Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Stylish Club Clothing Available

Take a look at the club's merchandise area for cool duds for our Petanque meets and around town.

Jeff is wearing the Detroit Petanque Club "Shooter's Jersey" - which has half-sleeves that don't get in the way of your throwing arm. Notice the DPC logo over the heart, and across the back.

Today's Lessons in Petanque - a Success

Amy points her boules as Pete and Rob look on and hope that she doesn't get "close" to the cochon.

We're sure they'll be showing up again real soon. The lunchtime petanque games offer up just enough relief in the work-day that we need.

Hal takes a Shot

Hal offers up a few lesson in shooting a boule. Pete (to the left of Hal) has played bocce which certainly was reflected in his game play.

Hal instructs the Troops on Pointing

Hal had his co-workers (Amy, Rob & Pete) come visit the terrain at the Renaissance center and learn some Petanque. Frank (red shirt/hard hat) was observing the game from the construction nearby and also joined in on the fun.

Amy and Rob - Introduced to Petanque

Amy and Rob joined Hal and Jeff over at the Renaissance Center for an introduction to Petanque. They quickly acquired a feel for the sport and played very well. Rob even made a few successful "shots" on opposing boules!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Petanque America Open is getting 2 Teams from Michigan

Check out the action on the Petanque America Open website...

Sharon and Gene Win 13/12

Gene showed Frank the finer points. Actually Gene is turning into a very good shooter. His shots are very reliable. Teamed up with Sharon's pointing, and you have an unbeatable combination.

Frank Adds Some Constructive Play to Petanque

Frank (in the hard-hat) noticed Gene and Sharon playing Petanque at the Renaissance Center courts and decided to check it out. But as you all know, we don't just let you watch, you must play! Frank did well, having played horseshoes and bocce. I'm not sure if the hard-hat is necessary, but then again, there are those plombee' shots (high-lobs). Frank is eager to return, he's even going to purchase his own set of boules.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Due to the Detroit Jazz Festival going on all Labor Day weekend at Campus Martius, the Detroit Petanque Club will meet down at the waterfront (the promenade walk area at the Renaissance Center). Bring water and your A-game!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Who Can Count This High!?

Our piste is shrinking! How can we fit all of our players here!? Thirty Players showed for today! Next summer we'll be needing a larger piste -- I think!

Summer Weather is still Warm Enough for Boules!

We're only a couple of weeks away from the time-setback for the fall, but you wouldn't have known it today! The picnic table was full of food and the piste was full of players; and luckily Greggory was there to sort through all of these boules! Cyrille returns from France this Friday:

"Get ready to go back to work Cyrille, and Welcome home!" :-)

Our Piste is Running Short!

We're slowly (actually quickly) out-growing our Royal Oak Piste! A few more members, and we'll be out of room! Tell Jeff's DPC members to stay down in Detroit! :-)

Obviously we're just kidding, the more petanquers, the merrier!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Haro Plays His First Game - of many!

Meet Haro, who stopped by to play petanque for his first time. He is hearing impaired, but with the help of Jeff and Joe's instructions -- he acquired a good grasp of the game, and played well for a first timer. And we gained some more insight into why petanque is such a universally acceptable sport. After a few initially long throws, he gained a feel for the boule and put in some close points. We hope and know he will come back as he certainly had a great time.

And that's one of the best aspects of Petanque - it allows for people to play regardless of age, gender, and disability.
We welcome everyone to our club.

Maurice Shoots 6 out of 10 !

Petanque, for most of us, is something we discovered by chance (just walking by a park, or maybe reading about it in the paper). Maurice was sitting in the park at Campus Martius watching us play - and we invited him to join us. He turns out to be a natural for shooting boules. We set up a mini shooting competition, Joe, Jeff and Maurice. He made 60% of his shots. Not bad for a first timer!

Charles Joins the Detroit Petanque Club

Campus Martius - Saturday

We thought the rain would keep us from playing today, but that was definitely not the case. Joe and I played about 8 hours of Petanque. Here we see Charles about to point, and a new member, Natalie trying to hold the point.

Petanque in the Rain - of course!

The rain didn't keep the Detroit Petanque Club (and MPC represented by Joe Zajac) from playing three hours of Petanque in the rain. Sometimes the rain was so heavy, we could hardly see, but it definitely will prepare us for future play in Portland!

Marley Kept Score

Marley is a very smart Havanese. He even helped to keep score while Joe and Jeff played. Looks like a near fanny for M.P.C.!

The Renaissance Center Promenade Offers Up Lots of Amusements

Joe poses in front of the Diamond Queen, a touring riverboat that cruises along the Detroit River. If you look closely, you'll see that he's completely soaked from rain showers.

Detroit Petanque Club Met at Renaissance Center

Due to a Fashion function over at Campus Martius, the DPC met by the Detroit river on Saturday. If you haven't been down there, you should take a look - it's clean, safe, and has lots of river activity (barges & ships).

Friday, August 26, 2005

Lots of Guests Getting Petanque Lessons Today

Petanque has very easy rules, and simple equipment -- a winning combination for bringing in people just strolling by.

Today at the Renaissance Center we had 6 new guests trying out the game and they all played pretty decently for their first times.

The Michigan Petanque Club and Detroit Petanque Club encourage the sport, and will always go out of their way to welcome anyone interested in playing.

Hal and Gene Win 13/9 at D.P.C.

Today, Jeff & Sharon were "sent down to China-Town" - with a 9 to 13 loss to Gene and Hal.

Come on down to the Renaissance Center during the work week. We meet at Noon and play for an hour. There's lots of people walking by, big ships in the Detroit River (15 feet away) and it's a bit cooler near the water.

Meet Sharon & Gene

Sharon and Gene have been coming everyday to the Renaissance Center promenade to play and practice petanque. They've also come to every game at Campus Martius. But beyond this, they've played many early morning and late evening games. They certainly have the "Petanque Passion."

Jeff and Gene - Shooters

Jeff and Gene, the designated Shooters - at the Renaissance Center - riverside - petanque grounds.

"It takes some guts, calm, and a little luck to be a great shooter."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gene Slams in a Winning Shot

Gene's been taking on the role as shooter - and with great success. We held a "shooting competition" yesterday - and he was consistently hitting 50% of the targets.

Beautiful Day for Triplettes


It was a magnificent day for Petanque. The cool wind over the Detroit River, the friendly people stopping to watch and ask questions. We had a few people who want to arrange for their office to come down to learn/play.

Meet Maestro - the newest member of Detroit Petanque Club

Kelvin just joined us today, but his pointing looks like he's been playing for 10 years! That's why we call him Maestro (which was good that he was on my triplette's team today). Kelvin threw a boule so close, it hopped over the cochon, landing on the other side and staying (biberon).

It was Me (Jeff); Maestro; and Gene against Hal; Sharon; and Tony. The score was even at 8/8, then the tables turned with the oppositon gaining, until it was 11/10 (us) - then the final boules were thrown, (and so well that I didn't even need to throw mine!) - 13/10. We look forward to seeing him at our training field at the Renaissance Center, and our tournament play (against Michigan Petanque Club) on our stomping grounds (Campus Martius Park).

Sharon Concentrates on the Point

Sharon loves this game. Here she is, in typical deep concentration. She's reliable too - getting the close point 90% of the time. How? Practice Practice Practice - and some prayers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A New Powerful Team's Shooter!

Pasqual (owner of Fenouli, the great French Restaurant in Portland, who sponsored our team) did some worthy shooting damage in our first National tournament... but don't forget our Milieau player, Bruce, who happened to miss these pictures. We made it to the finals, but had some trouble getting our game together the next day to move to the next round... But for a first showing, we have some serious promise in our future, I can feel it!

Parking Lot Petanque

After the awards ceremony on Sunday night, petanque wasn't over for the night! Loi sees a used car dealership's parking lot across from the hotel is playable... so we all go across the street and start playing until after midnight. Have you ever thrown a petanque ball on a gravel parking lot!? We even had a chance to describe petanque to a curious Portland police officer who wondered what we were doing in front of the dealership... He just passed by and said "have a nice night fellas"

The Saturday Night Group

Here's the part where I mention the off-the-piste fun... And here is the night's group (from left): Mario, Freddy, Gilles, Barbara, Loi, Wan, and me. Let's just say we all had a good time!

Mario sells Hans & Tom on new Bipole boules

OK, they were just having a little friendly, inter-game discussion on each of their games... But Hans, those boules need to be replaced!

California Contingent

Here's the Girls from Sonoma... I didn't get to see how they did in the tournament, but they looked quite chic in their summer hats!

The Petanque America Team!

Here they are, the ones we've been waiting for! :-) From Left, Mario, Wan, and Loi. They faired well, but most of all had a great time on the piste and OFF--Sorry Wan...

Jeff's Tournament Sheets Used

Just another service the MPC likes to provide to help let petanquers find the resources they need... Jeff reworked Hans Kurz's scoring system sheets into these used here to give them even yet a more professional "tournament-style" look. (All of the forms are available on our website)

Saturday Warm-Up Breakfast

Louis, Gilles, and Ed all prepare for the day's tournament with a little coffee and croissants while discussing the great competitors present.

Friday Night Practice gets busy at the National Triplettes

As everyone's plane came into Portland, the pistes began to fill up. Everyone had great time being able to get some fun social games in... perfect time for practice before the tournament.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Tony Turns to Shooting

Never satisfied with what is, Tony looks to the future player he will become. He's taken up shooting now, and is doing a heck-of-a-great job getting rid of "offending boules." As for Sharon, her pointing is right-on. If you need it, she can roll a boule 20 feet to within a couple of inches. Gene's been working on the tactics side, but also giving his all to shooting.

Hal Points Another Close Boule

I arrived late to the terrain at the Detroit Riverfront, where Tony faced off against Hal. I joined in on the game (Me and Tony vs. Hal) who was at 10 (to our 5). The clouds offered up a relief from the heat - as it was only about 70 degrees outside - a truly nice day for petanque.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Joe travels to Portland, Oregon for National Triples

Joe flew, on Friday morning, to Portland, Oregon for the FPUSA National Triples tournament. Tournament play began on Saturday and continues on Sunday. I received an e-mail update from Joe who told me that he was playing great. His shooting and pointing were right on. We'll see how it goes when he calls in next (which should probably be tonight).

Introducing T'Choupi

Newest Member of the Petanque Club scene, T'Choupi (pronounced: Chew-Pee) is being trained to retrieve the cochon, pace out 6 and 10 meters, keep score, and point to which boule is the closest to the cochon.

For that last task, we ask that all members rub their cochon with a piece of bacon before play.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Melissa's Dad Visits from Maine

At Campus Martius today, we received a visit from MaineGal's Dad. He joined in on the game and played quite respectably for a first timer.

"His great playing must be due to lots of croquet or bowling," guessed Jeff Widen, "and I certainly hope he spreads the word about Petanque back at home."

Here we see him holding aloft a boule captured in a "boule lifter" - one of many obscure pieces of Petanque equipment.

Gene Consults the Tactics and Strategy Guidebook

Gene is an amazing person. He only recently began to play petanque - and already, he's moved up to shooting boules, and now he's consulting the tactics guidebook to play at the best level of Petanque. I admire (and share) his excitement for the sport.

Cheryl Points Another Boule In

Cheryl and James... when I first met them (some weeks ago) they came to Campus Martius to play Bocce. Now they're avid petanquers as well (and they ALSO cycle quite a bit).

Gene Sends in Another Successful Shot

Gene has realy taken to the game, and here we see him trying out the role of "shooter."

The natural progression in petanque is that we all start out as pointers, then after a few chances taken in games, work on our shooting.

Training to be a Shooter?
  1. The best method for shooting practice is to lay out a line of boules at the closest distance (6 meters); stand in the circle; and try shooting the boules directly (rolling shots).
  2. then line two boules front and back and using a lob - try shooting just the boule in "back"
  3. After getting moderate success, move the boules further and further away ( eventually to 10 meters).

James Coaches His Team to Victory

One of the most crucial parts of playing in a triples team is getting the right captain to direct the players. James has certainly taken to that position, with strategy in player use, to theorizing how to "attack" the boules on the ground.

Rain or Shine - the Detroit Petanque Club Always Plays

This morning looked like the whole day was going to be grey - but we held out - and were rewarded with an excellent day for boule playing. Here we see Charles (a very consistent pointer) besides the club's banner.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Gene Places a Great Plombee Shot

Triplettes at the Renaissance Center Riverfront. Gene clearly has studied the high-lob (plombee) shot and lands his boule successfully. I'm truly happy with the progress of his petanque play. He's also been making lots of difficult shots, a great combination player.

Meet Sharon - New Player - and Already a Great Pointer

Sharon, Gene's Partner, has played plenty of Bocce but she decided to try out Petanque for the first time today and guess what -- she's an excellent pointer. Sure, it took about 3 or 4 rounds, but then she was getting ALL of the points! In fact, she won that last game of the day with a daring 13th point (squeezed just past Hal's closest boule.

Hal's Throws are Worth Studying

One of the ways you can tell a good petanque player is by the consistency of their throws. Watching Hal point and shoot, you can clearly see he has defined his techniques.