Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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.

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