Pétanque Club (4/1/2019)

  • Don McPherson

The Oakmont Pétanque (“pay-tonk”) Club plays daily Monday – Saturday at 10 AM at the Pétanque courts located in the Central Activities Complex between Berger Center and the OVA offices/Umpqua Bank, next to the new shuffleboard courts.

Cindi Clemence throws out the tiny wooden cochonnet to begin an “end” while Linda McPherson looks on, preparing to throw after Cindi “points” her first boule.

On the designated Club Play days of Wednesday and Saturday the Club meets at 9:45 AM for a random draw assignment to teams and courts for play beginning at 10 AM. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday the courts are reserved at 10 AM for open pick-up games as arranged by players among themselves.

More a throwing than a rolling game, Pétanque play and scoring is similar to Bocce. Team players “point” by trying to throw their boules closest to a tiny wooden ball, the cochonnet, or by “shooting” away the boule of another player. All boules closer to the cochonnet than any opposing team’s boules at the conclusion of an “end” score one point each and 13 points wins the game.

Although based on an ancient French outdoor bowling game that required running and distance throwing, Jules Lenoir, whose rheumatism prevented his running and limited his throwing, invented Pétanque in 1910 in Provence. Thus begun as an alternative sport accessible even to disabled players, Pétanque players’ feet remain planted within a circle for throwing into a field of play that is limited by rule to a distance of 6 to 10 yards. Pétanque is easy to learn and players of all capabilities enjoy the widely popular game played around the world.

Pétanque boules have different engraved patterns to distinguish one player’s from another’s. In this “end,” Jeff Clemence’s two boules (top) each scored one point by a millimeter or less over the boules of two opposing team players (bottom left and bottom
right). The oft-heard response: a Gallic shrug and “ugh!”

If you’re interested in learning to play, come at 9:45 AM on the designated Club play days of Wednesday and Saturday. No advanced notice is required and we’ll be delighted to introduce you to the game. If you enjoy it, sign up to be listed on the Club roster. No membership fees are required. We usually have extra boules to lend to new players and it’s easy later to secure your own boules quickly and at moderate cost from multiple sources. View the Pétanque Club webpage (OVA login required) at: https://oakmontvillage.com/article/category/clubs/petanque/

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