The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. X, Issue 11 - March 21, 2011 
•   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 10, Issue #11 - March 21, 2011
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2011
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Greetings once again my bocce friends,

We've had a little more snow recently, but that hasn't dampened our bocce spirits. In a few weeks we'll be outdoors gearing up for the Nationals in June at the fabulous Campo di Bocce venues in Los Gatos and Livermore. I hope you'll come by and say hello if you are there. I'll be the guy hitting a few raffas and landing a couple volos "in the neighborhood" of the target, but struggling to point on the super-fast surfaces. This time around I hope to get a couple balls to come to rest in the same zip code as the pallino.

My non-profit group again got the OK to host the Massachusetts Senior Games Bocce Tourney. If you will be in our neighborhood (Lawrence, Massachusetts) on Saturday, April 30th, I hope you'll consider joining us. Still, after all these years, bocce is not a national event. You can win in your state, but that won't qualify you to play at the National Senior Games level because bocce hasn't been recognized as a national event yet.

In Lawrence we'll have spirited competition, great food, and we'll play for the 2011 Commonwealth of Massachusetts Bragging Rights!

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.

Daytona Beach, Florida...

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

Elizabeth Jade Wong Fontana always has interesting things to share...

Second Ruby Raffa Classic - Double Trouble

"Just watched a wonderful tournament here today in Viareggio, Italy of 80 Category A1 and A players. My friend champion cyclist Franco Bitossi 'il cuore matto' went down shooting in the 2nd match against world bocce champion Maurizio Mussini. Maurizio's side business is designing real gold medals & trophies for sports here in Italy. They awarded gold medals even to the 8th place for this tournament, must have had great sponsors.

Well, after meeting some of the other A1 players and asking them if they would like to donate any items for my next women's tournament, Paolo Proserpio donated his beautiful 8th place medal. It is about 3-4 grams of 18kt. with the Viareggio Burlamacco on it. A gram goes for about 28 euros = $39. Maurizio said that he will have some items for me this summer.

Now the format of this tournament will be a raffa team of 3 women & 1 man. Two will play at one end, and the other two at the opposite end, hence the 'Double Trouble'.

{Note: you gotta love Elizabeth's double trouble logo above right.}

One of the women cannot be a ranked, experienced 'individuals' raffa player. Two of the players will be designated pointers only. Gold medals & cash will be awarded to the 1st place team with the Burlamacco going to the MVP of the team, decided by secret ballot of the top four teams. Cash prizes will be awarded up to the 8th place. Lots of wonderful door prizes from Italy and beyond. Limited to 20 teams. If you don't want to play late or wait, don't play! Location will be decided upon the amount of interested players, and assistance provided by the local club and women.

By the way, Maurizio ended up winning over the local favorite Giacomo Lorenzini. Maurizio's wife was glad that I was rooting for him too. We have been old friends since my coach Rino Nencini introduced me to him in 2005 when he came in 2nd to Maurizio. Rino will be 90th in December. He played yesterday in a tournament and only lost the 4th match. His 1st match 12-0, the 2nd 12-10, the 3rd match I thought that Rino was 'toast' he was playing against a 22 year old Manuele Rondele who was ahead 9-7 but quit after the referee kept burning his balls because he was short of the line in his raffa throws. A level head and patience pays off.

Good luck to all of you in your preparation and practice for the Nationals."



My group just got the OK to host the Massachusetts Senior Games Bocce once again (I'm on the Senior Games Board of Directors). We'll host it this year at the Sons of Italy Lodge #902 at 155 Marston St. in Lawrence, Massachusetts. See the listing below under Tourneys on April 30, 2011.

Come and join us if you will be in the neighborhood that Saturday. You'll have a great time on three carpeted courts, dine on fine Italian food, enjoy spirited bocce play and vie for CMBBR (Commonwealth of Massachusetts Bocce Bragging Rights!).


Bath, Maine's Jean Anthony will bring teams to our Senior Games Tourney and sends a question that we get occasionally...

"Happy to hear the Senior Games will be held again this year. Looks as if the Bocce Buddies of Bath will again be entering and I will let you know the team names in the near future. We are delighted to learn the courts are 62' - we may even get to score a point!

I have been asked the following question and am unable to find a definitive answer anywhere. Would appreciate your help.

At the beginning of a frame and after the pallino is thrown, should the next ball fall short of the centre line, does it count? If not, what is the procedure?"

{First off, people can play by any rules they choose. I have heard that some group's play the way you describe, which doesn't make much sense to me. A ball that comes a couple inches in front of the pallino but doesn't pass the center line is a good shot. Some remove it from play because it didn't reach mid court. Supposedly they would have to play again. Let's say this second roll lands 5 feet past the target - not such a good shot - but this one stands and the other team plays next.

People play by whatever home court rules they like, but perhaps they could refer to the USBF Open Rules if they want a source to resolve problems. Better yet, maybe they should give the USBF Open Rules a try. At least the rules would be consistent.

Check out the Bocce Buddies of Bath here: }


Here's another good idea from Ace Bocce Promoter Ben Musolf...

"Hello all of you Bocce fans and supporters!

As you all know, or at least you should, Campo di Bocce is hosting the 2011 United States Bocce Championships June 25 - July 2, 2011. All of us love Bocce and for some of us it is a lifestyle and a passion! I firmly believe that it is a common thread among us that we all want to see Bocce grow and become very popular and more than just a pastime or a game played in the back yard.

With all of our media outlets and forms of communication, we have the ability to create a viral environment just by saying we 'like' something. Many of you have a Facebook account, or use Twitter. I would assume most of you text message people, and you all obviously have an email account.

I strongly believe that we should all be 'Friends' or 'Like' the USBF on Facebook. All you have to do is search USBF from your Facebook account and request to be friends. Whoever manages the Facebook account will be overloaded if we all become friends! Let’s see how many we can get. The ultimate goal is to start talking about our sport, growing our sport, and creating unprecedented awareness about our sport! If you don’t have a Facebook account, tell your friends, family, co-workers, etc.

Let’s see what happens! Thanks for taking the time to help promote and support the game that all know and love!

Look for Bocce to be promoted on television, radio, internet and more in the very near future. You can see a little bit at . "


Western Massachusetts Bocce Promoter Rico Daniele can talk about bocce until the cows come home.

Check his YouTube video that my son helped him film...aptly titled "For The Love of Bocce"...


This from the Yahoo Group Bocceanonymous...

"My name is Michael Cannon and I represent a group of bocce enthusiasts in Chico, CA called 'Friends of Chico Bocce'. The sport of bocce has become exceedingly popular in Chico in recent years, with several private courts being built, and culminating with a city-wide bocce tournament in May at a local restaurant, which at present is the only 'public' court. I have been in charge of the tournament for the past 5 years and actually 'referee' all the matches. What 'Friends of Chico Bocce' would like to do is to have the City of Chico entertain the idea of designating area(s) and building public bocce courts.

We've gone so far as to have a local architect draw up court plans, a team that has identified possible locations, and have appeared before city bodies to begin the process of hopefully working with the City of Chico to realize the idea of public bocce courts. I am writing to various members of the 'bocce community' for help.

What we need from you is simply an email back with some information we could pass along to our city council.

Here are some issues you could address.

1. The success of your bocce courts in terms of revenue and the amount of play.

2. How bocce courts contribute to a sense of community

3. How bocce might figure in to the recreational activity of your city and of seniors especially

4. How your courts we're built and how they are managed successfully possibly in terms of a public/private partnership

5. And really anything you can think of that might persuade individuals who might not be familiar with bocce that the idea of public courts is a good one!

Thanks so much in advance!
Sincerely, Michael Cannon"

{A great effort - I always say that the quality of life in a community is related to its recreation. If you can reply with helpful info for this group, write or .}


Sam from Four Sams Concrete Generations sent us an idea for a bocce bench some time ago. He's back with an update...

"Here is the proposed Bocce Bench item that will be ready early this year. It will be available in WALL ART OR GARDEN COURT BENCH also. It measures 15"X 32" and was inspired by the old FOLIO WINES grape box. This has been a labor of love. I play and love the game myself. Again this is the ORIGINAL and the molds are being made as I write this email.

I welcome all input....SAM

LOVE YOUR SITE....I play with the BULLHEAD BOCCE Club in Scranton, PA.

Four Sams Concrete Generations

{Check out the art work here: }


2011 United States Bocce Championships.






Hosted by the Ashtabula S.O.I. and EAC

Saturday, August 6, 2011 - Qualifiers

Sunday, August 7, 2011 - Finals

First Place = $1,200.00

Four Person Teams

Entry $150.00 per team

Contact Mark Andrews at: .

If sending an email, please identify the subject matter as WGA Bocce.




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


Glo Boules / Bocce...

Photos of the week
This week's great pictures were originally posted on December 16, 2002 (Volume 1, #48). They are now permanently part of Bocce Tidbits on The Joy of Bocce website. They show how we organized a Bocce Ladder to rank players in order of pointing skills in order to form a league with balanced teams.

Here is what I wrote in that issue more than 9 years ago...

Using a “ladder” to form teams for league play

This year our indoor bocce group wants to move from our informal pick-up games on Monday mornings to more organized and competitive league play.

After the dog-eat-dog world of competitive college and semi-pro sports (basketball and baseball), recreational bocce appeals to me because of the scaled down competition. Everybody wants to win these games, but it’s more about fun and camaraderie than victories.

I’m afraid that, with league play, there will be a trade-off. We’ll get the stepped up competition and rivalries, but we’ll lose something too. Instead of just showing up whenever you can make it, there will more of a sense of urgency to attend. And we’ll lose the flexibility to invite someone new to come down and join us just for the day.

I’ll keep you posted on how all of this plays out. We have a terrific group of participants who can keep the competition in perspective. Hopefully we’ll work it out so that there is no “down side” to our new format. To start our league, we’ll begin by creating a Bocce Ladder.

A Bocce Ladder is a ranking of players in order of pointing skill. Top level players tell me that pointing is more important than hitting, and that they will take a good pointer over a good hitter every time.

So, initially we need to establish which rung on the “pointing skill ladder” each player will occupy. Every player rolls 8 balls attempting to get as close as possible to the target ball, which we arbitrarily set in the center of the court 16 feet from the end of our 72-foot playing surface. (Our indoor temporary courts are 6” by 6” by 8’ timbers placed end to end over AstroTurf).

After each rolled ball, we measure its distance from the target, record it, and move that ball out of the way (we want subsequent rolls to have a clear path to the target).

If the target ball is hit by any roll, we return it to its original location and measure the distance from there to the resting place of the rolled ball. For these measurements, a steel tape is best and, since accuracy is not critical, we measure from the edge of the pallino to the center of the bocce ball (estimate where the center is).

When the eight balls are rolled and their distance from the object recorded, we {arbitrarily decided to} eliminate the two worst rolls and then add the combined distances of the remaining six.

Now we can rank order the players from 1st to last in order of pointing skill. The player with the lowest total gets the top rung and the player with the highest ends up on the bottom rung.

This is only the initial positioning. Now, any player may challenge another player who is not more than 4 rungs up the ladder. They play a regular singles bocce game to 12 points.

If the higher seed wins, there is no change to the ladder. If the lower seed wins, s/he takes over that higher rung and the higher seed drops down a rung (pushing some of the others down a rung as well).

For example, if #4 challenges and beats #1, #4 earns the top spot on the ladder. One drops to two which pushes the previous #2 to #3 and the previous #3 to #4, (but #5 through the bottom rung are unaffected).

Another simpler option is to just have the winner and loser exchange rungs on the ladder (no one else's position is affected).

Players who join after the initial ladder is formed take the eight-ball qualifying test and are inserted into the Ladder in a position relative to the other scores.

Once placed in the Ladder, movement up and refinement of the Ladder is accomplished by challenges.

If you know that certain players ended up lower than they should have, your organizers can institute challenges for the good of the league.

You need to set a reasonable period of time for challenges to take place and make a few ground rules such as these from The Long Island Bocce Club...

“A member may not challenge the same person more than once in a calendar month.”

“A member may accept any number of challenges but is not required to accept more than 4 challenges in any calendar month.”

Go to their web site to see their official challenge sheet.

After a suitable period of time for ladder "refinement" it is time to pick teams. Here is an example of setting up 10 evenly matched teams with 40 players (with odd numbers you will have to tweak this to fit your situation).

Pair up the top ranked player with the bottom ranked, second ranked with next to last ranked, etc. on down the ladder.


Next match up the first two-player team with the bottom one to make a four-player team.

1-40.....&.....20-21 {These numbers add up to 82}
2-39.....&.....19-22.....= 82
3-38.....&.....18-23.....= 82
4-37.....&.....17-24.....= 82
5-36.....&.....16-25.....= 82
6-35.....&.....15-26.....= 82
7-34.....&.....14-27.....= 82
8-33.....&.....13-28.....= 82
9-32.....&.....12-29.....= 82
10-31....&....11-30.....= 82

{If you have any experience with ladders, selecting teams, or organizing leagues and you can provide input, please REPLY.}

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 ˝ 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
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'm giving eBay a whirl.

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

Fabulous Hand Painted Trinket Box / Jewelry Box


Vintage Minolta Zoom 8 with case, manual, + 2 filters


US House of Representatives Space Pen by Fisher

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.


April 1 - 3, 2011 - Canada - Toronto 777 Bocce Club's 2nd Classic Cup Open Championships - $6400 in guaranteed prize money, plus trophies. Click for more info: .


April 2, 2011 - California - Aquatic Park. VOLO 1 PLAYER Contact Benji Tosi @ 415-238-7995.


April 3, 2011 - California - Downey Bocce Club. Contact Don Gaggiano @ 949-855-8554 or .


April 9, 2011 - California - IAC Womens Aux. OPEN 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Shirley Croce @ 209-466-0541.


April 16, 2011 - South Carolina - Charleston. The 11th Annual Container Bocce to Benefit Special Olympics. Blackbaud Soccer Stadium, 1990 Daniel Island Drive. 128 Teams - 16 Court Sponsors. Contact Paula Byers @, 843-795-5316.


April 16, 2011 - California - Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS. Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408-379-9409.


April 16, 2011 - Washington - Bellingham. The 9th Annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament at the Bellingham Sportsplex. Starts a 9AM. The usual salmon barbecue lunch, beer garden, and fun for charity is expected. Contact Tom "Boccemon" McNutt at (BBBT link) or call 360-224-2909.


April 23, 2011 - California - IACC South City. OPEN 3 PLAYERS. Contact Gene Semenza @ 650-872-0192.


April 30, 2011 - California -East Portal Sacramento. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Bob Martinez @ 916-717-1947.


April 30, 2011 - Massachusetts - Lawrence. Massachusetts Senior Games. Four player teams. Sons of Italy, 155 Marston St. Contact Mario Pagnoni @ 978-686-8679 or . $40 per person includes competition, morning coffee and pastry, Senior Games T-Shirt, Borelli's Italian Deli lunch, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals to 1st, 2nd, 3rd place finishers and Bragging Rights for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!


May 1, 2011 - California - Hawthorne Bocce Club. Contact Bob Marsella @ 310-978-4455.


May 7, 2011 - California - Aquatic Park. VOLO COMBINATION 1 PLAYER. Contact Benji Tosi @ 415-238-7995.


May 15, 2011 - California - PIASC San Mateo. OPEN 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact John Bernat @ 650-341-4045.


May 15, 2011 - California - PIASC San Mateo. RAFFA 3 MEN PLAYERS. Contact John Bernat @ 650-341-4045.


May 21, 2011 - California - Waterloo Stockton. OPEN 2 MEN 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


May 28, 2011 - California - East Portal Sacramento. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS. Contact Bob Martinez @ 916-717-1947.


June 3, 4, 5, 2011. Pennsylvania - Bessemer. The 2nd Annual 4 Person Tournament for The Special Olympics will be held at the Bessemer Croatian Club. More information will be posted @ . This will be the highest pay-out tournament in Pennsylvania."


June 4, 2011 – California – Campo di Bocce Los Gatos – Raffa – 2 men players – contact Ben Musolf at 408-857-0074.


June 4, 2011 - California - IACC South City. RAFFA 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Ginger Henley @ 650-271-6009.


June 5, 2011 - California - Downey Bocce Club. Contact Don Gaggiano @ 949-855-8554 or .


June 5, 2011 – California – IBS Sutter Creek – OPEN – 4 players – contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


June 11, 2011 – California – Campo di Bocce Livermore –Raffa – 3 players (Western Sector Championships) – contact Heather Veon @ 925-249-9800.


June 18, 2011 – California – IAC Stockton - OPEN – 4 players – contact David Canclini at 209-957-3314.


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...


July 8, 2011 - Oregon - Portland. Paesano Club. OPEN 4 PLAYERS - Oregon vs. Washington. Contact Larry Cereghino @ 503-201-4585.


July 9, 2011 - Oregon - Portland - Paesano Club. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. California vs. Oregon & Washington. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-550-2526.


July 10, 2011 - Oregon - Portland. Paesano Club. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Larry Cereghino @ 503-201-4585.


July 10, 2011 - California - Laguna Niquel. Contact Gene Leo @ 949-637-6008.


July 16, 2011 - California - Marin San Rafael. OPEN 2 MEN PLAYERS. Contact Diane Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


July 23, 2011 - California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA 1 MAN, 1 WOMAN. Contact Bob Kennedy @ 209-570-7500.


August 6, 2011 - California - Marin San Rafael. OPEN 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Diane Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


August 6 - 7, 2011. Ohio - Ashtabula. WARREN ANDREWS BOCCE TOURNAMENT Hosted by the Ashtabula S.O.I. and EAC. Four Person Teams. Entry $150.00 per team. Contact Mark Andrews at: .


August 13, 2011 - California - IACC South City. OPEN 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


August 20, 2011 - California - Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408-379-9409.


August 27, 2011 - California - East Portal Sacramento. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Bob Martinez @ 916-717-1947.


September 17, 2011 - California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA - 2 PLAYERS. Contact Roy Ramacciotti @ 209-369-2389.


September 18, 2011 - California -PIASC San Mateo. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS, at least 1 woman. Contact John Bernat @ 650-341-4045.


September 24, 2011 - California - IACC South City. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS - Italian American Games - Contact Gene Semenza @ 650-872-0192.


October 1, 2011 - California - IACC South City. VOLO 2 PLAYERS. Conat A. Bettucchi @ 650-697-7202.

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