The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IX, Issue 28 - September 20, 2010 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Bocce news and 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 9, Issue #28 - September 20, 2010
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2010
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Bocce faithful,

We've been experiencing an inordinate amount of bounces and blocked messages with the ezine lately. It's a pretty big problem with the electronic newsletter industry. Everybody is worried about getting SPAMed and their email filters often filter out stuff that they actually want to receive. Please, if you haven't already. Click on the CONFIRM button at the very bottom of this ezine - it will help ensure that the ezine gets to you each week.

Last week on eBay I posted for auction a nailed boule from my private collection. It "kills" me to let it go, but my significant other says I need to be less selfish and share with my readers. So, I relented. I've posted a second one this week. Check it out under "Non-bocce product of the week".

I have come into a great many other items too - art work, collectibles, costume jewelry, and all sorts of curios. Check out the eBay product of the week. There will be so many different items that something is bound to interest you.

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

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Lou Ures' Court in Florence, Oregon...

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

Last week's nailed boule item posted on eBay caused a pretty big stir. Lots of people are interested in owning a piece of bocce history. So, I posted another one this week - this one with square head nails. It even has one brass nail as an identification mark.

There's still time to bid on the first boule - but you'd better hurry. If you win both I could combine the shipping and the two would ship for the same cost as one.

Take a peek at these. They are very collectible in Europe and pretty rate. In antique stores in the states they often sell for $95 to $225 and more. Hey, you can own a piece of our game's history. Great conversation pieces.

View some photos of boules on the Joy of Bocce web site here:

Learn more about the history of nailed boules by checking the link below.


My friend Ralph Bagarella and I played in a doubles tournament recently in the North End of Boston.

"It's for charity" he said. "Let's play and then have dinner in one of the excellent restaurants in the North End."

Sounded good to me. Ralph signed us up and was told that the tourney would be single elimination and games would go to 7 points.

The shortest bocce games I had every heard of went to eight points, never as few as seven. But, for a charity, we could live with seven.

We forked over $50 each and knew we'd be supporting the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.

When we got to the venue it took a while to get organized and to feed the 65 or so teams that were registered. So, the tourney director arbitrarily changed the format.

"We're going to play single elimination, but not to 7 points. We'll play up, back, and up once more."

Yikes! - 3 frames. That's pretty lame even if it is for charity. Still, we bit our tongues and played.

We drew a couple of young pups in the first match. I had the point about 12 inches away from the pallino. Then our opponent beat that ball with his last roll placing it about 8 inches away.

My partner, a very good hitter, had the last two balls and decided to hit. I balked for a minute thinking, there's only gonna be 3 frames. If we screw up we could dig a hole for ourselves that we might not be able to get out of. But, like the wishy-washy, indecisive coach that I am, I indicated "OK - go for it."

Of course, we hit our own ball leaving the opponents with 3 points. We closed in on our last ball, but we still gave up 2 points - a very poor start caused by very poor coaching - my bad!

On the next frame they got a ball about 2 inches from the target, but Ralph made an even better shot, laying up against their ball and stealing the point. On our opponents' last ball they got lucky, caroming off a ball, then accidentally hitting the sideboard, then our ball. The result: two points for the opponents. Four to zero with one frame remaining. This wasn't how I foresaw the day playing out.

After the opponents rolled all four balls in the last frame, with none closer than 4 feet, our ball was "holding the point" about two feet away. We rolled our next three in the hopes of scoring 4 and forcing another frame. Alas. We scored only three and were defeated 4 to 3.

"Hey Ralph" I said. "We just had a $50 hamburger!"

Three morals of the story and a "sour grapes" comment...

If the game is gonna go only only 3 frames, it better be a pretty important charity.

If the game is gonna go only 3 frames, don't take unnecessary risks. Find a coach with half a brain.

If the game is gonna go only 3 frames, bring a healthy appetite.

Sour Grapes Comment

If you're gonna run a tourney, even for charity, play short games (eight or nine points, maybe even seven, but not three frames). Keep the customers happy. Make them want to come back next time. People understand short games. They want to help the charity and play a little bocce, but three frames is "pretty lame" as the kids say.


Frank Ansley, whose excellent artwork adorns the new Joy of Bocce edition writes...

"Received the book. Thanks. It looks good and makes VERY good reading. Kind of hard to put down. There's a restaurant here in St. Helena called Martini House. It's owned by Pat Kuleto, a well known restaurant designer, and he has a collection of those wooden bocce balls made with nails. He uses them around the restaurant for wall decorations and the tops of staircase posts.

Anyway, enjoyed seeing my painting in your book along with all the other excellent fotos. Buona fortuna con il libro!"


Now that the Joy of Bocce 3rd edition is hitting the bookstores, I could use a few reviews (positive ones, he said, hopefully) and a host of resellers (who want to purchase in quantity at wholesale and sell at retail - contact me at ).

New Jersey's Pete Chimento wrote the first review for

{Check Pete's review out here - and maybe pen one of your own - be kind!}

Dr. Cordano sent kind words too...

"I just finished the enjoyment of reading your book, which is simply a master piece about our favorite sport.

There is a Spanish saying that fits perfect with your new edition: “A LA TERCERA VA LA VENCIDA“…..that can be applied to any event in life and particularly in sports and of course when playing bocce after losing 2 straight games.

Congratulations for your super effort and wish you the best success with this new edition that should be enjoyed by all the US bocce players.

Note: The above in quotes can be interpreted several ways, but in essence is that the third game is the one that counts because it is the real McCoy."

Tom Walsh from Scotts Valley, California adds this...

"Just wanted to congratulate you on the third edition. I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to have my home court featured in your latest Joy Of Bocce. I proudly show off the book to any and all of my Bocce pals (and anyone else as well!)

Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the sport that we all share and love."


Elizabeth Jade Wong Fontana always keeps us posted on bocce no matter where she is...

First off - you gotta see this shot...

"Italy manufactures the world's greatest cars: Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, with bocce it is the same. Watch this video of the young man who will be representing Italy in the under 25 division."

"This year the Coppa d'Italia is happening in Viareggio for three days. Each participating province/county selects the players from the best club in that province to represent that province. There are 64 teams: Rome, Modena, Pistoia, Bergamo, etc. The team has 5-6 players.

The teams play triples and singles, two matches each up to 8 points each match. Then they play singles and doubles maybe two matches each, depending on which team wins 5 matches first.

All of the teams are playing in different cities in Tuscany. Luckily, the team I wanted to watch, L'Aquila, was playing only 10 minutes away from the villa. Why L'Aquila? Because the great Gianluca Formicone was playing the singles and the doubles for that club. I wondered at first if his opponent was a little nervous to play against this Italian Men's and World team champion. If he was, he didn't show it. To our amazement, Gianluca went down twice against a computer technician. I didn't get his name today, but he asked me not to put his name on the video to be uploaded to because he was supposed to be on the job at a university. Gianluca didn't play bad, its just that his opponent did everything right and all of the breaks went his way. He redeemed himself a little when he played the doubles winning both, but his team had to come back from a four match deficit, because of losing the triples and singles. They ended up 3-5 and are out of the competition's first round.

Tomorrow the club from Rome will be playing down the street. The players on their team includes Emiliano Benedetti and Fabio Palma. Dante D'Alessandro in still in the mix with his club, but I don't know where he is playing.

The bocce is the best that I have ever seen because they are all great players. My ex commented that in the World competition, there are only a few great ones, so it's easier for Gianluca to win.

I like how Italy has the single elimination concept in most of their tournaments because it gets them battle ready, do or die mentality. The concentration has to be there, no second chances.

Even though I am not playing much, I enjoy seeing and getting to understand the strategies that is often lost on Open players."


Brent Wagner sends tourney news...

"Here are some tournament details for an upcoming event in LA. Hopefully this can be added to your list and your Ezine.

The proceeds benefit Room to Read and it should be a pretty large event."



Don't forget Alvaro Bettucchi's event...


And Robert L. Agnelly's...

Please visit our web site at ."


United States Bocce Federation president Danny Passaglia sends news of a way we can support the USBF by signing up for a VISA card.


"Read in a posting a while back that someone was looking for a Skizzo game I have one that is like new. Contact Happy moonlight bocce to you."


Frank Valanzola sends this...

Dear Bocce Supporter:

As many of you know the New Jersey Bocce Invitational supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Your vote will make a big difference in saving the lives of kids. Here's how. The Pepsi Refresh Project is giving away $20 million in grants to "people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact." And the New Jersey Bocce Invitational is in the running for $50,000! This will allow us to continue to support the children undergoing cancer treatment through St. Jude Research Hospital. And we need your votes to win!

Vote by clicking on this link:

For the remainder of September, people can vote once a day, so I'm hoping you could help spread the word by emailing friends, tweeting about our idea, posting about it on Facebook or coming up with other creative ways to get people to vote. EVERY VOTE COUNTS!

You can also view a 3-minute video detailing how to help by clicking:

We greatly appreciate your helping us accomplish this goal. Your support would mean the world.




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


Koosh Ball & Cannon Ball Bocce...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were submitted by Kevin Thies, President of the Four Lakes Bocce Association in McFarland, Wisconsin. If you recall, in a past issue Kevin inquired about handicap access to courts. He has sent a couple pictures of what his group has done and asks a question or two...

Says Kevin...

"Should the ADA entrance 'hole' in side of the court be filled with an ADA acceptable 'swing door' to prevent bocces from flying out during play?

{My answer = Yes, I guess that would be the way to go. You swing it open to let the players in, then shut it behind them.}

Also, I notice that many courts have the back sides built up several feet. I assume this is for safety to keep balls from flying out and hitting bystanders. Is that correct?

{Yes, this is more common in the East where there are a lot of hard throwers - not so common as you move west. Many west coast courts are one level all the way around the rectangular confines of the court.}

I would like to suggest to our club that we build about a 3 foot swing door to fill the current 'ADA' hole and then extend lattice work around the back side of the court to match the 3 foot level of the ADA door. Do you think that would help on both the safety aspect and of course keeping balls from rolling off the court during play?"

{Sounds like a plan. Make sure the lattice work has openings that are small enough to keep the pallino from passing through.}

Any readers have other ideas? Check the photos first then REPLY and I'll get the word to Kevin.

View this week's photos...

Bocce product of the week
The Joy of Bocce - 3rd edition - Finally off the presses!

Designed to grab the attention of the masses

High resolution, colorful, eye-catching cover

200 pages of info, skills, techniques and strategies

100 high res photos and diagrams throughout

Photos contributed from around the USA

Retails for $18.45.

Don't look for lots of new text in this new edition. What I've done is tighten it and replace all the low res photos with high res ones, making the book much more accessible to the masses. The new book is comprehensive like the previous editions, but better suited for the mass market, not just bocce fanatics.

The new cover is eye-catching, the photos are pretty spectacular, and I feel great about the potential this edition will have on the growth of the game. I'm really proud of it and I think you will really enjoy it.

Click below to order... and please...


The Joy of Bocce 3rd edition...

Non bocce product of the week
I've come into possession of a great many collectible items - a long story. I have all manner of items including costume jewelry, art work, and all kind of curios. So, I thought I'd give eBay a whirl. What the heck, I don't have much else going on.

Some item links to eBay below - for others bookmark StrikerPag...

Nailed boule - from my private collection. I’ve come into a collection of polished nailed boules. My wife keeps telling me that I have so many now (probably 100 or so) that I should sell a few so that others could enjoy them too.

“Blasphemy! I’m not selling my collection at any price” I protest.

Alas! She breaks me down, using the old standby “guilt trip” and completes the blitz by playing the “selfish card” until I relent.

“I’ll list one this week to see if there is any interest, but it’s not gonna sell cheap. Then we’ll just see.”

Here's another - this one with squarehead nails and one single brass nail for identification purposes. Still time to bid on both and have them shipped together for the price of shipping just one. But you'd better hurry!


Sterling Silver Locket & Chain - Black Onyx Stone

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.


September 25, 2010 - California - IACC South City. RAFFA 3 PERSON. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


October 2, 2010 - California - IBS Sutter Creek. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


October 9, 2010 - California - San Rafael - Marin. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Diane Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


October 10, 2020 - California - IACC South City. VOLO - 2 PLAYERS. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-697-7702.


October 10, 2010 - New Hampshire - Derry. Sixth Annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament at the Sportszone. Recipients of this year's proceeds will be the Michael J. Dunleavy Foundation. Contact Sandro Martignetti @ .


October 15-18, 2010. Louisiana - New Orleans Bocce Tournament. Up to $4,000 in cash prizes based upon 20 teams. Entry fee is $400 per 4 man team. This will be a round robin tournament so every team will play several games. More information at, or contact Bob Agnelly at .


October 16, 2020 - California - Sacramento - East Portal. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


October 23, 2010 - California - Marin - San Rafael. OPEN 4 PLAYERS Novato Rotary Fall Classic. Contact Frank Bruno @ 415-798-0668.


November 6, 2010 - California - Stockton - Waterloo -OPEN 2 MEN 2 WOMEN. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


November 11 - 13, 2010. Nevada - Reno. Peppermill Casino. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact Dana Shores @ 800-648-6992.

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