Friday, May 29, 2009

NEW: Ann Arbor Petanque Club

Today I received a very nice phone call from Howard Ando. Mr. Ando and his spouse, Jane Wilkinson have spearheaded the creation of petanque courts in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have attached a link to the Ann Arbor Chronicle which explains in more detail the tremendous generousity of the couple and their passion for petanque.

Four courts have been approved to be built at Burns Park (see attached maps) which is within walking distance of the University of Michigan Campus. When the construction is complete, I hope we can all come over to play on what will be very splendid petanque pistes. In the meantime, please contact Mr. Ando at if you have any questions or simply want to say "bonjour"

I know that Maury B. who plays at the Detroit Petanque Club lives in the Ann Arbor area and will be quite excited about the prospect of playing boule on his home ground. Aaron E., newly minted graduate of U. of M. will doubtless be visiting his friends on campus and can also stop by to test out the terrain.

In these opening stages, there is not yet an official name for the club, so perhaps it is best to say they are the Ann Arbor Pistes... that is, until Howard and Jane decided upon an official name.

May 29th Games at Cadillac Square

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What a Great Game !

The hi-lite of the afternoon was the game of Pat/Maury against Mark/Eric. Eric has been watching us play for weeks now, and Pat was finally able to coax him into playing.

Eric is a GREAT pointer. a Natural. These two teams duked it out at every round. When one team was holding a close point, the other team would take it - and then it'd happen again!

By the last round the score was 6 to 6 (on a 7-point game). Eric laid in a nice close point, ample protection in the front... But then Maury would roll in a push point, and be closer. Then Mark (who changed his throwing style) would roll in an even closer point, then Maury who had a flood of boules in the way, would weave around them and his boule ended up pushing Mark's boule away for 2 points. Mark was left trying to remove 2 boules with one boule left. Victory to Pat & Maury. But a very well played game by both teams. Bravo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pat Maury and Jeff just couldn't gain on them...

Usually when Pat's team finds itself behind in points, Pat will muster some superhero powers and even then pass his opponent. Though we did get a 4-point break in one round, we were still stuck on 6 points for nearly the entire game, allowing Hal, the 2 Tims, and Mark to wipe the piste with us in a13 to 6 wipeout.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pat and Maury re-Match Jeff C. and Mark W.

Mike D. rejoined the club - we hadn't seen him for weeks - but his pointing prowess was right on spot today. Pat and Maury wanted a re-match against Jeff C. and Mark W. after their shellacking the other day. They beat 'em twice: 13/7 and 13/2

No petanque monday (Holiday) so I'll see you Tuesday. Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The New Guys Creamed the Experienced Boulers

Pat reported that he and Maury had a hard time against Jeff C. and Mark W. - attributed to Jeff C.'s shooting. I'm glad that our players are branching out into different throwing techniques.

My own game went South - FAST... a 6 to 13 loss. Whew!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tim W. Fannied Jeff C.

Has anyone seen Kevin C. ? I heard he's taken up darts instead of Petanque. Well, when he finally returns he'll have quite a few good players to go up against. Tim W. made an excellent fanny against Jeff C. in a Tete-a-Tete (singles) match. We should have more singles matches - they really are quite a different game from the 3 vs. 3 (or 4 vs. 4 matches. You must, for instance, be very careful about your boules... not too many shots else you'll have nothing as defense.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rare: Jeff and Pat Team Up for a Butt Kick'n

I was fortunate to partner up with Ted for the second game today which was a real (as Pat says) "Bun Burner" of a game... with the score at 6 to 6, the last round was boule-for-boule. The opposition (Tim C. and Jeff C.) kept getting back the point, up until the final boules. Ted C. knocked the cochonnet back to the 15 meter mark... close to the opponent's boule. It was their win if I didn't roll one in... I pointed up... it rolled up closely... slowed down... but fell just a little too far. Ah well... a good game nonetheless!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fanny - this time I didn't get it!

Terrific game for Tim W. and me today, as we rolled in a nice fanny against Pepper Tim C. and Hal D. These things happen. It wasn't too long ago (2-3 weeks) when I got fannied too. But the points awarded are great... 13/0 gives you 2+2 points (the 2 points you're normally awarded for a win plus 2 points).

Winning 13/1 still gives you 3.5 points. You should keep this in mind when playing, so as not to give away a strong lead.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Clark joins the Club

Clark, representing Miller Canfield, doubles the number of Miller Canfield players participating in the DPC (to 2!) But he warmed up to the game quickly, putting in very crucial points. My team also had the excellent skills of Maury B. which made us unbeatable!

Deric T. jumped to the top ranks, but not before his loss (6/13) today cut his ranking down to 1.88 My own is a shabby 1.84 - but really, I don't look to the numbers, only to how I feel I played personally.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pat & Aaron Team Up for the Comeback

Pat reports that his team (Pat & Aaron) were down 2 to 8 against Hal & TimC. but after some concerted concentration, they came back and won the day with a long but satisfying 13/11 victory.

On Piste-2 it was a bit of a runaway, with my shooting being on-target (for once) and Tim W. also trying out some successful shots. Maury studied the lay of the terrain and put in some great points. All in all, good steady teamwork for the 13/4 win.

Suggestion: When playing as a team, talk to each other about intentions. Weigh different strategy and don't be afraid to ask someone to come in and take a shot or a point. There's no rule that a player must throw/shoot all of their boules before letting another team member go... in fact, you should be weighing the strengths of your own team players and also the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition to come up with a winning tactic for each rounds boule layout.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Difficult Piste - Double Wins - Jeff C. a Shooter

First of all, I'd like to remark on Jeff C.'s excellent shooting. His technique (for those who want to take note of it in future games) is a push-point (Poussette) shot. He fires in at a low angle, slamming his opponent's boule away but his thrown boule carries enough residual momentum to travel a little further along, capturing the point. This is similar (but different) to Raphael's throw. Raphael nudges his opponent's boule out - a gentler push perhaps.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jeff W. and Mark W. take a Beating from Tim C.

OUCH! That first game was pitiful! We played on the piste (court) perpendicular to those we normally use. That court is a killer. Very uneven. Despite this, Tim C. was piling on the points while we were trying our best to limit the damage.

In the 2nd game, it was a bit better, with a 12/13 loss to TimC.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Come Back Kids Take the Win 13/12

It began with me playing Raphael and I was down 5 points to zero (yes, Zero) - when the other players showed up. We continued with that score, my team mates being: Tim W.; Ted (Tim C.'s brother); Hitesh and Hitesh switched with Brandon. We played against Raphael; Tim C.; and Jeff C.

At first, it didn't look good. We had 2 points to their 9, then we began to gain a little ground, finally ascending to a 13/12 victory!

The credit goes to my team who worked well together, playing a tight defense - but not afraid to take some chances for extra points. The main idea I'd like to bring across is... don't give up. You just need 1 point per round to get into a winning position.

Gene's significant other, Sharon Hunter showed up at the court today. She has had much on her mind but she is looking forward to returning to the club. She is an excellent pointer!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Remote Webcam for Detroit Petanque Club

I found this nifty little device, it is called a "Digital Game Scouting Camera" typically used by hunters to find the feeding/trail habits of deer. Since I'm not a hunter (of animals...) I re-tasked it to serve as a remote camera for our weekday games. Any movement and the Petanque-Cam snaps the photo (it even has a flash for night games).
Today's two games (triplettes) went well - for my team, with a double win (and with a nice margin on the score. I've noticed Jeff C. has been taking more shots and trying out the plombee pointng with some success. Very good. The sooner you add shooting and plombee throws to your skill-set, the more options you'll have for the game.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

13 to 12 - painful !

Those 13 to 12 games are my favorites. It was 12 to 12 with the next point (obviously) taking the win. I had deftly shot away some opposing boules, and Hitesh too - we were staring at near victory... but then that victory was rippedfrom our grasp by Tim's excellent shooting and Jeff C's superb push-pointing. The final layout had a tight grouping of boules, with the cochonnet moving from one boule to the next.

Good game.

By the way, welcome to the upper rankings Jeff C.

I'm not sure of the details of Maury/Kevin's game, but 13/4 ... there must be something to report. Hal?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tuesday's Game - Smashing

We had a very good team composition today. Each had a shooter (in the case of our opposition, they had both Tim C. and Hitesh). Hitesh was hitting plenty of good shots today. And solid pointers. In fact, one of our newest players, Jeff C. was pointing with very high accuracy. I know he saved us a number to times today. Jeff effectively pushed away the close opposing boule a number of times replacing it with his own. The only player I've seen do this as regularly is Raphael. Brandon, I think, was trying to achieve a "zen-like" stance before each throw - I told him over-thinking your toss can throw your boule off. When I suggested Brandon relax, he did better.

It is good to be able to weigh the various levels of skills in your own team members and that of your opponents. But this is only one of a multitude of variables for a team captain to digest. For example, we know Maury likes the "long game" so as an opponent with control of the cochonnet toss, keep the games shorter (6-8 meters). But also keep in mind other factors like the amounts of boules both teams have (and who has those boules!). If a player who mainly points has the remaining boules, then a well-laid boule won't likely be shot away. These factors (player assessment; boule count; cochonnet distance; score difference) all should be considered.

When my team has a clear 5 point lead, I'll take more chances, having that leeway. Behind in the score - I play more defensively - aware of an opportunity but also trying to cut losses (conceeding a point and laying in defensive boules). We saw quite a few defensive "walls" turn into the close-point today.

See you tomorrow!