November 26, 2006

Petanque in Winston-Salem (4)

We had a great afternoon again in Miller Park, with several newcomers: Danny & Sue (all the way from Salisbury), Aaron, Tom and also John & Marissa who played every day last year when touring Provence.
Gary had arranged for superb summer sunshine.

At one stage there were 17 players so we used 3 of the 6 available courts.
The newcomers play better every time.
At this rate we can maybe start thinking about a Piedmont Triad petanque club next spring!

I made some group pictures, saw them briefly on the camera, and then the memory card went completely dead!! My revenge was to dissect it, to no avail. At least now I know what they look like inside.

Next meeting:
Sunday Dec 10, at 1:30pm, at Miller Park

Previous articles: Nov 6 Oct 29 Oct 22

November 25, 2006

Boules in Marseille

A 6 min. clip of a typical neighborhood game in Marseille.
The guy with the Levi's t-shirt is hilarious: he can't stop talking, knows it all, and - of course - argues about the score.
It's a pretty bulky file so depending on your connection it may be best to let it load first and then watch it without interruptions.

Link to the clip

November 23, 2006

Petanque atout

While fiddling around with Google I came
across this picture of a game called "pétanque atout".
It seems popular in retirement homes in Quebec, Canada and reminds me of the bowling machines one still finds in arcades.

"Atout" means "trump" in French, the board displays the 4 playing card suits, so I assume you roll pétanque balls aiming for particular holes. No idea what the rolling distance is.

Can anyone shed some more light on this game, and how it started?

November 22, 2006

VOMP Sonoma in the news

An article in the Sonoma News today about VOMPC's final tournament of the season.
Big smiles for Erin and both Peters!

Since I'm in a historical mood today, here's why the trophy and the club's courts are named after Henri Maysonnave.

November 20, 2006

Seaside Open Tournament

It is now confirmed:
Kiss the Pig Société , the pétanque club of Seaside, Florida is organizing the Florida Cup tournament on the weekend of Feb 3 & 4, 2007.
It's an open tournament: you do not have to be a club or FPUSA member.
Format: doubles
Purse: $ 2,000 minimum (could go up to $ 5,000 depending on participation and sponsors)
Foreign players are welcome, but one team member must be a US resident.

Seaside, in the Florida panhandle, is a beautiful location, the folks of the KTPS club are very hospitable and a lot of fun: they held one in April 2004 and everyone present still has fond memories of that weekend.
We already heard that there will be a substantial players contingent from Tallahassee.

More info about registration, fees etc.. shortly.
There is ample affordable lodging available in nearby Seagrove.

Seaside on Google Maps

More pictures of Boca

Simon from Boca Petanque 2000 sent us a disc full of high resolution pictures.
Interesting to see the different playing styles.

Too many to upload on the blog, so here's an album.

Album WCQT Boca Raton 2006

Thanks, Simon!

November 17, 2006

Heavy boules

This is what will happen if the quest for
ever heavier boules continues!

From Marseillais du Monde , a network of Marseillais all over the world.

Below is another nice one from their jokes department:

"Two seconds before the invention of pastis"

Petanque in Worcester MA

An article from the Worcester Telegram, with excellent pictures, at the occasion of a recent tournament at the Mistral Club. (4 Sep)
(Photos / ED COLLIER)

November 15, 2006

Anyone in Huntsville AL ?

Ken, who was actively involved in the Detroit pétanque scene, recently moved to Huntsville AL and would love to meet other players.

Right now he practices at Palmer Park in Madison on baseball diamond # 7.

Give him a call at 313-657-7872 or e-mail him.

Palmer Park on Google Maps

November 14, 2006

Boca Raton pictures

Back in the office I realize there is a problem with my camera's memory card (not to mention my own), so I'll just upload the pictures I could salvage, without captions.
There's more on the FPUSA blog.
A bunch of snaphots, to give those who couldn't make it an idea of the atmosphere: intense concentration, precise measurements, laughter ànd some memorable T-shirts.
Some are of the competition proper, some of Sunday's 'open to all' tournament.

Two remarkable performances at this tournament: the ladies team from California and the men's team from Portland OR.
And, as always: a variety of origins, age groups and skill levels, all mixing together with the same passion.

November 13, 2006

Petanque in Roanoke Rapids NC

Members of French teacher Jeff Pageau's Roanoke Rapids High School class play a game of Pétanque Wednesday morning as part of the school's National French Week activities.

Roanoke Daily Herald (Nov 9)

Team USA to go to Thailand

Here are the winners of this weekend's qualification tournament in Boca Raton: (l to r)
Xavier Thibaud, Nghia Nguyen and Alec Stone Sweet. With John Rolland (2nd from L), president of FPUSA, and organizer of the Tournament at his club, Boca Petanque 2000.

Nghia and Alec have both participated in World Championships before, most recently in Brussels, for Xavier a first! Xavier often plays in a light blue outfit, because...

A very pleasant, sun-drenched weekend.
Congratulations to the team!

More pictures and an album.

November 9, 2006

Petanque in Modesto, California

The City of Modesto recently completed the installation of two Pétanque (pronounced "pay-tonk") courts at the Beyer Community Park located on Sylvan Avenue.
Crews from the City’s Park Services and Maintenance Division worked with local volunteers to renovate two former horseshoe pits into the Pétanque courts. The City of Modesto’s courts were the result of collaborating with local residents who had expressed an interest in building a Pétanque court and bringing the game of Pétanque to Modesto. Previously, one had to travel to Sacramento or Oakhurst to play the game.
The courts, now open, are located near the skate park in Beyer Park, located on Sylvan Avenue, adjacent to Beyer High School.
City of Modesto Press release

One of the driving forces behind this development is Charles Fuentes. You can reach him at (209) 522-1861 to find out when his group is playing.
The pétanque terrain is lit!

Location on Google maps (between the skate park and the tennis courts)

November 8, 2006

Boules.. or bocce?

Good news: Home Depot, the country's largest DIY chain has started to sell boules online.
The more pétanque or boules online the merrier.

A pity though that they are mixing things up:

"One of the oldest known games to mankind, boules, or petanque, was played by ancient Egyptians with polished rocks and by the Romans with coconuts from Africa. This bocce ball game from Giant Games is a stylish, contemporary version of those classical games."

Displayed on thick grass where the jack will be invisible, and the steel balls will bounce.

We can't repeat it often enough:
Bocce and pétanque are both great games, but they are about as similar as badminton and tennis, both also great games.

The price is stiff at $ 125.00 (for 8 generic boules), but that's another story.
A quick search shows that the exact same identical set sells in Australia at A$ 49.95 (US$ 38.50).

November 7, 2006

Petanque in the USA

Something I've been wanting to do for a long time:
to map the 7 odd thousand locations where we have shipped boules over the past 10 years.
The maps are not yet complete due to some old address formats, erroneous ZIP codes, and my allergy to software tutorials. About 10% is missing. Also, they are based on addresses, not the volume of shipments. One push pin may represent 3 or 30 boules. But they do give an overall picture.
No surprises: California, Florida and the Northeast remain the foremost pétanque are(n)as.
Oregon, Washington State and Michigan have grown a lot.
And there are interesting new "pockets" where there are more boules than you'd expect from the average population density.
In some places one can see several addresses in the same neighborhood, even street. We often know the "culprit" - the passionate aficionado who has convinced his or her neighbors and friends to play.
These are a few examples, like Madison WI, Kansas City MO, Tucson AZ, Santa Fe / Albuquerque NM and El Paso TX. (click to enlarge)

Of course we never have and never will give out names and addresses unless requested, but if you live in one of these - or other - cities we will try to hook you up.

Below are larger maps of S California, the NY-Boston corridor and South Florida.