For the next 5 days Marseille, France's 2nd largest city and # 1 port, once again turns into the largest "boulodrome" in the world.
The registration boots closed Saturday at noon, and the 47th edition will surpass previous records with 4324 triplette teams or 12,972 players!
More numbers: 12 countries, 87 (of the 100) French departments represented, 756 lady players in 85 ladies teams and 399 mixed teams, two benjamins age 13, and the most senior player age 94.
This from 364 teams in 1962, 1000 teams in 1968, 2000 in 1977, 3000 in 1994 and 4000 in 2003.
No wonder they now call it the "Roland Garros of pétanque".
Here's a retrospective video with beautiful nostalgic footage, including scenes from the usual humongous opening bash.
Rétrospective 2006 (WMV file) - if on PC it opens in Windows Media Player.
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(as from Monday)