Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Maury Binkow Invitatational - Extra-Final Games

[click photo to enlarge]

Okay, so last week's game wasn't the "final" final game, and who is to say today's is final? Let's just call it the "Maury Binkow Invitational" and see if any nice weather in the near future allows us to extend our season.

The game "acorss the way" Abu/Fred vs. TimC./Maury was a nailbiter with a 13/11 finish. I didn't hear the details - but considering the game went for an hour (as a doublette) - the rounds must have been point-for-point exchanges!

Our games were fun as well. The first one, true, we lost 7 to 13, but we had some good shooting and pointing rounds. Boris was landing in some good value boules, as was Eric, I was hitting the targets - but we couldn't seem to thwart the great pointing from Sam and Nick. Pat blasted away anything and everything. The second game (a near win/loss for us (we won by a point) - was also well played... this time, however, it was lots of luck (for us - andmisfortune for them) as boules were knocked into our point tally.

So... perhaps tomorrow (or later in the week) an Andonian Invitational? then a Klugman Invitational.. etc etc... we'll see.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Final Game of the Season - and a cold one!


We did it! We made it to nearly the end of November. Typically, our petanque season ends at around the 10th or so of November so I'm thrilled to have squeezed in a couple more weeks of games. Thanks to all who have come throughout the season to make this petanque club such a nice success.

I'm not sure if we'll have an indoor spot this winter, but if not, I'd still love to get together and do lunch during these chilly months.

Big congrats to Pat A. and Tim C. for taking the top two places in the ranks, and to our new guys who have been quick to learn the techniques/strategy and have placed high on the board (and in my heart).

Hope to see you soon, until then... may your boule always be closest to the cochonnet!


Tuesday's game was certainly a bone chiller. I don't think Abu nor I wanted to even try shooting once we could no longer feel our fingers. The 13/1 and 13/7 games...whew... a real blowout! Still though, I was hpapy to see you all out there despite the weather - and it was good to see Pat and Tim who came by to cheer us on.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Super Abu takes a 13/1 Victory

...whew... 13/1 what can I say... we just couldn't point in anything closer than 24 inches. That being said, we had a nice recovery in the revenge (2nd) match - 13/11 (10/8) win.

If I had to re-run things, I'd probably shoot more, and take points when I got them instead of "getting greedy" and losing my points in trying to accumulate.

Getting Greedy: When you're sitting on 3 or 4 points, and you're trying for MORE, but your boule ruins your set-up and awards the other team a point instead.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Close Game with Frozen Hands

This afternoon, at Cadillac Square Park, the hardy petanquers clutched their frozen steel boules in equally cold hands but the slight discomfort was soon forgotten as the lopsided scores (my team held a nice lead for a while) evened out to a 12/12 final round.

The 13th boule was hooked into a tight position (at 10+ meters) by Nick. The opposing team had 4 boules to sneak in - but despite some near pointing rolls, Nick's boule held the winning point.

Petanque tip of the week: fleece hats are warm!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hard Won Boule Battle Royale

Today's games showed the consistency of strategy in concert with ability. There were hardly any boules wasted. Sure, there were some extra shots taken but overall I'd say the game-playing was very tight.

One of the situations notable for me was when we were sitting on the point at about 9 meters, with the opposition boule sitting snuggly 4 inches behind out own close boule. Then more of our own boules were "circled stagecoaches" around those two boules - meaning that if I could shoot away that back "spoiler" boule we'd stand to gain some nice points...

When I shoot, I try to get into a very focused mental state, my eyes only see the target boule - and I take careful consideration of the displaced angle of my left-arm to my target focal point. Then, if I'm trying for Tir au Fer (shooting directly to metal) I aim for a place about 6 inches above my target.

Kaboom! 4 points for us. Lucky shot.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mild Temps in Detroit - El Nino-esque Winter

Good news, I've read that this Winter in Detroit will be mild into December - so we should have plenty of petanque games ahead of us (of course after December the weather will freeze down until April - but first things first).

Today my team (Sam/Maury/Jeff) played quite well together, I'd be shooting away the offensive boule and Sam & Maury would be landing the close boule replacement. We had a number of rounds (ends) where we stood to gain 4 points (or so) but then the blasted cochonnet would be knocked off the piste (court). Slow moving, we had reasonably even points throughout the match - only getting our 4 points (and the win) at the last round.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Warm Hands Offer Warm Boules

Hey, we're still out playing boule is anyone wants to roll on by...
Today's games was over at Cadillac Square Park as our Campus Martius courts had a few "guard fences" sitting upon it.
No bother - we had some really good games today and don't listen to the weatherman - if you wear a coat you'll be fine for playing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Three Games in One Afternoon - Final Decides the Winner

Best of three games gets their score recorded. The first game Pat/Tim/Maury took us for a 13/2 ride. But then on the revenge match, we (Abu/Fred/Jeff) took them on a ride: 13/3.

The third match (played to 7 points) was evenly spread for a while, then in the final round Pat's team took the game (and the day) for a 13/2 recorded win.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Abu & Mark Smash the Competition

Standing in the shadow of the "World's Tallest Salvation Army Kettle" (sarcasm here) . . . Abu and Mark schooled Jeff & Boris in the artof petanque with two victories.

"We're not done with the season yet!" Jeff shouted as the winners ambled back to their respective offices.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Detroit Gets a Visit from Portland, Oregon

Joe C., a member of the Portland Petanque Club came to play at our courts at Campus Martius Park this afternoon.
Before he arrived I did a bit of google searching to see what to expect from Joe. I see he's quite the expert shooter... excellent! Abu and I (both shooters) teamed up against Joe C. together with Boris & Sam (pointers). It was a good game in that despite my team leading off with 5-6 points, Team-Joe caught up and passed us with their own amassing of points. finally we gained the 13th point for the win. Joe made some fantastic tir-au-fer shots and the members present were watching his technique.
The second (played to 8 points) game was a disaster for my team! Joewarmed up to the terrain, and he laid in 6 points in the final round... zilch for us!
Next time I'm in Portland, I'll be "gunning" for yah Joe. Nice to see you in Detroit!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Box Cars! Rare but I guess not THAT rare...

When a team gets 6 points on you, that's a pretty odd occurrence when the two teams are fairly evenly matched. How about when one teams gets 6 points in a round, and then the other team gets 6 points in a round in the revenge match? That's what transpired at Campus Martius Park today.

When Abu & Maury won 6 points in their first round against us we didn't give up... and when they were at 12 points - we still gave it our all because you shouldn't forecast the outcome until that last boule is played. We lost, but we had some real opportunites to make a comeback.

Have a great weekend - see you at the courts on Monday!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

a close game... a good game...

The 12/12 in the final round is my favorite type of game. This is when you really need to make every boule count. Today's game had some interesting variables. Abu/Boris made for a powerful shooting and pointing combination, one which Jeff/Maury couldn't unravel - UNTIL we found the opening... Boris, though an incredible pointer at 8-10 meters, was not used to the 6 meter cochonnet toss and so it took a few rounds for him to dial-in to those distances. This gave Maury and me a distinct boule advantage which we (of course) capitalized upon as Abu was left with 3 boule to our 6! We caught up fast (being behind Zero to 7 points) - to land on a 12/12 game. The final round could have gone either way with a 10 meter cochonnet and multiple close boules. It was fate which landed our boule sufficiently close to take the 13th and winning point.
So what is the lesson to take away from this game? Observe all of the aspects carefully... Mixing up the cochonnet distances to see what is better for you (and worse for your opponent) can make all of the difference in the end result. But also know that just because there was a "flaw" available in this game doesn't mean that with practice, it will persist!
See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Petanque Play Beneath the Christmas Tree

Today, as we played petanque, this year's Christmas tree was being lowered by crane atop the Campus Martius Park's fountain.

The game was a really good one, with my team: Jeff/Sam/Nick really displaying strong pointing against an equally powerful pointing team of Fred/Boris/Abu.

There were plenty of tight pointing situations where it was thought a boule couldn't squeeze in any closer - yet, all of these professionals were able to convert seemingly unwinnable positions to their team's favor.

Brrrrrr ! Squeezing in some final games before the Freeze

I'm not sure how far into the Winter we have played (checking the BLOG archives...)

Aha... We still (historically) have about 2 weeks left...(last year we played outside up to December 2nd!!!)

What do petanquers do in the winter time? In the past we've played petanque in a 300 foot long; 25 foot wide heated greenhouse
and indoors with mini-boules

Our Chicago friends play in the snow

...and there's been the carpet courts at 1001 Woodward...

Whatever the situation is for this winter - we should definitely meet up for a lunch together downtown.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Boris is 1 game away from moving to the 4th (or better) spot!

Today's game was a fun one. Each round presented a 1 or 2 point gain for either team keeping a pretty even score right up to the finish: 13/12 victory to Maury/Deric.

As the weather gets a bit colder, determined players should still expect to play petanque (just wear a scarf!) at Campus Martius Park. I think there's more sun at the gravel area beside the ice rink.

See you out there!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Big Thanks to Sam for Running the Club

I see that things ran rather smoothly while I was away. Thanks to Sam for organizing things and to all who participated. The Friday game (10/22) looks a bit tough: Three experienced players against two relative newbies. I'm glad you took up the challenge! The weather has been ... on and off - so we'll just have to check the doppler each afternoon and decide. I know that in the past, we've played into November - so hopefully we'll hve a few more weeks of games.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

French Visit Detroit Petanque Club and are Surprised

Though it is nothing new to us, for French folks visiting Detroit, it was a novelty to see Americans playing the popular French sport. Plenty of photos were taken, and the visitors were invited to play a few rounds... De-Troit (the straights) is a French city after all...

I will be in New York (back on Wednesday Oct. 27th) and Sam has been kind enough to volunteer to bring the boules each afternoon so everyone can continue to play. Please choose the teams fairly - and have a great time!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Petanque Still Going Strong at Campus Martius Park

I'll be out of town starting Wednesday (Oct. 20th) returning Tuesday night (Oct. 26th). Not sure if anyone will be taking custody of the petanque equipment for continual play while I'm away but I'll keep you posted.
New player, Boris played on my team - and was actually quite a good pointer - which perplezed my opponents... we lost 8/13 but still... held out own.
Alpha was playing with left and right hands... an advantage when looking for an angle!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sam Threatens Pat's Top Spot in the Rankings

New player, Sam, has only 28 notches in his gun stock and he's gunning now for Pat's top rank spot. Will he make it? We'll find out next week...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pat leaps over Mark W.'s Deep Double Losses

Pat A. was quite a bit down from Mark W.'s lead, but Team-Abu crushed Team-Mark with a 13/0 and 13/2 (whew!) double victory. Over on Piste (court) 2, Team-Widen/Sam had a hard time at first against Team Pat/Maury - we even tried to use the court/cochonnet positioning to our advantage (it didn't work) - but after some key points laid in by Sam and a few Tir-au-fer (shooting to the metal) shots from me (lucky) - we took the game 13/8.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Still We Won...

Though Pat declared it to be "the worst game of October" (Hey, we still have 2 weeks left in Oct.), I felt the game was so evenly matched as to have kept the final score pretty low: 8/7. Abu was really a strong player for his team today while Pat felt he could have performed better. I was glad we did as well as we had with only 2 boules per player on our team (normally a disadvantage). That last round where Team-Abu had the close point and 1 boule left and we had to expend nearly 6 boules to gain back the point was a tense moment.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pat Teams up with Abu to Fight Back

Some might call it an uneasy alliance, but the coin toss decided that Pat and Abu would team up (with Nick) against JeffW. / DericT. and TimC. (otherwise known as Peppers).

It was tough going, and sometimes painful to listen to the excited banter between the twin-headed captain (Pat & Abu) deciding up the course of attack. But eventually, despite my team's best efforts, they were able to take the victory (13/8).

Sam brought in yet another new player, Mark W. who has immediately shown his strength in pointing. Well to my advantage, together with Sam's primo plombe pointing, we took on EricC. / Mob-Rob and DericT. also a strong pointing team. Conclusion: victory to Jeff/Mark/Sam.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tidal Wave Sweeps Over Team Andonian

In an unusual turn of events, Team-Andonia was swept out to sea in two games. The first match had evenly distributed players (pointers/shooters) but surprisingly, the results were a bit lopsided. The second game had the players mixed; but Team-Widen chose a strong pointing team (Deric/Eric/Nick) which he felt would be advantageous - and so it was as the initial point was almost entirely controlled by Deric's first boule which held for 7 or 8 of the opponent's boules! At that point, it was "shooting fish in a barrel" with 7 boules left to point with. I know Pat will be hungry for a rematch A.S.A.P.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Pat Knocks Cochonnet Twice (for 9 points)

It is wise to keep Article-13(2) of the Rules in mind, especially when Pat is playing because he was solely responsible for 9 of his team's 13 points with two solid cochonnet strikes.

The teams were pretty evenly matched. Both sides had plenty of shooters and pointers - plus careful strategy.

In the final round, it was 8/9, and we had too many boules far from the cochonnet. My hope was to use our last three boules to tie up the front position and lay a "safety" boule in the back in case Pat would go for the cochonnet. Unfortunately, my "safety" boule landed short and captured the point... Not good when it happens to be my team's last boule and the opposition has six boules left to use!

Pat knew there was none of our boules in the back - so he went for the logically sound Article-13 cochonnet hit... and made it successfully for 5 more points (and the win).

Congrats to everyone for a tight well-played game.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Abu Shooting Petanque at 100%

Lots of fun today at Cadillac Square Park. Clark has been pointing in without a miss; and Abu has been shooting better than Pat (I dare say...) - Sam has been taking some shooting throws to gain in experience. Buzz has been using his serpentine-English pointing throw with much success; and Eric has been "push-pointing" nearly 100% of the time.

I'd love to see a match of: Pat; Abu & TimC. against Jeff; MarkW. and Clark - it'd be a good game.

We aren't alone in the petanque universe... there's a great club down in Chicago which hold tournaments every now and again: Chicago Petanque Club and here's a link to a YouTube video describing a 4,000 team (yes, 4,000 = 12,000 players) tournament in Marseilles which is a direct elimination. Marseillaise Video

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Team Honigman Trumps Miller Canfield and Klugman Empire

In a display of sheer might, the Honigman Brothers (Pat A./Maury B./Tim C.) trounced Team Canfield (Jeff W./Clark C./Lin Y.) 13 to 1... admittedly, the Honigman team used their vastly superior experience against my relatively newer players ... so we were happy tro "steal" a skunking away from them!

With Thirteen players - the games spilled on to two courts (and back to Cadillac Square Park for the space!)

Team Klugman did well, handily beating the Alpha Team 13 to 1 (also another team composed of relatively newer players).

I'd say we should break-up the Honigman team for future games so the game play won't be so lopsided... but it was worthwhile to see how out-matched teams fared against tough odds.

Likely, with the weather turning nicer, we should play back on our usual Cadillac Square Park stomping grounds. See you there!

Congrats to Team Honigman for the Double-Wins. And to Scott T. and Clark C. for ascending to the 10+ rankings.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Clark C. Produces Strong Results for the Win

Another grand day at Campus Martius Park, with Abu M. showing his bold and daring petanque style. His team seemed a bit undecided on strategy, so Petanque Coach Pat A. was on the scene calmly leading each player through the correct methods for a victory...

...but victory was not to be had as our team boasted masterful pointer, Clark C. who rolled in close boule after close boule for a non-stop attack which led to our victory 13/9.

There were quite a few times during the match when billiard physics had to be considered (or ignored at your peril). The final round gave us 3 points and the win when the sole defensive boule was shot away bringing in 4 points. Let the losing team be warned: examine the boule layout before deciding upon your play.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Campus Martius Park Petanque - Great Fun!

One of the joys of playing petanque among the same group of players is that over time you get to enjoy the improved progress in game play from new players as well as any changes in game strategy from the experienced players. Monday's game with Abu really solidified this idea as his aggressive style of shooting and taking risks for points really showed. Sam, Maury and I witnessed a bold shooter in Abu who has a "take no prisoners" attitude - a good thing. Having a formidable opponent (or partner) in boules makes for much better gameplay.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Cool Weather at Cadillac Square Park

[click on photos to enlarge them]

Buzz came by with his friend, Mike (not Mikey, a different Mike) - who was lobbing in boules like an expert. I can see already that we have a brand new pro-pointer in our midst.

The winning boule, by the way, was made by Mike when he rolled (at 10 meters) his last boule through a 4 inch gap in the opposition's front wall - to land a 13th point. Well done!

The game was quite evenly matched, as both teams were at 9 points before our team pulled ahead for the win. Of course, the 5-points we earned in the very first round didn't hurt either...

NOTE: as the cold weather establishes itself, the players all (well mostly) agreed to play across the street at Campus Martius Park (in the Sun!) Starting Monday, let's all meet over there and stay a bit warmer! If you haven't yet played petanque at Campus Martius Park, you'll enjoy it...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Action Packed Piste at Cadillac Square Park

Lots of folks at the courts today for petanque. Must be the nice weather and word-of-mouth that Pat's out of town! (kidding). The main game going on had quite a comeback win for Team-Derek.
Over on Court-7 I was teaching some petanque to newbies: Ti's fiance Fred. Fred was throwing in points like he's played the game for 25 years.
Quintis, Raphael, and Wil stopped by to check things out. I'd say a busy day...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another close game for the Detroit Petanque Club

It came down to the final round where both teams were at 12 points. Nick laid in a close boule, which Tom replaced, and then Nick put in another close boule, Tom replaced it again, and so on, with each team pointing in the close boule in alternating sequence. Finally, it was up to Maury and Eric. Maury put in his second to last boule - close but still with a bit of room. Eric almost gained the point back, but left us in the win with 13 to 12. A great game.

We were joined today by relatively new player, Nick (who was pointing great) and Mark (not Weisgerber) who was really showing his Bocci skills by pointing in great boules.

See you soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

a Win it was for Team Abu

[click on photo to enlarge]

The Honigman boys wanted a win so badly, but that victory will not come for them today as they barely surfaced above 2 points for their team - the score was 13/7 but if not for Pat's incredible cochonnet strike (for 5 points) it would have been brutal!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Christmas Came Early to Pat, Abu, and Eric

Whew! We took quite a beating today on the petanque piste, with two really badly lost games. "an olde fashioned shellacking" 13/1 and 13/2
Our pointing was off - and the opposition's point and shooting... obviously well on the mark.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday's Petanque Results

Sam has been leading off for his team and not disappointing. His plombe arc shots have brought a good 75% of his boules to within a foot of the intended target. Usually a player begins by directly rolling along the ground to the cochonnet so it's great that he's mastering this more difficult throw. I do think a player should have a number of different styles of throws in their repertoire. For pointing: the Bonne Mamen (roll all the way from point A to point B); the Demi-Portee (half-lob, rolls the rest of the way); and the plombe (high arc with lots of back spin). As a court fills with boules, you might find one method more favorable than another.