PÉTANQUE AT OAKMONT
Pétanque, the French game of boules, is a fun, social game popular worldwide that people of all skill and physical ability levels can play.
If you’re interested in playing or learning, come to the court (between Berger and the OVA offices/Umpqua Bank and beside the Shuffleboard courts) at 9:45 AM on the Club play days of Wednesday and Saturday. We have boules to lend. No membership fees are required – just sign up to be on the Club roster. The court also is reserved 10 AM – noon for Club player-arranged pickup games on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and is otherwise available for use by any Oakmont resident. View the Pétanque Club webpage at: https://oakmontvillage.com/article/category/clubs/petanque/.
Club members enjoyed celebrating Bastille Day on July 13 with open play followed by a potluck social. Jean-michel Poulnot led the group in a rousing singing of the La Marseillaise.
COCHONNET CHANGES ON THE HORIZON
The cochonnet, used as the target jack in pétanque, is a small wooden ball. Before the invention and introduction of the modern steel boule in 1925, manufacturers used the roots of boxwood trees for the core of boules. Cochonnets are still made from that source.
According to a recent article in The Connexion: French News and Views, the small family-owned Monneret Company is the only manufacturer of wooden cochonnets in France and the world’s largest producer. Monneret supplies over one million cochonnets per year to big brands like Obut as well as to national Pétanque Federations. But now box tree caterpillars and moths are destroying boxwood trees and Monneret estimates that there will be no more boxwoods in France in 5-7 years. The company hopes to find suitable alternative wood that can be imported from other countries.
Controversy arose when other companies began to produce much denser, hard epoxy resin cochonnets in the late 1990s because they can cause injury and can shatter into sharp pieces when hit by a steel boule. Although approved for use by the French Pétanque Federation, the US and some European
Federations have refused to authorize resin cochonnets. Only wooden cochonnets are permitted in the Pétanque World Championship.
Consequently an international race is on to devise and manufacture a synthetic material that will be both durable and consistent in size and weight to the traditional boxwood cochonnet.