The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. X, Issue 21 - July 18, 2011 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Random notes...
•   The Open A & B Divisions...
•   Team Squadra Mista
•   Punto Raffa Volo
•   Tournament update
Notes from the publisher
The weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume 10, Issue #21 - July 18, 2011
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2011
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello Bocce Friends,

We’re back from the Nationals and are finally over our jet lag. Overall, we played better than we have in the last couple trips playing on those lightning fast courts at Campo di Bocce.

These games were extremely well run. Veterans like Ben Musolf, Margaret Shindelus, Danny Passaglia, John Ross, Ron Jacobs, Heather Veon et al. have been around the block a few times. They know exactly what they are doing. Matches went off on time, procedures were followed to the “T” and there were many favorable comments on the event from the participants.

The event included the following teams and competitive divisions:

15 teams in the Open “B” Division
24 teams in the Open “A” Division
24 in Men’s Punto Raffa Volo
16 in Women’s Doubles PRV
14 in Men’s Singles Volo
4 in Women’s Doubles Volo

Of course, it can be argued that this was not a true national championship – after all we qualified just by paying the entry fee and jumping on a plane. Most competitors were from California. They paid their entry fee and drove to the venue. Still, at this juncture of the state of bocce in America, it appears to be the only way to go. Someday, as those polyurethane courts begin to pop up around the country, I expect there will be qualifying regional competitions around the USA.

You can check on results at . This was created by the tireless Pete Di Turi who put in long hours to help make these results available.

I hope you will enjoy viewing the great pictures taken by teammate Joe Quartarone.

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

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Take a look at this week's photos...

The Open A & B Divisions...
{Publisher's comments in brackets}

The Open Divisions - The Boys from Yonkers did us PROUD! Photo right = Open A Division Bronze medal winners Gabe Quattricchi, Frank De Santis, Guy De Santis, and Jack Bilancia.

The first two days we competed in the Open B division. Both the Open A & Open B Divisions were four player games – two teammates stationed at each end rolling two balls each.

We scored more points than we usually do on those ultra-fast courts and even won a match against a good team, scoring four points in the last frame to win 12 – 9. There were only 4 teams from the East – just us, two from Long Island and one from the Mt. Vernon Bocce Club of Yonkers, NY. All the other players (predominantly California teams) play on these courts pretty regularly and have a distinct advantage. I’d venture to say that it’s almost like starting out 3, 4, or 5 to 0. Still, we played better than we have in the past.

We added the first person who responded to our email plea for a last minute replacement, Bob Meola. Bob took the place of one of our regulars (a medical doctor) who had to cancel due to work related issues.

A self proclaimed once a year bocce player, Meola nevertheless did us proud, contributing a bevy of beautiful bocce ball rolls for our team. When it was over, I believe Meola had more fun than just about anyone who competed. He was great to hang out with and is possessed by a tremendous passion for bocce. His outstanding quote of the week was “I need to add more people to my life who play bocce.”

Of course, we got spanked a couple times too – losing 12 – 0 in our first match to Team Baresi. Interestingly enough, the team that shut us out (Baresi) got shut out 12 – 0 by a team that we defeated (Anybody’s Guess) – go figure.

Teams were place in pools for pool play and there was a playoff or elimination round for the higher ranked teams in each pool.

The Mt. Vernon Bocce Club did the East proud in the Open A Division, bringing home the bronze medal after qualifying in a one-frame tie-breaking competition. After all tie-breakers were considered – a dead heat prevailed, leaving two teams tied for a spot in the elimination round. The one-frame was a classic as two West Coast women faced off against a pair of East Coast boys. The Yonkers club was paced by hard throwing Gabe Quattricchi and smooth pointing Guy De Santis. They had their hands full going against top tier players Navina Bernardi and smooth as silk pointing veteran Teresa Passaglia.

I only wish a wider audience could have seen the one frame competition. The women pointed beautifully, but young, hard throwing sharpshooter Gabe Q. consistently knocked the point away or the pallino out of the court with uncanny accuracy. Most Americans never get to see this kind of athletic bocce talent on display. The flawless pointing accentuated by the pin-point hitting was quite the opposite of what most Americans conjure up when they think bocce. These were no geriatric old fogies. These were outstanding athletes focused on the prize. They put on an epic, yet short-lived demonstration of all that bocce can be. Gabe looked like Larry Bird celebrating each hit with enthusiastic body gyrations, practically raising a finger before the bonus ball found the bottom of the net in the NBA 3-point shoot-out. Maybe a young, talented, brash player like Gabe is what the sport needs. Heck, he could be the face of bocce!

Perfetta Bocce - 107 mm - red/green/pallino/carry bag...

Punto Raffa Volo
Fanny Kissing Time

{Photo right - yours truly - after a 12 - 0 whitewashing.}

Despite the Yonkers boys winning a bronze medal in the Open A Division, the teams from the East finished near the bottom of our respective pools in PRV. First off, we don’t play that PRV game, except maybe once a year. Secondly, we don’t have much experience on those polyurethane courts.

My team pointed better than we did in past competitions on these courts. I managed to get shots to come to rest three, four, or five feet away from the target. But three, four, five feet isn’t going to get you anywhere against players of this caliber.

Another problem for us is that we had jet lag the whole time, couldn’t sleep well in an unfamiliar hotel bed, and had to be at the venue bright and early for three games of bocce in four hours (triples, singles, and doubles).

Still, no excuses, we had a great time competing. Everyone is very friendly, partly because they generally don’t perceive us as much of a threat to beat them. We won a couple games and managed to score some points this time around. Teammate Ralph Bagarella, who has become one of the best players in our area, has a knack for adjusting to new courts quicker than anyone I know. He pointed very well and is determined to develop an accurate volo delivery – he’s hard at work at it already!

I saw a different side of teammate Joe Quartarone in California. A pretty mild mannered, affable young guy, I saw a determination to compete that I hadn’t seen in him before - must have been just below the surface. I expect that his experience at the Campo di Bocce facilities will lead to him becoming a truly outstanding player over the next year or so.

Early on I was missing volo attempts, landing in front of the target and bouncing over. On the last day of the competition I remembered that you have to keep moving forward after releasing the ball. Stopping abruptly is no way to follow-through. The forward movement accentuates the follow-through and adds a little distance to the flight of the ball. Sure enough, in a doubles game against the strong California team of Ron Jacobs and Norm Freschet I stuck four volos in a row while teammate Joe Quartarone pointed like a seasoned veteran and we were in the game, down 9 – 8. In most underdog upset bids like this the outcome is probably really never in doubt, but we gave a very good team all they could handle and…at this stage of our development, moral victories might be the best we can shoot for… but we’re coming on strong!

Some observations that might help players from the East…

First off, we’ll need to get some polyurethane courts in the East that are long enough to learn to play PRV. Getting the hang of pointing will be the first order of business. After that we’ll have to learn to volo which is fast becoming my favorite thing. Sticking a volo is like hitting a three-pointer in hoops. It’s one of the nicest feelings that sports has to offer. I think that I might be the only guy in Massachusetts who even attempts to volo. Well, Ralph Bagarella has started practicing the shot, so maybe there are two of us. It’s such a great shot. Too bad people don’t get it. It reminds me of sliding into a base in baseball or softball. Some youngsters don’t want to slide because they don’t know how or are afraid to get hurt, but once they experience the thrill of a well executed slide they become hooked. The same should be true of the volo. Give it a whirl. You’ll like it!

Another problem for those of us in the East is the raffa. Many of us are or were former candlepin or duckpin bowlers. It never ceases to amaze me that tenpin bowling went national and candlepin and duckpin stayed (and eventually faded to near oblivion) in the East. I guess it’s because people like strikes. Try bowling a 300 game in candles – even a triple strike is a rare occurrence, let alone 12 of them in succession.

In candlepin bowling there is a lob line. If you lob the ball over the line, the pins you knock down don’t count. In PRV you HAVE to lob the raffa over the D line or the rule of advantage applies. So, if you are a player from the East who aspires to play both Open Rules and PRV you should probably lob over the D line in both games to develop consistency. I can’t tell you how many raffas I hit in California that did not count because I didn’t reach the D line. I’m going to work on lobbing raffas consistently in Open Rules games starting today. That way it will be routine when playing PRV.

There is a strong possibility of international sized polyurethane courts coming to my home town as early as next spring. If they materialize, we expect to return to the Nationals much improved (heck, it wouldn’t take that much!).

Random notes...
Some random notes…

{Photo right - the Young Guns Bocce Beasts of the East - Joe Quartarone and Gabe Quattricchi.}

Yes, we had to kiss the fanny after losing our first match 12 – 0. See photos of the week.

Most of the PRV is in the California area and most of the teams were predominantly Californians. Just three teams from New York and us from Massachusetts plus a Michigan Palazzo team and a smattering of individuals from St. Louis, Chicago, etc. The women’s PRV rosters featured 16 doubles teams. I believe there was only one woman from Chicago and 23 Californians.

I never got to do a talk on bocce and a book signing. Although I did sign a lot of bocce books for competitors. The organizers were busy – things were always a tad hectic. A time and place for the talk/signing was never publicized – a sure recipe for failure. I don’t think the “powers that be” know that I am an accomplished public speaker who once went on a national speaking tour for a book I wrote that was a McGraw-Hill BOMC Selection.

Make sure you check out this week’s photos. They show the competition, the competitors and some of the side trips we made like seeing Mario Veltri’s great collection of nailed boules, John and Andrea Ross’s excellent bocce court, and a trip we made to play with Tom Walsh’s bocce posse on top of the mountain where he resides. Tom’s court is pictured on page 151 of the Joy of Bocce’s 3rd edition.

On the way up the mountain to Tom and Diane Walsh’s home we had to detour around a landslide. While there we were treated to great hospitality and outstanding competition with Tom’s bocce buddies. On the way down the mountain we passed a mountain lion. This can only be a good omen as Mountain Lion Inc. has opted to print the Joy of Bocce 4th Edition. More news to follow soon.

Photos from the Nationals...

Team Squadra Mista
Couldn't resist posting this photo of the fine looking "Pink Ladies of Bocce". Team Squadra Mista played brilliantly in the Open "A" division as well as Women's Doubles. Left to right are Colleen Randazzo, Natalina Bernardi, Teresa Passaglia, and Navina Bernardi.

More photos at

Check out the pictures...

Tournament update
{chronological order}


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July 22-24, 2011 - Pennsylvania - Ellwood City. Big Dawgs 2 on 2. Contact Harp @ 724-494-6735.


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


Aug 5-7, 2011. Pennsylvania - Koppel. IMBS Co-ed 2 on 2. Contact Joe @ 724-462-6179.


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


August 6, 2011 - Vermont - Burlington - Oakledge Park. Mixed Doubles Tournament. Contact Zander Ponzo at 802-658-0240, or


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 13 - 14, 2011. Vermont - Burlington - Oakledge Park. VT Senior Games: August 13 (singles), August 14 (doubles) Contact Zander Ponzo at 802-658-0240, or


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


August 19 - 21, 2011 - Ohio - Mayfield Heights. CLUB MOLISANI, 5th Annual CLEVELAND INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE sponsored by MARSHALL SUPERSTORE. $175 per team entry. Distinguished Awards for Champion and second place finishers; paying top 12 places in Open Division. Women’s Tournament (Sat. & Sun.), at $150 per team entry. Both Divisions: Four person teams (plus one sub) and double elimination. Open Division prize pool is guaranteed; Women's Division prize pool is based on 16 teams. Tournament t-shirts for ALL participants. Gambling Casino, rides/games for kids, live entertainment, and Saturday Night Fireworks are all on grounds. Tours of our new Club Molisani facility with three synthetic bocce courts will be available. Contact Wayne Farinacci, Tournament Director ( or 216-509-4353. Download tournament forms at .


August 25 - 27, 2011. Oregon - Portland. Festa Italiana Portland. Visit .


August 26 - 28, 2011 - Ohio - Wickliffe. WICKLIFFE ITALIAN-AMERICAN CLUB. 28th Annual CLEVELAND CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE sponsored by PAT O'BRIEN CHEVROLET. $5,500 first prize, $16,000 in total prize money – GUARANTEED. $175 per team entry. Trophy’s and medals for Champion and second place finishers and tournament t-shirts for ALL participants. We are also hosting a Women’s Tournament – DOUBLE ELIMINATION – $100 per team entry – all money paid out in top three prizes - Both Tournaments: Four person teams (plus one sub) Contact Gino Latessa ( @ 216-789-6393 for more info. Applications and info online @


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


September 2-4, 2011. Pennsylvania - Koppel. IMBS 2 on 2. Contact Joe @ 724-462-6179.


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


September 17 - 18, 2011 - Vermont - Burlington - Oakledge Park. Burlington Bocce Championship (singles), September 18 (doubles). Contact Zander Ponzo at 802-658-0240, or


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 Alessandro Bettucchi @ 650-697-7202.


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


October 7-9, 2011 - Ohio - Struthers. St. Anthony Society 4 on 4. Contact Nick @ 330-720-6358.


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.


October 29, 2011 - California - Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. RAFFA 2 PLAYERS (Play 3 Balls Each). Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-857-0074 or .


November 5, 2011 - California - Waterloo Stockton. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


November 25-27, 2011. Ohio - Struthers. St. Anthony Society 3 on 3. Contact Nick @ 330-720-6358.


December 3, 2011 - California - IAC Stockton. OPEN - 2 MEN 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Ron Jacobs @ 209-957-1223.

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