The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VIII, Issue 43 - December 28, 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 #43 - December 28, 2009
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2009
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello again bocce faithful,

Happy New Year. I hope 2010 brings you health and prosperity and increased skill in the game we love. Next week I'll be working on my annual "The Year in Review." We made strides with our game in 2009. I think 2010 and the next couple years will bring increased growth. I hope this decade is when we'll reach "critical mass" in terms of the number of participants nationwide/worldwide.

Next week's issue will begin year number nine (9) for the ezine. Time flies when you're having deadlines!

I've been busy working on creating some helpful bocce videos. Check them out here: .

Also, if you need something on which to spend all that holiday gift money you received, visit .

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

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Sylvan Lake, Michigan...

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

Here's an email I get every once in a while...this one from Iiesha...

"Came across your site and wondering if you could send the recipe for crispelli. I have searched and searched and could not find the correct one but noticed the photo is the same my grandmother made."

{Crispelli are a big treat at Lawrence, Massachusetts annual Feast of the Three Saints. Iiesha refers to the photo of the crispelli posted to the right and here: .

Here's what I wrote a couple years ago about's worth repeating.

"I've had several requests for the recipe for Crispelli mentioned in the photo spread for Tom Grella's Havana Rollers Bocce Venue ( ), so, here goes...

Purchase dough from your local bakery and let it rise

Roll out balls of dough the size of golf balls or tennis balls or even baseballs if you prefer

Stuff each with a piece of cheese of your choice or a little anchovy (keep the batches separate)

Fry these in hot oil until golden brown and let cool before eating

Crispelli are the hit of the September Festival of the Three Saints in Lawrence, Massachusetts, but the wait in long lines to get served is well worth it.


On the subject of crispelli, Brenda Flanagan wrote..."My grandmother used to make them and since her death, nobody has the recipe.

I would love to relive those days...she used to hide them in a box on top of her closet to keep my uncles from eating them before it was time."

{There are so many dialects and regional differences - I hope these crispelli are the ones grandma used to make.}

And still on the subject of crispelli, I couldn't resist reprinting part of this Boston Herald article by Joe Sciacca...

"To understand the crispelli is to know the very essence of life itself. It has its crusty, bumpy, salty parts to be sure. But at the core of its existence is a warmth and softness that makes one who experiences it acknowledge that, yes, there is a supreme being and He is good.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has probably never had a crispelli. Martha Stewart has probably never cooked one - although she would buy stock in them if she could. If Howard Dean discovers them, he will increase taxes on them..." For the complete article click


Last week I described my dilemma when my team of six players was shorthanded in the playoffs. We station three teammates at each end who roll two balls each. When shorthanded, you forfeit the balls that would have been played by the missing player. Another way of looking at it is that each of your players in attendance gets to roll two balls.

I asked readers to submit ideas/comments about how they handle the shorthanded situation. Most offered that they employ a “walker” – a player who plays one end of the court, then walks to the other end to play two balls there. Groups differed as to how the shorthanded player is selected. Most seem to allow the captain of the shorthanded team to select the walker. Some thought that this was a kind of insult or slight to the player selected…shades of our youth when a tactless captain choosing sides would say something like “All right…I’ll take the fat kid.”

In a playoff series (e.g. two-out-of-three) our league voted in a new rule. We’ve decided that the captain of the other team will pick a different walker for each match but the captain may never be the walker. In this way, no one person is singled out as the "weakest" player and in addition, the strongest player (captain) is never the walker.

Another twist on the walker rule is to have the walker play two balls then walk to the other end. When there, he plays two balls but a teammate then walks to the other end. The players continue to alternate in this manner so that no one player walks the entire game. One problem we’ve had while experimenting with this format is that some of our guys have “senior moments” and forget whose turn it is to walk.

The above scenario is often seen when two players are supposed to be stationed at each end, but one team (or both) are shorthanded and have only three players for the match. Maybe we ought to use some kind of baton like in a relay race. The walker moves to the other end and hands the baton to his teammate who, after the frame is over, will move to the other end and hand off the baton to their third player.

Some readers were steadfast in their belief that the shorthanded squad should lose the two balls, saying “That’s the rule. You knew it. Show up!”

Mitchie from offered this…

“In our league when a team is shorthanded it is up to the opposing team where the shorthanded team positions its players. It is a bit severe but the way we look at it if you want to win you better show up.”

{I’m guessing this means they’ll tell you to put two guys on this end and three at the other, but not which players go where.}

Still others got together with the coaches/captains and came to an agreement that was mutually acceptable to both parties (e.g. burn two balls, burn one ball, select a walker, etc.). I guess, absent a written rule, any solution that is mutually acceptable to the teams would work.

On a second issue for which I was seeking feedback, we didn’t get as many responses. My question was about which side the shooter/hitter should play when a team is shorthanded. When I placed myself at the end with only two players I, in effect, negated my strength (shooting). For example, the other team would roll out the pallino and make a halfway decent point. My teammate would roll twice, failing to beat the opponent’s point. I generally opted not to hit, since a miss would leave our team with one shot left and the opponents with five. Had I been stationed at the opposite end (with three players) I would have had more opportunities to hit.

Quite a few agreed that the hitter should play on the end with three players rather than the end with only two. In this way, the hitter’s strength can better be utilized.

One of those who responded included a closing that I had not seen before…”May the pallino be with you.”


A couple issues ago during our discussion of sportsmanship we posted a link to a production that portrayed the events during a college softball game where a player hit an important home run and got hurt rounding first base. Unable to continue around the bases under her own power, her opponents carried her around the bases, stopping only to lower her at each bag so her foot could tag the bag. (If her teammates or coaches assisted her, she would have been declared out.)

Worth another look, here’s the actual footage of that play…

At first look, it appeared that the first two runners may have missed home plate as they were distracted, instead looking in the direction of their fallen teammate. The ump looks like he wasn’t watching either. After further review, there was some white marking lime that I mistook for home plate. It did start me thinking, though. If a previous runner missed home plate that would be an appeal play. That means the other team would have to bring it to the umpire’s attention, and, if the ump agreed that the runner missed the plate, he would call that runner out.

I wonder how an umpire would handle this. You just witnessed a very special play, one that showcased sportsmanship of the highest order. Would the ump call the runner out on appeal and have a hand in tainting this otherwise wonderful play? Or would the umpire call Safe! and say something like “She just got the very corner of the plate with her toes”? You make the call!


Just for fun and in the holiday spirit, here’s a link that already has had more than four million views.


George Furlan sends news of his World Series Bocce Invitational Tournament of Cape Coral, Florida

Guaranteed $6000 first place prize

Sponsored by Marble & Granite, George Furlan, President

March 11 - 14, 2010

Veterans Park Enclosed Bocce Courts

Open - 3-player teams

Round robin ending with double elimination for 8 qualifying finalists

$450 per team entry fee

Fee includes dinner dance at local Elks Country Club on 3/13/2010

Contact George Furlan at 239-275-9968

Deadline for entry = 1/30/2010


Elizabeth Wong Fontana tells us her Ruby Raffa Classic has been moved from February 28th to March 6th. Contact Elizabeth at .




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: . or REGISTER/RENEW ON LINE AT HTTP://WWW.BOCCE.COM}



Click the link below to learn more...

Perfetta is back in stock at Playaboule!

Photos of the week
This week's photos were the photos of the week back in September of 2003. They are part of my ongoing attempt to permanently re-post all the photos from years gone by. These pictures are listed under Bocce Tidbits on the Joy of Bocce website.

The pics show how we take advantage of the large crowds drawn by the Feast of the Three Saints in Lawrence, Massachusetts to promote bocce to anyone who is interested. The Italian festival is held each September and it features great food and first rate entertainment.

We offer free bocce demonstrations and informal games to the passersby. The year these pictures were taken, we introduced the game to the local Latino kids who readily took to it.

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Holiday gift ideas for the bocce lover in your life...

********** BETTER LATE THAN NEVER **********

You've received some money for Christmas. Here's some bocce stuff to spend it on. Will ship same day. I've listed some items in order of price, so you can decide how much you want to spend and then maybe pick an item.

Two things I rarely post are bocce ball bags with the Joy of Bocce embroidered logo and chamois (bocce towels) also with the embroidered logo.

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 the items...

Click for a 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}

Variety 300x250

Tournament update
{chronological order}


Don't let the West Coast players hog all the space!

SEND INFO - WE'LL POST - NO CHARGE - SEND ME A PDF (File for me to post).

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 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.


January 30, 2010 - California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS. Contact Mike Crocce @ 209-466-0541.


February 20, 2010 - California - Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. OPEN - 2 MEN 2 WOMEN. Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-857-0074.


February 27, 2010 - California - IAC Stockton. Maureen Albanese Valentines Tournament. OPEN - 2 MEN 2 WOMEN. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


March 6, 2010 - California - Stockton - Elkhorn. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS MIXED. Contact Elizabeth Wong @ 209-688-0595.


March 11 - 14, 2010. Florida - Cape Coral. World Series Bocce Invitational of Cape Coral. 3-PLAYER TEAMS. 1st place $6000 guaranteed. Contact George Furlan @ 239-275-9968.


March 27, 2010 - California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA - 3 PLAYERS, 2 Men & 1 Woman. Contact Romano Lotti @209-951-8256.


April 3, 2010 - California - Sacramento - East Portal. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


April 10, 2010 - California - Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos - OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408- 379-9409.


April 10, 2010. California - IAC Womens Aux. OPEN 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Shirley Croce @ 209-466-0541.


April 17, 2010 - California - IACC South City. OPEN - 3 PLAYERS. Contact Aldo Peruzzi @ 650-583-8904.


May 1, 2010 - California - San Mateo PIASC. RAFFA 3 MEN PLAYERS. Contact Adriano Undorte at 650-591-3318.


May 1, 2010 - California - San Mateo PIASC. OPEN 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


May 8, 2010 - California - Stockton Waterloo. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


May 15, 2010 - California - Fairfield. OPEN, 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Wayne Little @ 707-864-1023.


May 15, 2010 - California - Aquatic Park. VOLO, 3 PLAYERS. Contact Benji Tosi @ 415-238-2995.


May 22, 2010 - California - Sacramento. East Portal. RAFFA, 3 PLAYERS. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


May 29, 2010 - California - Carmel Valley. OPEN, 4 PLAYERS. Contact Giovanni Napoli @ 831-521-5092.


June 4 - 6, 2010. Pennsylvania - New Castle. 1st Annual 4 Man Bocce Tournament - Cascade Park Bocce Facilities. $4000 1st. Place. Contact Mitchie @ 724-333-6385. More Info at


June 5, 2010 - California - IACC South City. RAFFA, 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Ginger Hanley @ 650-271-6009.


June 6, 2010 - California - IBS Sutter Creek. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. At Least 1 Woman. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


June 12, 2010 - California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA - 3 PLAYERS. Western Sector Championship. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


June 19, 2010 - California - IACC South City. OPEN 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Gene Semenza @ 650-872-0192.


June 21 -23, 2010. Missouri - St. Louis IABC. USBF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - OPEN - contact Robert Della Croce @ 314-351-9895.


June 24 -26, 2010 - Missouri - St. Louis IABC. USBF NATIONAL PRV CHAMPIONSHIP. Contact Robert Della Croce @ 314-351-9895.


July 10, 2010. California - San Rafael - Marin. OPEN - 2 MEN PLAYERS. Contact Diane Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


July 11, 2010 - Oregon - Paesano Club. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact Larry Cereghino at 503-201-4585.


July 17, 2010 - California - Fairfield. John Magnetti Memorial. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. . Contact Wayne Little at 707-864-1023.

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.
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