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

Saturday, November 13, 2004

LATEST: President Switches His Balls

Has political flip-flopping reached our President too?!

This reporter received word from a trusted source high up in the M.P.C. Board of Directors that Joe Zajac has switched from his long-trusted allies, Obut boules, to his newest fancy, La Boule Noire. Why, after all of these months of Team-Z Obut (now re-named to a menacing: "Team Z-Noire") battling Team LaChance (Integrale) has he spurned his steel-lustre Obuts for the "Noires"? One theory, as suggested by previous reports from an un-named source (Monsieur "K") is that Team-Z plays best under cover of darkness, and the reflective qualities of his shiny steel Obuts defeated the full advantages that only his darker boules can utilize.

What's next? Black sand & gravel imported from Hawaiian volcanic beaches to replace the terrain at the Royal Oak piste?! Only time can tell.

When asked for their opinion, Joe's old balls simply muttered "No Comment" Posted by Hello

Friday, November 12, 2004

Like Taking Candy From a Baby...

Our correspondent was called away to an urgent assignment in Europe and was unable to file this report until today. We apologize for depriving le bon publique of the results of the latest Rochester "Best of Nine Series" until today.

However, the results in Rochester are getting downright monotonous. Team LaChance Integrale chalked up yet another Best of Nine win, winning the latest series in just eight rounds, with the final result being 5 games to 3. The two opponents, Mr. Zajac (now famously of Team Z Obut) and Mr. Chance (of LaChance Integrale) met at high noon on the Rochester piste. The two opponents entered the match at 4 games won for LaChance and 3 for Team Z. LaChance stopped at the piste even as he was rushing to the airport, for an international appearance. Because of the impending airflight, LaChance was rather distracted, even rushed, in his play. Despite this, LaChance scored a hotly contested 13-12 victory to win this latest Best of Nine during first round of the day.

Team Z had started in the latest series ahead 1 games to 2, scoring on a dizzying volley of final boule shots. In those first three matches, Zajac shot successfully with his final boule on seven separate occasions, taking away 7 points from LaChance and scoring nine for himself. This reporting agency has never seen such an impressive display. LaChance, we have to report, left the piste with visible frustration after such a profound demonstration from Zajac. He was heard muttering to himself and was seen gesticulating. "The god's of Petanque will punish Monsieur Zajac for such hubris! Shooting with the final boule - it is against nature..." Chance was heard to say.

Zajac, deciding to push his advantage with his play at sundown and his final boule shots challenged LaChance to a second set of games - this time on a chilly, drizzling evening. He certainly thought that he was adding yet another confounding environmental factor to the mix, remembering that darkness before had worked to his advantage. And Zajac had been observed to be practicing under the adverse conditions of wet and cold. But in this, there was a miscalculation. The drizzle had made the ground soft - optimal for a pointer like LaChance, but highly disadvantageous to a shooter. Zajac's boules often were finding their mark, but they could not dislodge the heavy Integrale Inox boules from their sunken positions close to the couchonnet. This set of three was a rout 3 games to 0 in favor of LaChance Integrale (The scores were 13-4, 13-2, and 13-3 - ouch!!). In an interview after the match Mr. Chance commented that this set of rounds had been like "taking candy from a baby."

And as has already been mentioned, the final set ended in favor of LaChance.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Once Again - Ken Has the Point

After many weeks of being busy with other matters, Ken has returned to show his pointing skills. Here, we watch as Cyrille measures and finds Ken's boule once again "Has the Point" Posted by Hello

Ken Returns from the Rhineland

It was quite a nice day out on the piste in Royal Oak. The temperature held at around 58 degrees and the Michigan Petanque Club had a fairly decent showing.

Dan, Joe, Don, Ken, Cyrille, and Jeff played about 5 or 6 games before calling it quits. Two "shots on the iron" (One for Jeff, and one for Don) were witnessed by all, and together with Don's superb pointing, the Downriver Boys are becoming quite a formidable pair.

Ken (Team LaChance) showed us excellent pointing as well, which is strange for a man who hardly practices. One might even think that his "week in Germany" was in actuality a ruse to conceal some kind of "Boule Boot Camp Training with Marco Foyot in Marsailles" - we'll never know for sure... What was amusing was to finally see Team-Z on the same team as Team LaChance - a rarity for sure - and the pair did very well - perhaps their Petanque Trash Talking inspires greatness.

This session can also be well-noted for less calls for the TURTLE. Perhaps as the days get colder, the need to hasten matches outweighs the need to determine who has the point on close boules.

Lastly, I reviewed the Marco Foyot video "Ma Methode" last night, and after tossing a "practice boule" (Orange) across the "piste" (Carpet) at home a few dozen times, I can safely say that "I am NO Foyot"