The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IX, Issue 2 - January 18, 2010 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Bocce news and readers' feedback...
•   Non bocce product of the week
•   Joy of Bocce 3rd Edition Update
•   Tournament update
Notes from the publisher
The weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume 9, Issue #2 - January 18, 2010
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2010
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hi bocce posse,

Here we go again. Year number nine for The Joy of Bocce Weekly. Let’s hope our favorite pastime keeps making strides and continues to grow. I’ll do what I can from here. You can help by continuing to contribute questions, comments, and photos. Together we can make a difference.

Last week I made brief mention of a bocce fund-raiser that we put together on short notice. Three-year-old Logan Debrocke, afflicted with cerebral palsy, recently got approved to take part in a stem cell procedure that has shown phenomenal results with c.p. The treatment will take place in February in Dusseldorf, Germany. So, we mobilized our posse and hit the ground running, setting 1/23/10 as the date for the “Stem The Tide Of Cerebral Palsy Bocce Tourney” in honor of Logan Debrocke. With donations and contributions from around the community, we’ve collected almost $9000 already. The best news is that we’ll have almost no overhead for the event. Almost everything has been donated: the facility rental, awards, food, raffle prizes, etc.

One week to go. I’ll keep you posted and will let you know down the road how Logan responds to his treatment. The German doctors indicate that they generally see positive results within three months, sometimes less. Isn’t it great how we can rally around the game we love to help do so much good work in the community?

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

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Pete Chimento's home court - Millstone Twp, NJ...

Bocce news and readers' feedback...
Stem The Tide Of Cerebral Palsy Bocce Tourney

In honor of three-year-old Logan Debrocke, this event will raise funds to help cover his family’s considerable expenses for the trip to Dusseldorf, Germany’s XCell Center at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine. {That's the good-looking fellow in the photo to the right tooling around in his specialized walker.}

We put this together quickly and have already generated almost $9000 for the event with almost no overhead to be incurred (most everything donated). Logan’s procedure costs about $37000 to say nothing of the expenses associated with getting to Germany, living there during the treatment, and getting back home.

We know we can’t raise the $37000 in such a short time, but we hope to make a pretty good “dent” in it. Besides the contributions collected, we already have 20 teams entered in the bocce tourney. There are a half dozen from our own bocce posse, a couple from the hospital where Logan goes for physical therapy, and more teams from the Exchange Club and Logan’s family and friends.

I donated a set of Perfetta Bocce and made up and printed raffle tickets on my home computer to sell to our bocce gang as well as the softball and basketball players who play in our non-profit group ( ). One ticket for $5, three tickets for $10, a book of eight tickets for $20. So far, I moved about $700 worth of tickets on my own. We also have raffle tickets for Boston Red Sox and Celtics games.

One thing that worked out well for us was this - at about the same time that we heard of Logan’s trip to Germany, our non-profit group got nominated for a community service award sponsored by Enterprise Bank. I emailed the softball and basketball gang and told them that we were nominated and that one reason we get nominated for awards is because we run events like the one for Logan. Then I let them know they could contribute and/or purchase raffle tickets to help the cause. It’s heart-warming to see so many good people step up for a good cause. Contributions have been pouring in…$10 here, $20 there, sometimes $50 or $100. In addition, we got some large donations from other businesses and service clubs.

It occurred to me that some Joy of Bocce Weekly readers might want to step up too. If so, you’ll have to hurry (this week only, 1/18/10 thru 1/23/10). Click on Logan’s photo. That will take you to . You can make a contribution of any amount, and, write a note something like “Logan’s bocce raffle” or “Logan’s sports ticket raffle”, or just “Logan donation”. I've posted a note on the Ken Waldie SSC web site indicating that any contributions made this week go to Logan's fund-raiser. We’ll make sure the funds get to Logan and we’ll put the ticket stubs in the appropriate raffle bin and “snail mail” you the prize if you win (will post the winners in the ezine).

Thanks in advance if you can help. When a lot of people do a little, big things get done!


Bob Gross of likes our fund-raiser for Logan and makes me blush with this compliment...

"What a good man you are to give so much to the sport and then to be generous enough to support other causes. We would like to be part of it as we believe not only is it the right thing, but also what we willingly give to the universe comes back."

Bob generously offers to donate a significant portion of Bocceboard sales from Logan's Tourney to the charity drive. We'll display the board and see if we get any takers. See Bob's board here: . It's a quality product - the best one of its kind that I have seen.


The Best and the Worst

You readers are so lucky to receive this ezine. I make so many blunders playing bocce and write about them here so you can avoid making the same mistakes I make. This is my selfless mission.

The setting: Tuesday night at our Sons of Italy league - six-player teams, three teammates stationed at each end roll two balls each. Because of time restraints, games go to 10 points.

With the score 9 - 7 in our opponents' favor, I made, on two successive rolls, the best shot of the night and the worst. The other team held one point and was out of balls. I had a clear shot at the pallino and wanted to shoot when one of my teammates dissented, indicating that we had four rolls left and should come in for the point instead. Then, my other teammates encouraged me to hit, so I did, striking the pallino right on the button and driving it to the back wall as my ball followed.

That would make the score 9 - 8 with three more rolls to make a relatively easy two points to end the game at 11. While I was celebrating my outstanding shot, one of my teammates rolled his last ball off the back wall, making it dead. Then, my other teammate came in for a point making the theoretical score 9 - 9 with me having the last ball and a chance to end the game. The previously played balls were about 10 feet past half court and some of them were "in the way" to the left and to the right. I only had to get my ball to come to rest a little past the "in the way" balls to score. I knew that the court crowned badly to the left and overcompensated so as not to hit the balls on that side of the court. By overcompensating I got my ball to the other side of the crown and it banged into a ball that was on the right side of the court - easily the worst shot of the night.

I'm not sure what the moral of the story is except I guess you better not celebrate a good shot until you close the deal. Here's hoping you learn from my ignorance.


George Vierra of the St. Helena Bocce Committee asks this...

"We have a bocce league that started in St. Helena in the Napa Valley with two courts and one night of league play in 1986. We are now playing six nights and two days with eight courts and over 100 teams. Changed a bit.

We are budgeting purchase of new bocce sets for this year. We know that about 7% of men are color blind and cannot discern red and green. So, we are weighing the choices. The old timers want the ‘historical’ red and green, and the ‘caring’ want to look out for our 7%. Do you know if color blind people can discern dark red from light green? Does depth of color overcome inability to distinguish hue? If so, where can we find such sets?"

{We have a couple color blind players in our Monday morning league and they seem to be able to distinguish the reds and greens if the balls are relatively new (and brightly colored) in appearance. If the balls have been used for a while outdoors on clay, stone dust, granite fines, etc. and have lost their luster, the problem becomes more difficult. We solved this by procuring a couple sets of yellow balls from Mike Grasser at He retails Martel imported Italian bocce in sets of four, bag is extra, pallino is extra. Contact Mike at .}


Love getting emails like this one from California’s Al Swan…

“I would like to receive your Joy of Bocce Weekly here at Rancho Murieta, California. We are going to rebuild our Bocce Ball two courts and hope to put on a roof. After that, we’ll start a Bocce Ball Association for everyone, Seniors, Couples, and children and I belong to the Kiwanis Club so hopefully we can have some tournaments for Charity events.

I have your book, The Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition, and a friend gave me a copy of your Weekly and we are looking for any information we can get.”

{What a smart guy! He gets my book and he gets the ezine. That's the way to "...look for any information we can get." Before long his group will be up and running with covered courts and organizing excellent programs in the area.}


Petanque News

Here’s some info on a petanque event in Quebec. It’s important to support our “sister sports” like petanque and bowls. There is strength in numbers.


George Farruggio sends this from the Punta Gorda Bocce Club…

“Hi Mario. You do a great job, please continue. I made a decision Monday morning during our league play. The decision was while measuring for points. The pallino was accidentally moved. I called the frame DEAD and started over again at the same side as before. I got some flack but the frame was DEAD."

{These types of problems occur in Open bocce so often because we seldom have referees overseeing the games. It seems to me it would depend on who moved the ball(s). If the person who inadvertently moved the ball(s) was assigned to act as referee, I don’t see why he couldn’t just return the ball to its previous position and go on with the measurement. The referee's decision is final.

If there was no official referee and it was one of the players involved in the game who moved the ball(s), then you have a problem. If the participants can’t agree on where the ball(s) should be placed, killing the frame is one way to go. Care must be taken so that no team gains an advantage and no team is placed at a disadvantage. For example, an unscrupulous player who thinks your ball is IN could pretend to move the ball "accidentally" and get a new effect, a "do-over" - not fair! Do readers have experience with this scenario? Please REPLY.}


Dr. Cordano chimes in on our recent discussion of short-handed bocce...

"We at St. Pete have solved the problem (of missing one player) when League or tournaments are in triples and the play is with three at each end. The team is penalized by 'burning' one ball and playing five balls from each end. However, the captain or the best player (sometimes not the official captain) cannot play three balls.

With regard to the other end with three players, it is at the discretion of the team as to how they play their allotted five balls.

With reference to having only three players when playing two at each end, a long time ago I wrote to Joy that a walker chosen by the captain of the other team is to replace the missing player and play at both ends.

P.S. You well know my opinion abut players being stationary at each end of the court. I don’t like it AS A PLAYER AND EVEN LESS AS A PHYSICIAN, because by staying stationary there is literally no walking and calories just pile up instead of being consumed."


Angel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico writes...

"I am new to bocce and would like to find out if there is a video that would teach the basics for playing the game."

{There are a couple on the market, but they are not what I'd like to see. I started writing the script for one a while back, but put it on hold until I get the third edition of my book out this spring. There definitely is a market for a well-done video that give clear info on how to play, how to choose equipment, and other facets of the game. I hope I get the energy to create one - The Joy of Bocce Video - I like the sound of that.}


I've taken the liberty of re-printing this from the Palazzo di Bocce newsletter. If you join one of Palazzo's winter leagues (beginners, intermediate, advanced) you'll receive the newsletter.

POINT-OUT/SHOOT-OUT sounds like a great game and one that might appease the "gambling element" in our midst.

"We came up with a fun game everyone enjoyed in the Fall season. The game consisted of buying tickets…either $2 for 3 tickets or $5 for 10 tickets…and rolling into a 4’ circle. One ticket was drawn each week with the winning ticket holder having a chance to win half of the pot by rolling into the circle. If that person missed, the pot would roll over to next week when we sold more tickets. If the person rolls into the circle they win half of the pot and then they roll for a second circle further down the court. If they roll inside that circle they win all of the pot.

There will be two minor changes to the games for the Winter league. The first will be whoever has their ticket drawn will receive at least 10% of the pot. That way, even if that person doesn’t make it into the circle, they will receive a little bit for having their ticket pulled. The second change will be that whoever gets their ticket drawn will do the contest on his/her court. This will allow a higher percentage of winners and to spread the wealth…hopefully."

{I think we might give this a try during our indoor league. Sounds like it would be well received.}




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}

Perfetta in stock at Playaboule!

Joy of Bocce 3rd Edition Update
I didn't make much progress on the new edition in 2009. I dragged my feet, but am getting my act together and hope to send it to the publisher by the end of March 2010. I'm shooting for a Spring 2010 launch.

The more detailed and comprehensive 2nd edition will probably still be available in bookstores and on-line as both a soft cover and e-book (many of the 2nd edition’s low resolution photos are very acceptable in the e-book version…and they are in color).

The new edition will feature only high resolution photos - (I'll be sending requests for photos from subscribers soon).

The new cover has to be high resolution and eye-catching. Click the link below to get a look at the working draft:


Joy of Bocce merchandise...

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 $179.95 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 $69.95 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

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 23, 2010 - New Hampshire - Hampstead. "Stem the Tide of Cerebral Palsy" charity tourney. Four-player teams. Proceeds help send 3-year-old Logan Debrocke to Dusseldorf, Germany for a stem cell treatment procedure that is experiencing phenomenal results. Contact Mario Pagnoni @ 978-686-8679 or .


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 Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


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 10, 2010 - California - Women's Aux. - OPEN - 4 Women players. Contact Shirley Croce @ 209- 466-0541.


April 17, 2010 - California - Campo los Gatos.
OPEN - 4 players. Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408-379-9409.


April 24, 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 @ 415-238-7995.


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 David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


June 19, 2010 - California - IACC South City. OPEN 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact TBA.


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.
 Check out the merchandise