Jul
06
2014
0

Cool early start, then the sun heats up

Shady people in the shade

 

 

Easy the dog watches the game and wishes metal balls did not hurt his teeth

 

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Jul
06
2014
0
Jul
06
2014
0

The Master and the three spots

 

The Master and the three spots

Posted on 

 

When Hopper first joined the club, he was like any other beginner. He figured that his goal was to get his boule as close as possible to the jack. So, like most new players, he threw his boules at the jack. This of course meant that his boules hit close to the jack and then rolled beyond it.

One day he happened to draw the Master as his doubles partner. After they had played a few rounds, the Master took him aside and told him the secret of effective pointing. The Master told him about the three spots.

When they are pointing, new players think in terms of only one spot — the spot where the jack is located. But experienced pointers know that there are actually three spots that are important.

  • The first is the spot where the jack is sitting.
  • The second is the spot where you want your boule to come to rest. Following the old maxim of “boule devant, boule d’argent”, this spot is in front of the jack. There is no standard petanque term for this spot, so I call it the “parking spot”.
  • The third is the spot where you want your boule to hit the ground — the landing spot, the donnée. This spot is in front of the parking spot, so the boule can hit the ground and then roll into the parking spot.

So the first rule of pointing is “Don’t aim for the jack”.

Instead —

  • First, locate the jack.
  • Second, decide where — in front of that — you want your parking spot to be.
  • Third, decide where — in front of that — you want your donnée to be.

And then aim for the donnée.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Jul
04
2014
0

A good English player goes to France

Une Annee en Petanque (A Year of Petanque)

Having left Brighton nearly a year ago for the lovely small Mediterranean port of La Ciotat, Ray Ager gives us an account of his year of pétanque.

“Upon arriving in La Ciotat, the birthplace of pétanque, it very quickly became apparent that I was at very best, an ‘average’ player here. There were two major factors:

  1. The terrains
  2. The standard of play

La Ciotat has two clubs, Jules le Noir, where the game started and Le Cercle des Boulomanes. There is a third area, Le Lido, not a club but a public area where groups of players meet every day to play. There is also a fourth terrain, Le Logis de Provence, where again players meet and there is a weekly mêlée.

The terrains are rock hard, baked by the fierce sun and each terrain is different. Jules le Noir is a varied terrain, some parts fairly smooth, some quite stony, some parts sloping. Les Boulomanes is a smoother terrain, more suited to le Jeu Provençal—more later—but also has sloping areas. Here an uncontrolled boule will continue rolling for an embarrassingly long distance…

Le Lido is probably the most challenging terrain I’ve ever played on. Again varied, some smooth sections but most of it very uneven and full of stones, tree roots, drain covers, etc, full of traps for the uninitiated. Le Logis de Provence is also a very stony terrain.

The first thing that impressed me was how accurate and how consistent the good pointers were. You might think you played a good boule, 20cm from the jack—but the good pointers would consistently beat it. As a generalization, the better players tend to lob their boules but on the smoother terrains, many of the good pointers will roll. Shooting again, very impressive—it seems like the really good shooters rarely miss a shot.

Although the smoother terrains lend themselves to rolling shots, à la rafle, the puristsreally don’t like this and most will shoot boule to boule, au fer. I’d always known that I had a problem with my shooting technique but here it became very apparent. Whereas in Brighton, a shot in front will often hit the target boule, here anything short simply bounces over. 99% of my shots landed short and 100% of them bounced over the target boule!

So I had to work on my pointing and shooting. With pointing, I’ve had to work very hard to learn to get much better control of the boule: more souplesse — rather than ‘heavy-handed’ shots — much more gentle shots, more backspin and always trying to play in front of the jack – boule devant, boule d’argent.

With shooting, again, much more souplesse, a gentle lob, landing on the boule, rather than a hard shot to hit the boule. I have found it very difficult to unlearn the ingrained habits. When I do it right, I can shoot effectively but I’m very irregular and easily slip back into the old ways, unless I remember to concentrate on every single shot.

I have always believed that coaching is an important part of the game. I now believe more than ever that having good coaching and getting the basics right are absolutely essential for anybody wishing to play well.

Gradually I’ve improved and I can now ‘hold my own’ in most games. I’ve won quite a few of the consolante (Plate) competitions and a couple of times the Main concours.

There is also a big difference in the culture or mentalité of the players. Many are fiercely competitive, verycritical of any poor play, and arguments and flare-ups are pretty regular!

Le Jeu Provençal [à la longue] is still regularly played here. Played from 15 – 21m, players take one step out of the circle to point and three running steps to shoot. Shooting is on the run and is much harder than pétanque. Games take a much longer time and because shooting is so hard, it’s a mainly pointing game. I’ve played a few times but prefer pétanque, probably because it’s the game I’m used to but I do find pétanque a more dynamic game of attack/defense. To use a cricketing analogy: pétanque is like a 20-20 match, whereas le Jeu Provençal is like a 5-day test match!

Hope to see some of you in La Ciotat – all for now.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Jul
03
2014
0

Great web site

http://www.artofpetanque.com

 

We met Artem in Albuquerque and he was great to watch, smooth and with lots of finesse. His blog is interesting.

 

“Extension is at the core of effortless gameplay. As you begin to let go of the tension in your arm and become the string, you will begin to harness the power of gravity and eliminate all unnecessary force from your swing. So when you are in the circle about to make that game winning shot, first remember to breathe, relax, let go of the tension in your arm, and allow the boule to lead the way.”

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Jun
30
2014
0

New post on All About Petanque

 

The Master limits the damage

by Jules Lenoir

Before I could write “The Master limits the damage”, I discovered that the Harrogate Montpellier Petanque Club had already written it, and done a great job. So here is my (lightly edited for American readers) copy of their basic tactics page.


First boule of the end

petanque_strategy_boule_devant

Always try to put your first boule infront of the jack. About 30-50 cm is a good distance, but even a meter in front is better than 10cm behind (see Backstops below).  The French have a saying, “Une boule devant, c’est une boule d’argent” – A boule in front, that’s a money boule.

The ‘boule devant’ has two advantages:

  1. your opponent cannot roll their boule directly to the jack but must aim to the side of your boule.
  2. If their aim is a little off (or they get a deflection from an uneven terrain) and they hit your boule, the chances are that they’ll push your boule closer to the jack.

Backstops

petanque_strategy_use_opponents_boule_as_backstopA boule just behind the jack is a gift to the pointer.

It’s much easier to stop a boule against a backstop than it is to stop it without.  Just throw slightly harder than you think you need to and let the backstop do its job.  A boule resting against a backstop is also harder to knock away because of the extra weight behind it.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop the opposition from now using your boule as a backstop — but that’s all part of the game.

Promoting your boules

petanque_strategy_push_your_own_bouleAs mentioned above, boules in front of the jack can be promoted by running your boule into them and knocking them forward.  [Americans usually call this "pushing" your own boule.] There’s often an additional benefit in that the second ball remains close to the point of impact, forming a blocker.

Be careful if there’s an opposition boule close to the one you wish to promote. You can push an opponent’s boule as easily as one of your own, so take into account how accurately you can throw.

Limiting the damage

A common scenario for beginners starts when the opposition get a boule very close to the jack early in the end.  You can’t really point closer so you try to shoot it away.  Your team’s throws keep getting closer and you’re sure the next one will do it but you suddenly realize that your team have used up all of your boules!  Your missed shots have probably all gone sailing off well past the jack, allowing the opposition to rack up a big score with their remaining boules.

To reduce the odds of getting thrashed like this, you need to point one or two boules that, although not closest to the jack, are close enough to make it difficult for the opposition to score lots of points.  Better for them to score a couple of points than five or six.

Ideally, try to make your boule snuggle up to the opposition’s closest boule so that they’ll think twice about trying to shoot yours away.

When limiting the damage won’t work

Of course in a situation where the opposition team needs only a single point to win the game, limiting the damage to only one point won’t help.  Strategies to consider in this situation are:

  1. Shoot the jack out of bounds, but only if they have thrown all of their boules.  This is a skillful shot but it stops the opposition scoring.
  2. Point slightly hard towards the jack and try to knock it towards some of your boules.
  3. Point and hope to beat the opposition boule.
  4. Shoot the opposition boule and hope that that will leave you closest.

None of these strategies are an easy option but you don’t have a lot of choice.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Jun
29
2014
0

It sure seems hot in the sun, but nice in the shade

Great games today, with several new players, including Gerry, Kevin and Ryder

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Sep
30
2012
0

Arty Pictures From David, click for close ups

Lori shows the elevating, levitating jump shot

 

Lew throws six balls at once, all in a line

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Sep
29
2012
0

From our friends at La Mesa Petanque Club

It was wonderful last year, and will have great weather this year too.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Sep
19
2012
0

Great Evening Play thanks to Rad and Marla

Fun times and great food and fellowship at their beautiful Piste

Written by in: Uncategorized |

Powered by WordPress | Aeros Theme | TheBuckmaker.com WordPress Themes