The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VIII, Issue 9 - March 9, 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 #9 - March 9, 2009
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2008
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hi again gang,

Last week a foot of snow - this week 50 plus degree temperatures - then back to snow. We love New England.

My group is again hosting the bocce segment of the Mass. Senior Games on May 16, 2009. If you are going to be in the neighborhood, please consider entering a team. The event doubles as our non-profit group's annual fund-raiser. Let me know if you are interested in placing an ad in our program book (which we will also post in the ezine at no extra charge). I'll send you the details via "snail mail".

We need to start a serious effort to get bocce recognized as a national event in the Senior Olympics and I am asking you to send an email supporting this effort. The details are listed below under "Bocce news".

Thanks for helping us make this important step for the growth of the game in America.

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

The most scenic court in the South...

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

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 #18 - May 9, 2005

{This Blast From The Past is a tad lengthy, but a very interesting discussion from almost four years ago...brought to our attention by the late Bocce Bob Whitlow.}

Bob Whitlow of Bocce USA ( ) sends an interesting question…

“A match is being played to the score of 9 with the red team leading 7 to 1. Green has exhausted all their balls. Red player has one ball left in the rack. The red player asks the referee if red still has the point. Referee says "yes" which would make the score 8-1 after the frame ends.

Instead of trying to roll for the winning point with his last ball and/or taking a chance on bumping a green ball closer, the red player decides to roll short, letting the point stand. This will give his partners at the other end the pollina advantage and a chance to win the game in the next frame.

After he rolls his ball the green team captain says "wait a minute - I want a measurement of the primary point." Referee says is green’s point...NOT red...

Red team objects saying to the referee, "you told me it was red's point and I threw off not wanting to sell the point. If I knew it was green, I would have rolled for point."

My question: What is the proper ruling the referee or the tournament director should make after a mistake like this? Let the green point stand, play the frame over, etc? What would be your decision?"

{I think whoever is closer by measurement should score the point. Anyone can ask for a measurement at any time. This was bad officiating. This was also bad judgment by the teams not requesting a measurement. The referee thought the red was in and would have awarded the point to the wrong team if the other team hadn't requested a measurement.

Better officiating would have been, "I think it's red" and that statement probably would have prompted someone to request a measurement.}

In a subsequent email Bocce Bob said…

“Bocce Standards also answered my plea...They say It's red. I too thought the point was red. Although the judge made a mistake, the green team did not request measurement at the time the judge announced the point was red and the green captain accepted his decision at the time of the match."

Says Bob..."If I was a team captain and the judge informed me that my team had the point, I would accept his decision...and NOT ask for a measurement.

As in most rules everywhere, the captain or co-captain may ask for a measurement at any time.

In this scenario, the out team captain (green) did not ask for a measurement and accepted the referee’s decision. Now...when the next ball is rolled, one cannot go back and ask for a measurement."

{Says who?}

"Red point stands ...however by a mechanical measured distance, green is actually closer to the pollina.

Red point stands as the winner of the frame."

{First off, you can run an event and set just about any rules you want. And there are many ways to interpret rules too. I officiate several other sports. I’m the Massachusetts Eastern Area Umpire-in-Chief for ASA (Amateur Softball Association). Any leagues can create rules that supercede the ASA rules. Hey, they might even decide to have four outs in an at-bat instead of three. If our umpiring group doesn’t like it, we can choose not to officiate for that league.

So, if Bocce Standards is your tournament director, it sounds like they’ll say “since the referee incorrectly told you it was red’s point - it IS red’s point - even though we all really know that it was GREEN’s.”

If yours truly is your tournament director, I’ll say... “sorry about the error in officiating, but the ball closer to the object gets the point.”

What if the umpire in baseball invokes the infield fly rule and there aren’t runners on first and second or bases loaded with less than two outs? Is it an Infield Fly just because he says so in error? I don’t think so.

Here's an interesting play from a high level adult men’s fastpitch softball game that occurred here years illustrates my point.

The batter fouled the ball off the barrel of his bat and it spun over toward the first base bench. The umpire yelled out "Foul Ball!" loud and clear, so the batter didn't run. But the first baseman could see that the ball was spinning and had a chance of coming back fair. He waited at the bag, and sure enough, it rolled back into fair territory before reaching first base - making it a fair ball - and, stepping on the bag, he forced the batter-runner out (who was still in the batter's box).

As you can imagine, this caused quite a stir...the batter might have run to first if the umpire didn't declare it a foul ball.

We submitted the play to Oklahoma (ASA national headquarters) where they ruled that it was indeed a fair ball. The umpire was in error to call the ball foul before it touched something or someone in foul territory or it came to rest there. It's up to the players (batter and fielders) to be alert enough to know that the ball might come back fair (even if the ump wasn't alert enough to see this). The first sacker was smart enough to realize that if the ball spun back fair before passing first, he could get an easy out - and he was right.

Can anyone else weigh in on this bocce officiating issue? I'm guessing that this would not happen in international rules play. Please REPLY.}


George Farruggio of Punta Gorda Bocce Fame asks...

"Here's a question often asked of me. Does the bocce ball have to pass the center line or is it ruled out? My answer is the bocce ball is in. What's your take?"

{I understand that there is a faction that plays this way, but it makes no sense to me. Let's say you are playing on a fast surface and you think the opponents have trouble when the pallino is near the minimum distance. You place the pallino just across the center line. You then roll an excellent point, about four inches in front of the pallino (but an inch or two before the mid-court line). Those who use the rule alluded to by Farruggio would "burn" your ball because it didn't reach the mid-court line. You made an excellent roll and it was disallowed - makes no sense. You roll again and your ball comes to rest 4 feet past the target. This one (a lousy shot) they let stand. Go figure!

Some of my friends with the USBF get miffed with me when I say "The game's a mess in this country." They take offense because the international games (volo, and punta-raffa-volo) are standardized and not a "mess." Still, it's hard to see the Open Rules game progressing without rules that we all can agree on.}


Don't forget - you can still support the USA women's PUNTO, RAFFA, VOLO and VOLO teams that will represent the USA at the 2009 Women's World Bocce Championships is Bevagna, Italy!

Here's link to a little PR the team received...

On St. Patrick's Day this year, March 17, 2009 Campo di Bocce of Livermore will be hosting a sponsorship dinner for these women. There will be a Corned beef and Cabbage all you can eat buffet with beer and wine specials all night long!

There will be bocce demonstrations from both Women's teams as well as a raffle with a multitude of great prizes. The cost is $25.00 per person.

{Click for the pdf file: }


Tournament news from Ben Musolf and the Campo di Bocce...

The registration forms for the 2009 United States Bocce National Championships and 2009 Campo di Bocce invitational are attached.

The events this year for the United States Bocce Federation Championships are as follows:

1. Men's Singles
2. Women's Singles
3. Under 21 Singles (As long as the entrant turns 21 in 2009 he is eligible)
4. Precision Shooting and Lagging Competition

There will also be an Open Invitational hosted by Campo di Bocce prior to the National Championships. There will be an A and B division, some rules and stipulations will apply, please see entry form for details.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the upcoming Championships and Invitational." - 408-857-0074


Tourney date change/correction...

The 4-player Open rules tourney originally listed for the East Portal Bocce Club in Sacramento on March 21, 2009 will be played on MARCH 14, 2009. Contact Vern Cooper at 916-961-2404.



A message from USBF President Danny Passaglia...

"As the governing body for Bocce in America, the USBF is responsible for promoting, teaching, and also sending players to represent the USA in International and World events. Founded more than 30 years ago by an Italian tailor in Colorado, Mr. Chris Gerrardo, the Federation has established a solid support group throughout the USA.

As a not for profit organization, the USBF is recognized by the AAU, FIB, CBI and several Special Olympic organizations. Membership accounts for almost 60% of our funds and each year the USBF sanctions a National Tournament which is often used to select the players or Teams that will represent the USA abroad. It is through participation in the USBF that we are able to continue to support local area youth groups, senior citizen facilities and almost anywhere Bocce is played. One of our Honorary Directors is Mr. Steve Mariucci 'Coach'. Mr. Mariucci has been extremely helpful in promoting Bocce and even conducts an Annual Charity Tournament along with Mr. John Madden.

Membership is tax deductible and the USBF is currently working on many additional benefits for the card members in the immediate future. I hope that you will consider being part of our organization and fill out the application by clicking the link below."

{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: . }


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

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 sends more info and a reminder about his June 20, 2009 3rd Annual New Jersey Bocce Invitational benefiting Operation Shoebox New Jersey and Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey.

The"Italian Chicks" will entertain with their unique style of humor and song. Please take a moment to view their site.

Also, if you haven't already done so, please take a moment to view the "Fallen But Not Forgotten" video on the Dolce website. The song was written by Ray Boltz of Indiana and is a tribute to all heroes, i.e. police, soldiers and firefighters.

Viki Wallace, a singer/songwriter who has performed throughout the country has graciously offered to perform as well as her soldier tribute "When Will I See You". Our law enforcement are our soldiers on the home front and this year, due to the untimely passing of Belleville Police Officer Kenneth Santucci, we will offer CD's whereby all proceeds will benefit the Santucci Scholarship Fund established by the Belleville PBA Local #28.

View the site by clicking below:

To offer support, contact Frank Valanzola at, 908.400.0851 or visit .

Click here to view a pdf file.


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.

Grass roots bocce in Maine...

Photos of the week
Dan Klinedinst, President of the Mid-Florida-Lakes Bocce Club, sends this week's photos...

"We have 38 members and we all live in an active adult community. There are 4 courts here and they are about 30 years old, although in very good condition for their age. They have 14 inches of compacted clay with a granular material on top. We usually change that material once a year.

Our season is usually only 4 months long because most of our people are snow birds, (people who travel down here during the winter and back up north for summer). We play other communities around central Florida and have quite a nice league.

This year we picked up 6 new people and that is the reason I e-mailed you about bocce strategies. Quite a few of our members said that they will get on your site. Hopefully they will sign up because they are interested. I hope to get back to you soon with more pictures, especially when our Special Olympics people are here."

{Please follow Dan's lead and send photos of bocce in your area.}

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 to bottom of page.

Non bocce product of the week


Free comfort springs on orders over $250 with code CQ-9675


$10 off and FREE Adhesive on the Universal Glazed Bird Bath! - Use Code VN-7875


Save 50% on Garden Stepping Stones!

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.


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 14, 2009 - California - Sacramento - East Portal Bocce Club. 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.


April 25, 2009 - Washington - Bellingham. The 7th Annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament. Proceeds benefit the Bellingham Food Bank. Contact Tom McNutt @ .


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 22, 2009 - Illinois - Herrin. HerrinFesta Italiana Corporate Bocce Tournament. More info at & .


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


May 23, 2009 - Illinois - Herrin. HerrinFesta Italiana Adult/Child Tournament. More info at & .


May 24, 2009 - Illinois - Herrin. HerrinFesta Italiana International Tournament. More info at .


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. View pdf here:


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 - 24, 2009 - California - Campo di Bocce Livermore. Open Invitational Tournament. Contact Ben Musolf @ or 408-857-0074.


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.


August 1, 2009 - California - San Rafael -Marin. OPEN - 4 players. Western Sector Championships. Contact Diana Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


August 8, 2009 - California - San Rafael - Marin. OPEN - 2 women players. Contact Diana Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


August 15, 2009 - California - I.A.C.C. South City OPEN - 4 womwn players. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


August 22, 2009 - California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce. RAFFA - 3 players. Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408- 379-9409.


August 29, 2009 - California - Sacramento - East Portal. OPEN - 4 players. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


September 12, 2009 - California - I.A.C.C. - South City. RAFFA - 3 PLAYERS. 24th Ital.-Amer. Games. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


September 19, 2009 - California - I.A.C. - Stockton. RAFFA - 1 MAN AND 1 WOMAN. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


September 20, 2009 - California - P.I.A.S.C. San Mateo
OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. At least one woman. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


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


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


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


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


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


November 12-14, 2009. Nevada - Reno. Peppermill Casino. OPEN - 4 players. Contact Dana Shores @ 800-648-6992.

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