Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Session of Detroit Petanque Club


The weather was favorable towards a little afternoon petanque, so I sent out a "call to arms" and three of us were hardy enough (Tim, Pat, Jeff) to assemble beside the ice rink at Campus Martius Park for a little petanque.

It wasn't a pretty game, with Jeff beating the Honigman fellows - but I'm enthusiastic that we'll have a few more wintertime sessions until the Spring sets up the fulltime schedule.

It is Pat's birthday on Tuesday (12/30/2008) and Mikey's on New Year's Eve! I knew those guys are like twins...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chicago Petanque WINTER GAMES

To get you in the mood and build up your courage to play outdoors this January 10th in Chicago, click on this link (or cut and paste into browser) to view 30 photos from last winters event.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pierre Dedeyne

The Michigan Petanque Club has lost a former member. Pierre Dedeyne passed away on Wed. 11/21/08, he was 80. Visitation will be at Bagnesco & Calcaterra Funeral Home 25800 Harper, St Clair Shores on Sat. 11/22/08 from 2 to 9 p.m. A service will be held on Sunday 12:00 at the funeral home.

Pierre was a founding member of the Petanque Club of Detroit now Michigan Petanque Club when it was organized in the 1970's, and he and his wife Lauraine played petanque until the mid 1990's. Every 14th of July, Bastille day, Pierre and his wife would invite many of their friends and Club members to their home where many hours were enjoyed playing petanque, eating good food and drinking good wine. Those were memorable times and will remain with us forever.

On behalf of the Michigan Petanque Club and sister club Detroit Petanque Club we extend our heartfelt condolences to Pierre's entire family.

Pierre will be missed by all who knew him

Memorial/Guestbook Link

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kevin Tops the Rankings

Pat, Maury, and I were determined to beat Kevin & Tim today as a win would topple Maury from the rankings and king Kevin for the top place. The cold weather was an ally - or so we thought, as each minute made Kevin's shooting hand more and more frigid (and less accurate). Our playing was tough, but the opposition was gaining a point per end (round) - slowly building a lead. Unfortunately for us, the piste was a bit on the short side and so Maury's usual long-shot pointing was tampered with. In the end, Kevin pulled ahead sufficiently to place #1.
I crunched the math: Fortunately, for Maury, all he'd need is to win a game 13/3 or two games 13/6 to be back on top again!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Frozen but Not Daunted

Today's game was especially freezing - our hands became numb to the chilling winds - making for difficult shooting. The ground was laced with snow and ice, and the boule grew colder by the minute...
James/Jeff/Raphael went up against Kevin/Pat/Tim with victory to Kevin's team - 13 to 4 (whew!) but perhaps not completely to Kevin's satisfaction as he is still .00418 below Maury's ranking!
VIDEO from today.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Frigid Tempratures Don't Keep the Polar Bear Petanquers Away

Despite the weather (26 degrees?) the Detroit Petanque Club was out playing on the Cadillac Square piste. Today's triplette: Kevin/Raphael/Deric vs. Maury/Tim/Jeff. Lucky that there was no/little wind - making the playing bearable. Though Kevin seemed a bit cold - but not too cold to take the day with a 13/6 win.

We'll stick with it as long as you can stand it. Maybe there's a world's record for coldest petanque game!

Note: Kevin is just a smidgen away from topping Maury's high rank. We'll see.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Club Moves Back to Cadillac Square


Today the teams were evenly matched: Jeff/Abu/Matt/Pat vs. Maury/Kevin/Tim - but after we moved across the street (they're hanging the holiday lights in the trees at Campus Martius Park) - our opponents got a 5 point round, pushing their score up to 11/6. (Tough to beat when we've been getting merely 1 point per round) The end result... 13/6 Maury/Kevin/Tim

Another close game at Campus Martius

We almost had them!

Jeff/Matt/Maury 11 to Pat/Tim 13

Afterwards Matt and I played a 1 vs. 1 which is almost like a totally different game - at least strategy-wise in that you really need to be both pointer and shooter.

It is healthy - even if you're primarily a pointer, to shoot once in a while; likewise, as a shooter you should practice pointing as well. If the opposition senses that they've depleted all of the shooter's boules they'll play a different strategy - but if your pointer can get in a shot (albeit maybe a close proximity shot) once in a while, that's a good reserve skill for emergencies.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Raise the White Flag - We Surrender!

Pat and Maury are an unbeatable combination. Like yesterday, they cleaned the court with their competition.

I thought with my partners: Tim and Matt (and Pat's less than 100% shooting) that we'd be able to get a win (or two) but nope, nada, nothing...

Instead, we lost both games, the first, a horrible 13/6 and that was after leading the opposition 5 to nothing! They came back with 5 points in a single round, then went on for 5 more rounds where we didn't earn a point.

The second game (played to 7 points) was concluded with a 11/13 loss !

Today's strategy was "cochonnet distance" - Pat and Maury favored the longer 10 meter distance, while my team went with the shorter 6-7 meter distance. Our theory was that Maury would over-throw the short ball, and that Pat was not used to shooting at a close boule.

BUT, since we harldy had the chance to throw the cochonnet - Pat and Maury always went long - and even the fates were against us as the cochonet was moved to our opponent's position quite a few times during the game.

Note: using cochonnet distance is a very good method for controlling the game. If you notice a particular advantage with your team (and/or disadvantage with your opponents) in using a long or short distance - then by all means use that to you gain.

Article 7 of the rules states (in part):

For the thrown jack to be legal, the following conditions apply:

(1) The distance from it to the nearest edge of the circle must be between 6 meters minimum and 10 meters maximum. [~ 19.5 feet to 33 feet)

(2) The nearest edge of the circle must be 1 meter from all obstacles and at least 1 meter inside the boundary of the playing area. (if area is bounded).

(3) The jack must be at least 1 meter minimum from all obstacles and from the boundary of the playing area.

(4) The jack must be visible to the player whose feet are entirely inside the circle and who is standing upright. In cases of dispute, the umpire will decide if the jack is visible and there can be no appeal.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Andonian "The Sniper" Makes Every Shot

Tough day to try and beat Honigman. Raphael/Jeff/Matt did well in the first game against Maury/Pat/Tim 13 to 4 - but by the second game (the Revenge match) the tables were turned as Pat turned on fire with his shooting... making, I'd say 90% of his shots. There was simply no way to shut the Honigman Bros. down as they amassed point after point. I was concerned that they'd do a fanny on us - actually...
But a few lucky breaks, and we got in our three - resulting in a 13/3 victory for Pat/Maury/Tim.

Despite the weather being in the low 30's and a lght dusting of snow on the ground, we played a nice set of games today.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Some Games Before the Cold Weather Drop

This will probably be the last of the "warm" days for the season... at least for this week. We had a mixture of games today, the first being Jeff/Tim vs. Raphael/Mike. mike was way off point today, it must be after all of the time he's taken off the petanque courts this last week. That score was 13 to 3 (!)

The second game; Tim/Mike vs. Abu/Jeff ended with Mikey again losing. It must be on account of Pat not being there for moral support... (or any support for that matter) That game's result: 13/9

Then Abu and Mike played against me, resulting in my losing 13/8 . . .

Tomorrow's forecast is for rain - but... we'll see.

Until then - may your point always be close (but not closer than mine!)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Point of No Return

It was another warm-ish day, and Jeff/Matt/Tim/Raphael went up against the three amigos... Maury/Hitesh/Pat. Let's just say they needed a shovel of good luck - as our team took a commanding lead of 5 to 0, and then made a fairly clean run to a 13/4 conclusion.
Afterward, Matt and I played a 1 vs. 1... the Tete-a-Tete games (1 vs. 1) as the French call them, can be very challenging, as solo player - you're both pointer and shooter. I'd say, if you can't shoot, then playing a strategic pointing and push-pointing role can help you towards victory. Even as a shooter, with only 3 boules per side, you're not going to want to shoot more than 1 time anyhow.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Honigman Gave Us a Shellacking!

Election day is here, but my team is way behind in the petanque polls - the first game: Pat/Kevin/Maury/Abu verses Jeff/Mike/Matt/Tim/Hitesh - a slaughter: 5/13 conclusion! Then things got WORSE... tim left to get more carrots and peppers, leaving it Jeff/Mike/Matt/Hitesh vs. Pat/Kevin/Maury/Abu ... and a 0 to 7 finale... whew!

At least there's always tomorrow...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Pat, Tim and Maury - Washed Out with the Rain

The weather may have played a key factor in the results of today's game as the Honigman players are known for their fair weather skill.

Today, Matt/Raphael/Jeff went up against Pat/Maury/Tim for a full 13 point game. We had some rain delays, but overall, played to the game's conclusion: 13/6

I must say that Maury was the anchor for today's Honigman team. His pointing saved them many a time.

For my own team, my two pointers; Raphael and Matt did things by the book, rolling in all of the necessary boules. Raphael even effectuated a nice ricochet for additional points.

See you tomorrow (election day!)

Jeff Places 2nd Place in Pie Eating Contest (video)

VIDEO (it has sound):


I came in second place (due more to my having a chocolate-silk pie facial than ingesting it all. What a hilarious circumstance!

I'd better stick to petanque.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pat and Kevin Vanquish Tim/Jeff/Matt in Two Games

Unlike yesterday when Kevin's shooting was freezed out of commission, and Pat's pointing was off - today was significantly warmer and as a result - Pat and Kevin's playing was hotter... making all their points and shots...

In fact, in the first game, they were sitting on a 12 to our ZERO (0) !! and counting on a fanny. Fortunately we made some headway into that region... ending the game on a loss (6/13) but still... NO Fanny!

The second (revenge) match - same teams - Pat/Kevin vs. Matt/Tim/Jeff was played to 11 points (due to time constraints) - with the both teams tied at 10 points. The last set-up had a group of boules grouped together at a fair distance - with Pat/Kevin sitting on the point. Tim tried to point in, just short... I tried a shot... missed (threaded the needle) - 2nd win to Pat and Kevin.

No petanque Friday, I'm competing in a Pie Eating Contest for charity. Happy Halloween Y'all!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brrrrrrr Matt & Jeff Beat Honigman Bros.

Let me start off by asking: "Why doesn't Kevin wear a coat when the temperature is 38 degrees outside?"

The chilly air definitely reduced Kevin's shooting success - Pat took over that position.

Pat/Tim/Kevin vs. Matt/Jeff for a 13/9 win for Matt & Jeff.

Lots of variables today... for one, Tim didn't eat any of his peppers while pointing - (major mistake) - Kevin might as well be throwing snowballs - he was shivering so much he couldn't shoot - and Pat had to carry the game on 2 boules against Matt (who wore a sensible coat and gloves) and Jeff (who doesn't feel the cold as he is a robot)

Mike was out today - inspection of his apartment. Good luck - he'll need it!

Cold Weather Does Not Deter Boule Play

The weather has turned pretty nippy, with temperatures in the chilly 40 degree (or below) region. I'll continue to play (in coat, scarf, and hat) for as long as folks are comfortable enough to also join me.

Tuesday's results were good, with Jeff/Pat/Matt doing well (13 to 5) verses Tim and Mike.

The second game, Matt/Mike vs. Jeff - no so good, with my losing 9 to 13... blech!

This double win for Matt has hoisted him higher in the rankings - good work!

See you there!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Maury Tops the Club Rankings with 1.98

With the rain coming down ever so gently, we decided to take advantage of the Zamboni tent that Campus Martis Park so thoughtfully provided as cover while we played today's game. The park is setting up the ice skating rink, but we'll still be playing petanque for a month on.
We had a nice turn-out, and decided to keep it as one game: Abu/Maury/Pat/Tim/Jeff vs.

Our team began with a nice three point lead, and we never looked back, amassing points with each round until we were stopped at around 9 or 10 points by Kevin's team who was starting to catch up. This would be Maury's 10th game so were were interested in getting him situated with a top-score today (a win) to place him high on the rankings. And we did, with a 13 to 8 victory. The sun came out after a time, and we played our winning rounds warm and happy. Now that Maury has his top-rank, he'll need to maintain that lead over Hitesh and Kevin by not losing games. With only 10 games in the hopper, each subsequent game has about a 10% change (less and less with more games under his belt) to his overall ranking... Good job Maury!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Maury Rolls in the 13th boule for the Win

It was a close game, we (Abu/Jeff/Deric) were at 9, and Honigman (Maury/Pat/Kevin/Tim) were at 10 points.

But then in the final round, at a good distance too, Honigman rolled in two points - and the clincher, Maury pointed in # 13 for the victory... 13/9

NOTE: Maury is at 1.93 and his next game makes his average official. That'll place him at the top of the club's rankings.

Mike was busy calling us on his new cellphone - not sure why he was a no show. Pat called him up. We'll find out the scoop later.

See you monday!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sunnier Portion of Campus Martius Park Offers Two Doublettes

With the threat of winter's chill right around the corner we have to grab whatever of the Sun's warmth we can get, and that means our exodus to the relatively warmer Northern courts of the park.

After some coin flipping for teams, partners and courts we ended up with:

Jeff/Matt vs. Kevin/Tim

Hitesh/Mike vs. Pat/Abu

Our doublette went South as the combo of Kevin & Tim kept up their 2-3 points per round. We ended with a 13/2 loss! "Peppers-Clabuesch" bowled in his close points and "Kevin the Laser" picked off any of our close boules, we had a hard time of it - the piste was new but fun as a challenge. The second game, Kevin vs. Jeff/Matt was a little easier, but still Kevin whooped us 7 to 5 (6 point conversion to 11/13)

Lots of cursing was heard over on the other court. Pat and Mike doing their thing. Mike was also text messaging to (??) -himself? Who knows... That was a nailbiter of a game with a 13/12 win to Pat/Abu. Pat told me that the crucial winning point was up to a rules interpretation. Mike played - the cochonnet was pushed back near to (but not touching or beneath) the chairs, but his boule did touch the chair (voiding that boule). Mike felt the cochonnet should also be voided. Pat made the correct call.

The official rules (adapting them from a strung court to one that is bordered by marble/granite and chairs/tables) - "If a boule and/or cochonnet touches any of those previously listed items, it becomes void."

Ggood games all.

Maury even stopped by afterwards to show some colleagues, from Ann Arbor, the sport. I offered a brief lesson, and hope he will be able to coax them into playing in an Ann Arbor club one day.

See you next time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Watch out Versace and Giorgio Armani, the next trend setters may be found on the petanque pistes. Take for instance Tim C., who modeled his outerwear collection while pointing in his boules. and then there's Michael, displaying his own sense of style with a rugged urban attitude.

Vanquished! 13 to 8 in a timed game

Today we had nine players - normally, we'd break into a couple of games but for social reasons (and there was only one court that was sunny) - we stuck together in a 4 vs. 5 person battle royale! Pat/Mike/Maury/Tim bouled off against Kevin/Jeff/Matt/Raphael/Abu. Right at the start we took the lead, the other team gaining and getting 3 points, but then it was a landslide campaign after that, with a 7 to 3 lead, and it being a timed game (last round at 1pm) we had victory fully in our grasp. The clincher was when in the last round, Pat's team laid in a close point with their last boule. Not even that stopped us, as Matt rolled in neatly to give us a 9 to 4 (adjusted to 13/8) victory.



Maury is right, however, in commenting that there's simply too many boules on the court (20 boules!) - so for future games we'll try to split into doubles or triples.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Honigman Takes The Day - Maury Looking to Top the Rankings

Today was another victory for Honigman, (Pat/Tim/Maury/Mike) soudly beating us (Jeff/Abu/Matt/Raphael) 13 to 4 (!!!) Now I know how the Detroit Lions feel during their losing streak.

Ranking-wise, Maury just needs 3 more games before he's mixed into the Player Ranking List. He's sitting on a 2.01 ranking so far, and if he maintains this winning streak he'll be sitting on the top of the rankings...

(In order to be ranked among the club players you need to play 10 games, Note: your rank has been maintained throughot the 1-9 games)

It has become a tad cooler these days so we'll be playing in the sunnier sections of Campus Martius Park, probably either on the other side of the fountain, or more up towards Compuware.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Honigman Wins Again

Pat/Maury/Tim/Mike vs. Abu/Matt/Deric/Jeff

I must first offer my apology to my team, I was awful today, really, really bad. My shooting was off the mark; and my points were too short. I think one of my shots actualy cost us 2 points, giving the other team two points. Outrageous. Somedays that' s how it can be. My other three team members held their own, and that was why we were still in the running with a loss of only 10 to 13.

Deric had some really nice close points; and Matt & Abu also pointed nicely. In fact, I think we would have taken it, if I just kept to pointing. That's the problem with shooting - when you're off, you are WAY off... Mike had a pretty good day - and Maury enjoyed some close points as well. He even wants to try some petanque locally (in Ann Arbor). Pat and Tim, as usual, were playing strong.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Enthusiastic Comeback to Win 13 to 11

Highly competitive game today, with an unorthodox number of players - but it's more fun that way.

Abu/Jeff/Raphael/Matt vs. Pat/Kevin/Mike/Tim/Hitesh

It was like a mirror image to yesterday's game for me, we were down 0 to 6 points, then it was 11 to 4 points before we started out come back... gaining on them 1 point per round, until we sat on 12/11.

The final round was a very long distance, but the pointing was spot-on, with Pat and Tim landing close boules but Raphael replacing their close boules with his. In the end, we had two boules left to try to make the point. Raphael rolled his in to within 3 inches. Bravo! Victory!

One of the pleasures of captaining a team is appointing the order for team members to play in their boule. Use up your key shooters too fast and you'll have nothing left in case the opposition lays in a close boule, use up your key pointers, and you have the problem of trying to make a point in difficult boule placements. I tend to distribute the players such that everyone is left with 1 boule, so I have options left for variant strategies. Also, I like to be the last to throw for my team because it a) makes me responsible for my team's result and b) it gives me to "pressure position"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Honigman Comes Back from a 2/9 to Win!

Today we broke the group into Honigman vs. "Compuware" with Maury/Pat/Kevin/Tim representing Honigman Miller against Abu/Hitesh/Mike/Jeff. At first I though we would take them, since we began with a 4 point lead. Soon after we were ahead 9 to their measly 2 points. I was already threatening them with the blog entry... But they held it together, getting one point per round, round-after-round, until they took a nice 4 point sweep by pushing the cochonnet to the empty rear position and pointing in their boules. In the end, they passed us, arriving at thirteen points to our twelve. Well done gents! 13/12 games are the best - as they display a relatively evenly matched set of teams. The shooting from Kevin and Pat, coupled with the excellent pointing from Maury and Tim working all together paid off. Nice job.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Raphael Lives Up to His Name

In an earlier blog entry I mentioned the "Raphael" push point which our own Raphael performs very effectively. Today I watched him use that technique three times - almost effortlessly.

The set-up is an opponent's boule sitting just along the side of the cochonnet. You attempt to roll your boule with just enough velocity to push back the opposing (target) boule and leave your own boule cleanly in it's place. A neat trick sometimes effectuated in shooting called a "Carreau"

The Raphael has an added advantage of leaving your boule in the general vicinity even if you do miss the intended target.

Mike picked today's teams: Pat/Abu/Mike vs. Raphael/Tim/Jeff. I have to admit, we played very carefully, all of us, and it showed with the close initial score. After a few bad points from Mikey, we pulled ahead, so despite Abu switching in for Mike as lead pointer, we were so far ahead it was going to be difficult.

Nice shooting from Tim (have to keep that shooting arm in practice) - and of course Raphael's signature shot. Pat pulse cannoned in his boules - effective, but not if your pointer (Mike) costs you to be playing 2 boules short (4 boules to 6).

TIP: before the season ends (mid-November?) try some new throws/shots in your games. You may not perfect them right away, but at least you'll be getting a feel for what's involved, plus it's nice to pull various skills out of your bag of tricks. The plombe is a great shot to work on, it'll get you out of lots of otherwise troublesome situations (walls of boules). and you can adapt it into a shot (after perfecting the "landing spot") I'll get into the ther shots in a later blog. See you soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Well Matched Teams

Today's piste was closer to the fountain in Campus Martius Park. I want to use some relatively untested terrain to allow us the opportunity to spy out the lay of the ground.

Pat/Maury/Abu/Mike beat Raphael/Matt/Tim/Jeff 13 to 7 but there's more to the game than the final score. There were a few interesting elements to today's game:

Maury was throwing long so as to better appreciate his inclination for pointing at distances. Raphael was starting for us, putting in some nice close boules (allowing the opposition to "waste a few on pointing" before removing it with a shot). There was a nice turn of events when at a far distance, the opposition had the point by a foot. Then Tim pointed in to within 6 inches, but Abu recovered the point by nudging Tim's boule out. My own shooting was iffy, but came into play nicely for a couple of rounds (except in the end when I failed to remove the points that resulted in a sufficient tally for the win). Matt tried more shooting, a few misses, but near misses - in a short time he'll be deadly. Pat was the team's shooter, but his pointing was what gave them the win, nudging in boules to arrive at 13. Mike was, I must say, a bit off today on his pointing - not that I'm complaining as he was on the other team!

We all played a smart, strategic game - and that's always a more fun experience.

The weather for tomorrow looks like rain -- we'll see.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kevin & Pat were Skunked by Maury & Jeff

To be fair, the first game (of 2) that Maury and I played against Kevin & Pat was lost 2/13; but despite that shortcoming, you simply cannot ignore a good thrashing. The second game had the adreneline rushing, I could tell Maury was not used to losing. We started right out of the gate with a four point lead (playing to 7 points) - which really sparked up the competitive juice in our opponents: Kevin and Pat were determined NOT to lose. There was a nice opportunity for three points for K&P but a mislaid shot removed their close boule leaving us with two more points (6 to 0). The final end left Maury and Jeff with two boules close (more than enough to qualify a 7-0 win) but Kevin had a boule left. The eternal question: "Should I shoot or point?" The opposition (our) boule was about a foot distant from the cochonnet... the response: SHOOT. Wide Miss... 7 to 0 win for Maury and Jeff.
The Mike vs. Abu/Matt game was equally as interesting. Mike played the part of pointer with 4 boules to Matt/Abu 2 boules a piece. But when a pointer has 4 boules to use (and he's a good pointer), there are plenty of opportunities to lay in successively closer points. That's why Matt position (as shooter) was necessary to whittle down that pointing advantage.
But what happened next was curiously surprising as Mike, in a situation where both teams were tied (or just about tied up) and his opponents sealed up the front position with boules. Mike shot. clear and simple, he shot and cleared away the opponent's position, then laid in his own boules for the win 13/9. Bravo.
Never underestimate a shooting posing as a pointer!