June 28, 2008

Newcomers in Sonoma

The Newcomers Tournament, with around 140 folks attending, was a tremendous success, we heard. The food, the people, and the atmosphere.
The nice photos are courtesy of Peggy, who came down with a 20-player delegation from Dry Creek!

Needless to say, I love those events, and we can but encourage every club to do something like that once a year. In the beginning of the season preferably, so new adepts have many months to enjoy their new hobby.

Fresno petanque in the press

The Fresno Bee published an excellent article about the FPC, with to the point quotes from several players. A must read!
Fresno Bee - June 26 2008

And one more for our list. Only 89 to go!

FPC also publishes their own interesting monthly newsletter:
here's the June issue. In the May issue you can read how new boules are christened, with champagne and all!

June 27, 2008

Petanque in Dallas

Here's a report on last weekends' tournament from Bill (aka TON'R Bill):

The Dallas Pétanque Group held their annual “Start of Summer Pétanque Tournament and Pique-nique” on Sunday, 22 June 2008. This year the players braved both the blazing sun and some stiff competition. Nine teams competed and after all the dust settled three teams were triumphant. The Champion’s Trophy and Gold Medals went to Jean and Pascal. The Silver Medals were claimed by Jimmy and Stéphane and Bill and Geo garnered the Bronze Medals. The organization went smoothly and everyone had a great time both for the Pétanque games and the sampling the vast array of foods for the Pique-nique. Pétanque is growing in the Dallas area with new faces seen at our tournaments.

The Dallas group has 2 play locations, which we've added to Petanque in the USA

June 24, 2008

New faces at CarolinaPetanque

Several new - but quite experienced - players joined in this Sunday and the new mix was cause for serious competition!
Great afternoon.

CarolinaPetanque blog

Petanque in Fort Bragg, CA

Pete and a bunch of friends are on a roll in the Northwestern part of California. They started on a baseball field in town, until they discovered a neat area on the waterfront, alongside the Noyo river and next to the crab pots. Players come from all along the Mendocino coastline.
Here you see several having a good time on one of their Sunday meets, and an up close of the ideal playing surface they found: it looks like a mix of crushed shells and twigs.
I hear the folks from Willits Boules Club are ready to drive to the waterfront any day now for a match!

PS: I like the proximity of the Bud Light sign!

June 22, 2008

Upcoming Open events

June 21 - New York - Héry Open
June 22 - Sonoma, CA - Newcomers
Aug 17/18 - Quebec - Pre-Mondial Ricard
Oct 11/12 - New York - New York Open

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

Kiwis coming to California!

Close to 24 New Zealand players are expected for an extensive visit to California and its numerous pétanque clubs.
Starting off with a big party on July 5th at VOMPC Sonoma, co-hosted by La Petanque Marinière in San Rafael. Then down to Oakhurst where they will be staying at club members' homes, and then all the way to Los Angeles.

What a great way to travel!

Read more on the Oakhurst website.

If you're in that area, join in for one of the competitions to see how they play down under and meet a bunch of cheerful folks.

June 21, 2008

Wrong balls!

The bocce/petanque mix-up saga continues:

Stephan from Jupiter sent me an article from US Airways' magazine about bocce. Nothing wrong with the text, but how about them balls! Up close you can actually see the Obut logo.

Couldn't let it rest so....

"I just wanted to let you know that several pétanque players alerted me that your otherwise excellent article had a photo of pétanque balls, not bocce balls! The brand we import, to boot.
Like an article about tennis, with a badminton net as illustration.
I immediately realized it's not your fault. Most likely the editor bought a stock photo that was tagged "bocce". And indeed, I discovered many of the photos at Comstock & Jupiter Images need to have their tags corrected."

The swift reply:
"Thanks so much for your email, and alerting me to the photo issue. You are right, I didn't chose the photo. My job ends with the writing of the piece, then the art is chosen by the editors. I'm forwarding your email to the editors, to alert them to their mistake."

To all of you who have time on their hands (wishful thinking ;-) , whenever you come across image sites with wrong labels (aka "tags"), do send off a quick note to correct them.

US Airways Magazine - May 2008
Comstock - source of the image

June 20, 2008

Carolina Open (3)

One of the reasons of its success, although the brand new club had never organized anything like this before: simplicity and organization.
Gary, organizer extraordinaire, was determined to:
(a) have all teams play 6 games before 5pm
(b) stick to the times on the program
(c) waste no time during the day, so he could play uninterrupted himself.

Some of the details:

Instead of the usual numbers, he used Scrabble letters and a hat to "number" the teams. That took a couple of minutes, if that much. We knew there would be less than 27 teams, but even so he had a back up plan with AA, AB, etc...

Each team received scorecards, stating the opponent teams for all games and the court number for the first game. After each game these were to be deposited into a box. No need to "man" (or "woman") the tournament table. Subsequent games could be played on any court, as they became available.

To avoid the usual and distracting "Does anybody have a ruler?!?", each court came with a measuring tape.
But also a scoreboard, which he had picked up at this favorite hangout - the Dollar Store -, ànd a 50cm players' ring made from irrigation tubing and a connector.

The tournament ran itself, so to speak. Teams hardly had to wait between games. And after the 6 rounds, Gary sat down at the table for 10 minutes (he's an accountant by trade, which helps!) to calculate standings and to announce the playoff teams. By 8pm everything was wrapped up, and we were ready to celebrate & party.
Obviously Gary had been tinkering and preparing for weeks. Countless hours to make it happen. He (and Shirley!) won the tournament in more ways than one.

Also, as most teams had never met each other, and to reduce the shouting and to save time, Bob hooked up a simple PA system for announcements. Incidentally, Carolina Petanque loves to play with music in the background as well.

Petanque medals

Finally we have medals in stock again! It took some time to get it organized. Trophy suppliers in France are used to deal with soccer clubs and stores, but overseas orders are not daily routine, to put it mildly.

A new gimmick: Fanny medals.
Give those poor losers a medal. If it wasn't for them, there wouldn't be any winners!
And a whole range of trophies is arriving shortly.

June 17, 2008

Carolina Petanque on Fox News

The first Carolina Open was an occasion for WGHP to come out and do a special report for the evening news that aired last night. Very well done. Of course it helps to have eloquent pétanque "ambassadors" like Carol & Bob!

French game petanque hits the Piedmont (2:30 min)

June 9, 2008

Aiken, SC petanque in the news

Our friends of the Atomic Boules Club in Aiken made it in the Augusta Chronicle this weekend, following their May tournament.
Great advertising for pétanque, and some very nice pictures in the slideshow.

Photo credit: Rainier Ehrhardt

Augusta Chronicle- June 8

That's one more newspaper to add to our list.

June 4, 2008

Petanque in Puerto Rico

Delphine in Puerto Real, on the east coast of Puerto Rico, wanted a set of boules for her (French) Dad. Now they're playing together several nights a week, converting one neighbor at a time.

Isn't it great when you just have to cross the street to play?
And we are so happy it cost only $9.80 to get 13 lbs of balls all the way over there. By Priority Mail, in less than a week.
We hope it's the beginning of a PRPC !

June 2, 2008

2008 Héry Open - New York

La Boule NY is organizing its first major tournament of the season. Previously known as the annual Madagascar Open, it was renamed in honor of Héry, one of LBNY's best players who moved back to Madagascar earlier this year.

The entry fee includes breakfast and soft drinks all day. Main concours and consolante are on the same day. Besides the purse, numerous prizes in kind.

Open tournaments like these are a perfect way to mix with players of all levels and to learn a lot. Don't be shy!

Download the registration form (pdf)

Next major events of LBNY:
Sept 27 & 28: World Championship Qualification Tournament (select triples)
October 11 & 12: New York Open (select doubles)