What Will YOU be doing this Saturday? We’ll be playing with our balls!


In case you’ve not been around Campus Martius on a Saturday, you may have missed the latest cultural re-birth: Petanque.

This widely popular European sport is dead easy to play, with simple rules – but it has peculiarities and strategy about it that makes it a lifelong passion.

In a nutshell, you have two teams, each team has metal orange-sized balls (boules – because it’s french) – and you’re trying to roll/throw/whallop your boule down a gravel/dirt court to land as closely as you can to an aim-ball (the Cochon [cosh-ON]). If you do, the other team has to get closer – they do that by shooting (hitting your team’s boule away) or rolling closer.

The club has an open and FREE tournament this Saturday. Come to play or watch. There will be musicians, awards, and lots of trash talking. OH, and please join in the fun, just show up between 8am-9am and we’ll register you, set you up in a team – and teach you (quickie version) – just in time for the 9am start!

Detroit Petanque Club Website

31 Comments so far

  1. MGal (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 9:24 am

    You know if we had thought about it we could have had a Metblog team… instead we are all on seperate teams.

    (Metblogger Photo Id: MGal, Urban Tiki, Jeppy)

  2. Jeffrey Widen (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 9:41 am

    Well, the remaining Metbloggers can certainly do that! I encourage them to visit Campus Martius during this week (S.E. part of the park) and they can get some practice in. I’m not there today, but should be there Wed/Thurs/Fri.

    As for you, UrbanTiki and me on the same team — we’ll have to do that next tournament (which may be sooner than you know!)

  3. MGal (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 9:42 am

    Oh and lets start some trash talking…

    The kids (we don’t have a team name yet) will be taking it all.

  4. Jeffrey Widen (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 10:05 am

    “The Kids” will be schooled in the art of LOSING because “Hell’s Boules” has been studying the ground surface of all of the pistes. We know every patch of soft-dirt, every puddle of gravel, and where all of the bricks are buried. You’re going down, and going down fast! We also have a SECRET weapon created especially for you “cochonnette shooters” – it’s going to throw your WHOLE game off kilter!

  5. Blondy (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 10:49 am

    I will be out of town, but I am pretty sucre that MGAL will kick all of your butts.

  6. MGal (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 11:03 am

    I like Blondy! (Oh wait, I really do like Blondy)

    What’s your cochonette trick? Replacing it with T’Choupi’s toy?

  7. Jeffrey Widen (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 12:56 pm

    Article 2c

  8. MGal (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 1:35 pm

    Pwft.. You think that is a challenge. Have you seen my teammates? Even you have said G is one of the best shooters in the state.

  9. UrbanTiki (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 5:13 pm

    Pfft. Trash talking.

    I have Gene – the shooter – and Sharon – the pointer, and me – the closer.

    You don’t want a piece of us. Seriously. Jeff’s “years of experience” and MGal’s “flash the boys to get on their team” strategies are useless.

  10. MGal (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 5:44 pm

    Yea, UT has joined the fun.. Now seriously UT have you seen the brothers shoot or point? Sorry but together the two have 50 years of petanque…. yet they are my age..

  11. Mollika* (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 7:10 pm

    Why is a wooden piece of equipment named after pigs?

  12. Jeffrey Widen (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 9:18 pm

    The Aim-Ball is called the Cochon because at one time, many years ago when this sport was played in Ancient Rome, actual pigs were used as targets, and the boules (balls) were much larger, and made of stone. The idea of using animals for sports equipment is still used today. For example, the football is also known as the “pigskin.” Horses were used in the sport of horseshoes, until it was realized that throwing just the shoe was far easier than the whole horse (let alone less messy). Other animal/sport relationships exist… There’s Birdies in Golf (in Scotland, they used small birds before golf balls were invented), and most people don’t realize that actual bats were used (large fruit bats from Panama) before the wooden variety replaced them in baseball.

    So, now you see why we call the Aim-Ball in Petanque, the Pig.

    Any other questions?

  13. UrbanTiki (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 10:42 pm

    Well, MGal, after you silently and unceremoniously dumped me, I picked up a solid husband/wife team. How did you hook up with these guys with “50 years of experience”? Were you the closest girl when they announced it was mixed doubles?


  14. MGal (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 4:55 am

    I’d like to know how I keep getting accused of dumping you when in reality, everyone just assumed I’d team with you. Sheesh – it’ll be a heck of a lot more fun playing against each other. Think of all the quality trash talking we can get in.

  15. Jeffrey Widen (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 5:20 am

    Well just for clarification’s sake, U.T. – Gene and Sharon have been dating for 4 1/2 years, but they aren’t Husband & Wife (yet).

    They do, however, play together much better than any husband/wife team I’ve seen. It must be due to all of the nightly petanque practicing. They are indeed solid pointers, and surprising shooters. You’ll have to keep Gene from playing too fast in his throws – I like to remind them to “take their time”

    As for the Didierjeans, and 50 years of experience, Tony and I took Greg down to Chinatown TWICE last week! The addition of Cyrille to the mix will up the ante – but if we can beat them EARLY before Cyrille gets used to the Campus Martius surface, they’ll be crying like babies!

    I just worry about Michel, Jeanette and whomever is their third… THAT’s going to be a VERY tough triplette to crack.

  16. MGal (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 6:03 am

    True there are a number of MPC players still unattached that could join Jeannette/Michel and be a real threat. Romain for one. Though stick Romain with two women and he’ll be happy as can be – win or lose.

  17. Jeppy (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 6:58 am

    For the record… When we were at the genesis of this event and considering teams, I admit wrongly assuming that Melissa would be teamed up with Bobby. They were named in the same Hour Detroit article (September issue) and share membership in the same Detroit Metblog. It was a forgiveable mistake on my part (and to some extent, a little bit of a tease).

    It’s interesting to note that Melissa teamed up with two of the most talented and youngest players among all of the club members – but I chalk that up to a peer group of kids sticking together to compete against their aged overloards (us).

    What Bobby and I will teach these “Triplette’s of Youthville” on Saturday is that it’s not always the spry, nimble, young’ns who take the prize – but the wise, experienced guru’s of boule.

  18. MGal (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 7:16 am

    Oh yea and don’t forget they are also very attractive men. Kids?!? Heck, we are all 25 or older. But whatever, the “kids” are planning on having a good time win or lose. Definately expect some of our usual hyper, goofball antics.

  19. UrbanTiki (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 8:39 am

    There is no escape, MGal. The pain of being jacked for two younger men (nothing REALLY new for me there – just from you) remains and motivates me like nothing else. I’ve been down at Campus Martius until the wee hours, and twice until dawn, carreau-ing with deadly accuracy a boule with your face on it. Over and over.

    It WILL hurt. It WILL be televised.

  20. Jeffrey Widen (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 9:15 am

    a boule with Melissa’s face on it – used for shooting practice? OUCH!

    I don’t think I can top THAT trash talk idea.

    The best I can do is a Joe-Mask on T’Choupi

  21. gdidi (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 10:10 am

    hey people, lets not get ahead of ourselves. it all depends on what kind of day we are having. Getting up that early may be hard for some of us. Especially the older ones that need more sleep.

  22. Jeffrey Widen (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 6:06 pm

    You think YOU have it badly…. I was just Backstabbed by my own wife!!!

    Denise had to drop out due to sciatica, and now Tony and I are left out in the cold…

    I’m wondering if there’s any chance of putting Romain in a wig and dress…. hmmmmmmmm

  23. MGal (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 7:56 pm

    Owww… I am sure you can find a gal for your team. They were a couple listed on need a team list.

  24. Jeffrey Widen (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 8:14 pm

    I have a potential ringer I’m importing from Up North. She’s going to let me know tomorrow.

    Denise’s Mom…

  25. Jeffrey Widen (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 8:39 pm

    Triplette SECURED! Denise’s Mom, Gloria, just called and she’s dedicated to the cause, and she’s really good too (need I suggest even BETTER than Denise?)

    Also, she’s an excellent cook — she made us stuffed cabbage last week that rivals any I’ve ever tasted.

    As for Denise, she’ll be making the rounds of the C-MART park with T’Choupi in tow… We trained T’Choo-T’Choo to move the cochon with a silent dog whistle signal!

  26. Joe Z (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 9:55 pm

    Boy, you DPC people sure love to chit-chat… Posting on the ‘Net, training your dogs… I think your lack of training is going to show on Saturday!, so I’m going to hate to say I told you so after the tournament (actually I’m going to love it!) You guys just sit tight and keep bickering and get your messages in for the rest of the week… MPC will come down and show you why you won’t want to do that for the next tournament! ;-)

  27. Gdidi (unregistered) on October 6th, 2005 @ 9:03 am

    Yeah Jeff is back in the game the more the merrier. For petanque is all about the people playing. So lets prep and play ball

  28. MGal (unregistered) on October 6th, 2005 @ 5:24 pm

    Practice sessions are going on now.

  29. MGal (unregistered) on October 7th, 2005 @ 6:14 am

    PS. Jeff, ever notice what is the top google ad on this thread?

  30. philippe (unregistered) on October 7th, 2005 @ 5:48 pm

    Will there be a trophy for Trash Talking?
    Lots of capable contenders there!

    Wishing you all a great championship, nice weather, and loads of fun tomorrow.

  31. MGal (unregistered) on October 8th, 2005 @ 4:08 pm

    The weather wasn’t so nice but the tournament was a ton of fun. And there was no award for trash talking though one metblogger and team prevailed over the whole thing. Go team Les Jeunesse

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