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!

Friday, October 10, 2008

CRASH & BURN - Mike's Team Takes a Tumble

Excellent day for some petanque, Kevin/Tim/Mike/Abu played against Jeff/Pat/Matt.
The first game was a blow out (in more ways than one) with the final score being 13 (Pat's team) to 3 (Kevin's team). Kevin felt his shooting was a tad off. I told him that you just have to stick with it, and since he was the only shooter on his team, he had to just keep focused.
Mike's playing dropped off too, and Tim ran out of carrots too early.
Matt & Pat, on the other hand, worked well with me as a team, we looked at the boule layout, made a plan, and executed it well. Matt's also been shooting more, and coupled with Pat and my shooting, we terrorized the other team. They were literally on the edge of their seats!
The second game had Tim returning to work, so a true triplette of the same teams was formed, with a 12/12 point-game decider... Left up to Kevin, should he shoot or point... 13/12 conclusion ... winner: Team-Pat/Matt/Jeff

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Excellent Shooting from Matt T. Today

One of the highlights of captaining a petanque club is watching players progress from being a newbie pointer transforming into a threatening shooter. I'm not saying that shooting boules is for everyone, pointing well is always "the point" of the game, but taking that leap of faith by throwing a boule with all your might at a target really puts your boules on the line. When you miss in pointing, you're still relatively near to the cochonnet, but if you miss in shooting - it's Bye-Bye-Boule - and very obvious.

Matt T. was on my team today, as we played against the double threat of Pat and Tim. What was interesting is that Matt (who is merely 15 games (or so) into the sport, asked if he could be the lead shooter for our team, and I could take up the pointing position. I'm always for a player's increased skill set so we switched roles for the bulk of the game (right up to the end where we beat Pat & Tim 13/12. Matt made a good percentage of his shots, I'd say 75% of them. Excellent.

Afterward we played a tete-a-tete (1 on 1) game. These games have to be played a little more carefully in that you usually only shoot once per round. Matt held his own. So now we have the makings of a new shooter for the club. That's great progress.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Dainty Players Run for Cover when Rain Hits the Piste

It was a light misty rain (that passed over after ten minutes) but you would have thought a monsoon hit Campus Martius Park after Pat; Tim; Maury; and Hitesh (Note; 75% of the people all from the same firm) ran for cover leaving the tougher players, namely, Jeff/Tom vs. Raphael/Matt to take up the reins and continue the game.
Raphael and Matt took the day, with a 13/11 win.
Take advantage of these slightly damp days to test out your petanque skills under "adverse" conditions. You never know when you'll need to perform well under a deluge (like at the World Qualifier in New York last week - or the Detroit Doubles Tournament last year!)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Maury Joins the Petanquers

Two full triplettes ran today at Campus Martius Park. We quickly split into teams using shooters as captains, and coin-tossing for fairness.

Kevin/Deric/Mike vs. Jeff/Tom/Hitesh


Matt/Abu/Tim vs. Raphael/Pat/Maury

My team did well, and quickly - winning 13/1 against Kevin's team. Kevin was determinted to unseat Hitesh from the top of the rankings chart and was looking for a win with a wide spread. He got his wide spread - only for the wrong team! The second game went better for them, with a win (played to 10 points) 13/9. Some crucial shots were successfully accomplished by Kevin and though Mike was off on his pointings, Deric more than held his own.

Pat's team went in with new player, Maury, who I've heard is a whiz at pointing. But Matt told me that he made one of his shots, so I'm guessing that with Tim (shooter) and Matt (new shooter) and Abu's pointing, Pat's team was slightly edged out of the winning. I was watching their progress, and it was point-for-point, with 9 vs. 9 at some point in their game. Evenly matched teams make for low score rounds. The end was 13/11 for Abu/Matt/Tim.

Microsoft Team in our Sights

Contact was made with some Microsoft players. I received my warning jersey from the team that they're already thinking about a challenge between M(ich)PC and M(icrosoft)PC.

I can't seem to get focused on this shot, I had to keep rebooting, I mean re-focusing my throw... ;-)

Looking forward to meeting all the Microsoft petanquers!

Monday, October 06, 2008

an electrified gathering at Campus Martius for the Shock

Two doublettes going at once today...

Kevin/Tim vs. Pat/Mike - they played it out to 11/13 (victory Kevin/Tim).

that must have been a pretty evenly matched game because my doublette (mixed) went to two games:

Raphael/Abu/Matt vs. Jeff/Tom (Jeff/Tom 13/7) then we played to 10 points; Raphael/Abu/Tom vs. Jeff/Matt (Jeff/Matt 13/10).

Lots of activity at Campus Martius Park today, with the new Mayor of Detroit, Ken Cockrel, Jr. offering his congratulations to three-time WNBA champs: Detroit-Shock

Friday, October 03, 2008

Measured with Calipers

Today brought two games played at Campus Martius Park. The first, Jeff/Mike/Pat/Hitesh against Deric/Tom/Abu/Tim with a 13 to 7 conclusion (victory to Pat's team)
But the real nail-biter was the second game. Abu and Hitesh switched teams, so it was Jeff/Mike/Pat/Abu vs. Deric/Tom/Hitesh/Tim and point-for-point was exchanged for a while, then Deric's team took the lead, at 6 points to our 4 (this was a 7-point game).
We finally got in a few points bringing it to 6 to 6 - next point being the winning point.
Most of the boules were on the ground, leaving Tim with the point just behind the cochonnet. Jeff plombeed a front boule - a millimetre closer (we used caliper tape). Tim had the last boule of the game, he tossed in his point... VERY CLOSE... we had to measure AGAIN with te special measuring tape... victory to Pat/Hitesh/Mike/Jeff

Thursday, October 02, 2008

a Twist to the Piste on Campus Martius

Today's game was held on the gravel-rich terrain of Campus Martius Park. Refreshing was the overall feeling for the change of court (from Cadillac Square) - plus quite a bit warmer.

The location is also in close proximity to Au Bon Pain - which means coffee, pastries and other comestibles.

The game play on thicker gravel really tests players who are more used to a faster (less gravelled) piste - and if you happen to be able to read the ground like a golfer - then you'll be ahead of the game.

Kevin/Jeff/Tom played against Mike/Matt/Abu - we admittedly had a very powerful shooting group, Kevin probably making 85% of his shots. Tom's pointing right on made us rather a difficult adversary so it is not too big a surprise that we took it, 13/3 but do keep in mind that it won't take long for Matt to work up his shooting levels. Strategically, the defensive/offensive placements were by-the-book, so we'll just have to work on the skills a bit. See y'all tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

a Chilly Result to a Hot Start

King Cobra was on dust-pan duty today keeping him off the piste (piste-off so to say) cleaning up his apartment for inspection. But we'll be blessed with his re-appearance on Thursday ("for sure," he said).

Today's game was a mess. Pat and I were up 5 or 6 points to 1. Kevin even boasted he'd make 4 points in a round (which he ended up doing - taking the lead...) then Kevin & Tim turned on the frozen carrots - grinding away, until they ascended to a majestic 13/7 result. I take comfort in knowing that Mike was not witness to this "sneaky-slaughter"

The weather has turned on us, 55 degrees at the piste. Pat's jumping-bean antics didn't warm up his frozen balls - and he refuses to wear a coat (nor borrow one from Mike) - so I think it'll be warmer playing across the street at Campus Martius Park (next to Au Bon Pain) - at least it is in the sun. So let's meet there for Thurs. and Fri. and try it out.