Sunday, December 26, 2004

Cathy, Sue, Mike, & Larry Visit the Club

The Michigan Petanque Club had a splendid day of boule with Cathy & Mike; and Sue & Larry playing extremely well for what is veritably their first time playing. I noticed that Larry's playing was almost too good, so the club will have to keep a watchful eye on this possible "ringer." Sue pointed her boules with an expert eye for the terrain - and we owe many points to her "getting the close boule." Cathy often led her team in pointing, and with good reason, she showed us (and especially Mike) who hefts the strong arm (for Petanque). Now Mike, I must say, has the exact character our club needs, he points well, and has shot well, but the exuberance with which he comments during the match puts everyone in good spirits. I'm excited to see the "Petanque Trash Talking" that goes on when he meets up with Ken, Joe, and Roland. We also had the Detroit Free Press come to visit us today. There was extensive interest from Mr. Snyder - perhaps we can enlist him in the club as well - and we look forward to reading his article to be published soon. All in all, a great day for the club - everyone had fun.

Cathy shows us her pointing skill

Cathy (with her impressed husband watching on) points very well. This is a new game for Mike and Cathy (as attested by their shiny new Obut boules) but I think they'll be playing fantastic well before the last chrome flakes off their boules. Posted by Hello

Toasted Boules Anyone?

Joe cleverly found a way to warm up his boules for play. I imagine we could patent the idea, but the equipment may be too cumbersome to carry around. Posted by Hello

Larry Gives the Gesture of Approval

Larry uses finesse when pointing as can be seen here. The club was quite impressed with the high level of Petanque play from this "boule ringer!" Posted by Hello

Sue and Larry Had a Fun Day with Us

Sue and Larry had a great time playing Petanque with our Club and we all hope to see them again soon. I swear, that Larry, he must have played this game before, he was really really good. I'll have to check the face-books from the Petanque World Championship in Grenoble... Posted by Hello

Larry Shoots - and Scores!

Larry shooting - and with success! Posted by Hello

Mike Shows us his Arm of Gold

Mike has everything it takes for great Petanque play. But what we enjoy the most is his energetic character. He is a fine addition to our group - and we can't wait to see how he interacts with Roland and the others. Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Big Thanks to J.D. from Suburban Lifestyles Magazine for this group photo of the participants at the Winter Exposition this past weekend. We all had a great time playing inside the Bordine Nursery Boulodrome. Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Winter Exhibition was a Great Success

We had a tremendous showing for this past Sunday. Much thanks for everyone braving the cold and windy weather to join us in the Bordine Nursery boulodrome for petanque play and contests.

We had a nice guest attendance including Dan's friends from the Classic Car Collectors group and Joe's friends from the Horseshoes Club: Sue, Cathy, Dave, Mike, Doug, Laurie, and Pat.

Members attending included: Joe, Dan, Thierry, Cyrille, Jean-Claude, Roland, Don, Ken, and Jeff.

Reporter & Photographer, J.D. from Suburban Lifestyles Magazine had a few tries with the boules and seemed to enjoy himself. (Join the team J.D. - you're a natural).

The day began with some petanque playing, with members mixing with guests. I had the good fortune to team up with Laurie and Sue in a very competitive game verses Dan, Dave and Doug.

We found a "ringer" in Sue, who seemed to take an experienced eye to the game (along with some amusing Petanque "trash talking" against the opposition). Laurie led each end with excellent pointing which "held" for many throws (much to the consternation of Dan's team. In the end, we decided to "let" the "all men" team win for the sake of saving face.

Our Shooting Contest was exceptionally fun, and with some surprising, (and some not so surprising) results. [see the score card in the blog for all of the numbers]. The all-members Pointing Contest with its millimeter-perfect tabulations proved to me that I have a long way to go in order to place in the next contest.

All in all, we had a great time with our guests, and enjoyed good food, good fun, exciting contests, and all inside the Bordine Nursery boulodrome while the winter winds howled harmlessly outside.

Ken shot an amazing 7 boules out of 10 tries. A really fantastic result. We'll have to keep an eye on this member, as his pointing is also excellent. Posted by Hello

Down to the millimeter. Next time, I'll try to remember to bring my talking-tape-measure to ease the tabulations. This was a 3-boule placement, whereupon measurements to the cochon are taken and summed. Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Laser Grid-Mapping Technology for Pure Advantage

Never one to let hard work and practice hinder his efforts at easy results, Jeff, under cover of darkness, will be using the latest in laser technology to grid-map the entire boulodrome down to the millimeter. These efforts will show in next weekend's prize-winning results at the Winter Exhibition. Posted by Hello

Sunday Game Was Played Despite an Inch of Snow

Only the diehards showed to compete! Not Jeff, Don, or
Ken... poke, poke, poke :-)

It was just me, Danny and Cyrille. We played single
vs. doublette, and just rotated each other from team
to team. After 3 games, I became too cocky as I was
the only single player to take down the opposing
doublette. So as usual, the tides turned and Danny
won his singles, then Cyrille won his singles, and I
lost my next singles... but all was good. We all left
with a 50/50 record, and not mention how happy we were
to still play with an inch of snow outside...
we all
left grateful afterall...

I think the three of us picked up some secrets about
the terrain this weekend though that we'll have to
wait until next weekend to see if they prove
But we're not telling it just now to the
"no-shows"! :-)

See you next weekend!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Winter Exhibition for Sunday, December 19, 2004

Joe Zajac announced a Winter Exhibition after the final polishing of the piste surface in the Michigan Petanque Club's boulodrome in the Bordine Nursery in Rochester, Michigan.

Visit the website: WWW.MICHIGANPETANQUE.COM for the Press Release.

It will be nice to show the public our club's boulodrome, and of course, the sport of Petanque.

Club members: please tell any who you think may be interested to stop by to watch and play.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Boulodrome - T-Shirt and Shorts Weather!!!

This past Sunday, the Michigan Petanque Club's boulodrome hosted two games for ten of its members: Cyrille, Dan, Don, Ken, Joe, Camille, Roland, Gerard, Jean Claude, and Jeff.

Though there are multiple pistes ready for play, the two games used the least rocky ones. There is quite a bit of advantage for those who study the particular terrain of the pistes (slope, holes, rocks).

I personally enjoyed the new challenges of the indoor pistes (which make the Royal Oak terrain look like smooth glass). What was equally appreciated, the much warmer temperature inside the windless greenhouse.

It is a remarkable space, and we are most fortunate for Bordine's generosity in allowing us to use it.

Roland Shoots Very Well

Roland was teamed up with Jeff today, which was a lucky thing for Jeff as Roland's skill at shooting kept us in the game. (Note to Self: Must Practice More) Posted by Hello

Don points with consistent success

My friend Don, is an excellent pointer, and I was lucky to be teamed up with him for a few matches. As you can see, the pistes are well-groomed, and the atmosphere is very comfortable. You would never guess how cold it was outside the boulodrome. Thank you Bordine Nursery!Posted by Hello

Plenty to Eat

Plenty of delicious food was available for the players, including a spicy basil oil dip with bread and cheese (thanks Joe), and a selection of fantastic cookies and meranques from Le Petit Prince (thanks Cyrille). You can almost guarantee that Michigan Petanque Club members don't starve. Posted by Hello

Members Begin Game Play

Our members beginning game play. We had a nice turn-out on Sunday and had two pistes running at once. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Michigan Petanque Club on FPUSA Map

I'm not sure what exactly this means, but progress is progress...

Check it out at:

Monday, November 29, 2004

Winter Piste is Ready for Play

Yes! The winter-time piste play was a success!
The greenhouse kept out the high winds, and kept us
warm, while the piste allowed for some good games.
What else could we ask for??
Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 28, 2004

First Indoor Petanque Club Meet

Cyrille, Thierry, Dan, Clarence, and Joe tried out the Bouledrome this Sunday for the very first indor Club meet. It was a great success. A big thanks to Calvin at Bordine for his thoughtfulness. Posted by Hello

Reflections on the Indoor Bouledrome

[from Joe Zajac, our President]


I think the indoor pistes are ready for play... I spent some more time there today to straighten them up, and I think they're as good as they need to be.

I practiced there a bit afterwards... I could hear it starting to rain outside, and I felt strange that it didn't matter to me! ... I didn't know whether to laugh at beating mother nature, or cry with thankfulness that the indoor piste had come to life! (Not to mention that it was a toasty 60 degrees inside, while it was 45 outside). It was a petanqueingly religious moment... I guess you had to be there... :-)

Bordine's Bouledrome Ready for Play

I don't know where they find their energy, but Joe and Dan have groomed the Bordine's pistes and have even played a series of games on the terrain.

Apparently the surface is a little harder than our Royal Oak piste, so club members can get practice with a variant ground (good for preparing for "unknown terrain" during away tournaments). Come on over this Sunday (Nov. 28th, at 1:00pm) - Greenhouse #30 (check the website for driving directions). Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Best of Five Series - Ends in Humiliating Defeat for Team Z Obut

[from our correspondent in Rochester, Ken Chance]

Yet another 'Rochester - Best of Five' series ends in a humiliating defeat for Team Z Obut. This one was even more painful than previous defeats, with this Best of Nine ending in just five games! All five, of course, ended as victories for the apparently unstoppable Team LaChance Integrale. Mr. Chance was asked why he had put his opponent away so quickly this time around, and he replied that with his busy schedule, he "wanted to be sure that this series ended before the snow started to fall."

Of course in late developments during the week, Mr. Zajac, in his role as President of Petanque Michigenne (and despite probable despair at having lost his fourth Best of Nine in a row) secured a winter piste for the Michigan boules club. Bordine's Nursury on Rochester Road very kindly agreed to let the club hold their matches in the vacant greenhouse enclosures. It is also likely that people at the nursury perceived from the uninterupted string of defeats for Team Z, that Mr. Zajac may need the practice.

We tried interviewing Mr. Zajac about the slump Team Z seems to be mired in. He was muttering things about 'having new boules which need a break in period' and that on occasional throws 'Team LaChance would lift a foot from the ground.' The sports writing staff may agree with Mr. Zajac that lifting a foot is technically 'bad form.' Still many of these explanations had the appearance of a devasated opponent grasping for straws. Of course, after losing so soundly, anyone would be looking for excuses and technicalities to explain away the defeats. Some here at the Petanque Sports Central staff were reminded of excuses made by Coach Marty Morningweg of the Lions during their record setting slump a few seasons ago. Our opinion is that the Petanque gods are still angry with Mr. Zajac who flauted the rule of 'never shooting with the final boule' during a set of recent games.

In one of the most remarkable shots of the evening, LaChance pointed against a boule of Zajac's resting just 1 millimeter from the couchonet. After pointing, Mr. Chance's boule ended up resting directly on the couchonet itself, without disturbing the other boules. Mr. Zajac's almost primal howl of frustration was drowned out by the wild cheers of the assembled crowd, cheers which escalated in volume as Mr. Chance took a bow after such a masterful point. The Petanque Central sports staff is looking forward to the wintertime Rochester Best of Nines, to see if Team LaChance Integrale can extend its lead of four unanswered Best of Nine victories."

Friday, November 26, 2004


[Ken Chance, our Rochester correspondent reports:]

Hope both of you guys [Joe & Jeff] had a great Thanksgiving. My family all just got on the road. I had many of them out at the ball diamond playing on Saturday, and a couple of them asked for Petanque sets of their own for Christmas! And that despite the cold, muddy, windy and rainy conditions that prevailed. My sister and borther-in-law both made TEXTBOOK PERFECT carreaus on their first round of throws. Now that's beginners' luck, I'd say. I was envious. But they still lost.

Ken (aka Team La Chance Integrale)

Sunday, November 21, 2004

"I can't see the boules OR THE PISTE!"

With the possibility of many of us eating turkey leftovers with visiting family this coming Sunday, we thought for the sake of keeping in practice, we'd play next Sunday's games today. As the sun set and the blazingly bright 35 watt lights came on, Dan, Joe, Cyrille and Jeff attempted to see boules, cochon, throwing circle, and even each other in a "nocturnal match" Posted by Hello

Napoleon Dan Confronts the Battle Piste

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." Napoloen Bonaparte.

Napoleon had to confront the harsh Russian winter, and Napoleon Dan had to face the dipping temperatures at the Royal Oak piste. His shooting, however, was not at all compromised as he adopted the "Napoleon Stance" to keep his shooting hand warm. Of course we always entrust all important measurements of boules to the Emperor as well. One of the new "Napoleon Strategies" witnessed today was not letting on which boules were next closest to the close-boule. This turned into a riot of "I don't knows" and "Possibly, I'm not sures" during the rest of the game. All in good humor, of course. Posted by Hello

Thierry's son Lucas exclaims "You Totally Missed"

Thierry and his two lovely children (Stefan (at left) and Lucas) came to visit the Royal Oak piste on Sunday. Thierry is training them at such an early age to become Petanque champions. Lucas, already an expert at petanque, exclaimed, "You totally missed" and proceeded to giggle after many of my quite bad pointing throws. No doubt others in the club were restraining their own giggles too. Posted by Hello

Friday, November 19, 2004

The very first Petanque Bouledrome in the United States - and by the looks of the approaching snows, we're going to need it.

What you see here is a simulation of the Michigan Petanque Club playing. We first need to get rid of some of the larger gravel bits, and some of the lawn. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Every Weekend - Every Month - All Year Round

President Joe Zajac has announced the latest transformation of the club with the very first Petanque Bouledrome for the United States Petanque community located in Rochester, Michigan. Soon, the M.P.C. will be able to welcome its fellow clubs in the West and East to play in the 150 degree heat of our greenhouse bouledrome (ummm okay, perhaps we should turn it down to 90 degrees). Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Rochester Boys Take Down Dan & Cyrille

Joe Zajac Reports:

(to Jeff/Don) "Not only good games today, but after you guys left..."

Ken & I took down Danny & Cyrille! It was a point-by-pointer too... Ken pointed, Danny pointed, I shot, Cyrille shot... it got pretty heated... so emotional that when Cyrille sneaked a boule up by
Ken's to win the point one round he jumped up, arms and fists raised up, and yelled "YEAH!"

... never seen Cyrille so emotional about a point!?!?!

The Rochester boys struck the old-blood MPC Boys a blow tonight though... 13-12!

[Jeff Notes: I'm sorry we left before witnessing such a close game. Perhaps we should have someone videotape all of the games so we can review them during February...]

Next Stop - Toulouse...

Continued excellent pointing was enjoyed by Ken Chance and his fellow team members. We can expect great things during his three month visit to Toulouse, France. The M.P.C. may even gain some international medals from his exploits. Posted by Hello

Clarence Vos joins the Michigan Petanque Club

The Michigan Petanque Club would like to welcome it's newest member, Clarence Vos. Clarence is an extremely dangerous pointer and there is a rumor that he's been hustling money from tourists for years playing Petanque in Marsailles. We look forward to many more games with Clarence. Posted by Hello

ARTICLE 29 comes into action...

Today's game had a first for me and a few other members, an Article 29 - If two boules belonging to opposing teams are equidistant from, or touching the cochonnet, the end is declared void if there are no more boules to be played... If both teams have boules to play, the team that played the last boule plays again, then the other team...

By the way, you'll notice that it is Joe's new La Boule Noire which shares the point with Don's Integrale. What a nice 5th Anniversary present from Joe's wife, Jennifer. Posted by Hello