FRENCH VIRTUAL SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIP
France, the birthplace of Pétanque, continues to be hit hard by Covid-19 infections with widespread closures and restrictions. French “stars” of the game – in many cases professionals – have been unable to compete and French fans have been deprived of regularly broadcast live pétanque matches on “L’Equipe,” the French sports television channel.
In response, two top men’s players, Philippe Quintais and Jean-Luc Robert organized the Facebook Group “Club Maboule” to conduct a virtual national precision shooting championship broadcast live on Facebook. To increase interest, amateurs could enter and challenge the stars by videoing themselves and posting to Club Maboule according to a recent article in the newspaper “Ouest France.”
Players competed in pairs drawn by lot with each shooting 15 boules in 3 different rounds. Each participated individually in his or her own location, videoed, with referees checking, comparing and reporting results. Points then were totaled for each team of two to determine the lineup for the Finals.
Qualifying rounds of the men’s tournament began on May 8 with the Finals on May 16. The women’s Finals were on May 15. The top competitors comprised a never-before-assembled group of renowned players for a marksmanship championship.
PLAYING TIP: THE FULL LOB
The full lob (plombée) is one of the most difficult to master but highly useful shots in pétanque. In the lob, the boule is deliberately thrown very high with the intention of landing and sticking very close to the cochonnet. Thus the plombée enables the player to by-pass blocking boules completely or avoid difficult to navigate or hard to read terrain.
A recent post on “All About Pétanque” (petanque.wordpress.com) noted that players often raise their heels and stretch out to a “tip toe” posture when executing the lob. Instead, the post argued that maintaining accuracy with proper height and distance actually requires keeping the feet flat and firmly planted with knees slightly bent while propelling the boule up and out with velocity and “retro” (back spin) supplied entirely by the throwing arm. (video demonstration at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjeooiA8Rsk).
PÉTANQUE AT OAKMONT
The Club welcomes all Oakmont residents to enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of pétanque. The Club sponsors open, friendly play every Wednesday and Saturday morning with teams chosen randomly.
If you’re interested in playing or learning to play, come to the courts (between Berger and the OVA offices/Umpqua Bank and beside the Shuffleboard courts) at 9:45 a.m. on the Club play days of Wednesday and Saturday. The Club has boules to lend and you’ll be playing immediately. No membership fees are required – just sign up to be on the Club roster.
The courts also are reserved 9:45 a.m. – noon for Club player-arranged pickup games on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Our first 2021 tourney, the Bastille Day Tournament, is scheduled for Wednesday, July 14.