Friday, May 28, 2010

Rob Rolls in On Three Wheels

Danger Danger Will Robinson... Pat A.'s lead is diminishing as he took his six straight loss in six games... Maury B. closing in on the top rank position with 8 wins in the last 9 games! Fred K. has been pointing in like a man possessed. I've been shooting/pointing rather nicely with the new "old" boules.

In other news, Rob rolled over to the piste in his new wheels. Losers pay for the Winning team to ride back to their homes (50 miles away). We've been told that Mikey would be a double-fare.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jeff's Old Bronze Boules are Loyal Friends

Some folks have noticed that I'vebeen using different boules this week. So let's talk boules:
When I began playing petanque years ago, I used those bronze (AC Carreau Integrale Bronze) boules for a long time - but after seeing another player (I think it was Erin out of California) use the tortoise boules in a Florida tournament, I decided to get my stainless steel tortoise boules for my everyday use. Why? well, the bronze boules do have one problem, the alloy being so soft, it tends to flake up VERY sharp bits of metal when struck by another boule which at times can cut my hand if I don't notice the protrusion in time. My stainless steel "turtle" boules don't do this, but they are a much harder boule. The "club boules" are a French boule (made by the Obut company) and are a steel boule. They are not "tournament" boules (tournament boules bear a certain set of weight and diameter markings) but they are a high quality boule without the cost expenditure of a competition boule. Boules of tournament grade cost between $60 to $400 for a set of three.
Boules are made by about 8 different companies (mostly in France) of all sorts of materials (they must be made of metal as per the official rules) - steel, carbon-steel, stainless steel, bronze, nickel-chromium steel being the typical choices... they must be within a certain weight (between 7.05 and 8.00 cm) and weight (650 to 800 grams). The club boules are probably about 7.3 cm 670 grams.
While you can play for the rest of your life with club boules (they're called "dog boules" and "leisure boules") some players like a tailored boule for both the individual "look' of their boule as well as the style of their playing.
Pointers typically choose a heavier harder boule with lots of striations (those grooves cut ito the boules surface). This combination allows for lots of back-spin friction as well as the heft needed for a boule to remain in it's spot.
Shooters like a totally smooth and soft boule that is light. The smooth boule allows for a throw and release of the boule without it "catching" on the hand - the lighter boule is best for "kicking" away a target boule while the softness of the alloy gives less of a rebound on your boule.
That said, a good player can use and enjoy any style of boule regardless of size/weight/hardness.
Some players like a very small boule (smaller target) as a pointing boule... Shooters prefer a larger boule (for better striking)... but still within reason for the player's hand size.
In our club, we typically use just the smooth or single-lined boules. This is really just for ease/quickness of set-up. You may see in other clubs where games have all smooth boules being used, or a myriad of differently striped boules. The boules being marked with weights and other initials (as well as rusts and dents) make it easier for players to tell their boules apart.
Again, this is more for you to appreciate a nuance of the game (I'm not selling boules!) But if you cared to see a good selection, try Philippe Boets of Petanque-America.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kevin Undefeated. Pat tries to Call in the Reserves.

Six games undefeated, Kevin C. is steadily climbing the ranks. He's already sitting on a 2.35 average. Can he maintain those levels for another 4 games to get on the top of the ranking tables or will Pat will knock him down? We'll see.

My own game across the park went well - neck in neck the two teams stretching for points. Buzz throwing in nice curve boules, Fred plunking in his plombe shots... even my shooting was okay with my old bronze boules in play. But a 4-point round from our opponents sealed our fate for a 13 to 8 loss. Excellent weather, we have sunny and shady courts - see you there!

Petanque does St. Tropez with the Rich and Famous

Petanque being played by the rich, beautiful people in St. Tropez: VIDEO

Johnny Depp, an avid petanque player himself, watched as his girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis (French Model) played petanque along with Diane Kruger (National Treasure; Inglourious Basterds), Karl Lagerfeld (owner of Chanel); Joshua Jackson (Fringe) at a Chanel promotion for their new line of clothes.

Tom C. MVP for Monday. Kevin C. back and a Definite Threat

I was glad to see Kevin C. back on the petanque courts, and though he's been away for a year, he's better than ever. Tom C. has been points fantastic... and laying in almost impossible curve-boules. Pat teamed up with Buzz, back from Florida, and they worked a 12/0 losing situation into a workable 13/5 loss (good to narrow the point margin).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finally, Sunshine on the Petanque Pistes

Andonian is doing well, with a 2.05 average. MobRob, barely 11 games in, is holding fast to the number two spot (but I suspect it won't be long before Tim C. regains that position).

Lots of great point-for-point exchanges at our game. We hung in all the way up the scoreboard just a point or two apart... Until at 10's we broke ahead for the win.

I also see lots of people being more mindful of the rules (foot-faults, cochonnet distances) - and I appreciate that. At first, keeping the feet inside the circle may feel awkward, but you'll get used to it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fred K. - M.V.P. for the Game

Pat; Fred; and I started off a bit behind scorewise, and then when Mob Rob joined us, we thought perhaps our fate was sealed... our adversaries were pointing superstars (TimC.; TimW.; Maury; Eric C.) and also shooters so it didn't look good. We were losing 7 to 4.

But Fred K. came through big time with point after point sneaking into the competition's ranks. Plenty of rounds we'd be sitting with everything thrown, and then waiting on the enemy with plenty of ammo to use. But our defensive walls or boule positioning kept them from capitalizing. The waiting didn't reduce our anxiety however. There was a round when they got 5 boules on us!

Catching up, Rob was playing strong, but Fred was MVP - rolling in the crucial stuff. Pat and I, just wall decoration. We even argued about strategy - everyone was... fun!

Finally, it was 11 to 11 - we had the point, but only 1 boule left (mine) and they had 4 boules to use. Open position, mid-range. I didn't feel confident about shooting, so if they rolled anything close, I think we'd be in a tough spot. As luck would have it, all of their boules deflected left (waaay left), leaving an opening for our 13th boule. a nice game!


The Sun Returns to Detroit

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Improved Ranking System ver.2.0 - Thanks Watkins!

Most of the players know (by now) that we kept tally of the scores for every game played, and inputted those stats into an excel spreadsheet (manufactured by the Clinton Corporation) which gave the winners 2 points (plus a factor of the point spread) and losers only 1 point.

Verson 2.0 factors in the point spread for ranking the losers of each game. Tim W. realized after we beat Abu in both games 13/12 that Abu - though he played great games, lost by 1 point. He shouldn't just get 1 point for all of his hard work, but instead, a rank representative of his effort... in this case: 1.7 points.

By using a sliding scale for losers as well as winners - all of the players have a vested interest in the game progress. Before this system, if you were losing, you may have felt: "Heck, I'm going to get one point whether I lose by 1 point or by 10 so why try" whereas now, with the WatkinsRankingSystem, you'll want to decrease that point differential as much as you can. Thanks Tim, this is a great improvement on the system.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Petanque in Saint Tropez - Chanel Style

Happening in St. Tropez this very moment, fashionable types including Diane Kruger, Vanessa Paradis and Garance Doré (who has already posted pervy pics on her site!) are all hanging out playing a friendly game of pétanque (a French type of lawn bowls) hosted by none other than Karl Lagerfeld. The reason? To launch Chanel's Cruise '11 collection as well as debut Karl's short film, Remember Now. The full length feature will appear on Chanel's website tomorrow

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Pat Bounces Back with a Double Win

Abu's reign was short-lived as Pat's double victory pushed him into 2.0 range.

How do these ranks work? a win is 2 points (+ a point spread modifier) whereas a loss is 1 point only. Since most folks win & lose games, their average falls somewhere between 1.0 and 2.0

Winning many more games (than losing) with a wide point spread (13/1 13/2 etc) will really rocket your rank up.

13/0 will give you 4 points total
13/1 will give you 3.5 points
13/2 = 3 points
13/3 = 2.9 points
13/4 = 2.8 points
13/5 = 2.7 points
13/6 = 2.6 points
13/7 = 2.5 points
13/8 = 2.4 points
13/9 = 2.3 points
13/10 = 2.2 points
13/11 = 2.1 points
13/12 = 2 points

Also, the increase in number of games played will make the point adjustment from game to game more subtle because the score you get in 1 game will affect your average less if you've already played 30 games than if it is only your 3rd game played.

To that end, you can see on the ranking table that there are folks with high averages (example: Kevin C. with 2.20) - we only put a player into the "top level rankings" after playing 10 games. This is to ensure there is somewhat of a healthy numbers of games player to create an average.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Excellent and Close Game today

VIDEO from today.
a truly well fought game. My team had the advantage (7 points gained in 1 round) placing us in a 10 to 3 lead. I thought perhaps it'd be over by 12:30 pm but Pat's team took nearly every subsequent round at 1 point per round, building to an 11 to 10 lead. Nice come-back.
We fought for each and every boule, with everyone pointing and shooting -replacing boules with their own and so forth. We also played on the difficult
"tournament" court - tricky in places...
Finally, at 12 to 12... the final round.
AND it was down to the last boule after I snuck one in for the close pointing. Pat went for a smashup hoping some of his front position would fall into place. But it was not to be. 13/12 Done!
Abu nudged to the top of the rankings. . .