June 27, 2007

Petanque in public parks

It is amazing how - the same day - the same game can be hailed as a welcome addition in one city:

Petanque Brings International Excitement To Brooks Park
(that's Harwich, CT)

while facing (temporary?) opposition in another one ...
Let petanque be played at Oak Hill
(that's Petaluma, Ca)

All I can say is that, wherever I know there's a public petanque play area, it has turned into a quiet, friendly spot for folks to meet, compete, and enjoy each others' company - as in the above typical picture of Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.

For petanque groups who are talking to Parks Departments and who'd like a simple presentation of the game, feel free to use this document - with many pictures - for starters:

Petanque in Public Parks.pdf (2.2Mb PDF file)

National Mixed Doubles

Sprinkled with his usual witty comments, here's Alan Efron's report on Sundays' Mixed Doubles tournament at La Pétanque Marinière in San Rafael, CA.

Cynthia & Andre came in from Maine, that's 3,333 miles!

And Phim, the lady on the winning team is barely 10 days away from giving birth.

June 26, 2007

Madagascar Open - a success

The open tournament in Bryant Park almost broke attendance records on Sunday, with 32 teams participating.
Delegations from the new clubs in Westchester and Brooklyn joined in, and also a group of new Philadelphia players.

Details at LaBouleNY.com

And also on Westchester Petanque and Brooklyn Boule.

By the way, there are some awesome photos of the Westchester Petanque Club on Photoshelter, by New York Times photographer Rob Bennett, from when they did an article about them last month.

Click on the image!

June 25, 2007

Petanque 100 in the Triangle

With players all the way from Charlotte, Salisbury, Lexington, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and of course Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, we were close to 40 to celebrate Petanque 100 this Sunday, at the Inn at Bingham School, a dream location for a petanque party.
We had a lot of fun, played, ate and drank very well!
And the kids had a blast playing croquet, badminton or plain hide & seek.

Two special surprises among the petanque crowd:
Christian, who seldom plays, but whose grandfather had a bar in Marseille, so the genes are there - and Andy, a 747 captain who had never played, but knows a thing or two about landing in the right spot.

Thanks a bunch to Francois for his generous hospitality!

June 22, 2007

Soft pétanque on the street

A first:
On Sunday July 15 Provence en Boite will hold a soft pétanque ( "pétanque molle") contest under the sycamore trees of Degraw St, at the corner of Smith St in Brooklyn.
Sunday July 15.
Teams of 2 players (doubles).
$ 20 per team.
Register by 11 am.
For info call 718-797-0707

June 20, 2007

Upcoming open events

June 2 - Chicago, IL - Midwest Open
June 3 - Southbury, CT - AF Pétanque 100 Picnic
June 3 - Kansas City, MO - AF Picnic & pétanque
June 10 - Grand Rapids, MI - AF Petanque 100 Picnic
June 10 - Philadelphia, PA - Petanque 100 Picnic
June 10 - Irvine, CA - Pétanque tournament
June 10 - Portland, OR - Webfoot Open & Petanque 100
June 14 - Toledo, OH - AF Petanque season starts
June 16 - Norfolk, VA - AF Annual Meeting & pétanque
June 19 - Omaha, NE - AF Petanque 100
June 24 - New York, NY - Madagascar Open
June 24 - Chapel Hill, NC - Petanque 100 in the Triangle
July 1 - San Francisco, CA - AF Petanque 100
July 14 - Brooklyn, NY - Pit Stop Ball Bearing Series
July 15 - Brooklyn, NY - Bastille Day at BarTabac
July 15 - Brooklyn, NY - Provence en Boite - Soft Petanque

Feel free to send in your info.
No petanque gathering is too small!

Madagascar Open at Bryant Park, NY

A few times a year La Boule NY organizes open tournaments, i.e. open to the general public. They are a great opportunity to play against folks of all levels and learn.
Don't be timid!!
Petanque players are always willing to share their experience and teach tactical moves. At least until your score get too close for comfort ...

The next one is the Madagascar Open, on Sunday June 24, to celebrate the friendship of La Boule NY with the Malagasy community, of which several are among their top players.
Bryant Park is central and the perfect location for such a tournament.
All you have to do is:
- get a teammate
- show up latest by 9:30 am with your 3 boules.

New York is hot!

After Provence Magazine, then M6 television channel, now it's Boulisme, the French pétanque magazine, that made a report about pétanque in NY and of course La Boule NY.

In case you want to subscribe to the magazine (6 issues/year), you have to send a check from a French bank for € 48. Not very convenient for most of us, so we have proposed to handle foreign subscriptions by credit card through our online store. Stay tuned.

June 19, 2007

Petanque in Brooklyn

A big welcome to a new club: Brooklyn Petanque!

They're celebrating their debut with a tournament on July 14, at Pit Stop on Columbia St.

That's the day before the annual BarTabac event on Smith Street and thus a great way to get in the right spirit.

Limited to 30 teams, so don't wait to register.

Pit Stop Ball Bearing Series - details

June 16, 2007

Fathers Day boules

The last couple of rush orders for Fathers Day went out today.
Well, they won't make it by tomorrow, but at least the loving spouses won't lie when they say: "Honey, your boules are on the way!".
But I am proud to add that also the week before Mothers Day (May 13) was busy with husbands ordering boules for the Mrs.

It's safe to say that half our orders come from ladies, half from men.
Which puts the US in the league of countries where pétanque is truly gender-blind. The way it should be.

June 15, 2007

Petanque in the NY Times

Caitlin Kelly came to one of the Westchester Club Tuesday petanque "soirées" and wrote this report:

Pétanque draws all ages - NYT June 3

June 14, 2007

Petanque 100 in Dallas, TX

AF North Texas had 15 teams playing on a ballfield in Glencoe Park, with many more folks watching and enjoying the weather and their picnic.

Including a lot who youngsters had never played before.

Petanque 100 in Portland, OR

Portland Petanque Club combined the Petanque 100 celebration with their annual Webfoot tournament.
25 players of which some played for 8 hours into the finals.

By the way, PPC is one of the very few clubs in the country that has a real clubhouse, with cooking facilities and an outdoor terrace!

June 13, 2007

More from Philly

A little clip to show what happens when a city replaces grass with gravel! See also June 11.
Watch the little boy clapping in the background. He comes almost every evening and loves it when Mo & Loi shoot out each others' boules.

A good thing the Philadelphia streetcar doesn't pass by there...

June 12, 2007

Boules in Boulder, CO

One of our friends in Boulder, CO has made it a habit to invite colleagues & friends for games at his home court after work. Hence the formal wear.

But the arguments and bantering are as informal as any place else...!

And he has introduced petanque at company picnics, with more & more participants year after year. An excellent idea!

June 11, 2007

Petanque 100 in Irvine, CA

And so did Orange Accueil, a nonprofit that welcomes newly arrived French speaking families in Orange County. There are "Accueil" organizations in most larger metropolitan areas that have saved newcomers a lot of headaches in their new environment.

The group of friends of Orange Accueil regularly uses a pétanque terrain that was laid out twenty years ago by a French teacher (and avid player) at a school in Irvine. The exact location follows.
There were 9 triplets teams. With families in all around 60 people. Having a good time.
Thanks a lot to Véronique.

Photo album of the tournament

Petanque 100 in Richmond, VA

A cheerful report from Mark in VA!

In Richmond, Viriginia, Les Boulefrogs of Church Hill commemorated the 100th anniversary of Petanque with a public demonstration of the game and picnic at the City's annual "It Starts in Parks" celebration. The petanque area was one of the most popular areas during the day's activities. The club members introduced the game to many interested people of all ages and walks of life. Even the firemen-EMT's got "fired up" about petanque and just might start coming to some of the club's twice-weekly games!

Petanque in Philadelphia

We had a great Pétanque 100 event on Sunday on a ball field in Fairmont Park (pictures coming).
Also an occasion for Mamary (aka Mo) to show us the new spot he discovered on S 40th St, between Walnut & Locust.
Recently part of the lawn was replaced by gravel, surrounded by benches. He has been playing there almost every evening from 6:30pm on, and several students have joined him for pick-up games.
Mo's skills are first class, and he is a great teacher too.
Plus plenty of restaurants across the street for a snack or a drink when you're done.
So check it out!

On the Petanque in the USA map.

Petanque in the news (good & bad...)

The Christian Science Monitor published a lengthy article today on pétanque, and on the banter that goes along with it. Sometimes for mere fun, sometimes as veiled intimidation.
The thrill of the toss ... the agony of argument - CS Monitor - June 11.

A lot better than the clumsy article the same paper published two years ago in which they completely mixed up bocce and pétanque.

Fortunately this time we were able to guide the author from the start and hook him up with the right people to interview. Also very good that there's a link in the article to La Boule NY, just in time for the Madagascar Open in Bryant Park on June 23. Lets' hope many New Yorkers read it!

On a sad note, several UK papers are reporting today on a phenomenon newly coined "bouliganism", where the banter referenced above has turned into aggressive behavior, causing the entire Nièvre département to ban tournaments until further notice.
Gentle image of pétanque wrecked by ‘bouliganes’ - Times Online - 11 June

Fortunately, that less savory aspect of our favorite game is limited to a few hot spots in France, and has not made it across the ocean where this weekend again hundreds of players in several cities celebrated the 100 years.

June 5, 2007

Petanque 100 in Gainesville, FL

A bunch of friends of the AF in Gainesville gets together 5, 6 times a year for a pétanque afternoon, and they didn't miss the opportunity to acknowledge the Centenary.

By the way, that spot is what I would call the perfect environment: trees for shade, irregular size, some bumps and branches. A bit of raking up the leaves before you start and you're all set to go. I don't know if there are bathrooms in the vicinity, and how easily accessible it is but we'll find out and put it on the Petanque in the USA map.

We're preparing a small file for clubs to present to Parks & Recreation Departments. Specifically to dispel the idea that pétanque requires manicured courts, prone to maintenance. These images speak a thousand words: "Give us some dirt, and we're happy!"

Many thanks to Didier for the photos.