IN (AND OUT OF) THE CIRCLE

Celebrating 25 Years as an Oakmont Club on Bastille Day 2021 (photo by Julie Kiil)
Celebrating 25 Years as an Oakmont Club on Bastille Day 2021 (photo by Julie Kiil)

PÉTANQUE IN OAKMONT
The Oakmont Pétanque Club celebrated its 25th year throughout 2021. Roster membership has increased nearly 45%. The Club begins the new year with a genuine appreciation for veteran members and an enthusiastic welcome to newer members. Anyone interested, regardless of experience, is welcome to join and enjoy the challenge and camaraderie of playing pétanque. It’s a simple game, learned quickly, fun to play, and fascinating in its deeper levels of strategy. No dues are required – just sign up to be on the Club roster.

PLAYING TIP – IN (AND OUT OF) THE CIRCLE
In his blog “Improving Your Game” Alec Stone Sweet of La Boule New Yorkaise urges: “Never point or shoot until you feel ready to do so. Get balanced and comfortable in the circle. The more balanced you are when you play a boule, the more consistently you will point and shoot, and the more you will be able to make adjustments and improve.”
For Sweet, mental comfort is as important as physical comfort. “You will not make significant progress until you can concentrate on the play to be made. If you miss a shot or point badly, step out of the circle, take a deep breath, and give yourself a chance to rethink what you are going to do. Players who get angry with themselves will often play a second boule too fast – with disastrous results.”

Sweet admonishes players never to play a second boule before first leaving the circle: “When you play a boule badly, leave the circle, reflect on and assess what just happened, and recompose yourself. Leaving the circle will allow you to reconsider the landing spot (donnée), or how you’ve played a boule. It will also enable you to calm yourself, if frustrated, and will allow your body to reset and refresh itself when you return to the circle.”
Sweet’s advice echoes a standard pétanque coaching point: take your time – playing quickly rarely results in playing well.

WEDNESDAY & SATURDAY CLUB PLAY
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 beside the Shuffleboard courts) at 9:45 a.m. on the Club play days of Wednesday and Saturday. The Club has boules to lend, the game is easy to learn, and you’ll be playing right away. Club play days are casual friendly games with teams randomly assigned. The courts are also reserved 10 a.m. – noon for Club player-arranged pickup games on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Tournaments with potluck picnic lunches in 2022 are on Saturdays April 30 (Homage to Spring); July 16 (Bastille Day Fête); October 15 (Oktoberfest). Evening Pétanque games and socials are also planned for dates to be determined in June and August.

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