August 26, 2010

Simple, short but fun tournaments

For the past 2 months, Amelia Island Boules Club meets every Wednesday night at Cafe Karibo, starting at 6pm.
Beautiful setting (nice & drinks galore), but ... there are only 2 courts, you never know how many people will show up, and at what time. The courts are lit, but most folks like to head home by 8:30pm.
So one needs to improvise. We use a deck of cards to mix players into teams, fast. Doubles or triples - or some of both if need be - , depending on the attendance.

The usual way to "compact" games is to play to e.g. 7 points instead of 13 or to limit the game to, say 30 minutes. Both systems have pros and cons.
Thanks to input from pragmatic members (hat tip to Colleen & John), we now shorten games to 4 rounds (or ends, or throws or "mènes" in French). It's simple, fair, and there's no room for misinterpretation. A game lasts 20 to 25 minutes.
For instance tonight, we had 16 players, and made 8 teams of two. A total of 12 games were played, plus a tiebreaker between the two teams that won their 3 games.
By 8:30 the winners were known, and got the weekly $30 gift certificate from Cafe Karibo.

August 19, 2010

Petanque in the world

The Associated Press article below was an incentive to update the post I wrote in 2007 about player statistics worldwide.

In 1979, the international petanque federation - FIPJP - represented 18 countries, with a total of 403,963 members, of which 375,603 in France.

In 2009, the number of countries had jumped to 88, with a total of 531,233 members, of which 313,985 in France.

This means that France's portion of worldwide licensed players shrunk from 93 to 59 % , and that the rest of the world jumped 775 %.

In all fairness, this has a lot to do with the fact that the French petanque federation started requiring medical certificates a few years ago. Anyone who has walked around on a 'boulodrome' in Provence knows that "une visite médicale" would not rank highly as a favorite pastime.

But it also means that, if it wasn't for the tremendous interest petanque has generated outside France, the overall numbers would be way down.

That's why all of us in ROW ("rest of the world") need to insist that FiPJP (with a small "i") becomes FIPJP with a big "I". Their new website was a good step. Trainer Victor Nataf coming to Fresno was another one.

Yet it is still very much a "We decide, you've got to live with it" affair.
Witness the fiasco of the Taiwan World Championships (moved to Turkey at the last minute, causing extra expenses for many teams) and the weird decision to have two teams (USA & Canada) vie for the two "American continent" slots. Why do folks have to spend money in airfare and hotels if you know in advance they'll be qualified?
Obviously some of these people have no knowledge of the outside world and different cultures. No experience in organizing, logistics and communications. Yet they seem to believe their involvement is irreplaceable.

I will get some flack for this criticism but it is time to call a spade a spade. With "Google Translate" that becomes "appeler un chat un chat". Good. That's what I meant. I hope the rest of the text translates well too!

Petanque's got swank

This has been a great summer for petanque in the press.
To spread the word faster, I post them on Facebook as I see them.
Last week the Globe and Mail published an article with a nice slideshow about Paris Plages.

But the big "carreau" came today when Associated Press ran a story that got picked up by thousands of news outlets worldwide. Emma Vandore (based in Paris) looks at the game from an international angle, from Manhattan via Paris to Bangkok. Here's how it appeared today in the Washington Post.

French bowling? Yes, petanque's got swank.

Some papers may have used it only on their online version, not necessarily in the print copy, but still, it's a great addition to our Petanque in the US Press saga.
Sincere thanks to Emma Vandore for the interest.

August 10, 2010

Petanque in America - a movie!

When I saw the short documentary Ludo in June, I liked how the game was presented. The camaraderie, the cheerfulness, combined with top quality photography, editing and sound.

The Open in Amelia Island will be the perfect occasion to capture this same spirit, on American soil, in English. Players from at least 20 states and beyond, who drive or fly in to meet, mingle, play, and have a good time. We will also use some footage to make a short but nice "How to play pétanque" tutorial.

All elements are in place, but UBK Studios needs help with funding.
We invite everyone in the English speaking world who loves pétanque to pitch in.
Do it for the game. Thanks in advance.

Petanque / UBK Studios site

PS: After posting the above, it struck me: though we don't mind mailing the same old DVD's about pétanque, in French, from Florida to the four corners of the world, isn't it time to move on to a next level?

August 3, 2010

Brooklyn Bastille Day 2010

For the second year in a row, Valérie and her family flew in all the way from Aix-en-Provence to participate and document the street festival. She did an amazing job at capturing the spirit, the faces, ànd what goes on around the play area.
Watch it in HD and full screen.

Honky Tonk Petanque 2010

The City of Republic (abt 2 1/2 hrs NW of Spokane) is gearing up for their 4th annual petanque tournament!

<--- click to see the nice poster!

Honky Tonk Pétanque - Sept 18