Monday, April 30, 2007

CocoBoule in Fiji - Petanque how it ought to be

I recently found out about coconut petanque which is played in Fiji.

Apparently the coco-boules are freely available in all of the valid federation sizes and weights. Striations are created with a few light machete strokes.

Some of the French boule manufacturers might want to look into the marketing and branding of coco-boules as this variation on petanque takes off.

The Fiji umpires do seem a bit lax though as I do see some open-toed shoe (or no shoe) violations...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday in Detroit

Today was a particularly splendid day for boule. The temperature was at a decent 70 degrees, with the clear blue sky and plenty of sunshine. The fountain was sending mists of cooling spray across the piste, and there were plenty of onlookers (from the Detroit Red Wings hockey game today).

Bernard (the gentleman in blue) played his first game of petanque today - and he pointed like a pro. We won that match against seasoned experts (Danny & Cheryl).

Friday, April 27, 2007

Time Out Chicago features Chicago Petanque Club

Tim McCormick wrote a wonderful piece in Time Out Chicago on sports in Chicago and one of the featured sports is petanque, namely the Chicago Petanque Club.

You can read the article and view the various photos HERE.

Anecdotes from Gerard Naudo

While wandering the internet, I some humorous anecdotes from experienced bouler, Gerard Naudo who describes petanque players with eloquent terms like: musicians, concert performers, entertainers, and virtuosos. <>

With his advice on playing boule comes a story or two: <>

At all times, it is necessary to know, not only how many boules your adversary has, but more importantly, in whose hands those boules will be played (pointers and shooters). To solidify this lesson comes a story about a match where one of the opposing players asked Gerard’s brother Jean (who was playing with him) -

Opponent: “You have how many boules?”

Jean responded, “Two!” to which they hold out their hands, Gerard hand is holding the only (one) boule.

The adversary then asks, “I thought you said you had two boules left to play?”

Jean smartly answers, “Yes, because in the hands of my brother (Gerard) it is worth two!” <>

Another time, a pal of his, Macari, had purchased a pair of cheap shoes in Italy. But upon his arrival in Nimes, he realized that the shoes were mismatched, the left foot was a size 43 (his size) and the right, a size 45. He decided that he’d use the shoes against his petanque opponents. At the time, it was typical that when the boules to be measured were a fair distance from the cochonnet, the measuring string was not long enough, and players would use their shoes to measure the distance. Macari always started on his left (shorter) shoe when measuring the boule of his adversary; and began with his longer right shoe when measuring his own boule.

Thus, when an “odd” number of steps would be needed, the final shoe used to measure his adversary’s distance would be the longer shoe and he’d have a 2-3 centimeters advantage.
(Excerpted/Translated from Gerard Naudo)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Marley is looking Great - as did the rest of the club

It was wonderful to see Marley looking all groomed, happy, and tail wagging. The M.P.C. mascot looked on as we played boule from 12-noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Wayne brought out his spanking new set of Obut boules and was playing perfectly on the very first throw.

No doubt the club's meeting up in Royal Oak tomorrow will be a big success as well.

Hello to you all, and if you've not visited the club since last year, the ground is dry, the air is warm, and the boules are ready for you.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday brought out some familiar faces at Cadillac Square in Detroit

The weather reports were right on the money, as the temperature rose to the mid-70's in Detroit. We decided to play in the shady section of Cadillac Square, which is right next to Campus Martius Park. We had plenty of company walking and driving by on Woodward Avenue as fans hurried to the Red Wings hockey and Tigers baseball games.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Decisions... Decisions...

Petanque used for Election Campaigning in France

Not everything we post in the blog is exclusively about petanque, sometimes it's petanque AND politics...

Current president Jacques Chirac announced that he would not be standing for another term as president. The French president has a five year term (there are no limits to the amount of terms the president can run for re-election).

<>The first round of voting for the 2007 French presidential election (around 12 candidates) will take place on Sunday, April 22nd. <>

If no candidate obtains an absolute majority, a second round between the two leading candidates will take place on Sunday, May 6.

Chirac announced his support for Nicolas Sark√∂zy candidate from the Union for a Popular Movement (“UPM”).

Known popularly as “Sarko” – Nicolas Sarkozy has been running a series of election campaign events all over France and running a countdown until his victory. Some of these events have been Petanque tournaments emblazoned with his party's blue color theme. Just before the election results on Sunday, he will have a huge petanque gathering in the 1er Arrondissement (in Paris) on Saturday at 3pm. That particular area has plenty of piste space for boule playing as it is the expanse of flat grounds for the Louvre.

Other close runners for the presidency include, Segolene Royal, who, if she wins, will be the first female president of France, Francois Bayrou, and the ever surprising Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gentlemen Prefer "Bronze"

UNIBLOC has been manufacturing Lyonnaise Boules for 25 years and has recently turned to the petanque market with the ETR Latitude boule.

The UNIBLOC “ETR” Latitude boules are poured in one piece from white bronze. They claim to have low rebound qualities and sell for 150 Euros (US $203 4/17/2007).

The ETR comes in 5 different patterns or smooth, fabricated in Turin, Italy and are sold in sizes 72-76 mm and 660-750 grams.

There is an earlier version of these boules with the stamp “RED” but these are not acceptable for formal competition as they are filled with rubber bands (for balance/rebound qualities?).

I know that Joe Z. sometimes uses C.A.S.T. boules which are also of bronze and made in Italy, the only other bronze boules I know about are from Integrale, the As de Carreau.
What's the benefits of bronze? Softest boules you can buy - creating smaller rebounds. Bronze boules also emit a distinctive sound when they strike another boule, and I believe that they hold the heat of the hand longer (especially good for cold weather petanqueing).

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Fenyx Petanque Club ... Czechs In !

Pavel Kral from the Fenyx Adamov Petanque Club in the Czech Republic has been corresponding with me about choices in boules. He's deciding upon my own personal favorite, the Integrale AC Carreau bronze. I checked out the various photos from his club's excellent website, and invite you to do the same. There's all sorts of fun tournaments which Pavel and his club members have been participating in throughout Europe. And if you ever find yourself in Prague - you should drive east to the nearby Fenyx Club and play a few rounds.

[Click on photo to make bigger]

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Midwest Petanque Tournament - Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Chicago Petanque Club will be hosting the 2nd Annual Midwest Petanque Tournament this year at the wonderful lakeside location of Grant Park in Chicago.

For more information, including registration, click HERE