May
15
2015
0

Tournament in ABQ

Here is a notice:

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153342213533307&set=gm.1058042547561119&type=1&theater

 

Sunday at noon, near Old Town, ABQ

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May
10
2015
0

From the deep south

The Thunder from Down Under

Nancy Jiracek made it back from Australia, and will be here for 6 months

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May
08
2015
0

Local Players do great !

In a recent state wide tournament for singles champion, Rad came in fourth overall, and Marla was top Female. Congratulations on a fine job. They both loved the venue and the professional way the tournament was run. Thanks to Christophe and others for that fine job

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May
04
2015
0

Playing a shorter time game

Short-form games

by Jules Lenoir

Normally a game of petanque is played to 13 points, and it takes as long as it takes. This can be a problem when you have a lot of teams playing. Some games finish quickly, while others drag on. Teams that have finished their games sit around waiting for other teams to finish THEIR games. Families with busy schedules and limited time, may be forced to play one long game and then leave, when it would be much more fun to spend their time playing three short games.

So there is a genuine need for short-form games — games that can be played in a limited and predictable amount of time.
Transcarpathian Petanque Club 2007, courtesy petanque.org
The traditional solution is time-limited games. A specified time limit is set, and when it expires games must finish their current mene, and play only one or two more menes. If that mene ends in a tie, then they play ONE MORE mene.

There are two problems with time-limited games. The first is that in actual practice they don’t seem very effective in actually producing short games. The second is that playing against the clock introduces a new tactic to the game — running out the clock, akastalling for time when your team is ahead. It is an understandable and perfectly legal tactic, but nobody really likes it.

Philippe Boets prefers a different solution. It is quite simple. All games are played to a fixed number of menes, say six. The team in the lead at the end of the sixth mene is the winner. If the teams are tied at the end of the sixth mene, they play a tie-breaker, a seventh mene.

Philippe says that the Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island Petanque Club use this compact form, and it has worked out very well for them. Games played to six or seven menes are pretty predictable in running for 30 or 35 minutes. Everybody can appreciate a 5-minute break between games — it’s not so long that anybody is likely to get restless. Thirty-five minutes per game is enough time for a family to arrive at the petanque courts, have a nice time, play three games, chat with friends a bit, and be reasonably confident that they can be out of there by 4pm-ish.

Philippe believes that this compact form has been a significant factor in the success of the Amelia Island club. The compact form makes it possible to make a reliable prediction of how long your afternoon of petanque will take, which is really important if you need to be coordinating the schedules for a family.

Short form games may not be appropriate for every club. Predictable scheduling is probably more import in a large club with many younger families than it might be in a small club of mostly older retirees. (On the other hand, every club would LIKE to grow, and younger players are the game’s collective future.)

Players who have always played in the traditional format may feel that it just isn’t… traditional. That’s why Philippe recommends using the compact form in new clubs, starting from the very beginning of the club. If players have always played short form games, that is what they will be familiar with. They won’t be inhibited by ideas of what’s “traditional”.

And scorekeeping is a little different. If you use a portable scorekeeper, like I do, you might want to carry a second one to record the number of menes played.

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May
01
2015
0

Todd Haagenstad tells about NPL

 

OPENING DAY! The National Petanque League (NPL) season has kicked off. We have several La Mesa Petanque Club members registered with the League. Those that have, be sure to go to the site below and complete your profile. Those that are interested, register with FPUSA through me, and then register with NPL.

Player statistics (ranking) will be based on scores from singles games. Keep track of the number of league games and your individual scores. Send the information to me and I will report to NPL as the delegate for our club. Player standings (local, regional, and national) will be reported on the NPL web site on a regular basis.

Todd Haagenstad's photo.
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May
01
2015
0

La Mesa Club is active

We play each week, and have fun. Christophe and Todd and others are organizing and having tournaments. Join there (http://www.lamesapetanque.com) or (http://www.lamesapetanque.com) if you want, I did, for $20.  There is also some thing called the NPL, National Petanque League. I don’t understand it but may copy their information.

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Apr
22
2015
0

Fwd: [New post] A brief history of petanque in the USA

New post on All About Petanque

A brief history of petanque in the USA

by Jules Lenoir

I originally planned this post as a companion to The Birth of the FPUSA. My idea was to provide a brief overview of the growth of petanque clubs in the USA. Unfortunately much of the information that I wanted was not available on the web, and I could not complete the project. Rather than simply discarding the material that I was able to collect, I post it here now, as the skeleton of what I wish I could have fleshed out into a more detailed account. — Stephen Ferg, April 2015


1958

 

Members of Le Mistral Petanque Club, probably sometime in the late 1960sMembers of Le Mistral Petanque Club, probably sometime in the late 1960s

The oldest petanque club in the United States is Le Mistral Club de Pétanque, which was founded in Worcester, Massachusetts (near Boston) in 1958. Later, it evolved into the current Boston Petanque Club.

The original founding members were French expatriates who emigrated from the Armenian community in Marseilles. The club is named after the famous cold winter wind that blows down the Rhone valley and through Marseilles.

In 1966, a triplette team from Le Mistral defeated teams from Trois Riviere, Quebec to win one of the earliest tournaments held in North America. Marcel Babayan, who passed away in 2004, was president of the club for 40 years and a major factor in the success of the club.

 

Members of Le Mistral in 2006. Left to right — Carlo Testa, Albert Kallanian, George Bogosian (throwing) and Brian WalshMembers of Le Mistral in 2006. Left to right — Carlo Testa, Albert Kallanian, George Bogosian (throwing) and Brian Walsh

1959
The next oldest club is La Boule d’Or in San Francisco, founded in 1959 by Jean Bontemps. The early members were mostly French expatriates — Jean Krauer, Jean Bontemps, André Martin, Armand Squitieri, Charles Nicolas

 

La_Boule_dOr_patanque_club_1964Photo courtesy of Monique Bricca, daughter of Armand Squitieri.

New courts in Golden Gate Park were dedicated in 1959. Before that, the group played in the Mission district next to 3rd Street. In October 1960 they had their first International Tournament, with teams from France, Canada and Tunisia. The Boule d’Or team played a Canadian team in the final game and won.

1960s

 

Jacques BiagginiJacques Biaggini

When Jean Bontemps moved to Washington DC in the mid-1960s, he and Jacques Biagginifounded two clubs, La Joyeuse Boule and Les Pétancoeurs de la Maison Blanche. Early members included Maurice Ebolitto, and John and Gisele Hill. It was probably while playing at one of these two clubs that Alfred Levitt met Bontemps.

Joe Acciardi and La Joyeuse Boule still play in Maryland. Sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s Les Pétancoeurs de la Maison Blancheseems to have faded from the scene, to be replaced by the National Capital Club de Petanque (NCCdP) founded by Bob Morrison.

La Boule New Yorkaise was founded in 1968 by the artist Alfred Levitt, who later went on to found the FPUSA in 1973. In the the early days Levitt and LBNY played on the gravel paths in Central Park near 106th Street. Later they moved to permanent courts in Washington Square Park, and still later to Bryant Park. LBNY is still one of the most vigorous clubs in the country.

1970s

An APA brochure. The mailing address is a PO box in Washington DC, but the telephone area code (301) is in Maryland.

Following the foundation of La Boule d’Or, a number of other clubs were established on the west coast, including La Boule Joyeuse sometime in the 1970s, and La Pétanque Marinière in 1972. One of the founding members of La Pétanque Marinière was Armand Squitieri, who had earlier been one of the founding members of La Boule d’Or.

In 1973, Alfred Levitt founded the FPUSA in New York City. He was its first president, and stayed in office until 1985.

In 1976 Jean Bontemps founded the American Petanque Association (APA) (also known as PAM, Petanque America?) in Washington, DC. Its creation only three years after the creation of the FPUSA suggests that it was deliberately established as an alternative to the FPUSA… that is, as a national petanque organization that did NOT involve dealing with Levitt, a notoriously autocratic and difficult personality.

1980s

Note the club’s name in the upper left corner — La Joyeuse Boule — one of the two clubs that Jean Bontemps and Jacques Biaggini established in the DC area.

 

1982 - national championships, Washington DC1982 – national championships, Washington DC

In 1982 a USA national championship (almost certainly the APA national championship) was held on the Mall in Washington, DC.

1983 saw the founding of another of the strongest and oldest clubs in the United states — the Los Angeles Petanque Club.


1986 and the birth of a new FPUSA 

Joseph ArdagnaJoseph Ardagna

In 1985 Alfred Levitt was forced into retirement as president of the FPUSA. When the dust had settled, Bob Morrison of the APA and Hans Jepson, the new president of the FPUSA, got together and easily negotiated a merger of the two organizations. The result was a single national organization, the FPUSAas we know it today.

Jepson served as the interim president until a new president could be elected by all of the clubs in the new Federation. The new president was Joseph Ardagna, of the Portsmouth Petanque Club.

 

The opening of the Portsmouth Petanque Club, mid-1980sThe opening of the Portsmouth Petanque Club, mid-1980s

When the two organizations agreed to merge, Bob Morrison and Joe Acciardi began work on organizing the United States’ first international tournament — the Championnat International de Petanque U.S.A., which took place on the weekend before Bastille Day, 1987, on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

1991
1991 marks a milestone in American petanque — Philippe Boets started Petanque America, the first (and still the only) vendor of competition petanque boules in the USA. The little company struggled until, as Philippe tells it, “The Internet saved us. There’s no other word for it. Especially because the US was way ahead with Internet at the time. I think we in the US – the smallest market on the planet as far as boules were concerned – were the first to put a boules catalog online, shortly followed by an online store.”

2003
A second major milestone occurred in 2003, when Boets and Petanque America sponsored the first Petanque America Open, which has grown into THE major petanque event in the United States. The Open was held again in 2005, and then in 2009 (along with Petanque America itself) moved to its current location — Fernandina Beach, on Amelia Island, Florida.


A few noteworthy developments in the 21st century

In the United States, petanque clubs flicker into and out of existence. But there have been several recent cases where a club has shown remarkable vigor and growth.

Bob Morrison worked with the Fairfax County park authorities, and by the early 2000s the National Capitol Club de Petanque was playing on dedicated terrains in Highlands Park, Arlington, Virginia. It was there that, in 2008, the first promotional video for petanque in the USA was filmed. The distinguished-looking gentleman in the opening scene is Joe Acciardi.

In March 2006, Tim Channell moved to Fresno, California and started to organize the Fresno Petanque Club. The FPC is remarkable for the speed with which it grew and the way that it has attracted members from Fresno’s large Hmong community.

In May 2008 Arsene Dupin moved to Austin, Texas from his native France. He found a small group that played at the French Legation Museum and they formed the Heart of Texas Pétanque Club which now plays regularly at the French Legation, Pease Park, Paggi Square and the Mueller Browning Hangar.

Outside of California and the west coast (the Portland and Seattle areas), petanque’s strongest foothold in the USA is in Florida. The state has many thriving clubs. Perhaps the most remarkable is the Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach Boules Club, which has rapidly grown into the largest club in the US.

The Zanesfield Petanque Club was established in 2010 in the tiny town of Zanesfield, Ohio. Truly remarkable community participation has grown it at an astonishing rate, and it is now one of the most visible clubs in the country.

Zanesfield Petanque Club.   Click for larger view.Zanesfield Petanque Club. Click for larger view.


Jean Bontemps — the Father of American Petanque
When I began researching this topic I wasn’t looking for “the Father of American Petanque” and I didn’t expect to find any single individual that might be a candidate for that title. But as it happens, I did.

Jean Bontemps kick-started petanque clubs on the West Coast with the organization of La Boule d’Or in San Francisco in 1959. A few years later he moved to Washington DC and pretty much did the same thing for the East Coast.

After meeting Bontemps in Washington, Alfred Levitt went to New York City and founded La Boule New Yorkaise and then the FPUSA. Bontemps himself founded the APA. When the two national organizations merged, Bontemps was the father of one and the grandfather (as it were) of the other. Personally, I think that Bontemps (rather than Alfred Levitt) should be considered the true father of today’s FPUSA.

You get to be called “the father of (something)” partly because of what you did, and partly because your story provides a good starting point for the larger story that we tell ourselves about Where We Came From. On both counts, to me Jean Bontemps looks like The Father of American Petanque.

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Mar
30
2015
0

Starting again for 2015

As it gets warm and less windy, we are having much more play time. I will put up more notices. We had 12 people playing at the Railyard on Sunday, including Randy and Jim. The La Mesa club has sent out information about tournaments and an indoor venue. Articles are bouncing around about technique. People are trimming their Piste. Welcome back for the new year.

 

Moe shoots

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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

 

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Jul
06
2014
0

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