The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. XI, Issue 4 - January 30, 2012 
•   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 11, Issue #4 - January 30, 2012
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2012
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello again my faithful readers,

Thanks for all the good wishes for a speedy recovery from so many of you. I'm anxious to get back to my routine of going to the gym, etc. but I haven't yet met with the cardiologist, so, we shall see. I feel great and am eager to get back to my regular regimen of activities.

I need to get hustling on the Providence, Rhode Island Tourney to make sure that it ends up successful. If you can help get the word out to teams, individuals, clubs, etc. please do so. I think it would be great to have a big money (annual) tourney in the East each April. I'm trying to collect the "snail mail" addresses of bocce clubs around the USA and Canada to send flyers.

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

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How to run a bocce court ribbon cutting ceremony...

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

2012 Novice Division Champs

We ran a small Novice Tournament at our Sons of Italy Lodge #902. If you advertize for Novice or Intermediate players you are more likely to get a decent turnout and more bocce players in the tourney fold. To the right are the 2012 Novice Champs - that's me on the left next to the winners who are (L to R) Dick Guselli, Fran Sclafani, Mark Bouchard, John Medvecky - click the photo for a better look at the Champs.


The World's Most Popular Sports

Ben Tosi sends a thought provoking email...

"Here is some food for thought for your ezine:

As a current and past US bocce champion and current USBF board member, I hear many things about the sport from many people. But one thing I run across over and over again is that, 'Bocce is the 3rd most popular ball sport in the world!' How can this be possible?! Wouldn't the 3rd most popular ball sport in the world be in the Olympic games by now? Wouldn't 'bocce' be a household name? Any time anyone tells me that, 'Bocce is the 3rd most popular ball sport in the world,' I always ask that person to name the 4th and 5th most popular sports and they usually cannot. This is usually a good indication to me that the person has not done any research and is just regurgitating some false info. They would like to be true. I also ask them about figures and numbers of participants, and again I receive no clear answer. After researching online to see what the internet views as the 10 most popular ball sports in the world, it is apparent that bocce was nowhere near ANY of the lists I could find. Most sources conclude that the following sports, which are all pretty much household names, are among the world's 10 most popular:

1. Soccer

2. Cricket

3. Tennis

4. Field Hockey

5. Baseball

6. Basketball

7. Volleyball

8. Table Tennis

9. Rugby

10. Golf

There is no way anyone can deny that the above mentioned sports are more popular than bocce.

So the question remains; Why are people who should know better, especially those who serve on the USBF board of Directors, continuing to perpetuate this GREAT myth, especially when there is not a shred of evidence to support their claim, that 'Bocce is the 3rd most popular ball sport in the world?'

There are those who will say that, combining all the boules sports (Volo, Raffa, Petanque, and Lawn Bowling) would make the statement true. But again I challenge those who say that to come up with evidence of their claim. None of the mentioned boules sports are household names. You would think at least one of them would be a household name by now if it was the THIRD most popular ball sport on the planet. How can there be such a big disparity between the USA bocce community's 3rd place claim, and the views of the rest of the world? I would say bocce is not even in the top 20 most popular ball sports on the planet. I have competed Internationally for the USA in 9 countries. I have yet to speak to ANY other bocce federation in the world who will agree with the claim that bocce is the 3rd most popular. So again, how did this idea get put into so many people's heads in the USA and why do people in the Federation choose to perpetuate it?"

{I hear this statement too. Usually the person is lumping all the ball and target sports together (lawn bowls, bocce, petanque, boules, curling, etc., etc.). And they tend to add the word "participatory" to show that they actually take part and are not just fans of the sport. Any way you look at it - it seems a stretch to say bocce could be numero 3.

It's hard to figure out how these statements get started. Napolean Hill used to make a point of asking a person who makes a strong assertion the following question - "How do you know?"

Can any readers shed any light on this interesting situation? It would be great if we could boast that our sport were in the top three. But it doesn't look like we're on very firm ground. More people play cricket than bocce - bummer!}



We've got the details set for the Providence Money Tourney. Click below for a pdf. And please forward to anyone you know who might be interested.

We're going to need lots of help getting the word out, so if you can see your way to forwarding the pdf to any person, team, or club that might want to send a team(s), that would help out a great deal. I hope this can go viral for a while and we can get a decent field so that the Dunkin Donuts Center will agree to perhaps make this an annual April event.

The total guaranteed payout will be $8000 and the top prize will be $4000 (not too shabby). The Dunkin Donuts Center has put up the prize money and, in addition, must finance building courts and the carpet to lay them over. So, I guess we can understand their thinking. If this tourney goes well, we think it can grow into a great annual spring event. If you've never been to Providence, this would be a great time to experience it!

The Providence Tourney is set for April 28 & 29, 2012. This will be for four-player teams which can be made up of male, female, or co-ed teams. For our first year, we want to keep things as simple as possible. Next year - who knows?

We'll follow the format of the other large money tourneys like The World Series of Bocce and others who play four players who roll one ball each and play both ends of the court.

The prize money works out this way.


1st Place = $4000
2nd Place = $2000
3rd Place = $1000
4th Place = $500
5th Place = $250
6th Place = $250

For locals and those within driving distance, the entry fee is $200 per team or $50 per person. Kayla Beauvais is the Dunkin Donuts Event Coordinator and she has done a great job of securing reasonable hotel rates for those traveling. She can be reached at 401-331-0700 ext 7126 or (or see pdf).

On Friday, April 27th there will be a charity tournament for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence. Contact Kayla if you want to participate (and get a "leg up" on the competition). However, that event will run from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM followed by a dinner for the participants. I think that, if you came in on Friday we could probably arrange for you to play on the courts from say, 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM or so. More details to follow.

There will be shuttles to a nearby casino throughout the day and we will get that info and more to you ASAP.

That's it for now. Please help us get the word out. I can't recall any $4000 top prize bocce events happening in New England. Hopefully this will grow and become extremely popular. Please email the pdf to anyone on your list who might want to play. Many thanks for your help.

Other notes:

We'll use Perfetta bocce balls for the "house balls" and players may use their own if they come within certain pre-determined parameters.

We'll use stainless steel pallinos.

Courts will be 60' by 12' set over carpet. Side and end boards will be white vinyl fence posts assembled by connectors.

We'll use USBF Open Rules and will have referees on hand for all measurements.

More to follow soon.

Please forward this email or the pdf to your bocce playing friends.

We could use the snail mail addresses of bocce clubs who might be interested in the event. Please shoot me an email if you can provide the info. Also, we need to get the word to the locals in the Providence area. Can anyone help with that? Please REPLY.


George Farruggio of Punta Gorda, Florida writes about an issue that comes up pretty often. He writes…

“When balls are accidentally kicked on the court during measurement and there are balls still left to roll what is the ruling?” He goes on to say “In my league if you kick the point ball the frame is dead. If you kick any other ball – not the point ball – just put them back where they were – if you are unable to do this, the frame is declared dead.”

{The problem with these OPEN RULES questions comes into play because we usually don’t have a referee. I mean, who is kicking the balls? If I am playing in the game and I move your point ball by accident during measuring, I think it is good form to award the point to the other team. “My Bad!” like the kids say. But if an unbiased referee moved the ball, he can put them back where they were and you might as well take his word for it.

In Open Rules tournaments run by DaVinci Bocce’s Michael Grasser, he defers any question to the International Rules which pretty much seem to have a ruling for just about anything that might come up.

Whenever you make a ruling there are often unforeseen things that develop that you didn’t anticipate. For example, if the frame is ruled dead, did a team lose the advantage of continuing to play their as yet unrolled balls?

What does your group or league do when balls are moved accidentally? Shoot us an email.}


Got a lot of good comments from readers who viewed the video sent to me by Guy DeSantis...

It is very well done and was produced by NYU students. It clearly captures the flavor and the passion that the NY guys have for the game. It includes a great summation near the end.

"So there it is - eight rocks, eight players, one target. There are no contracts, no steroids, no commercial breaks. Just Bocce!"

Video of the Mount Vernon/Yonkers Bocce Club.
This was a (film) class project by NYU students.


Heather Veon sends these California Senior Games links...




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



Ruby Hill Golf Club, Pleasanton, CA...

Perfetta Club Pro set of 4 red, 4 green, pallino, carry bag...

Photos of the week
This week's photos come courtesy of Deanna Ribeiro of Oakley, California. They show off her home court and her bocce posse.

According to Deanna, the photo to the right is "Al and Deanna Ribeiro's bocce court in Oakley, Ca. It was built by my son-in-law, Mario Oseguera and my husband around 10 years ago.

We have added overheads and lights and you can see the final result. We have two tournaments a year during Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. We have six teams and we pay 3 places.

We start out with breakfast burritos, pastries, fruit and coffee. Lunch is barbecued tri tip and/or pork and everyone brings a side dish and their own drinks. It is a day filled with bocce, lots of food and drinks. Everyone has a great time, so much so that everyone puts in $5 and we play another El Saco tournament."

{Please follow Deanna' s excellent lead and send photos from your bocce experiences.}

Click for this week's photos...

Bocce product of the week
Precision Bocce Measures

Choose the Clubhawk Gold, Henselite Bowls, or Premier Boule Measure. You can't go wrong with any of the three choices. Once a bocce aficionado has a set of bocce balls and my book, the next logical acquisition is a first-rate measure.

Each retails for $26.95 plus $5.00 shipping and will be shipped US Priority Mail.

Click the photo for more info, pictures, etc.

Click to go to merchandise order...then scroll down a bit...

Non bocce product of the week...

Tournament update
{chronological order}



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.


February 4, 2012 - California - Waterloo Stockton. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


February 11, 2012 - California - Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. 15th annual Maureen Albanese Valentine’s Day Bocce Tournament. Accepting up to 32 teams. OPEN 2 MEN 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-857-0074 - .


February 11 & 12, 2012. Ohio - Wickliffe. Freeway Lanes. $8400 Bocce Tourney. $4000 first prize - four-player teams. Contact or 440-585-5800 ext 130.


February 25, 2012. California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA 2 MEN 1 WOMAN PLAYERS. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


March 11 - 17, 2012 - California - Campo di Bocce of Livermore. First California Senior Games Bocce Tourney. For more info contact or
Click for a pdf file:


March 24, 2012 - California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


March 31, 2012 - California - IAC Womens Aux. OPEN 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Shirley Croce @ 209-466-0541.


April 7, 2012 - California - Waterloo Stockton. OPEN 2 MEN 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


April 14, 2012 - California - Campo Los Gatos. OPEN 4 PLAYERS - Los Gatos Bocce Club. Contact John Ross @ 408-354-0625.


April 21, 2012 - California - IACC South City. OPEN 3 PLAYERS. Contact Gene Semenza @ 650-872-0192.


April 21, 2012. Washington - Bellingham. 10th Annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament. Contact . {I'll be in attendace this time - please come by and say "Hello."}


April 28, 2012 - California - East Portal Sac. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Bob Martinez @ 916-717-1947.


April 28 & 29, 2012. Rhode Island - Providence. Two-day Cash tournament. Held at Dunkin Donuts Center. Details to follow shortly as they become available. Contact Mario Pagnoni @ or click here:


May 5 – 6, 2012 – California – IAC Stockton. Raffa – 3 Women players. Contact JoAnn Jacobs @ 209-957-1223.


May 12, 2012 – California – PIASC San Mateo – Raffa – 3 Men Players. Contact Mario Conti @ 650-589-7179.


May 12, 2012 – California – PIASC San Mateo – Open – 4 Women Players. Contact Mario Conto @ 650-589-7179.


May 13, 2012 – California – Coppola Winery – OPEN – 4 players. Contact Diane Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


June 15-24, 2012 - Illinois - Round Lake at Alpine Club. USBF National Bocce Championship. The tournaments will include Open, Punto Raffa Volo and Volo competition. For more information see ( or call Mike Conti cell 847-767-6453.


June 17, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Open Doubles Tourney (June 18 is the rain date). Double elimination or round robin depending on # of teams. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


July 7, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Men's Singles Tourney (July 8 rain date). Double elimination or round robin depending on # of teams. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


July 14, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Women's Singles Tourney (July 15 the rain date). Double elimination or round robin depending on # of teams. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


July 21, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Novice Singles Tourney. A novice is any player whose name is not on a courtside BBC plaque for a first or second place finish in either singles or doubles. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


July 21, 2012 - {1:30 PM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Novice Doubles Tourney. A novice is any player whose name is not on a courtside BBC plaque for a first or second place finish in either singles or doubles. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


August 4, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Mixed Doubles Tourney (August 5 rain date). Depending on number of entrants, the tournament will either be double elimination or round robin. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


August 11 & 12, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Vermont Senior Games. Singles on Saturday, Doubles on Sunday. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


September 8, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. 9/9 rain date. Ladder Tournament's Championship Tourney. Players in positions 2 - 5 will have a double elimination tournament to determine who will play the season champion in the tournament final. A player, including the season champion. will be eliminated from the tournament after two losses. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


September 29 & 30, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Burlington Bocce Championship. Singles on Saturday, Doubles on Sunday. October 6 & 7 rain dates). Depending on number of entrants, the tournament will either be double elimination or round robin. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


October 13, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. This tournament is open to anyone who has placed first in a singles or doubles championship on BBC's courts during the 2012 season. October 14 rain date. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .

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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.
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