March 31, 2008

National Mens Doubles 2008

Juan (mid) & Mo (right) won this years' title in Sarasota over the weekend, organized by Gilles (left) of the Sarasota Petanque Club. Bravo!
Are we proud they're coming to Winston-Salem on May 17!

And so is Khalid, previously from La Boule NY, who now lives in Charlotte. He was selected for the US National team in Grenoble in 2006.
There will be some serious petanque. Now where are all the Carolina players? We do need you to sign up by April 30 so we can get organized.

March 27, 2008

Boules on the riverside

Our friend Jerry reports about taking his boules from the US to France (yes, as in "coals to Newcastle") to christen them while on holiday.
I love the last paragraph, and - indeed - once we have enough players over here, I'll be the first to guide one such trip!
Thanks Jerry, for the exquisite images.

My wife and I completed a canal boat trip through Alsace & Loraine, on the Marguerite. There were a number of opportunities (sometimes ending late enough to require use of a flashlight) to play Petanque (notice the glasses of Pastis in some of the photos). A number of our traveling companions became very interested in the game; yes I took three boules with me to christen them in France. A Petanque court has even been installed in the mooring park at the foot of the boat-lift incline on the Rhine-Marne Canal as seen in the background of one of the photos.
Maybe you could organize a trip through France featuring “Petanque Courts of France”; it’s a beautiful country, the people there are delightfully frien
dly and the food & wine are superb.

Mini piste in Austin

Everbody in US pétanque circles knows Christophe of La Boule NY. Well, right now he's in Austin, TX , and urgently needed an area to train. He calls it "Piste off". But he isn't.
As people say: size is not important (for good players ;-).

Hey Guys—
Here are some pics of my latest endeavor, my practice mini piste. I used DG (Decomposed Granite) for the material, & it drains perfectly. The actual dimensions are 28' long by 5.5' wide.
I just threw the first boules this afternoon and it works exactly the way dirt should work!

Now maybe I will learn how to play this friggin' game...

March 19, 2008

Kabul boules - update

The boules have arrived, so has the French contingent, and they are playing everyday!

I'm so happy that we could help them out fast. I guess the French visitors were surprised that the balls came all the way from America ;-).

Good luck, guys!

Teaching in New Orleans

Our friends from LSU were active again, teaching petanque to kids at the Ecole Bilingue at Calhoun Street, at the annual Fête Française on March 8.

Nice banner!

March 13, 2008

Petanque in the US press

When I mentioned the Sun-Sentinel article last month, I had only seen the online version. A friend just mailed me the original and now I realize it was almost 2 full size pages of the weekend edition.

Thanks to the reporter, Thomas Monnay and the editor are certainly in order. With a circulation of abt 340,000 it's the 37th largest paper in the country.

As usual, when I see figures, I like to put them in perspective, so on the right is the list of the 100 largest US dailies, with a yellow highlight for those that carried a major article about petanque in the past 2 years. Only 91 more to go ;-)

Please check if I missed some. And if you have a copy of an old article lying around, please send it to us to scan, and we'll send it back.

Boules for Kabul

The other day we got a call from an officer in Afghanistan. Originally from GA, now posted in one of the camps there, he wanted boules urgently because they're expecting French colleagues and would like to challenge them to a couple of games.
They're on their way, and we hope it will provide them hours of entertainment. They need - and deserve it !

March 11, 2008


Tom from Sonoma asked to see the PA Open scoreboard again. Indeed, it's already more than 2 years ago.
We're still waiting for other tournaments to copy this unique idea!

March 8, 2008

Petanque in Paris

Gridskipper, the urban travel guide, recently ran a short article about pétanque clubs in Paris.
With pictures and a map!

Gridskipper - 7 Nov 2007

March 7, 2008

Winter training

Talk about dedication.
Oshrat & Sadie, with moral support from Nadège, were warming up for the season at Pit Stop in Brooklyn this weekend.

Actually, they hardly stopped this winter. The 3 dark pictures are from November, in Esperance (how appropriate) - in upstate NY - at 18° below zero.
"We call it HOBO petanque because we have to layer up using random clothes...and warm our hands...and our boules... by the fire :)" .
Trust me, they'll be dressed very differently at the Bar Tabac tournament - on Sunday July 13 this year.

March 3, 2008

Pastis, keep it light!

So true: in the (still) few places where you can get pastis in the US, bartenders are often unfamiliar with the ratios and pour the liquor as if it were lemonade. Topping it up with ice, sometimes a drop of water.

LA Times Magazine caught on this weekend and sets the record straight in this article, "How to pour a Proper Ricard".
It mentions that ice should always be last, but not the reason: if you put ice first, the liquor may coagulate.

March 2, 2008

First Carolinas Open Tournament

Carolina Petanque is now formally registered with FPUSA. Thanks Frank, for the smooth process.
With headquarters in the Winston-Salem area, but with the intention to create rotating meets in both South & North Carolina.

What better way to celebrate than an open tournament? Open, as in everyone is welcome, from beginners to advanced players.

Saturday, May 17
Miller-Park, Winston-Salem, NC
Select doubles (teams of two players)
Start at 10:00 AM
Fee $ 15 per player
All fees will be returned in prize monies, plus prizes in kind
Followed on Sunday with fun play.

Once we can estimate the number of participants, we can make arrangements for hotel group rates, lunch, dinner, etc... We will have a lot of fun, guaranteed.
But it is utmost important that you register a.s.a.p. so we can prepare.

To register, please send name & address of both players to:
For now you can also call 1-800-682-2557

San Pedro Open - April 13

This years' edition of the San Pedro Open, at the cruise ship terminal will be on Sunday April 13. Select triples.
Some pictures of last year.

And as I said then, I'm going! Can't wait to meet so many players I only know by telephone.

For further info, call LAPC President Max Legrand at 310-479-5230

And while at it, have a look at LAPC's last newsletter.

New West Coast petanque website

Petanque Talk is Nathan Doster's latest contribution to petanque development in the Western States. Nathan doesn't mind driving hours & hours to catch a game, and has visited almost all of the 17 clubs, from San Diego, CA to Seattle WA.
For reports on those clubs, playing tips and his interesting projects for a national pétanque camp and convention, pour yourself a drink and relax, because there's lots of interesting reading material at:

Petanque Talk!

BIG news in Fresno

Back to the West Coast, where Tim & friends of Fresno Petanque Club are unstoppable.
Thanks to their efforts the Fresno Parks Department made an official announcement that Cary Park (picture) may well become the home of the largest petanque terrain in the US, accommodating 32 concurrent games.
More details and other news in the...
Fresno Petanque February Newsletter

FPC now also has a website, with play times, locations and a contact which - we cannot repeat it enough - are essential for every club or group to make public, and keep up-to-date.
Kudos to Fresno.

Higher up, in Petaluma, CA there has also been a breakthrough with the Parks Department having given the final approval for a public terrain. It's been a long time coming but Dave & Co's patience and diplomatic talents have prevailed.

Petanque blogs in Taiwan & Japan

Our friend Kevin in Kaohsuing is actively blogging these days from Southern Taiwan. Unfortunately we missed each other twice at the annual Brooklyn Bastille Day tournament.
Are you coming again this year, on July 13?

And Adrian in Aoyama, Japan has revamped his blog. Lots of interesting articles.

A surprise visit from Ohio

Jeffrey from Akron, OH picked up pétanque recently, but seems to have a knack for ball games. Since he has hardly anyone to play with in his hometown, he often trains just by himself.
So before he hit the road to Sarasota, FL to visit family, he checked out our Petanque in the USA map, contacted us and re-arranged his 17 hr road trip in such a way that he could play a few games with us this afternoon in Winston-Salem.
He kicked some serious butt, and we're not sure we want him to stop again on the way back ;-)
He has already staked out the Sarasota Club and he's bound to show up there as well.

Keep going Jeff! And welcome again any time.
Folks in the Akron area, click here.

A beautiful love story

Anything can happen on a pétanque terrain. But this is truly amazing.
As on so many occasions, it was Jan in Oakhurst, CA, who got "the ball rolling" for two of his friends, and look - or rather read - what happened:

A wedding at Oakhurst Petanque Club (PDF)

I've spoken many times on the phone to Steve & Dixie, but didn't know this was in the making! Congratulations to both!

Fou de la pétanque other words "Crazy about pétanque". Although they're pretty far up North, the Portland Petanque Club likes to start their season early, whatever the weather.
Here's the report:

At the Fou de la petanque tourney held this last Sunday, the 22 of us had a good time playing, eating and enjoying the mostly sunny weather conditions. It was a nice turn out for our first event of the year and we certainly made the most of it. With 11 teams pairing up from the random draw, we played 2 games before breaking for lunch, a fine potluck spread as usual, then played the remaining 2 games of the afternoon. Although we had enough time to play a final match between the top 2 seeds, one of the players had to leave so we ended it there. Some of us decided to play a couple more games after the tourney had ended. Obviously we had some more petanque left in us.
Here are the results:
1st place: Joe C. & Matt Sharp
2nd place: Albyn & Sarah L.
3rd place: John H. & Jim L.