Friday, July 31, 2009

Pat takes the Reins for Aug. 3rd through 7th

I'll be up in Canada for a little camping, so while I'm away, Pat A. will be running the show in Detroit. I trust everyone will help him in the set-up and packing up. Please also make a careful record of the teams and the final scores as I'll crunch the numbers and averages when I return.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday Provides Another Excellent Boule Day

Mark reports in that his team was well behind in points, but started their ascent... getting to 10 points before Pat and Maury closed and nailed down the lid...13/10

VIDEO from today.

Remember: Though I'll be away next week, Pat or Tim will be in charge of the boules and should be rolling to the courts for petanque play at noontime.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday Game - Veddy close...

Today's game = Excellent. There were great pontings and shootings made by everyone - and that was why we stood at a 9 to 9 tie at around 1:00 pm. Playing "the winner of the next round takes all" - we laid in boules on a close cochonnet position - but just couldn't keep closest. Finally, our last boule flung, the other side took the win: 13/12.

VIDEO from today.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mark's Team Makes a Swift Comeback

Maury and I thought we had the game all wrapped up with a 7 to nothing lead. Our pointing and shooting didn't seem all bad. But then we stood on those 7 points as our opposition (MarkW.; Tim C.; and Buzz C.) whittled away our lead, tied - then took the lead... until finally winning (10 point game due to time constraints) 10 to 8 (bumped to 13/11). Mark and Maury were exchanging in close pointing: boule for boule. My own shooting, so-so (better than in days previous). See you tomorrow!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Buzz joins the Club

Today we are looking at the strategy, not the score. While, yes, the opposition creamed us, we did have a new player and so they did have an advantage. I would like to focus on trying to win (or maximize our points) by using the best strategy possible. In the long career of a petanque player, there will be games, (many) where you're simply outmatched by the opposition's boule throwing abilities. Boule throwing is only part of the game; using the right strategy to place your own team's boules in advantageous positions makes up the balance. If you can;t be closest to the cochonnet, then try to set your boules in places which make it both difficult for your opponent to accumulate more boule (points) and perhaps allow your boules to be pushed closest.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Today I was more in petanque proselytizer mode but Pat filled me in on his triplette game where his team fannied the opposition: "I shot out every point that was close and all three of us were deadly in pointing." Whew, It happens to all of us - rarely, but it happens.

This weekend is my demonstration of petanque to the Genesee Parks and Recreation (Saturday 12pm-6pm at Linden County Park [at the north baseball field]). Feel free to stop by if you happen to be in the Flint area.

15349 S. Linden Road, Linden, MI 48451

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Close but No Cigar

We almost took today's game, but some weird force-field kept all of our pointing boules far from the mark. Strangely, our opposition had no trouble at all rolling in their 3 needed points for the win.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Heavy rain won't stop us!

Big thanks to everyone who remained patiently while the rain subsided. It is a true testament to our passion for petanque that we waited around for a clear sky. I'm not exactly sure how beneficial the conclusion was for my average however! Pat is creeping back up to the 2.0 range and Tim C. now is in second position. Another few losses and I'll be down 5 notches and Maury and Raphael will be 3rd and 4th.
Philippe Boets of Petanque-America is running a fantastic tournament down on Amelia Island in Florida on November 14 & 15th (Sat./Sun).
Click HERE for details
I've taken part in these before - and they really are alot of fun. You'll be playing petanque with players from all over the country (and guests from Europe) for big money prizes. Not the best player? No problem, many people who take part are also beginning/intermediate players - and there is the consolante rounds as well. The consolante is the 2nd chance tournament for prizes as well. One of my favorite aspects of this type of a tournament is (beside the fantastic location!) the fact that you'll be playing pick-up petanque games all day as well with lots of different players and make plenty of nice friends along the way.
I'm going, I just don't know who my partner will be. It is a doubles tournament. Anyhow, I hope you'll consider going down there. Think about how miserable November will be in Michigan...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Read Your Terrain or Suffer the Consequences

Today's games at Cadillac Square reminded me that an important variable wasn't taken into consideration by me and my team: the terrain (or surface) of the court.

Today's court was a whole menu of puddled gravel; bare patches; and pitched up (or down) surfaces.

We had boules flying well past the cochonnet, or far short; our boules were diverging in wide arcs left and right of our intended mark.

We were landing hard on swift (barely gravelled zones) and our boules were sinking the puddles of gravel well before the desired stopping point.

What does this mean? We needed to take more time to look at the ground, to have our team mates examining the landing zones and reporting to the player in the circle what was awaiting them.

Also, why not take a look at how your opposition's boules are flying. Watch the tracking paths made in the dirt. These visual cues are an important landmark for better boule placement.

Reading the court surface is as important as handling your boule throw because it is how the two interact that produces the resultant boule stopping location.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Utilizing the Ricochet

Sometimes the most direct path is not available to you. Examining the boule layout, you can use the boules on the court to redirect your own boule to the cochonnet.

Not depicted, but a gutsy use of the ricochet is the one-two move. You basically roll in a boule (one) to use as the boule from which you ricochet your second boule (two). I haven't used this set-up, but in situations where the only other option is to maybe "go for the cochonnet" it might be easier.

Doublettes today, with switched partners for the 2nd game. I was partnered with Sharon H. in the first game, and we did very well, Sharon pointing in and anchoring the first boule leaving Jeff C. and Raphael to try to push-point it away. Whatever was laid in I shot, leaving us in a very strong position.

The 2nd game didn't fare as well for me, though I did manage a couple of nice shots, we just couldn't shoot every good boule laid in by Sharon and Raphael.

See you Monday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Playing Injured results in 9/13 Loss

Limping over to the field of play with my cart 'o boules (calf sprain - probably substantially healed by Monday) I joined up with Tim W. and Eric C. pitted against the tremendlously skilled Pat/TimC./Rob marauders. We started off slow, merely at 1 or 2 points to our oppositions building score. We sat at 9 to the bad-guy's 12 points when Pat and Tim C. had to leave for important meetings, leaving Eric to switch over to Rob's team which was a good thing too because of the eventual 13/9 victory.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hawaii Makes a Visit to Detroit

NOTE (to Pat): Commissioner Downs reports that the "team making" process was both legitimate and advised as per section 123.b of the Articles of Boule.

Today's games were joined by Hawaiian native, Tony Thomas who is visiting family for four weeks. I'll be teaming up with Tony for the duration of his stay and hopefully go up against teams like: Pat/Mark/Tim etc.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Petanque Demonstration on July 25th in Linden, MI

The Parks and Recreation folks in Genesee County want to introduce petanque into their scheduling. I offered to give a demonstration of the sport to the park administration and any people/families that might show up on Saturday (July 25th) between 12 and 6pm. I would love 1 or 2 people, if they have some free time, to help me on this day. Let me know if you're available.

Schedule information HERE.

The park is located at: 15349 S. Linden Road, Linden, Michigan

Park Close-Up: MAP The Petanque demonstraton will be held at Ball Field-1

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Beware of Exploding Cheaply Made Petanque boules!

The Swiss federal government has issued a recall and warning about balls manufactured by Dutch company Nebus BV that have been distributed by Coop Supercard (part of a 2003 offer) and TCS (Touring Club Suisse), which has sent them to new members. The balls can explode when touched.

Coop and the automobile association TCS are warning people to watch out for, no joke, exploding petanque balls given to clients as gifts.

Coop customers with a loyalty card have picked up more than 1,100 of the Nebus BV sets while nearly 1,400 have been given out to new TCS members.

A manufacturing defect can lead the balls, which are filled with sand, to start to corrode from the inside with the subsequent pressure causing them to explode. So far, only one of the balls has exploded (in a cupboard) but Coop says they could seriously injure or even kill someone.

Do not touch them or take them out of your cupboard or attempt to return them to Coop or TCS. Call the hotline +41 32 321 7111 for information on how to have them picked up at your home.

The balls come in a black holder and are labeled “JEU DE BOULES” and “PÉTANQUE”. Also on the holder is this information: E.H., P.O. Box 4059, 5004 JB Tilburg (NL).
DPC NOTE: I suggest you purchase your leisure and competition boules from reputable sellers. "sand-filled" boules are cheap knock-offs which should never be used (explosive or not!). Petanque-America sells only the highest quality boules and I suggest you contact them for safe and high-quality equipment.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Double Bun Burner Today 13/12 & 13/12

We had two great games going on today. My own, me and Jeff C. against the two Tims was going well for us. We built up a great lead 9 to zip! But then the two Tims had enough and held us to that 9 points as they ascended to 12 points. Then, in the final round, we held 1 point (with my three boules in hand) while the two Tims fired away at our position. But I mentioned secretly to Jeff C. that if they didn't plunk down a 2nd defensive boule all I had to do was shoot their sole boule away and it'd be "pointing fish in a barrel" - which happened. 4 points brought us to 13.

Similarly, in Pat/Ted vs. Hal/Eric; Hal's team was sitting on 12 (they had an 8 point lead at one time) - but Pat was able to 4-boule 'em for the 13/12 win for his team.

Have a great weekend, see you Monday.

Being "Greedy" or Playing it Safe

Many times there are situations where a team is sitting on a bunch of points and the captain must weigh in whether or not a boule should be played for further points; or should be simply dropped to avoid the risk of losing everything. These examples are exaggerated (perhaps) but offer up some possible scenarios where the pros and cons should be taken into consideration before a boule is played. Of course the score (and how close one team or the other is to 13) as well as the types of players left with boules to play should all be accounted for in the decision.

Example-1 may offer a third point for the team, but if that cochonnet is pushed by an aggressive pointing, it may kick back to a nest of the opponent's boules. Example-2 looks ripe for a shooting to regain the point, but if your own boule is shot (by mistake of course) then your opposition stands to win tons of points. If you have an expert shooter you may want to take this chance, or... I'd suggest pointing up against the opposition, pushing that boule away but not so hard that your played boule won't still cut the enemy boules if it hits your own 2nd closest boule. Example-3 occurs all of the time: That pesky front boule from the opposition sitting there waiting to be pushed closest. If you already have a number of points, why risk losing them all by pushing the opposition closest? Your opponents may call you "chicken" but I feel points in hand are better than points for them!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

New Player, Zack, joins us from San Francisco

Today's games had quite a few onlookers, as well as a few new people trying the sport out. We had Zack join us. He's originally from out West and resided on the Detroit Princess for a bit (that's out floating casino tour boat). We also saw some old familiar faces: Plombe Will (who has started work at a new job and has a new home to boot).

Maury may be playing a game or two out in California this week (he's flying out there today) - so I hope he shows them how well we're playing in Detroit.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

MPC Experiencing Strong Turn-Outs

MPC is always open for weekend petanque business!

Aside from players from as far away as Canada, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Mt. Clemens, and Rochester...

You'll find a growing group of MPC Fan Club members as spectators!

Everyone who can or would like to throw a few boules with us are especially welcome to join us this Sunday afternoon in Royal Oak at the VFW Park, just south of 11 Mile on Campbell. Me and a few hard-core players are starting a little early (12:30) since the weather is going to be fantastic! Hope to see you then!

Follow the new MPC Twitter feed to get real-time info on game play activities, day-to-day, hour-by-hour, even with updates to your cell phone!

Boules Boules Boules !

Maury, Ted and I started off well, slapping away the boules with ease, but things turned badly rather soon afterward with our opposition, Eric and the 2 Tims pointing and shooting everything in sight. It was a good combination too, Eric would lay in the close first boule, our team would have a tough time beating it, and if we did Tim would step in to smack our boule away. We started on a comeback towards the end, with a 12-1 score... working it down to 7/12... but in the end, vanquished!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Two Splats for Pat

Who said petanque wasn't dangerous?! While measuring close boules (with calipers!) Pat A. was assaulted from the sky. We didn't see his avian attacker but it is rumored to be Mikey D. using his superpowers of flight and leakage.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Have A Great July 4th

Video-1 Close Boule after Boule

Video-2 Petanque Afternoons

Video-3 Musical Boules

We had a series of fun games this afternoon. I was watching the final game between Pat/TimC./EricC. and Maury/Mark. It was boule-for-boule in the tied 12/12 round with the next point going to the winner. Part of that is on video (above).
My firm is closed Friday, so no petanque at Cadillac until Monday!

Have a great July 4th weekend!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Everything Back to Normal

Cadillac Square Pétanque Rained Out

With no cancellation emails to the contrary, I figured that our noon pétanque session was still on, so I made the ten-minute trek from the RenCen to Cadillac Square. Although the skies were threatening, the rain held off until about five minutes into my practicing. The rain was nothing serious, so I continued on with my practice, umbrella in one hand and a boule in the other, expecting Jeff to show up any second with his cart o' boules.After a couple of minutes the rain stopped, and Mark, Ted, and Tim W. showed up to play as well. We hung around until about 12:25, hoping Jeff would show, but unfortunately he didn't. I talked to the guys about the possibility of purchasing their own boules, for situations such as this, or generally for when we arrive before Jeff. That way, we're ready to go and can get as much boule-filled fun in as possible before we have to go back to work.
From Jeff:
Ha Ha Hal, nice jab! Well, I'll try to get a word out when I can. Sorry for the inconvenience.