The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IX, Issue 32 - October 18, 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 #32 - October 18, 2010
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2010
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Greetings bocce friends,

Thanks to those of you who are helping promote the Joy of Bocce's 3rd edition. Many bocce clubs, wineries, and individuals have taken advantage of my offer to purchase by the case at wholesale and then resell the title at the full retail price. The idea is to get some "Buzz" going about the book in the hopes that that "Buzz" can spread to the community at large. REPLY if you want to take part. The book makes an excellent and inexpensive gift for the upcoming holiday season. If you've ordered case(s) from me, they are being printed and shipped this week.

In other news, we did a corporate outing for Nuveen Investments who came from Chicago to Boston for their shindig which, of course, included bocce. They LOVED it! Pictures to follow soon.

I have the opportunity to run another bocce event this weekend but I'll have to decide if I want to skip my 45th high school reunion...or work my magic so that I could attend both events. Forty-five seems like I just got on the planet. Where did 45 years go?

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

Note: Please add to your whitelist or address book in your e-mail program, so that you have no trouble receiving future issues!

Also, click "Confirm" at the end of this ezine to further ensure consistent delivery.

Did a friend send you this? Sign up to get your own here - - it's entertaining, useful, and complimentary.

View the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia...

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

We ran yet another enjoyable corporate outing this past weekend. The good folks from Nuveen Investments (Chicago) came to Boston to hold their event and were able to get a little bocce in to boot. {A few of the good looking players are in the photo to the right.}

We played on the courts in the North End of Boston and everyone in attendance had a wonderful time. Even though this was a small group of 16, I still think this is one of the best ways to promote our game. Quite often the attendees have never played before or maybe played once or twice without getting much instruction on the rules or how the game is played. They often harbor misconceptions, thinking that they have to alternate rolls with their partner rather than roll two consecutive balls.

We give them a little primer on the game, answer any questions, then make sure they have a great time playing some kind of tournament format.

For this small event - four teams of four players each - we played a round robin with each team playing each of the other three teams. Games went to 12 points or 35 minutes, whichever came first. When we got to the final two matches of the day, all four teams had records of 1 win and 1 loss. At this point I gather the troops and tell them things like "It's a testament to the outstanding quality of play on display here" and "I've never seen so many gifted athletes in one place."

When the final matches were done, two teams were 2 - 1 and two were 1 - 2. We use point differential as the tie-breaker. If you won 12 - 8, 12 - 10, and lost 11 - 12, you had a point differential of +5 (+ 4, + 2, and -1). The winners were presented with autographed copies of The Joy of Bocce 3rd Edition at dinner that evening. What could be better?


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.

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.


Joy of Bocce Weekly now in html and text formats

For the last few years I have been launching the weekly ezine only in html form. The techies at Topica, the list managing outfit, tell me that this is one reason some ezines don't make it to their intended destination. So, I changed to sending it as "multi-part" which means you might get it as html or text depending on how you are signed up. If your newsletter is still coming in html you'll notice no difference, but if it arrives in text only form you'll know. We've had a lot fewer bounces the last two issues, so I guess it's working. I've got a message into the techies to find out how you change your ezine from one form to the other. I'll let you know as soon as I know.


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."


I wish I could figure out how book sellers can offer my book on I mean, they don't have any copies. The 3rd edition is a print on demand title. Maybe they collect the money for the book, then order it and have it mailed to the customer. Sounds like a tough way to make a buck, unless the markup is huge.

Speaking of huge markups, I was tooling around on the other day and some guy has my first edition on sale as a "collectible" for over $300. Heck, I've got a half dozen of those hanging around that I'd be willing to part with for say, $150 each. {I'm holding my breath.}


Joe Quarterone's news about PlayStation Bocce got a warm reception last week - here it is again in case you missed it.

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."


Rocco Germano wrote to ask which state I was talking about last week when I mentioned playing baseball in Springfield. He thought it might have been Springfield, MO where his dad played professional baseball.

I replied that "I was playing in Springfield, Massachusetts where I grew up. There are so many Springfields - I remember a song that has a line... "There's a Springfield in most any state from the coast of Maine to the Golden Gate."

Then Rocco added...

"We envy you guys with all the bocce courts both on the east and west coasts. We have a significant Italian population and have been playing outside for many many years. We only have one court I know of that is inside. We have a group of friends that play every Friday and keep talking about going in together and doing a restaurant/bocce venture. I have said the first one here in Denver will be set for life."

My response...

"We don't have so many indoor courts hereabouts either. I'm in the northeast corner of Mass. and we have a couple places we can play but nothing really upscale. I say the same thing that you say. The first one in New England to set up a facility with good food and state of the art courts will make a killing. There is a huge untapped market for corporate outings and parties in some areas - like right here. We've looked at building too, but the economy scares everybody away. I'd like the place to be close to Boston or even Providence, Rhode Island.

A retired guy (retired already 9 years), running a facility like that would be the only job I'd consider accepting. Tony Battaglia talked to me about running his Palazzo di Bocce in Michigan, but it was too big a move for me. I keep telling him we need a Palazzo di Bocce East or a Campo di Bocce East. One of the neat things about working at a place like that is you get to play on those polyurethane courts (see this week's photos) and are bound to get the hang of it. Jason Wisniewski who works at the Palazzo is one of the better players in the country now, and I don't think he played much before he got the job there."


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


50th Wedding Anniversary Bocce Bash!

Photos of the week
This week's photos were submitted by Joy of Bocce faithful contributor Richard Heisler. They give us an idea of what is involved in installing the polyurethane resin courts like at Michigan's Palazzo di Bocce and California's Campo di Bocce.

In the photo to the right is Il Maestro himself, Aurelio Colleone, who is the master court builder.

Heisler reports...

"The Italian Athletic Club in Stockton, CA had four indoor courts with a bar and rest rooms in a steel building next to their main building which includes a kitchen, dining room, bar and conference room. The courts were outdoor carpet over concrete with wooden side and swing boards. It was quite a task to rip out the carpet as the adhesive they used was incredibly strong. Ultimately, one end of the carpet was prized up and hooked to a towing chain attached to a pickup truck outside the back door. Put ‘er in low and go completed the removal. As you’ve experienced, Valley summers aren’t cool and a building full of hot asphalt was as close to the hinges of hell as I want to get and I was only shooting photos, not running a barrow.

Aurelio Colleone, the court builder, broadcast rubber dust on top of the second coat of uncured resin to keep the surface from being too fast. It was supposed to be finalized with fine sand (as at Livermore) after six weeks but that was controversial among the members (experts all).

They play similar to, but slightly better than the Livermore indoor courts. IAC also has six outdoor courts (Astroturf over concrete) which are mostly disused due to surrounding trees and peeling glue issues. Lots of leaves and nuts with some heaving by the roots. Maintenance is the defining issue as the members age."

{Thanks to Richard for these great shots. It's obviously quite and effort to install such courts but well worth the effort. When done correctly, they produce beautiful, fast and true rolling, low maintenance courts.}

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...

Millefiori Glasswork Glass Paperweight


Mickey Mouse Child's Cup With Handle - Brass?


Vintage Mini Oil Can - 3 1/2 inches tall

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


December 10 and 11, 2010 - Canada - Ciociaro Club
3745 N. Talbot Rd. R.R. #1, Oldcastle, Ontario. The 2010 United States & North American Pallino D’Oro Championships Presented by Da Vinci Bocce L.L.C.
Rules: Singles Play, Punto, Raffa, Volo. International Rules. Contact Michael B. Grasser @ 248-505-4744 or .


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