In its fundamentals, pétanque is simple, social, and fun. Together with every player’s aspiration continuously to improve personal skills in pointing and shooting, the complexity and nuance of team strategy make playing pétanque engaging and challenging, both individually and as a team. It’s been called “the perfect individual team sport.”
The Pétanque Club’s October 16 Oktoberfest celebration began with the annual Oktoberfest Tournament, the last tourney of the year. Tournament Director Jean-michel Poulnot handled registration of players and randomization of teams with the Club’s “Fanny” looking on. Fanny, “the Goddess of Pétanque,” is the focal point of the traditional ritual that follows losing in a 13-0 shutout. But once again there were no shutouts so Fanny, in the end, was not needed.
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At the end of each round, there is a complex “dance” of players in close proximity to each other identifying, bending down, and picking up their boules. Individual “moves” in this dance can also include kicking one’s boules away from the pack before picking them up or using a dangling or telescoping magnetic lifter to retrieve boules in the midst of the pack.
So, an etiquette question naturally arises: “Since I’m down here anyway, should I also pick up the nearby boules of other players and hand their boules to them?” The short answer: “No.” The longer answer: “If and only if such assistance is actually needed and asked-for.”