The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. X, Issue 12 - March 28, 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 #12 - March 28, 2011
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2011
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello Bocce Faithful,

Quite a few new fledgling leagues have emailed to thank us for the photos and explanation of using a Bocce Ladder to rank players and form teams, so, I've left the photos up for another week (well, they are on the website permanently too). Looks like new leagues are springing up everywhere!

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, good 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)

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Ormond Beach, Florida...

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

Benjamin Musolf sends news of the The Showdown Series at Campo...

The Best Players in the Country

"Livermore, CA - April 3, 2011 - Campo di Bocce of Livermore plays host to the best Bocce players in the United States every other Sunday. On April 3, 2011, the next Showdown series will take place at Campo di Bocce.

The event is doubles Punto, Raffa, Volo which is the international version of the game we all know as Open Rules Bocce. Come on down and watch, and you can be on television. Local television 30, will be filming the final match of the day, and it is sure to be another great performance.

The purpose of the Showdown Series and televising the sport of Bocce is to create community awareness because Campo di Bocce of Livermore is hosting the 2011 United States Bocce Championships June 25- July 2, 2011. It is our goal to bring the familiarity of the Sport to the community and beyond. Campo di Bocce of Livermore is also the home and host of the 2012 World Bocce Championships. This coveted event will take place in the Spring of 2012. We cannot wait for this event, and we are even more excited to show our overseas friends how much we all know about Bocce as well!

So come on down April 3 and watch the Bocce Professionals, cheer on your favorite players and let's make this game explode in the Tri-Valley. As they always say, where there is a game, there's action!

Someday, Bocce will become a professional sport. But until then, come on down to Campo di Bocce and experience the fun with everyone else!"


More from Ben Musolf...

"As many of you know I am playing in the April 3, Punto, Raffa, Volo, Bocce, Showdown Series with Dino Cevasco. Dino is a Special Olympian in Northern California and a devoted Bocce player as well.

Since the Showdown Series is televised, I would love to expose the Special Olympics as much as possible. If you know any media outlets that you feel may be interested in covering the event on April 3, please let me know.

Thank you in advance for your support and since the event is open to the public, come on out and watch some of the best Bocce players in the country compete and get ready for the 2011 National Championships! Thanks in advance and I look forward to seeing you soon!"

{REPLY to }


Boccemon Tom McNutt writes...

"Check out this video for the premier sport fishing lodge in Costa Rica. The new owner called me Christmas Day to tell me how much fun they were having on their new Boccemon oyster blend surface. Mostly lodge but a couple shots of court play. As you can see in one shot trees too close to the court can drop seeds that can redirect the balls. Sometimes as we see that is helpful..."



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!).


Western Sector Championships

2011 Western Sector Championships on June 11, 2011 hosted by Campo di Bocce of Livermore.

Click for the registration form.


Running this item again - this time with the Facebook Link...

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"...


Hans Duchardt sends this from Key West, Florida...

"For several years now have I been reading 'The Joy of Bocce' weekly e-zine and have been introducing your publication to several people.

The people who now run the official web page are still learning and I try to get them to put a link on their site to your page. Yet it seems fruitless so I thought if you could get in touch with the officers of the league and introduce yourself this might come about much faster.

If you don't mind, take a look at their new site, copy a couple of pics and mention the league in one of your weekly editions I would gladly appreciate it. I'm leaving printed applications on the courts each playing night, yet again, very little response to join the USBF.

The URL is: "

{Check out the website - looks like an up-and-coming bocce group!}


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
Some beginning leagues liked last week's info about using a Bocce Ladder, so I've left the photos in the ezine for another 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...

Vintage Amber Colored Dachshund Pen


Vintage Sleeping Fox / Dog Cast Iron Doorstop


Vintage Florenza Pendant

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.


October 8, 2011 - California - IBS Sutter Creek. OPEN - 2 MEN - 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


October 15, 2011 - California - Marin San Rafael. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact Diane Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.

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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