May 29, 2007

A hanging terrain in Chapel Hill

This looks like just another retaining wall in North Carolina, right?
Until you see the how & why!

Mac started playing pétanque in Wisconsin, and ordered his first set of boules from us in 1998. When he and Jenny recently moved here they felt that no home is complete without a pétanque terrain in the backyard.

But when your backyard looks more like a ski slope than a football field you have to be creative.

So the past winter they built this wall, curved around one and a quarter side of the house, filled it up and below you see the result. The right surface, steps away from the kitchen (and the fridge!), and shady. A little oasis of peace.
We tried it out together and had a great afternoon.
Gracious hosts too: they let my son and me win.

May 28, 2007

Nude pétanque

Petanque is becoming one of the most popular activities in nudist resorts, and we have a lot of loyal clients at resorts all over the country.

The Nudist Gift Shop offers a wide range of clothing, stickers, mugs, ... with the "I Love Nude Pétanque" logo.

Have a look:
Nudist Gift Shop - Petanque

May 27, 2007

La Boule Rose in the press

And La Boule Rose (Portland, OR) made it into the (of all places..) Lower Hudson Online.
Portland's odd ... and that's a good thing
(about 2/3 down the article)

Chicago Petanque in the news

Chicago Petanque Club made it in todays' Tribune again:

Higher profile for old boule game

May 26, 2007

Lakeway Tournament

More from Texas!

On May 6 the Lakeway Pétanque Players held their 2nd Open Doubles Tournament.
Ten teams of a 5 different nationalities: France, Greece, Morocco, Tunisia, and USA! And their families.

Kudos to Geo & Arsène.

(nice trophies, by the way ;-)

May 24, 2007

Petanque in McAllen, TX

Some time ago we got an order in from Jerry, a "winter Texan" in Mission, TX who'd just discovered pétanque and was looking for an adequate place to play. Unlike many RV parks, all the roads in his are completely asphalted. Great for skateboarding (which he doesn't), lousy for pétanque.

A week later Gerald, a more experienced player from McAllen, TX called with some technical questions about terrains. With Google maps it took just seconds, while on the phone, to realize that those two could get together, and here is the result.
They met on a jogging trail in one of McAllen's public parks. Excellent surface, some bystanders asking questions - even joining in - and, judging by the smiles, everyone having a good time.

Thanks to Gerald for sharing his game experience, and to Jerry (meanwhile back up North, still spreading the word) for the photos.

May 23, 2007

Petanque 100 events upcoming

Alliance Francaise Salutes Pétanque in America
Southbury, CT
The public is invited to participate in a pétanque tournament and to learn about the game on Sunday June 3rd, from noon to 4 pm. A maximum of 32 participants will play on two courts. Reserve a spot by May 27th.
Prizes to the winning team. Wear comfortable clothing and bring your set of boules if possible. To participate bring something to eat or drink and contribute $5 (members), $10 (non-members).
For details and directions contact Jean-Marie & Marda at or 203-262-1320 before May 27th.

Alliance Francaise First Tournament & Picnic
Grand Rapids, MI
Sunday June 10 from 3 to 6pm
Bring your own picnic lunch and beverage and blanket or chair. Deck seating and grill also on site. Two or three-person teams play for prizes. A traditional glass of pastis will be served to kick off the event and wine served during play.
$10 per member or guest.
This is at a private residence with enough room for two concurrent games.
Call Gary Morrison at 616-975-0864 for futher info and to reserve.

Petanque 100 in Louisville, KY

A celebration in Louisville as well last weekend, where Mark & his friends of Pétanque Louisville got together with players of the Alliance Francaise.

May 22, 2007

Petanque 100 in Charleston, SC

Our friends in Charleston know how to party.
If you say "celebrate", they "celebrate"!

Thanks for the great pictures they sent for the Petanque 100 album.

Anyone else wants to print a 1907-2007 poster, you can download it here.

Petanque 100 - Philly, June 10

Jeunes Amis of the Alliance Française in Philadelphia is hosting a Petanque 100 Picnic in Fairmont Park Sat June 10, from 12 to 4pm.
World famous shooter Loi, who lives in Philly, and myself will be there to help out, teach, and make sure no one leaves the park without being hooked to the game.
There will be boules galore. Bring your own food and drinks.
Exact location on the Petanque in the USA map.

Contact info to follow soon.

Update 05/23: Mamary will join too. Loi & Mamary were part of the winning team in Brooklyn last year. And we hear players from NY will join as well!

May 21, 2007

Midwest Open - Chicago, June 2

Get ready for the 2nd Midwest Open!
After a rainy but successful first edition in 2006, this year will be bigger, and in an exquisite location: Grant Park, downtown Chicago.

Even if you lose, you can just look around and say: "Wow, at least I got to play here!"

Chicago Petanque Club - complete information.

May 20, 2007

Portland Petanque Club in action

Portland Petanque Club is gearing up full steam for the World Championship Qualifier Tournament on July 21 & 22.
First they topped up part of their terrain with fresh crushed rock and grit. With lots of input from club members.

Then they had a tree planting day, with tremendous help from the Portland Parks & Recreations Bureau. There will be shade at PPC in the future.
By the way, the lawn bowling facilities which PPC partially shares with the Portland Lawn Bowling Club were originally constructed in 1945!
PPC was founded only in 2001, but they're developing very fast, with now around 60 members.

Sonoma, CA - Newcomer Tournament

Yesterday was the doubles tournament for "newcomers": a club member + a beginner who has followed the weekly training sessions.
On the left, the senior team - Byron (86) & Vaughn (91) - taking a break, and on the right the winners:
Antonia (who was on the US Team in Grenoble last year) and newcomer Jan (you didn't think you'd get their ages as well - did you?).

Once again: open clinics for newcomers, a great idea.
See our post of May 2nd.

Petanque on grass?

I have never been an advocate of playing petanque on grass, and it ticks me off when vendors advertise it as such - as on this picture. Tall grass to boot. You can't see the target ball, and the boules bounce around like on a mattress. It's misleading for new players.

But... there's grass and grass. This weekend the French Alliance here in Greensboro held a picnic and we ended up playing for a couple of hours on a patch of hard, grassy soil in City Lake Park in Jamestown.
It worked well and several people new to the game thoroughly enjoyed it.
Bottom line: if it looks bad as a lawn, it's good for pétanque!
Well, putting greens would work too, but you'll probably be banned for life from the golf club if you tried.

May 18, 2007

Good news for Canada & Mexico

Thanks to the new US Postal Service rate structure, we can now ship by Priority Mail to Canada & Mexico at a flat rate of $23, up to 20lbs or 9kg.
That's up to 3 sets of competition boules or any combination of max. 12 leisure boules.

And to any other country worldwide at $37.

Long live the "flat rate" boxes!
I think the Postmaster General deserves a set of boules.

PS: If we could only get our 800 # to work in Canada. We've been telling AT&T to get it right for months now...

Petanque in Toronto

Some people definitely have their priorities straight!
David recently moved from Guernsey to Canada and the first thing he did was to build a terrain in his backyard.

Here are 4 pictures I took during construction of my petanque terrain. It is about 12 x 2.7 metres (I would liked to have gone wider but lackthe space). I used a mechanical tamper to compress the lower layer of limestone tailings, (about 5 inches depth on top of a plastic weed control membrane). Then I tamped another two inches of fine limestone dust, and added a light loose dusting on top.

I will have to dig the end gutters out a bit so that they contain long out-of-bounds boule - an idea I incorporated after seeing an Italian Hotel bocci terrain with similar end gutters.

I used 6 x 6 pressure treated lumber to contain the whole thing. There are 3 layers on the low side of the grade (towards the ravine and the apple trees) and the low side also has pieces of 6 x 6 extending under the terrain to form a crib so hopefully the whole thing will stay in place for many years to come.

The uprights are for floodlighting (all properly cased in conduit and all external "wet environment" wire, junction boxes etc), and the tops of the floodlight posts (about 4'9") are just perfect for your beer!

This is the third terrain I have built over the years but I find that the longer I play, the more I need to learn and practice!

I look forward to Christening the new terrain just as soon as your boules arrive. My other boules will remain in Europe so there is room in my suitcase for normal peoples stuff!

David also volunteers to advise anyone in Canada who wants to build a terrain or start a group.
Let us know, and we'll give you his phone #.

May 17, 2007

Petanque in Charleston, SC

And the Alliance Française in Charleston will be playing this Sunday as well, in beautiful Hampton Park.
Everyone welcome at 4pm.

They play at least one Sunday per month; this time in honor of Pétanque 100.

The exact location in the park is on the Petanque in the USA Map.

May 14, 2007

Petanque in Dallas, TX

The North Texas Alliance Française will be holding their First Petanque Tournament this Sunday May 20.
At Glencoe Park# 1 in Dallas.
Register latest at 12 noon.

Open to everyone!
Click on the poster for details and contact numbers.

We have shipped quite a bit of boules to Dallas over the years, and hope this will be the beginning of yet another group on the petanque map.