August 30, 2007

Wall Street Journal pétanque

After a.o. the Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune here's the Wall Street Journal with an elaborate article with video clip about pétanque!
Kudos and thanks to Max Colchester for the accurate research. Just a pity that on the video he sounds as if had a boule in his mouth ;-). Or is it my hearing?
I had the opportunity to chat with Bruno L.B. in La Ciotat. A cool and friendly dude and yes, he's very interested to cross the Atlantic for a tournament next year.

Sport of Pétanque, A French Passion, Anoints a New King
WSJ Online
- Aug 30, 2007

August 27, 2007

Petanque in Motown

Jeff did an amazing job organizing the first Hard Rock Open in Detroit. Everything was prepared in minute detail for the 20 teams present, even multicolor target balls.
The few morning showers didn't spoil the fun, and were rapidly forgotten once the sun appeared after lunch.
The surprise of the day were Pat & Tim who work right at Cadillac Square, recently joined Jeff for his daily lunch petanque sessions and made it all the way to the finals where they did not lose too badly against powerhouse Mamary (Philly) and Ziggy (Chicago).

A special mention for Dan & his friends from Chicago who braved 11 hrs of heavy traffic ( instead of the usual 4!) to make it to Detroit. Hats off.

It was a great, fun day. As usual, cause for lots of new friendships.

Slideshow with sound (3:20 min)

Jeff's full album with detailed captions

August 24, 2007

Hard Rock Open in Detroit

Update Aug 10
Date changed to Saturday Aug 25

An open doubles tournament on Sunday August 26 Saturday Aug 25, in Cadillac Square.
See y'all there!!

Tournament details and registration

Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit has been completely re-designed with crushed stone (as in "hard rock") walkways that double perfectly as pétanque terrains.
More pictures here

Hard Rock Café Detroit

August 17, 2007

Petanque in Salt Lake City

Michael & friends have now fully adopted the bocce courts of Utah's Bocce Association at Liberty Park. Play time Thursdays at 6:30pm.
Look on the Petanque in the USA Map for directions.

It's a similar setup to what we have in Winston-Salem, NC. Bocce courts on one side, horsehoes courts on the other. And what do you see? People playing pétanque... ;-)

Fresno club born

Yesterday Tim and his friends got together and formally started the "Fresno Petanque Club", affiliated with FPUSA.
Already 17 members, congratulations!

On the picture you see a bunch of them on a recent visit to Oakhurst Petanque Club.
Just like LAPC helped Oakhurst to get started, they now in turn assisted Fresno.
This will be the 13th club in California - Modesto being # 12.
In pétanque definitely a lucky number!

August 12, 2007

Oakhurst pétanque in the news

Oakhurst Pétanque Club is on the move these days!

This weekend in LA, for the Oakhurst Invitational, and on Labor Day to Knight's Landing, for the Emile Furlan Invitational.

Sierra Star - August 10

August 9, 2007

Mondial de Millau

On Saturday the annual Mondial de Millau starts, for the 26th time.
A five day sequence of tournaments, almost a marathon, that attracts world champions and amateurs alike.
Sunday: singles
Monday: men triples & ladies doubles
Tuesday: men doubles a ladies triples
Wednesday: mixed triples & junior triples
Not taking into account that many participate in more than one event the 2006 numbers added up 19,477 participants!
With registration fees of 5 Euro per player/per event it remains a very democratic affair. A final winner in any event makes around 1500 €, or $2000.

Good luck to Alec and Xavier of La Boule NY who will be there!

Millau 2006, an in-depth report by Alec Stone Sweet

Since 2004 Millau is also famous for its viaduct, the world's tallest road bridge:

August 8, 2007

Petanque in Dry Creek Valley, CA

For many years we have shipped boules to Healdsburg, to the point where I almost know the ZIP codes by heart! Lovely people to talk to, yet I didn't know the full story behind this active, jovial group.

Until Peggy Matsuda sent us this report today:

Healdsburg, CA - Big Boules of Dry Creek Petanque League held their annual Boys vs Girls match on Bastille Day this last July 14th at the Ross and Gillian Stromberg residence and winery. Girls bested the Boys in two sets. As usual, this fun loving club enjoyed the play and excellent wine country weather with food and wine at a spectacular private vineyard venue. Highlights of the day were photographed by member, Mary Caldwell.

The club is currently in the last matches of the elimination that lead up to the Final Championship match which will be played this year on September 30th where the winning couple takes the coveted crystal trophy, the yellow vests and bragging rights. Current champs, Bob and Marcia Fosberg, acted as Boys and Girls team captains respectively for this year's gender face-off.

Big Boules was started by Jack Linkletter (son of Art and long time Dry Creek resident) back in 1999 with 16 couples competing that first year in the vineyards of the Dry Creek Valley of Healdsburg, California. The club has grown to 32 couples, over 17 private courts among club members with more courts under construction and an ever growing waiting list for new members interested in joining.

On the top picture the winners (they look better than the loosing team), but if you want to see "the boys", click on this collage that shows how much fun was had that day! Including appropriate outfits for the occasion.
What a wonderful idea.

More about Dry Creek Valley wines.

August 7, 2007

Masters 2006 highlights

Highlights of the 2006 edition, with amazing shots. Enjoy!
(LOUD sound)

Actually a promotion video for potential cities and sponsors for 2007. It starts with legalese about one not being allowed to copy more than 2 minutes. I would say - if you want to promote, show as much as possible!

August 6, 2007

Richmond pétanque in the news

And here's an article from Richmond, VA about the "Boulefrogs".
Like in Toledo, accompanied by a slideshow to put readers in the mood.

Good to see papers are using more photos and sound. It's so much better to convey the game's atmosphere. The article describes very well what a fun, heterogeneous group this is and how they're growing.

Let's play petanque - Aug 3

August 5, 2007

Teamwork in Philadelphia

At the end of March Marie-Laure of the Jeunes Amis de l'Alliance Française asked us for advice for a pétanque picnic in Philly. JAAF regularly organizes French themed events, using Meetup for easy communication.

Loi helped scouting for a spot. Marie-Laure invited as many people as possible. Of course Mo got involved. Word got around and Ernesto, Xavier, Héry & Hakim from La Boule NY decided to drive over for the day. Mario was visiting from Miami. I flew in from NC with demo boules, some prizes and my usual spiel about pétanque and why the entire world should start playing - if not today - latest tomorrow .. ;-)

On June 10, we were around 35 on a baseball field in Fairmount Park: people brought food, drinks and music. The majority had never met before. Some had played years ago, some never. We found out two families already have a terrain in their backyard. Teams were made with one experienced + 2 new players. The hours flew by, and then we met again for an early dinner and more games in front of U Penn. A lot of new friendships were made and a core group of players now meets at least once a week. Six of them came to the Bar Tabac tournament in Brooklyn on July 15 and JAAF is planning to do it again later this fall!

No doubt, it was the teamwork that made it a success:
(a) a local dynamic person with an extensive group of friends + the excellent tool that is
(b) a handful of good players who enjoy teaching newcomers
(c) yours truly to hook up everyone
We all agreed this calls for a repeat in other cities!

Slideshow w/video (2:30 min)
Photo album

August 4, 2007

Boston pétanque in the news

After Chicago and Toledo here's Boston!

An elaborate - and witty - article about our friends of Mistral Club de Petanque and the FPUSA tournaments going on today at Clemente Field and Sunday at the club's facilities in Worcester.
Good show!

At the old boule game - Aug 4
Note: if you stay for a while on the Boston Globe site you have to register, but it's free.

By the way, it was also the Boston Globe that announced Thursday morning that France's new President, Nicolas Sarkozy, was expected shortly for a two week vacation in Wolfeboro, NH.
The French press - and public - were completely taken by surprise. Some papers even doubted the veracity of the article until the Elysée - the equivalent of our White House - confirmed the news on Friday with a brief statement that Mr Sarkozy went to the States with his family, on a commercial flight, to stay with friends.

It is probably the first time in history that a French President chooses the US for his summer vacation. He did pick a beautiful spot on Lake Winnipesaukee and we hope he gets the rest he deserves after an incredibly hectic 2007 so far.

World Transplant Games

Mark Graves, a member of the new (and growing!) pétanque club in Fresno, CA will represent the US at the 16th World Transplant Games in Bangkok, Thailand, starting on Aug 25.
Mark is a kidney & pancreas recipient and has been very active in national ànd international sport events, a great initiative started 25 years ago, that has increased public awareness and the number of organ donations.

This is the first time pétanque is on the roster, with a singles and a doubles competition. We wish him luck and are very proud he will wear our colors.
Look out for photos in September.

World Transplant Games 2007

World Transplant Games Federation

August 2, 2007


Los Angeles Petanque Club's last newsletter is out.

They always have a lot of news about the West Coast, with several members contributing articles and photos. And thanks to Ben Bull's professional expertise, it looks very good too!

LAPC Reporter - July '07 (PDF file)

Upcoming Open Tournaments

August 4 - Pit Stop, Brooklyn, NY

August 25 - Cadillac Square, Detroit, MI

September 29/30 - Bryant Park, NY
(registration not yet open - details to follow)

August 1, 2007

Petanque in Toledo, OH

An extensive, well researched article about pétanque in The Toledo Blade of today.

Petanque: Bocce with a French accent

With interviews, a graphic explanation of the game, and a slideshow with beautiful photos.
I don't think they'd appreciate us copying those, so below are other pictures of this small but passionate pétanque group. They were enthusiastic participants in our Petanque 100 project.
Thanks very much to Liliane, Pierre and their friends. If it wasn't for your playing regularly in a public place, most likely the newspaper would have never found out about you and there would have been no article!
How about a Toledo delegation at the Detroit Open?