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!