April 30, 2008

Another petanque map

Good to see other countries are following our example.

Here's "Petanque in the UK".

To further develop our USA map we now enclose this leaflet in every order that goes out:

The boules juggler

Arsène (see previous post) is a well known juggler, magician or - simply put - "court jester". In between his numerous and popular appearances at Renaissance Festivals, he also juggles with ... boules.

Lakeway, Texas tournament

Here's a full report from Geo of Lakeway Petanque Players:

The annual Parkfest Petanque tournament in Lakeway City Park was held on Saturday, April 26. Thanks to our resident magician, Monsieur Magikhana, Arsene Dupin, we had 6 doubles teams appear, direct from Paris, France (there is a Paris, Texas but no one cares). In addition 2 teams from Austin appeared and 2 from the Dallas petanque group blasted away on our courts. Competition was fierce. Christophe Chambers of NYC was our official arbiter and was able to keep the bickering and general discord to a minimum. Rules are meant to be arbitrated, right? Well, we managed to finish the tournament with plenty of daylight remaining which left us free to enjoy the music and festivities in the park.
In third place, accepting the bronze medals were Thierry and Guillermo. Arsene and Christophe came away wearing the silver medals. The premier team taking away the gold medals and trophies were Bill Baker of Dallas and Geo Durell of Lakeway. Congratulations to all who won and a heartfelt thanks to all who participated.

Thanks to Geo & Christophe for the pictures!

Update: Christophe also posted a 10 min. video on Youtube . Nice shots!
(pick the high quality version)

April 20, 2008

Petanque in Palm Desert

Of course I had to visit Gérard & his group in Palm Desert, about 125 mi east of L.A.
After a 2 hr drive through a pretty dry and barren landscape, with thousands of windmills, you arrive in a tropical, green setting, where water seems to be plentiful.

The grounds at Civic Center Park are somewhat unpredictable (sprinklers and concrete gutters here and there) , but nicely varied from soft to hard, and with lots of shade, tables and benches.

Several of their members are chefs, so you can rest assured that their picnics are always top of the line. They were at work when I stopped by, but I got to meet them at the San Pedro Open.
I found a new nickname for Gérard: CanaBOUM, because he misses few shots. And if William (from Hyères) is in charge of the picnic, they'll have to rename the club "La Boule du Dessert".

The club is only 5 yrs old, but growing fast and they are talking to the parks department to have a larger, dedicated area.
Thanks for the warm welcome!

La Boule du Désert website

April 17, 2008

Petanque license plate

Gérard of Palm Desert gets the first $75.00 store credit for his license plate.
Only 48 states to go!

Petanque vanity plates

Actually a much better idea than my "Petanqe" suggestion.

More on Palm Desert soon!

Hollywood petanque, with a view!

And the next day I went to visit David & Diana up in the hills.
David wrote a detailed description of their court many years ago on Petanque.org
Worth a reread if you didn't see it then. A unique court indeed.
It was too hot to play and try it out. Anyway, catching up on old stories was a lot more important. Always wonderful company.
And here's the view:

Beverly Hills petanque

While in L.A., I had the great honor to join Diedrich Bader & his friends for an evening of petanque at his home boulodrome.

Home of the worlds' largest pocket scorekeeper: a wooden, mega version of the thing some us fiddle with in our pockets, stands tall - 6 ft long -, with large wheels and tiny spotlights around the numbers. A beauty.

Needless to say, Diedrich (who recently starred in Meet the Spartans) & his buddies are unbeatable in the banter department, but there's no joking around when it comes to skillful pointing. They've been playing for years. I almost felt like a novice.

The "inner sanctum" holds a collection of boules & accessories worthy of a museum and is home to the cherished Cup the teams vie for at their annual Bastille Day tournament.

Who won the game? I don't remember, but that was not the fault of the scoreboard ;-)

Great folks, memorable evening!

San Pedro Open

What a day: 66 players plus friends and family, gorgeous weather, and the most unbelievable setting.
Besides 12 teams of LAPC who organized the tournament, five teams drove in from Oakhurst, two each from San Diego and Palm Desert, and one from Fresno.

The final game was one of those wonderful combinations of ages and nationalities you'll find in few sports: the Nguyen family (father, son & grandson) from San Diego vs George, Felix & Artem from LA.

The best way to get a feel for the atmosphere is to watch for yourself:
Slideshow (4:30min with sound)

Guest of the day was journalist Charlie Schroeder who made a report for NPR's radio show "Only a game", to be aired the week before Bastille Day.

A special word of thanks goes to Steve & Dolores, who came up with the idea of San Pedro and made it happen.

New patterns for Obut ATX

So far, Obut's ATX boules were only available in "plain" and "one circle".
There are now 4 additional patterns.
Some allow for more engraving than others.
Also the leather case has been changed. Looks nice!

Obut ATX

April 16, 2008

Petanque in prisons?

If you end up in jail in Auckland or Wanganui (New Zealand) you can play petanque!

MP claims prisons like 'country clubs'

April 15, 2008

Midwest Petanque - June 7 & 8

Get ready for the 3rd edition of the Chicago June tournament!

Here are the details.

Petanque in Las Vegas

A new group has just started, with a.o. Franck Labasse, whom we all know from his days at La Boule NY.

Here's their website:
Las Vegas Petanque


Petanque in Baton Rouge

The pétanque group at LSU made it in the Daily Reveille, the university paper.
Good to see they're growing!

Students celebrate French culture through pétanque

April 6, 2008

Latest news from L.A.

There's nothing like a little nap in the shade before a game.

LAPC is getting ready for the San Pedro Open. A great newsletter, as usual:

LAPC Reporter 03/2008

See y'all next weekend!

April 2, 2008

Pre-Mondial Ricard, Quebec August 15-17

A big splash! This will no doubt be the largest tournament ever held on the American continent.

Roger Roy, organizer and passionate player had told us at the NY Open that he was working on it, and everything is now in place. Inspired by "Le Mondial La Marseillaise": open to anyone, from beginners to world class players, in a festival atmosphere, in the heart of the city. He motivated local authorities, sponsors, restaurants, and - knowing him - the organization will be tops.
Although the official FIPJP statistics indicate Canada had 2268 members (2006) it is fair to say that the Province of Quebec alone, with around 50 clubs must have many more players. We ship boules to Canada all the time.

A purse of Can$ 15,000 + 100 % of registration fees definitely sounds like a good reason to go spend a weekend in Quebec City, which is also celebrating its 400 birthday this year. Pétanque ànd party time!
All you have to do at this stage is register your team. Payment to be made on arrival.

Roger Roy, Organizer
Phone: (01)(418) 651-1500
E-mail: ricardroy@videotron.ca

Tournament website (in French)

Parc Ferland (tournament location) on Google maps
Quebec Tourist Information (English)

Update 4/15/08: this offer no longer applies:
Very important - a few slots are still available:
The organizers will contribute up to a maximum of $900 per team for the transportation expenses of foreign teams (comprised of 3 foreign players). Offered on a first come, first served basis, to max. 10 teams. Sign up now!

April 1, 2008

New warranty policy on boules

We sometimes get calls from people who just got a brand new set of boules from us and - guess what - they lost one or even more than one game. Life is not fair! It can be devastating.
Therefore we now give an unconditional warranty: "You lose, you get your money back".
Click on the certificate for details.