Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raphael performs 5 Raphaels today...

There's probably an official term for it, (see terminology) but Raphael performed this winning move about five times today. He'd see the opposing boule was just to the side of the cochonnet, and he'd point/shoot against it, replacing that boule with his. Not specifically a carreau, but more like a pointing carreau. A great technique because it comes in as a pointing throw so if it missed (Raphael NEVER missed) it'd remain in the area.
Two games today, the first, Jeff/Abu vs. Pat/Raphael brought a victory to Pat... 13/6 - though there was 25 minutes left, he quit while he was ahead (smart move). The second game, Jeff/Matt vs. Raphael/Abu - (played to 10 points), with 13/10 victory to Jeff/Matt. How? Strong pointing, concentrated strategy, and a little luck...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Close Win - and Deric Coming Around the Bend . . .

Close game between Pat/Matt & Kevin/Mike. The doublettes exchanged point for point, getting to about 8/9 before Pat/Matt took a commanding lead, sitting on 12/8. It looked good enough for the win, but Kevin/Mike got their asses in gear and blasted their solids (verses Pat/Matt's striped boules) to a 13/12 victory.

On the adjoining piste, Abu/Raphael/Tom went against Jeff/Tim/Deric for two games, ending in a twin victory for Deric's team. (13/5 & 13/7) Raphael has been taking more shots - gaining experience in becoming a dangerous shooter, whilst Tom's faithful pointing coupled with Abu's sense of strategy kept them fighting to the end.

Deric is 8 games in, with a 2.0 average. He plans to play for the next couple of days, which, if he merely wins 13/12 will rocket him to the top standing average once he gets 10 games under his belt. A tough position to beat with potentially 2nd place Hitesh sitting on 1.94

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hitesh Leads the Group - then Kevin

What is interesting here is that Hitesh has (for the season) half as many games played, but he's a full tenth of a point higher than the next highest ranked player who also has played far less games than I have and is currently beating me in the rankings. I'm proud of them - really. And looking at the overall petanque-types... Hitesh is mainly a pointer, Kevin and shooter... so perhaps pointing brings about a more successful result in rankings? Dunno.
Raphael/Tom/Mike lost 7 to Kevin/Pat/Hitesh's 13 ...
and Jeff & Matt won 13 to Tim & Abu's 10
Since Kevin won at a higher margin than I did, he's edged himself to the 2nd place spot.
We also had some guests playing today... Morris from Honigman Miller, and Brandon - you know Brandon, big hair, saxaphone...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hitesh and Abu take Both Games

When the teams were being selected, Kevin told me he wanted to be on the top rank, and in order to do so he'd have to beat Hitesh. Hitesh & Abu were walking up to the piste, we set-up the teams: Kevin & Mike vs. Hitesh & Abu - I was flipped on to Kevin's team.

It went south - FAST!

Hitesh has been taking the shooter role - with chances taken, but plenty of successes - while Abu has been faithfully pointing in bole after boule. Mike was - for 3/4 of the game, waaay off in his pointing - but to be fair, my shots weren't don't much to change things around.

The first game: 13/7 Hitesh & Abu.

The second game (played to 7 points) was the nail in the coffin. Kevin still felt that if we were able to fanny them (7/0) then the resultant score: 13/6 would edge him to top position (or closer to it at least). Well, there was a 7/0 fanny ... OURS! Hitesh and Abu beat us again. No help from me when I shot away 2 of our boules by mistake to bring in their 3 points for the win. Blech!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bumpy Terrain Provides for a Rocky Result

Today's games (2 doublettes (mixed)) provided for plenty of ranking changes (Hitesh and Kevin are on top - I'm a lowly 4th) - as well as some lessons in boule rolling on rougher terrain. The piste that Kevin/Abu/Mike beat Raphael/Jeff/Deric 13/10 on had 2 inch deep grooves throughout. This offered up a challenge for those players who used a "bonne mamen" (straight roll from circle to cochonnet). Pat/Hitesh really went to town - beating James/Matt in both games (13/9 & 13/7 (7 pt. translation)) on the center court.
Some Video from Today:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The New Guys Are Killing the Old

Today's game was set-up to test out the relatively new-blood agains the experienced "old guard" players. Raphael; Kevin; Hitesh; Abu were set against Jeff; Pat; Tim; Deric; Mike*
The game was a slaughter.
Mike finally sat out, allowing us to switch in Deric - but by then it was too late... we were down by 8 points (3) and they were sitting on 11.
Mike then turned Benedict Arnold, joining Kevin's team, and onward to a bloody victory 13/8.
Whew. My shooting... every attempt a miss. Pat too. We had Mike in the first 3/4 of the game, and his pointing was so far off we pulled Tim into the start position. By then, we were finished. We could only be defensive for so long until the opposition's point by point rounds added to thirteen.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday's Detroit Game

Today's games saw a return of the Honigman brothers, Pat & Tim who took on Mike for a devastating 3/13 loss. The opposition (Jeff; Raphael; Abu) looked on and even winced when Mike rolled in some real lead-boules waaaay off the mark. Shooting and pointing was way off for the H-team and we quickly built up a strong lead which held to the end.

The second game (7 points) we (Jeff/Rob/Mike) lost to Abu/Raphael. Their pointing was just too powerful.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nice Day for Some Boule at Campus Martius Park

It was a lovely day in Campus Martius Park on Saturday, with Cheryl, James, Mike, Raphael (and his daughter), as well as some additional onlookers who tried out the ame, namely Tony a New Yorker (he'd moved to Michigan in 1972!) who knew all about bocce, but was able to effectively deliver a nice series of petanque points too.

I'm not sure how many Saturdays we'll have left until the weather finally turns - but so far so good.

Royal Oak Lets Loose Again!

Everyone had something to say today! It was talk time at the piste on Sunday! As you can see here on the sidelines... everyone couldn't even wait to get seated to enjoy a few stories. It also may have been a syndrome that Michiganders get this time of year. If you have great weather in September, you enjoy it! So that's what we all did. Slow paced games, but stealthy shots to keep the games interesting, an all-around great day! Weather already looks good for next weekend, so let's all do it again!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friday's Crepetacular

Today's game had a prize of a free crepe (certificates for Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes) for each of the winners. Our true triplette: Jeff/Mike/Deric vs. Kevin/Hitesh/Abu starting out well for my team, with a three point round. Then it was point-for-point with both teams tied at 7 points.

Finally we pulled ahead, clinching it at 13/7.

Kevin Takes the Club Top Average

In a bleak downturn for me, (6 games lost out of 6 games played) I'm glad, at least, that my club members are making some headway in the shooting department. Kevin's shooting, slightly off today, still kept my team (Jeff/Mike/Raphael) scuttled with a 13/6 loss in both games (the 2nd game played to 7 pts.) taking his team (Kevin/Wayne/Hitesh) to double victory. Wayne-Magoo had some trouble distinguishing between smooth boules and striped - earning him (a temporary) nickname. While I'm not sure what kind of new nickname I've earned (thankfully the Blogger controls the Blogged nicknames!) Mike was simply terrible today. I suspect it is because he misses Pat (who hasn't played for weeks).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Where there's a Will - there's a Way

"Plombe" Will came back to play with the club - and though he's been away for about three years (with not 1 boule thrown in all that time) he was pointing and shooting expertly.

Today was a revenge match - Abu wanted the same teams from yesterday to see if we could change the outcome (yesterday we lost 13/6). The outcome... not so good... Jeff/Abu/Wayne lost the first game 13 to 1 (!!!) to the powerhouse of Kevin/Rafael/Mike. In a word: painful. The second game, Will switched in for Rafael, and we lost AGAIN 7 to 3 (13/9).
Whew... I can't even say that the other team was all that much better - Mikey was tossing hi boules as if they were pregnant hedgehogs - thrown well off to the left and right of the cochonnet; Kevin was even down to two boules (instead of his devastating three boule combo on Tuesday). Today brought Mikey back up to second place in the averages - while I'm just holding on by the skin of my teeth. Another loss and I'm down down down.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kevin's Team Schooled Us In a 6 to 13 Slaughter

It wasn't all bad - in the sense that Kevin/Rafael/Mike lead the game at 10 points to our Zero. We (Jeff/Wayne/Tom/Abu) were able to hold them for 5 rounds, assembling 6 points before they finally made their three in the final. If we had a little more leeway, I think we could have lasted for another 2-3 rounds. In the end, it was Kevin's exceptional pointing and really great shooting which ruled the day.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hooked on Pointing

I won't profess to be a top ranked petanque player, but I have been playing boule for a number of years, working on my pointing and shooting throws. One technique which seems to work well for me is the back/side-spin for pointing. Think of it as "putting a little English on your boule.

Now keep in mind I'm left-handed, so my hook will be to the right. Do I really need to spell it out that right hander's hooks will go left? Anyhow, the hook-point is a useful method for bringing your boule around a pesky obstacle (like an opposing team's boule 6 inches in front of the cochonnet).

To effectuate this throw, you'll be sweeping your palm sideways (in the illustration - towards the right) while at the same time applying backspin. The released boule will (depending on the momentum and distance of the target) offer a pleasant little hook at the end of its travel.

Give it a try and see how it may improve your game.

Friday's Game - Dreary Weather - Exciting Gameplay

We had sufficient time for a pair of games today. The first, Rafael, Tom, Jeff, and Matt verses Pat, Mike, Tim, and Hitesh. The result was a very evenly ranked set of teams. My team took an early four points in one round, but then the next few rounds went to the opposition due to the blazing shots of Pat A., and the strong pointing from the rest of Pat's crew. Near the end, it was 11 (us) 10 Pat's team, but we took the final two points for the 13/10 win.

The second game sent the Honigman boys back to their offices, while Matt, Rafael, and Tom teamed up against Hitesh, Mike, and Jeff. I was impressed with Matt's shooting - making most of his shots - while Tom and Rafael were really pointing in within inches of the cochonnet. I guess that was who we lost to them (7 point game) 6/7 (12/13). I blame Mike - (why? why not?!). See you Monday! If the weather provides a dry span of time, you can try the club out on Saturdays (or even Sundays up in Royal Oak).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Better Later than Never . . .

Today's game got underway at around 12:30 p.m. (due to my having some morning appointments) but we carried a pretty decent game to its conclusion 13/7 The new guys: Mike/Tom/Matt challenged Jeff/Kevin/Hitesh. It won't be long now before Matt will be shooting everything expertly. He's already electing to be the shooter for his team and doing a good job of it (for a new petanquer). Kevin, having been away on more important work, returned to test out his boule-powers. After a few ends his shooting prowess returned. Mike was doing his regular grumbling - must be aches in the knees. Pat and Tim stopped by to offer encouragement (Mikey appreciates that). Here's some photos taken my Mike Cooper who has been observing us playing these past few weeks. Pat's fanny photo will come in handy for skunked (13/0) games.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

a close shave today - 13/12

It was a fine game today. Matt (just started with the club) was on my team against the masterful pointing of Hitesh, Rafael, and Mike. We exchanged point for point (a sure sign of evenly matched teams) until the last end, where it was 12/12. We pointed in well, but they matched us, then we shot, but they returned with a close point. finally it was left for me with a final boule, to point in (as the other team had 2 boules that were close) - the careful roll - and VOILA! win goes to Jeff & Matt.

Remembering to Shoot the Cochonnet

Sometimes players can be so focused on the present layout of boules that they forget that the cochonnet's position can be changed - and so will the swing of the game.

Measuring between 25 and 35 millimeters, the cochonnet seems such a tiny target but don't discount the vast benefits (and possible dire consequences) of displacing it's location.

Article 13 should be knowlegeable to each and every petanquer:

If, during an end, the cochonnet becomes dead, one of three cases can apply:

a) If both teams have boules to play, the end is void.

b) If only one team has boules left to play, then this team scores as many points as it has boules to play.

c) If neither team has boules to play, the end is void.

Let's say your team is down to it's last two boules, with no defensive boules positioned, and the opposing team has 4 or 5 boules left to use - then attempting to hit the cochonnet out of bounds with the second-to-last boule seems like a good strategy. If it fails, then at least you can still attempt to point defensively with your last boule.

But, if the shoe is on the other foot; the opposition has used up all of its boules; the cochonnet is in a difficult place to point; and your team has 4 or 5 to use, then why not take the opportunity to knock out that cochonnet for many points!

Moving (pushing/sweeping) the cochonnet back to a group of your own boules is also a nice strategy to keep in mind. Sometimes a position that looks pretty dire can turn around with a push of the cochonnet.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Zounds! We've beaten them Again!

[click on graphic to enlargen]
In what began as a routing, with Pat/Tim/Tom ascending to 12 points leaving us at 8, turned into a fierce counter-strike, with Rafael/Mike/Jeff battling point for point. Mike made remarkable points - curving his boule into tight positions, Rafael kept up the defensive strategy, while I shot away some very sweaty positions. It took 4 rounds to hold the opposition at 12 points but in the end, we were victorious, 13/12 !

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Another Petanquer Affixes the Eternal Boule

Congrats to Kevin and his fiancee Bernadette - who announced their engagement. No wonder Mike wasn't anywhere to be found today - he too was too broken up by the news to play.

Tim & Pat tried everything to secure a win, Tim ate Baby Carrots and Yellow Peppers but STILL Hitesh/Jeff/Gene beat them 13/10. Now Hitesh is tied with me to top-o-the rankings... Good on yah!

Our team was able to knock the cochonnet out into the back, with no boules around, we laid down four for victory. Stolen from the grasp of the Honigman boys.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Mikey Moose Tracks Wins Big for his Team

Mikey "Moose Track" brought in a big win for his team (Hitesh & Pat) 13 to 5.

Kevin; Rob; Tim; and Jeff simply didn't have the gusto to pull off sufficient points to challenge their opponents.