Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hello to Hitesh; Nick; and Sam who Rejoined Us at Cadillac Square Park

Mark & Hitesh assessing the boule layout

Sam firing in the boule
Today Nick, Sam, and Hitesh re-joined us.  It is always good to see familiar faces at the petanque piste.  Our game (Pat/Nick/Mark/Hitesh vs. Tim/Jeff/Sam) opened up okay, but then Team-Pat pulled ahead with a round that gave them six (6) points !   Recovery from that is tough, but we took our time and laid down some tight points to bring us at 6 points to their 13 in the final.  We had an opportunity to reclaim some major points if we successfully shot out the cochonnet (Rule 13.ii) - I screwed up I didn't hit it after two throws. Oh well.

Campus Martius Park is going to be having a few different outdoor games installed for folks to get more involved in their park and their community.  I believe Corn-Hole;  Lawn Bocci; and Checkers/Chess are on the list.

Fred Traded to Team-Jeff

Running an Afternoon petanque club has some nuances to it for efficient use of time.  Folks generally have an hour for lunch and it is in everone's interest to choose the players quickly and get right into the boule throwing.  Some of these tips could help your own club to run efifciently.

For team selection, I usually take the obvious top players and make them team captains (perhaps rotating this from day to day so everyone has a chance) - and a coin toss decides which captain has first pick.  The captains alternate in their player selections and this makes the starting fair and fast.

In case you haven't played with our club, our general rule is to have everyone who wants to play, playing right away.  So when we have an odd number of players (not "odd" players, we always have odd players) then we make up uneven teams and simply use equal boule distributions.  As players arrive or leave (out of time constraints for example) we add/remove the necessary number of boules and continue game play.  This maximizes the number of games we can fit into our lunch hour as well as keeps the games flowing smoothly.

 Yesterday, we had a four player team vs. three player, so when one of our players on the team of three had to leave, we "traded" in a player from the other side to form up a true triplette and keep the game going. Who is traded?  Probably the fairest method is to trade in whomever makes the teams even in ability (looking at pointers/shooters) - but you can also just choose the last player to arrive at the field for the trade.

Another two important tips for keeping games moving is the use of measuring tape and scoreboards.  The measuring tape eliminates arguments on who is closest and the scoreboards avoid the guessing game of what the score is, as well as keeping teams informed as to their standing.  Obvious stuff, yes, but I've seen plenty of angry confrontations (yes, petanque can rile up the emotions in the dedicated) over what the score was, or whose boule was closest.  Best to avoid this!

New players...  I always mix them in with experienced players.  How else can a new player learn and improve?  The important thing to remember is to have fun - and as a new player, facing a very experienced team without any guidance isn't as much fun as having someone on your team to lend advice and a little edge.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Steven and Elizabeth Leaving for Germany - See You Next Year!

Today being Friday, Campus Martius Park was putting on it's usual stellar day of music which really provided a nice setting to end our week of Petanque playing across the street at Cadillac Square.  Steven and Elizabeth enjoyed a nice two games of boule together with Tim C.; Pat A.; Maury B.; and Fred K.

The second game, played to eight points provided lots of competition (the first game had Pat's team winning 7 points in a single round!).   

Splendid Afternoon of Petanqueing

[click image to enlargen]

Another lovely afternoon of playing boule with friends old and new. Today's games really displayed the pointing expertise of Elizabeth, visiting from central Germany with Steven who is originally from Detroit. Pat came by with his old family boules - heavy ones from relatives in Europe (no doubt they won plenty of Francs in petanque games with them).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jeff Returns to the Petanque Arena for his First Game in Three Months

After a three month hiatus, I'm back fully healed from my triple by-pass surgery. Not one to lie down on the job I rolled the boule cart out to Cadillac Square Park to meet up with Steve and Elizabeth visiting from Germany (Steve is originally from Detroit and visiting friends & family). Mark and Abu also joined us and we played a nice leisurely game in the breezy, comfy shade. The match was hard fought with Abu/Elizabeth/Jeff taking the 13 to Mark/Steve's 12 points. Steve and Liz will be playing up to Tuesday so come on by and test yourselves against their skill. Steve has a killer pointing throw. My own shooting isn't back to its normal (abysmal) level - so I'll most likely be pointing for a few more games. Sam rolled over on his bike to say hello and promises to re-join the group soon, and Tom ambled by (on the way to care for his pooch) to say hi.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jeffrey Returning from Retirement

Away since the end of May for my triple by-pass surgery and recovery, I forsee my return to the world of working people on August 24th. Long story short: I had a routine, in your 40's, stress test which resulted in my having further tests on my heart and a necessary triple by-pass surgery. The hospital stay was thankfully brief, and the recovery time and follow-up cardiac rehabilitation went smoothly. I have made changes to my eating habits, increased my exercising, and look forward to seeing my friends at the petanque court. Our usual time, 12-noon.