The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IX, Issue 31 - October 11, 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 #31 - October 11, 2010
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2010
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello bocce lovers,

Thanks to all who volunteered, contributed, or helped with this past weekend's Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament. With twenty teams participating, we took part in another first class event and $30,000 was raised for the Michael J. Dunleavy Foundation.
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Michael's father attended the event and spoke to the group about how the funds raised over the years have benefited pediatric cancer care. Our group is proud to have helped in a small way. That bocce was part of the success formula makes it doubly satisfying.

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

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Dr. Richard Mazzei's Home Court in Trenton, Maine...

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


This weekend's Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tourney was another resounding success. Twenty teams participated and $30,000 was raised for the Michael Dunleavy Foundation - click the logo to the right for info on the foundation (it's never too late to donate).

Michael's dad spoke to the group about how the funds have been used to improve pediatric cancer care. Thanks to all who helped. Keep Columbus Day weekend in mind for next year's event which will benefit yet another worthwhile charity.


Special Edition News...

I launched a Special Edition a few days back regarding an issue that needs to be wrapped up ASAP.

I'm attempting to get copies of The Joy of Bocce 3rd edition into as many bocce clubs, groups or organizations as possible as there is a definite time lag in getting them into the bookstores. Many people responded by email to the offer. Thanks for that. But please see if you can make a decision ASAP as I need to wrap this up in the next couple of days to get decent wholesale prices for the clubs.

The idea is that groups can purchase at discount by the case (36 per case) and retail at the full price. This will I hope get some "Buzz" going about the book and the sport that might catch on with the bocce community at large.

I've worked hard to make this edition the one that will help this game grow - now starts the tough part - the marketing! Please help if you can. Call me at 978-686-8679 or email for more details.



Our local Sons of Italy has three nicely carpeted bocce courts and leagues going almost every night of the week. One league keeps standings in a most unusual manner. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, only how many points you score. They play games to 11. Games to 12 are pretty standard in the USA, but the guy who got things started at the Sons had played to 11 somewhere and decided that 11 was the "official" winning score.

At first I thought that maybe this system puts less emphasis on winning and more on enjoying the game. That would be a good thing. Read on, and maybe REPLY with your ideas.

In the leagues that I run, I keep count of points scored as a tie-breaker in case two or more teams have identical records. But this disregard of wins and losses flies in the face of sports record keeping. Let's say you play a 10 game season and lose every game by a score of 11 - 10. You scored 100 points. Another team wins 5 games, scoring 55 points and picks up another 40 points in the games they lose. Their record would be 5 wins and 5 losses with 95 points scored while the first team has 0 wins and 10 losses with 100 points. The winless team is ahead in the standings.

Theoretical league standings might look like this, a travesty of sports justice according to conventional scoring systems:

Team 1 = 0 wins 10 losses 100 points
Team 2 = 8 wins 2 losses 98 points
Team 3 = 3 wins 7 losses 96 points
Team 4 = 5 wins 5 losses 90 points
Team 5 = 7 wins 3 losses 87 points
Team 6 = 1 win 9 losses 64 points

All of this silliness reminds me of the 1960 World Series (hey, I'm old) between the NY Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Yankees scored a lot of points, batting .338, hitting 10 homeruns, and out hitting the Pirates 91 - 60. Whitey Ford pitched two shutouts, winning 10 - 0 in game 3 and 12 - 0 in game 6. But the Pirates won game seven when Bill Mazeroski hit that famous "walk-off" homerun in the ninth inning. That was before the term walk-off game into vogue.

The Yankees won 16 - 3, 10 - 0, 12 - 0 while the Pirates won 6 - 4, 3 - 2, 5 - 2, and 10 - 9.

A couple things come to mind. One is this...too bad Ford didn't pitch shutouts in the low scoring games while someone else pitched when the Yankees had 16 and 10 run games.

Another is this...A few years later, NY Yankee pitcher Art Ditmar who would become my college baseball coach in Springfield lost two games in the series, despite going 15 - 9 that year in the regular season. I played against Ditmar in the Tri-County League (featuring current and former college players and a smattering of minor league farm hands) and the thing I noticed most was this - although he wasn't the same pitcher as he was "back in the day", if he knew you couldn't hit a pitch on say, the outside corner...plunk, plunk, plunk - you needed to go back and sit down on the bench.

Ditmar was a great story teller and he was also great at getting his former players tickets for ball games at Yankee or Shea Stadium. One quick story - playing at Miami Dade against Mickey Rivers et al I made a great diving catch in the outfield. When I came back to the dugout I got high fives from everybody, but not a word of praise from Coach Ditmar. Later, my teammates said "Hey Pag," he saw MANTLE go to the wall. Ya think he's gonna tell YOU nice catch?"

Well, I guess they had a point, but still, a coach HAS to encourage good play and build morale. That was a good lesson Ditmar taught me before I became a high school baseball coach.

Anyway, back to my point - if Major League Baseball used the Sons of Italy scoring system, the NY Yankees would have won the 1960 World Series because they outscored the Pirates 55 to 27. The standing would have been...

NY Yankees 3 wins 4 losses 55 runs
Pittsburgh Pirates 4 wins 3 losses 27 runs

I wonder how that would have gone over with the fans, the media, and MLB.

View Mazeroski's home run on YouTube - note: the announcer mistakenly says that Ditmar is pitching, but he was actually warming up in the bullpen.


Pat Pezzin sends this...

"I'm forwarding everyone on behalf of Ciociaro Bocciofila their Annual Nino D'Aversa Doubles tournament taking place on October 23rd weekend.

Hope to see most of you guys there. If you require information on the event I believe Santino DiPalma would be the best contact. His name and number on application."


Joe Quarterone sends news about PlayStation Bocce!

"I thought you may want to share this with your bocce crowd online and locally! They can buy it for their kids and grandkids so they can all play together when not outside.

New Bocce game for PS3, with motion controller

You can hear the players make grunts and comments, as well as traffic noise in the background like when we are playing in the North End in Boston."


Some links from Elizabeth Jade Wong Fontana...she also reminds us to check out


Ben Musolf sends advance notice for the 2011 United States Bocce Championships.

I have also put together a Bocce Series call the 'Raffa Showdown Series." It will entail weekly tournaments either singles or doubles, single elimination style. I have also attached the entry forms for this event. If anybody ever asks how to promote Raffa, please feel free to recommend this."








Just in case you missed it - you just HAVE to see this shot...


The 2010 United States & North American
Pallino D’Oro Championships
Presented by Da Vinci Bocce L.L.C.

Location: Ciociaro Club
3745 N. Talbot Rd. R.R. #1, Oldcastle, Ontario N0R 1L0, Canada

Dates: United States Pallino D’Oro
Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 – 9:00 AM

North American Pallino D’Oro
Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010 – 9:00 AM

Entry Fees: United States Pallino D’Oro - $100 (U. S. Dollars)

North American Pallino D’Oro - $100 (U.S. Dollars)

Prizes: United States Pallino D’Oro
1st $1,200 2nd $800 3rd $600 4th $400 (U. S. Dollars)

North American Pallino D’Oro
1st $1,200 2nd $800 3rd $600 4th $400 (U. S. Dollars)

Rules: Singles Play, Punto, Raffa, Volo. International Rules.

Format: United States Pallino D’Oro will be a double elimination tournament.

North American Pallino D’Oro will be single elimination group play.

Points: All games to 12 points. Final game in both tournaments will be 15 points.

Hotel: Ramada Inn, 2225 Division Road, Windsor, Ontario. Call (519) 969-7800 and mention “Pallino D’Oro Championship”

Contact: Michael B. Grasser, Owner Da Vinci Bocce LLC
248-505-4744 or

Note: Tournament will be closed after 32 players have registered via mail w/ check for entry fee(s).

Checks payable to Da Vinci Bocce LLC.
Send to Michael B. Grasser, 2276 Garland Boulevard, Sylvan Lake, MI 48320




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


Bocce at The Breezes Resort - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were submitted by DaVinciBocce's Mike Grasser and J. Smith. They are from this past July's Michigan State Championship held in Sylvan Lake, Michigan.

Says Mike about the last photo posted...

"The winning team is on the bottom row. Me, Marco Santia, Jose Botto and Jason Wisniewski. The second place team is from Iron Mountain, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. Mike Constantini, John Gaudette, Jim Snowden and Al Spigarelli."

View this week's photos...

Bocce product of the week
The RulerRef - A Review

The RulerRef is a well constructed measuring device created by Bronx, New York bocce enthusiast Tony Saccomanno.

According to the RulerRef website, Saccomanno "... loved playing the game but hated arguing with his friends over who won!

A Korean War Army veteran, Tony has always had an entrepreneurial spirit - he started his own metal polishing business in 1963. His shop is still going strong today in his hometown of the Bronx, New York. But his nights and weekends are spent at the bocce court he helped build near his home, or at the well known courts of Pelham Bay Park.

He used his knowledge of metal polishing and his connections with the metal-working workforce to construct a tool that will not only stand strong against rough housing and bad weather, but will last for years to come. Tony really 'made it like they used to'."


This device is similar to, but a lot more durable than, the Resolver that Cresskill, New Jersey's Mike Paccione brought to the market a few years back. Paccione's device had a swiveling tape measure set atop a clear acrylic cube that fit over the target ball. Saccomanno's uses the same basic concept but is metallic and more durable.

My bocce posse and I tested the RulerRef during our formal and informal play the last couple weeks and, after a little getting used to, it earned high marks from the gang. Most found it easy to use and quick and accurate for casual, open rules play.

You set the RulerRef over the pallino, extend the tape to one ball being measured, locking the tape into position, then swivel the tape around to compare with the other ball(s) in contention.

You need to be careful when setting the device over the target ball so as not to move the pallino. The device has a metal insert which allows the device to "... perfectly accommodate the two most popular pallino sizes - 50mm and 60mm."

A lot of us prefer the international size pallino (40 mm) but the device accommodates that one as well. Of course, you could argue that if there is too much space between the target ball and the inside rim of the device, that will leave margin for error in your placement (you could be a tad off when centering the device).

We all know that "inside measure" is the most accurate, and high level players are not likely to embrace the RulerRef. Only inside measure will satisfy their taste. But, that's OK because that group is not the target market for this well conceived, well constructed instrument.

This device is for the masses of players across the country who play on the lawn in their backyard or on courts in the public or private domain. That makes up the biggest percentage of bocce players right now.

Still, Saccomanno is likely to have the same problems that Mike Paccione had with his Resolver.

1) It will likely appeal to the average backyard and casual bocce player but not to those who prefer Punto Raffa Volo and those big money open rules tournaments. Although, I do see a lot of money tourneys where they still measure with a standard tape measure, measuring from the pallino to an estimated center of the balls being compared. This device is easily as accurate as that.

2) I remember that Paccione had trouble keeping production costs down so that he could get his device in the hands of players at a reasonable price and still make a buck. The RulerRef is high quality, priced right, and worth all of the $49.95 price tag. I hope it doesn't encounter the same production problems as The Resolver. Inside measures like the Premier Boule Measure conveniently fit in your pocket and sell for just about half the RulerRef price, so time will tell if people will pony up the extra dough. Lots of casual players measure with a tin can with a length of string attached to its bottom center. They'll love this device. I just don't know if the person who measures with an empty can and string will cough up the purchase price for the RulerRef.

When you see the RulerRef up close you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that it is extremely well made. Those who do fork over the cash for it won't be sorry.

The RulerRef comes in Red, Green, and White (for lawn bowls players). It is suitable for "clay and grass courts."

Check out the device and peruse the RulerRef website which has a short repeating video on how to use the device, some interesting navigation buttons and a Blog which has some interesting entries.

Hats off to Tony Saccomanno and his entrepreneurial spirit. I hope he makes his novel and useful RulerRef a household name in the bocce community.

Check out the Ruler Ref at

Non bocce product of the week
I've come into possession of a great many collectible items. 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.

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

Another roundhead nailed boule up for grabs...


Trifari Signed Goldtone Necklace


Sterling Hanging Pencil Chatelaine

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.


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.


Dec. 4, 2010 - Stockton California, Italian Athletic Club - 2 Men & 2 Women Open - USBF Rules - Contact Ron Jacobs @ 209-957-1223


June 25 - July 2, 2011. California - Campo di Bocce Livermore and Campo di Bocce Los Gatos. United States Bocce Championships. Check this pdf for details and contact info...

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