The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VIII, Issue 4 - February 2, 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 #4 - February 2, 2009
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hi gang,

United States Bocce Federation President Danny Passaglia was in Massachusetts this week visiting relatives and I was able to coerce him to drive to my neighborhood and give us a brief lesson in Punta, Raffa, Volo. While I understand the basics of the international game, I need to play with someone more familiar with the format until I get a better grasp of things.

I assembled a couple of our bocce posse and we played a couple matches at our venue in Hampstead, NH. It was an eye opener for our gang. The game requires marking the positions of previously played balls on the court surface and "calling your shots" (as well as putting balls back where they were when your called shot misfires). Our guys appreciated the fact that this style virtually eliminates the luck factor and elevates skill and tactics to an even more prominent level than in Open Rules.

For a pictorial on International Rules play click here: .

See more on the USBF below under Bocce news and readers' feedback...

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

Gotcha Bocce - Louisville, KY...

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

California's John Ross sends news and a photo...

"The United States Women's Raffa team will be going to the World Punto, Raffa, Volo Championships in Bevagna, Italy. The competition will take place from Monday, March 30, 2009 to Saturday, April 4, 2009. I have been asked by the team to serve as their coach. I have attached a photo of the team. These women won the United States National Championships last June at the Highwood Bocce Club in Highwood, Illinois. They represented the Left Coast Bocce Club in San Rafael, CA. They also belong to Campo di Bocce of Livermore, CA and train at the Livermore Facility.

The Women's World Volo Championships will also be held at the same time in Bevagna. This will be the first time that both events will be held at the same time and place. We will also be sending a team to this event. I believe that Ben Musolf, the women's volo coach will be providing you with a photo and more information.

The athletes in the photo from left to right are: Rena Harel, Colleen Randazzo, Maria Narayan, and Debbie O'Sullivan.

{Best wishes to the Left Coast ladies - click the photo to view a larger image and to read a Press Release about the USA's Volo team from Campo di Bocce Coach Ben Musolf.}


David Camardo (last week's Confessions of a Bocce Addict author) sends his thoughts on lagging...

Lagging Thoughts

"I have two thoughts to share with you. They both have to do with practice drills that may interest your readers.

1. At the Nationals in 2007 in Livermore, CA, I watched Mike Lapcevich lagging balls by himself on an indoor court. I couldn’t make sense of what he was doing as there was no pallino in play. So, I thought to ask him. He said he was lagging to the B, C, and D lines. He was testing the speed of the court and his ability to adjust his lags. The direction or line the balls took was noted but not his prime interest. In this drill speed was his main concern.

{For those unfamiliar with the international game, the B line is the pointing and hitting line, the C line is volo line, and the D line is the minimum distance a raffa attempt must travel before it hits the ground - you have to lob a raffa over the D line. Now, visualize these lines at the opposite end of the court and they are the "targets" for this drill, sans pallino.}

2. Some Raffa players work this drill, and again no pallino is needed. The drill is to lag to the spot on the surface where the pallino will be placed at the start of the Raffa game. In 2008 in Chicago, I watched Dr. Cordano and others working this drill. In this drill it’s best if the balls don’t pile up around that spot. Lag two or three balls and clear them out and go for that spot again.

There are practice drills in all sports. By going from one drill to the other, you stay sharp as you look forward to the next one. The more drills the better."


While USBF President Dan Passaglia and his wife were in town I got a chance to chat with them about the future of bocce and the USBF.

Of course, we need to work to get bocce into the Olympics - this is a long-term project.

Before we can do that ...

1) we need more recognition of the United States Bocce Federation IN THE USA. People need to understand that the USBF is the governing body of bocce in America. 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: .

I've offered to run a weekly column called "USBF News" and to post the membership application on my site. I'd also like to put the USBF logo and an endorsement from an officer on the cover of the next edition of The Joy of Bocce.

2) we all should support the USBF. But we need to rethink the benefit of USBF membership so that there would be an even more compelling motivation for members and clubs to submit the small annual fee.

3) we need to standardize Open Rules for USBF sanctioned tournament play (while letting local leagues use their long standing "house rules" for their own events - the Amateur Softball Association is "the governing body of softball in America" and has standardized rules for tournament play. If you want to play in an ASA event, you play by their rules. But local leagues may create rules that supersede ASA rules. Similarly, if you play in a USBF sanctioned event, you would observe the published USBF Open Rules. Currently the Open Rules posted on the USBF web site call for the pallino to come to rest anywhere as long as it is past mid court and does not hit the back wall. But let's say your local custom is that the pallino must come to rest at least 12 inches from the side board. You may implement that rule into your non-sanctioned league play.}

4) 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

Send another cc to Becky Wesley (NSGA staff member)

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."


Frank Valanzola is already gearing up for the 2009 New Jersey Invitational, which supports New Jersey charities.

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 #8 - February 28, 2005

{Some "boilerplate" content from 2005...}

"Come visit us often at You will find bocce info, merchandise, links to other great bocce sites, and the best selling bocce instruction book in the USA.

The Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition will help you improve your game (or at least entertain you). The 300-page book takes drill and instruction to the same level as that of basketball, baseball, and other sports. Besides that, it has the most complete and entertaining history of the game anywhere in print. It will fascinate and delight.

I hope you will like this electronic newsletter. To be deleted from the list, you can Unsubscribe at the end of this issue. We will quickly and permanently remove your email address from our list (we'll be sorry to see you go). But, be aware that one of our enthusiastic readers suggested that “…bocce and unsubscribe are mutually exclusive terms.”

If you know others who would enjoy and benefit from this Ezine, encourage them to sign up. You could forward this issue to them (see Forward link at bottom of newsletter) so they can decide for themselves if they want to "opt in". I promise that I will never be in the business of selling or trading your email address or other personal information.

PLEASE – we are always looking for bocce photos and feedback from all over the USA. We want to connect bocce fans everywhere. You can email ( or snail mail (Mario Pagnoni, P.O. Box 608, Methuen, MA 01844) with any that you will grant permission for us to reprint.


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.

Cleveland International Challenge Cup of Bocce...

Photos of the week
This week's photos come from Joe Dinneen who gives us an update on the reworking of the courts at Jefferson Park in Hollywood, Florida.

Dinneen says "They finished redoing the courts last week. Nothing was changed except for the bad wood and a new layer of Har-Tru over the existing surface.

These are all great guys even though I speak very little Italian and have only been playing bocce for a year and half, but I'm learning. As they say 'Bocce takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master'."

{I've added these new pics to the page already on the Joy Of Bocce site under Bocce Venues. Thanks to Joe for keeping us in the loop - please follow his lead and send shots of bocce in your neck of the woods.}

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 the link below to view other items...

Click for a post holiday bocce shopping experience...

Non bocce product of the week
If you are a bocce court owner, these products just might enhance your bocce playing experience...

Shop Today!

Shop Benches.Com 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.


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.


February 21, 2009 - California - Auburn Bocce Club. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. "B" Division. USBF Rules. Contact Salvatore Gascons @ 253-939-3502.


February 22, 2009 - California - Auburn Bocce Club. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. "A" Division. USBF Rules. Contact Salvatore Gascons @ 253-939-3502.


February 28, 2009 - California I.A.C - Stockton. OPEN - 4 players - at least 1 woman player. Contact Romano Lotti
@ 209-951-8256.


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 21, 2009 - California - Sacromento - East Portal. OPEN - 4 players. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


March 28, 2009 - California - Stockton. I.A.C. RAFFA - 3 Players. At least 1 woman player. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


March 30 - April 5, 2009. Italy - Bavena. Women's Raffa World Championship. Details TBA.


April 4, 2009 - California -South City - I.A.C.C. OPEN - 3 Players. Contact Rudy Bertolozzi @ 650-583-9936.


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


April 25, 2009 - California - Stockton, Waterloo. OPEN - 4 Players. At least two women players. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


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


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.


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 - 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 - California - 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.

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