 392 photos posted there, some great shots. I was interested in photos 200 - 205 which show a wheelchair athlete competing. Looks like the court is no worse for wear from the effects of the chair. I wonder if the athlete played one end of the court or both. Playing both ends would solve the problem of getting in and out of the court as the courts are under a pavilion and you step down to enter the play area. If the court surface is hard enough and well compacted, the chair shouldn't create divots or indentations. Anyway, it's great to see that this fellow didn't let the chair stifle his desire to play bocce. If you can roll a ball, we'll put you in the line-up.

I see a lot of photos like #69 where they are measuring a point with a standard tape measure. This works OK for most points, but the most accurate measure is "inside measure". I like the Premier Boule Measure for this. I import them from The United Kingdom. It's actually made for lawn bowls, but works great for any of these ball and target games. See them here:

In the photo you'll see them measuring from the ball to the pallino, extending the tape over what they estimate as the center of the pallino and then reading the measurement. Note too that one player is touching/holding the ball to ensure that it doesn't move. This is usually a NO-NO in most bocce circles. Measure, but don't touch is usually the rule.

Anyway, enjoy these great photos of one of the most popular tourneys in the USA. Many thanks to D'Vicenizano Grimaldi. }


Got this from Glenn J. Prezzano who is Editor & Publisher of Merrimack Valley Magazine ( - if you click this link you'll see that Susie Castillo, a former student of ours at Methuen High School is the cover girl. Castillo is a former Miss USA and current actress, TV personality, and high powered business woman. When I was teaching at Methuen High, EVERYONE there knew she was going places. And she's about the nicest person you would ever want to meet. )

"Attached is a PDF reprint of the article we did in July. Please feel free to use it in your promotions and elsewhere."

{Writer Chris Markuns played a little bocce with us as research for this piece. The young pup can turn a phrase as evidenced by his "But the simple reality is that bocce may just be the finest summer evening, protein-on-the-grill, beverage-in-hand sport that mankind has ever seen fit to invent."

Read the article here:


Can anyone help with this request from John Paulson?

"My wife and I will be visiting our son and his family in White Plains, NY from October 23rd - November 1st. We'd like to play bocce with the family. Are there bocce courts in the area that you would recommend? Thanks for your assistance and let me express my sheer delight when I see your weekly newsletter in my inbox!"

{Great! - a question for the ezine readership and a testimonial as a bonus. I love it! Please REPLY if you know a place where John Paulson and family can play.}


Eric McFerran, one of the "good guys" from the Burlington Bocce Club that I met on my recent trip to Vermont, sent a link to his bocce group activity in New Jersey...

"Mario.. some background on our Summit, NJ Bocce guys... Cheers, Eric."

There is one quote from McFerran that I absolutely LOVE...

Says Eric, "In a four year period my circle of local friends has expanded to over thirty new people through the wonderful game of Bocce."

Read the article here:


Paul DiCicco from the 2009 Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce sends a full report on the event...

"It rained most of the evening of Friday, August 28th…the first day of the 26th Annual Pat O’Brien Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce at the Wickliffe Italian-American Club. Did it matter? Not really. This year’s tournament marked the 21st consecutive year the event was hosted in Wickliffe and this was the biggest yet.

With a 93 team field ready to 'roll', this is one of the, if not the largest ever, bocce tournament east of the Mississippi. With such great competition from as far away as Florida and Toronto, Canada, the games went long all weekend. With all the conferring between rolls and a grand prize of $5,000, some games took up to 2 hours. While this makes for great bocce, this really pushes the games long and that first night didn’t end until after 1:00am.

At 8:00am the next morning the players and club members were back and ready to do it again. Some of the games on Saturday were so intense that before you knew it, there were 200+ spectators for early round games…that number of spectators is usually reserved for the semi-finals or finals. Multiple teams from the host club, the Wickliffe Italian-American Club, made it into the sixth and seventh rounds, and two teams, Alesci’s #2 (13), and Kraft Builders (7), actually placed in the money. Other local teams placing in the money were Adelio’s Contracting (4), Vandra #1 (8), A&J Cement (9), ABV Contracting (14), and Club Molisani #1(16).

Bocce wasn’t the only thing going on at the Club that weekend. On Friday evening, we were entertained by Cavalieri Reale, an old world Italian band that also played some better known hits from the 60’s and 70’s. On Saturday afternoon we hosted our Cultural Pavilion for the second year in a row. We had two top chefs from Vittorio’s Ristorante sharing some fantastic dishes and a fabulous dessert, Mike DiBalso and his son Anthony, from the Barrel Room Winery in Wickliffe, gave us an education about grapes and wine – what a combination. The pavilion also featured some fine Italian singing and dancing and an appearance by Ms. Italia, Antonia Palmiero.

Saturday evening was another great night for entertainment at the tournament. Pieces of Eight Rock and Roll band featuring the Lakeside Brass played to hundreds of people dancing and singing along. Club member Gary Motta even strapped on his sax and joined the jam session. The spirits flowed and everyone had a great time.

Sunday has been marked as family day the past several years and this year was no different. Jungle Terry entertained hundreds of children and WELW radio host Carmelina broadcast her Sunday radio show on location at the event. Children and adults alike enjoyed listening and singing along to her old world Italian style broadcast. Key Bank was also back hosting a Bocce Trivia contest. Gino Latessa, Club President and Tournament Director, played host and had a great time funning, joking, and handing out prizes to all the children.

Even with all that entertainment throughout the weekend, it is still all about the 'Bocce'. The play went very long again on Sunday as it did all weekend. The championship match pitted 2-time defending champs, and hometown favorites, Rochester, NY, against Maxxey Valley 777, from Toronto Canada. Maxxey Vally won the first game forcing one more game and Rochester, NY could not hold on to a 10-2 lead and Maxxey Valley 777 took home the $5,000 grand prize. Needless to say it was a very intense two-game championship and the final point was scored as the clock neared 11:00pm.

In closing, I was fortunate enough to meet and talk for some time with Dr. Cordano, a frequent contributor to this e-zine. His take on the sport and variations of Bocce is very interesting and I look forward to seeing him and talking more in depth in the future at our event or others. I also got a chance to meet Dave 'Mitchie' Mitchell from . His website entered a team and also did a full spread article of our tournament with hundreds of photos of the event.

Our photos and some video can be viewed at our website:"


Mike Grasser's Pallino D'Oro...

Location: Palazzo Di Bocce, Lake Orion, Michigan, U.S.A.

Dates: United States Pallino D’Oro
Friday, Nov. 20, 2009 – 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Saturday, Nov. 22, 2009 – 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

North American Pallino D’Oro
Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009 - 1:00-5:00 PM
Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 – 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Entry Fees: United States Pallino D’Oro - $100,

North American Pallino D’Oro - $75

Prizes: United States Pallino D’Oro – 1st $1,250, 2nd $750, 3rd $500, 4th $250

North American Pallino D’Oro 1st $1,000, 2nd $600, 3rd &400, 4th $200

Rules: Singles Play, Punto, Raffa, Volo. International Rules.

Format: United States Pallino D’Oro will be round robin play. North American Pallino D’Oro will be single elimination group play. Top 16 U.S. and top 16 Canadian players from U.S. Pallino D’Oro will qualify for play in N.A. Pallino D’Oro.

Points: All games to 12 points. Final game in both tournaments will be 15 points.

Hotel: The Crowne Plaza, 1500 North Opdyke Rd., Auburn Hills. MI. Call 248-373-4500 and ask for Anne Marie.

Contact: Michael B. Grasser, Owner Da Vinci Bocce LLC
248-505-4744 or



The Arizona American Italian Club (AAIC) of Phoenix, Arizona is hosting an 8 team tournament on January 23, 2010. For information and/or registration forms call Frank McCune at 602-957-8720.


Joy of Bocce - Third Edition Update - Plan B

Plan A was to finish things up by the end of September and try to get the new edition in print for the holidays. This can actually be done with today's print-on-demand technology. Unfortunately, I'm only about half way through the editing and am still waiting for photographs from people who promised to send them. So, I figured...what's the rush? Let's take our time, do it right, and have a gala launch in the spring.

This also gives me time to seek out a publisher.


Tom McNutt sends two tidbits, the second of which he offers "Who says it's not rocket science?"

"October 9th the huge hit CBS TV show Survivor had as one of its popular challenges a modified bocce segment. On the show two teams 'surviving' in some remote location, currently Samoa, compete for some element that will improve their survival experience. For example food, fishing gear, or even live chickens could be the reward for winning a challenge. Thursday night the challenge involved a flag pushed into the sand and several balls per team member with the goal being of course – closest to the pin. As soon as the game was explained most all the 15 contestants simultaneously shouted, 'bocce ball'. I figured a couple of them would know about the game but it surprised both my wife and I to hear the overwhelming recognition of the game/sport.

So CBS televised a whole frame of bocce for about 4 minutes during Prime Time.

There is a mini review here…9 paragraphs down mentions bocci. The game they played was boules in the sand with bocce sized balls.

On another topic as you know I have used Chris Pfeiffer’s Backyard bocce templates to put on bocce tournaments for various non-profit groups. A couple of Western Washington University students borrow them to put on events where members of the business sector and students nearing graduation can meet and interact outside of an interviewing process. One group is the Accounting students and the other hails from the technical side of things. The other night I loaned the gear to the TechStomp event which has grown by 50% each year for the past 3 and half their evening is about bocce on the lawn. Their guest speaker was former astronaut Pinky Nelson who flew NASA space missions in the Challenger, the Columbia, and the Discovery. I have attached a picture of Pinky holding an acrylic 'marble-like' bocce ball we use on synthetic turf. I got there too late to catch him in action on the court."

See the photo here:

Visit TechStomp @


Lio Giannotti is running a charity event this weekend...

"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."



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: . }

Yonkers Bocce Club Winter Open...

Photos of the week
This week's photos are from the 5th Annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament which we help run each Columbus Day weekend. In a difficult economy, the Martignetti Family was able to generate $37,000 for the Michael J. Cleary Memorial Fund.

As always, members from my Ken Waldie Senior Sports Circuit served as the referees. Michael J. Cleary's family attended and spoke about how the funds are used to benefit US soldiers and their families.

The event included all kinds of raffles, a closest to the pallino contest, and a terrific buffet by Sabatino's Restaurant. This one is going to be tough to top next October!

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 down to bottom of page.

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.


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.


January 23, 2010 - Arizona - Phoenix. Arizona American Italian Club (AAIC) is hosting an 8 team tournament. For information and/or registration forms call Frank McCune at 602-957-8720.

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