The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. X, Issue 4 - January 24, 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 #4 - January 24, 2011
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2011
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello Again Bocce Faithful,

My son and I are still working on bocce videos, trying to create some brief but helpful YouTube-based answers to bocce questions.

We're working on a video that answers some questions about bocce balls, which is probably the number one query we get from beginners. We'll talk about the different sizes and weights and various manufacturers and suppliers (and suggest the international standards). If you want to suggest any points we should cover, shoot us an email. For example, Brentwood, California's George Mackanic correctly reminded us that we should mention that color blind players often have trouble with the traditional red and green bocce balls.

Also, if you want to suggest other video topics, please REPLY.

Finally, don't miss another EXCLUSIVE OFFER from Playaboule just for Joy of Bocce Weekly subscribers. Check it out below under "Bocce news and readers' feedback."

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

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Little Italy Bocce Rollers - Baltimore, MD...

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

John Weesner sends this...(click the photo right for a better view of his home court).

"My wife and I purchased a small house in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Last year we had the lot landscaped and installed a Bocce court. We had a great time playing on it for the remaining summer season. This year I would like to organize some teams and develop schedules. Is there any information on how to most efficiently go about this?

I thoroughly enjoyed your book 'The Joy of Bocce'."

{Thanks for the email and photo. In an effort to streamline and make the new edition of my book more accessible to the masses, I eliminated the chapter on "Organizing a League/Promoting the Game." However, that chapter is still available in the second edition of the book which can be downloaded as an e-book for $4.95 - no shipping charge. It addresses finding players, locating a venue, using a ladder to form teams and more. Here is a small part copied and pasted from the book - about how we got started in the early days of our group.

{Following is a brief synopsis of our league play that you might use as a model or starting point from which you can adapt for your situation. We play outdoors informally as long as we can. When winter sets in, we move indoors to Home Run Park, one of the old mill buildings in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Home Run Park rents space to baseball and softball players for pitching, batting, and fielding practice. We set 6” by 6” by 8’ timbers down on the Astroturf surface, framing off as many as four courts, each measuring about 12’ by 72’.

When we move indoors we raise dues to $10 per person with $5 going toward court rental. The rest covers refreshments, awards, and a season-ending banquet. We conclude our indoor season with a small, catered party and we culminate the outdoor season with a bocce clambake and co-ed tournament.

The teams play 3-game matches, once a week for 20 weeks, followed by a couple weeks of play-offs, a break-up/awards party, then move outdoors in April. After each match, we email the results to the local newspapers as well as to all our players. We update the standings on our web site ( which promotes our non-profit group – Ken Waldie Senior Sports Circuit, Inc. Ken was a friend of ours, a naval academy grad, and a victim of 9/11/01. By reporting the scores, we keep his name alive in the newspaper, get a little publicity for sponsors, and increase awareness of bocce.}

You can get the e-book here:


I did a little Bocce PR work that will be aired a couple times this week on Methuen's local cable channel 22. It wil run Wednesday, 1/26/11 at 10:30 AM and Thursday 1/27/11 at 7:30 PM. Host Bruce Arnold and I chat about all things bocce for a couple short segments. If you are in the viewing area, give it a look-see.

It's not ESPN, but we do what we can do and never stop trying!


Readers - Help Shape Our Next Videos

Send comments and suggestions

Kansas City's Tim Štajduhar wrote this comment after viewing the first YouTube video we created a couple weeks ago...

"I would like to know if you plan on making a video demonstrating and explaining the bocce throws (pointing, raffa, volo) in detail. It would also be nice if a thorough explanation of the rules regarding foul lines is included (international rules regarding foot position, ball position, before and after a throw).

I did purchase your book, 'The Joy of Bocce', and it is excellent. I would like to teach more of my friends the sport of Bocce (Official Rules), and feel that visual lessons are better for some people to learn from. If you can not post tutorial videos on a public site. I would like to request that you consider creating instructional DVDs to sell on your website."

{These are great suggestions and I think they point to a direction in which we ought to go. Although I'm surely not the best one to demonstrate all the shots, given enough "takes" and a long enough camera battery life, I ought to be able to get the job done.

The raffa and volo shots would have to wait until the good weather so we could film outdoors on some of our longer courts. Also, at the June US Championships at Campo di Bocce, maybe I can get a couple of the top tier players to show off their style for the video.

I'm not crazy about the idea of creating DVDs to sell on the site, but posting videos on YouTube is more what I have in mind.

Anyway, I love the idea of Joy of Bocce Weekly readers helping to shape our video productions!}


California's George Mackanic sent a great suggestion for the bocce ball video we are creating...

"In your video planning consider mentioning the color issue. The traditional red/green balls really pose a problem to some color blind players plus they are hard to identify on a long outdoor court that has any shadows or shaded areas. We went to a set of yellow and a set of light green Perfetta balls a few years ago and found them to be significantly easier to see."

{A great suggestion. We have a couple color blind players in our group, so we obtained two sets of four yellow balls and that has solved the problem for us. We'll show them in the video.}



Pacifico Palumbo has written to ask that I help get the word out on his website/blog, bocce painting and other art work. Details below - click the photo for a better view.

"An Italian Story"

Being an Italian born in Park Slope Brooklyn N.Y.

From a series of old photographs Artist Pacifico Palumbo captures what it was like for his parents, grand parents, and himself to have been brought up and raised in Park Slope Brooklyn N.Y.

Visit his website at

{I love the caption for the bocce painting which reads ""Bocce Ball Painting from old photograph. A true Italian story becomes a work of art."}


Another EXCLUSIVE deal for Joy of Bocce Weekly Subscribers.

This deal is offered by Playaboule and is not offered anywhere else - ONLY Joy of Bocce Weekly subscribers need apply!

As long as supplies last Playaboule will offer the Speckled Perfetta Club Pro Sets for a total of $100 INCLUDING shipping. This is an unheard of price and I expect many readers will jump at the offer. Again, this offer is only for the Speckled Perfetta Sets.

Playaboule's Bede Kortegast says "I am offering your readers a one-time blowout price of $95 a set plus $5.00 shipping. The promotion code to use at checkout is speckledpag11 (all lower case)."

* Only SPECKLED Perfetta Club Pro Sets

* Only Joy of Bocce Weekly Subscribers

* Only for a Limited Time - as long as supplies last

* 4 SPECKLED red 107 mm international standard balls

* 4 SPECKLED green 107 mm international standard balls

* 50 mm white pallino

* rugged nylon carry bag


* Enter speckledpag11 at checkout.


John Gaudette, Tournament and Publicity Director for DABA of Iron Mountain, Michigan chimes in on his group's bocce handicapping style...

"Sending you news from the Dickinson Area Bocce Association (DABA). We are in Dickinson County, The Iron Mountain area of Michigan’s upper Peninsula. Our seven outdoor courts (built largely by Ray Mariucci) have league play three times a week in the summer. We host over ten local tournaments a year, we send one or two teams to the state championship hosted by Mike Grasser and the Sylvan Lake Bocce club and have an indoor season on two portable courts at a local church gym during February – March.

For the past 10 years we have held a blind draw tournament on Labor Day in memory of one of our deceased league players, Lisa Lundy. It makes for a great headline, Lisa Lundy Bocce on Labor Day Monday. For the blind draw format the tournament director and other league officials try to seed all players A, B, C, and D. and then have someone else randomly select one player from each group to form the four player teams. We mix men and women, boys and girls, trying to recruit new and younger players. There is no entry fee and lunch and trophies are sponsored through a bequest from Lisa’s estate.

There is a challenge to seed unknown players and beginners, but it all seems to work out in the end. We often end up with more players in one category or the other, but we then make (educated??) guesses to balance out the divisions before beginning the blind draw portion of the event. We always make the lowest ranked player team captain. Teams that look strong on paper often don’t even place.

We began the seeding process when the first year's tournament blind draw produced a team of three league champions and a child phenom that cruised to first place.

This is not a true handicapping system, but may prove a valuable option for some of your readers."


Don't forgert the 2011 United States Bocce Championships.







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


No Boys Allowed Bocce League...

Photos of the week
These photos are a permanent part of the Joy of Bocce site under Bocce Venues. I slipped them right beneath Boston's North End Courts.

Rhode Island's John Cece sent the photos and the following info...

"I contacted Carmine D'agostino last year when I had started building my bocce court. I got a lot of ideas from Carmine's web site.

The dimensions are 60 feet by 12 feet. My cousin has a bobcat and we did all the excavation with it. We used about 40 yards of gravel as a base and about 20 yards of stone dust for the surface. I added three halogen lights (total 1500 watts) which I can control from indoors (I buried a wire and piping 2 1/2 feet deep to bring the electricity out to the court). There are two cement patio areas on the sides each having a 14 foot bench, and two benches at the ends that are 12 feet long. I also added a horizontal score-board with pegs to keep score (got that idea directly from Carmine). Finally I added a display case with different weights, sizes and models of bocce balls. We had a blast with the courts this past summer. It has been a great hit with my friends. I am from RI but I picked up the bocce passion when I lived in Italy for 8 years.

I sent Carmine a few pics of the court and he asked me to send them to you too as my completed project. Anyway tell me what you think.

P.S.: your web site is a great resource too."

{Tell you what I think - great looking bocce court and many thanks for sending the pictures.

If any readers haven't seen Carmine's court, click here: - there is also a link there to get to Carmine's website.

Our readers LOVE seeing bocce in other parts of the world. Please follow John's lead and send photos of bocce in your neck of the woods!}

View this week's photos...

Bocce product of the week

Playaboule is retailing an interesting measure that I have been playing around with and evaluating. It's a variation of the Clubhawk Gold measure that is so popular with lawn bowls players. The standard Clubhawk Gold Measure is for inside measure (the most accurate) and has a string that extends to touch the ball you are measuring. It's got calipers for the close ones and a belt clip.

The new variation is includes a rocker arm called the "Accu-arm" which makes for an interesting wrinkle on measuring accuracy.

This rocker arm is designed to eliminate moving the target ball during measuring. According to "It is repeatably accurate to 5-6 thousandths of an inch (less than 2 hair widths!!) and due to the 'no load lever' will not push a ball away even on a smooth surface."

There are three lines on top of the Accu-arm that will line up when the arm is touching the pallino and in the proper place to begin measuring. This can easily be seen from above, which is simpler than bending over, kneeling down, etc. to get a decent vantage point. Once the black lines align (see photos by clicking the image above right), you depress the "brake" to extend the string for measuring. Then repeat the process to measure other balls in contention. String extends to 9 feet.

{WATCH A TWO MINUTE VIDEO DEMO ON YOUTUBE: } says "The Accu-Arm method of measuring is to transfer the target ball readings to the top of the measure where it is easiest to read.

This device can handle target balls from 1 inch to 2.5 inches which is the complete range for, Petanque, Bocce and Lawn Bowls.

Extending up to 9ft in length, this measuring device is great for measuring even those longer shots.

ClubHawk measure is Imported by Playaboule from England. The USA designed Accu-Arm is precision manufactured and fitted in the USA."

Click to ORDER or view more of the Accu-arm 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'm giving eBay a whirl.

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

Spanish American War Hero Hobson Commemorative Spoon


Vintage Italian Micro mosaic floral brooch/pin


Silver Tone Sweater Guard Faux Pearl W/ Alligator Clips

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.


January 29, 2011 - California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS. Contact Mike Croce @ 209-466-0541.


January 29, 2011 - New York - Yonkers. Yonkers/Mount Vernon Bocce Club Winter Classic. Four-person team, double elimination. ONLY accepting the first 12 teams to register. USBF sanctioned tournament. Every participant must be a registered 2011 USBF member. Participants without a membership card MUST register prior to the start of the tournament. The cost for first time members is $5.00 and $15.00 for returning members. The entrance fee for the tournament is $30.00 per person and includes food and beverage. Contact .


February 5, 2011 - California - Aquatic Park. VOLO COMBINATION 1 PLAYER. Contact Benji Tosi @ 415-238-7995.


February 12, 2011 - California - Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. Maureen Albanese Valentines Tournament. OPEN 2 MEN 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-857-0074.


February 26, 2011 - California - IAC Stockton. OPEN 2 MEN 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


March 5, 2011 - California - Aquatic Park - VOLO COMBINATION - 1 PLAYER. Contact Benji Tosi @ 415-238-7995.


March 19, 2011 - California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS - 2 Men 1 Woman. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


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


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.


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


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 - New Jersey - 4th Annual New Jersey Bocce Invitational benefiting Operation Shoebox New Jersey and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Contact Frank Valanzola @ 908-400-0851 ( ) or visit .


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


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


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