Pétanque aficionados around the world awoke on July 31 to a surprise: “Celebrating Pétanque,” a new Doodle game on their Google search engine (https://www.google.com/doodles/celebrating-petanque).
In the interactive game, you can choose to practice solo or to play singles or doubles against an algorithmic opponent. A cochonnet is tossed out onto the terrain automatically. Putting your cursor on the boule, clicking the mouse button and pulling back and then releasing the mouse button sends the boule toward the cochonnet. An arrow appears above the boule to allow adjusting direction and a line appears below it to illustrate intended velocity of the throw. This effectively allows both pointing to get close to the cochonnet and shooting to knock away an opponent’s boule, the two basic pétanque throws.
The further you pull back the line below the boule, the further the boule will travel. It takes practice adjusting the direction and velocity, just like in the “real” game! The Doodle plays much better on a computer with a mouse than on a phone, where the “throwing” action has to be managed with just finger swipes. The player with the most points at the end of the third round wins.
Google’s Pétanque Doodle is engaging, even addictive, and a pleasant enough way to spend some time – or to avoid what otherwise might be more pressing tasks.
MORE TECH: A LUMINOUS COCHONNET
Raphaël Paesa, a technician from Toulouse, has invented a luminous cochonnet allowing the extension of games into the twilight or even the night. “Cocholed” (https://www.cocholed.com) is a regulation-size green plastic-injected shell that encases a small LED bulb with four hours of battery life.
After selling out the initial offering, the inventor is scaling production for the international market to have sufficient supply by the end of the summer. Cocholed will sell for 13.90 Euro for one, 24.90 for two, and 33.90 for three plus shipping.
Looking ahead to new frontiers, Paesa is working on an “intelligent” throwing circle that will emit a sound in the event of a “foot fault.”
PÉTANQUE IN OAKMONT WEDNESDAY & SATURDAY
The Club encourages all Oakmonters who may be interested in playing or learning to play pétanque (pay-tonk) to come to the courts between Berger and the OVA offices at 9:45 a.m. on the Club play days of Wednesday and Saturday. The Club has boules to lend while you’re learning, and you’ll be playing right away. Anyone, regardless of experience, is welcome to enjoy the challenge and camaraderie of a simple game that is inexpensive, fun to play, learned quickly, and endlessly fascinating in its deeper levels of execution and strategy. No dues are required – just sign up to be on the Club roster. Club play days are casual friendly games with teams randomly assigned.
Oktoberfest, the final tournament and pot luck picnic of the season, is on Saturday, October 22.