September 22, 2009

PA Open Tournament Director

This year's tournament director will be Christophe Chambers.

Many of you already know him. A graphic designer by trade, former president and current member of La Boule New Yorkaise, he has been playing petanque seriously for more than 15 years, serving as the club's sports director, an FPUSA umpire, and also a member of the FPUSA sports committee.

An avid player and competitor, Christophe has played the game from coast to coast, traveling to regional and national tournaments. He has also been involved in organizing and directing tournaments for many years including 'Brooklyn Bastille Day' , and 'Coupe des Ameriques' tournaments. He is equally active in promoting the game to beginners, working with LBNY to create clinics for beginners in Bryant Park and being at the cradle of a new club in Austin TX - now known as the vibrant "HOT" Heart of Texas Petanque Club.

September 20, 2009

Petanque at the Biltmore

What started out as a fun "happy hour" activity in Miami has turned into a group of committed players.

If you're on Facebook, you can see pics & stories here.

There's also talk about a new Miami Petanque Club. And I hear a number of teams will drive up to Amelia Island for the Open. I spoke to many over the phone. Can't wait to meet them in person!

Pirate Team coming

Pirates are big in Fernandina Beach. And I don't mean their individual size but the fact that they are omnipresent goodwill ambassadors.

Yesterday, in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day (an initiative promoted by none other than Dave Barry in 2002), they were out in force in downtown, entertaining kids and adults alike. Arrrrr!

Given their experience with cannonballs, we decided that at least one Pirate Team should participate in the Open.
Also, their arguments were quite convincing!

September 18, 2009

Better when French?

Well, we know it applies when you talk about petanque balls.

Hardee's says it doesn't stop there!
(thanks to Thierry of the New York Petanque Club)

September 17, 2009

Foxes like pétanque!

Michael in the Sierra Mojada (Wet Mountains) of South Colorado reports:

It was last weekend in the driveway right in front of our home. We have a den 50 meters from our home in a rock outcropping and this year Les Renards had five kits. We have come to know them since spring, and they are quite comfortable around us. They have tried to carry off boules, but they are too heavy. They have carried off the red jack, and last weekend, they gangsted one of the magnets. We have recovered the magnet, but they still have the red jack!

It reminds me of an earlier story with seagulls...

New York Open - Oct 3 & 4

Click here for more info and registration

Here's a nice slideshow of the 2008 edition.

September 16, 2009

Boules for Business

The Portland Bouligans came up with an original idea to have a fun tournament involving local businesses.

Club members had to find a partner - who'd never played before - from a local company and teach him/her in the weeks before the tournament. The companies represented all pitched in with reasonable donations for breakfast, lunch, T-shirts and a new club membership for the apprentice.
Thirteen business participated (see T-shirt).

Everybody won: the businesses, all the players who got a chance to network with people from different fields, and the club. Because the "newbies" enjoyed it so much they will come back to play at Jamison Square.

An idea worth imitating. Kudos to Shaughn and Johnny for thinking outside the boule box!

Boules for Business tournament format (PDF)
All the tournament photos (incl. delicious menu)

September 10, 2009

Petanque in Wyoming

There must be some sort of petanque virus in Wyoming these days!

Over the past months, several boules shipments went out to America's 10th largest, but - with only around half a million inhabitants - least populous state.

It started with Wilson, then Teton Village, followed by Jackson. A couple of phone calls later I understood that Clark and his friends in the Jackson area have started to play together on a regular basis and are having a ball.

Then there's also Riverton, where Bernard and friends are developing the "Wind River Petanque Club". The first meet will be the "Riverton Open" on September 13. To learn more about this beautiful area, have a look at this book - Wind River Country

Below are pics of the Riverton terrain. Notice the clever homemade rake to smoothen the play area: two galvanized pipes, with a piece of chainlink fence.
My next "mission" is to get the Jackson and Riverton folks to play together. Only problem: in Wyoming the distances are huge!

Update Sep 13: Hurrah - the first connections have been made (see comments below). I hope some of those resoundingly named teams will fly in for the Open in November!

September 4, 2009

Team from Germany coming!

We already had two teams from St Barth (French Caribbean) - who won in NY in June - signed up, and now also a team from Germany.

Thanks to Bob's (Carolina Petanque) convincing advertising during his trip to Kassel, Mirko Klauß (Rumkugler, Kassel) and Ingo Kaiser (TC Bissendorf "Bissn'n Boule") have decided to fly in to see what pétanque is all about in the USA. And have a good time in the process!

Mirko (1st from left) and his friends proudly displayed Petanque America colors recently at the occasion of one of Germany's largest pétanque tournaments, "Holstentorturnier" in Lübeck.
512 teams, on 256 courts: from Germany, France, Holland, Madagascar, Tunisia, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Italy and more.

Holstentorturnier is one of around 30 meets on the impressive Grand Prix d'Allemagne circuit.
Germany is now the 5th largest pétanque country, after France, Thailand, Spain and Holland.
Some déjà vu here: it reminds me of 2005 when another German team joined us in Miami.
Looking forward to meet them!