Steel Balls


As you know I spend a lot of time on my bike, especially during the weekend. Took a nice ride today along the riverfront. As I was returning home and pedaling down Cadillac Square I came upon some men playing what appeared to be bocce’ ball. I parked the bike and began ot observe. One of the guys came over and asked me if I wanted to play. I said sure, but what game is it? He answered Petanque. Petanque? I like to think of myself as a pretty cosmopolitan guy but I have to admit, sorry, I never heard of it.

After playing for a couple of hours I was hooked. What a great sport. It is very similar to bocce’ ball but there is more stratagy and techniques involved and the balls, or “boules” are made of steel instead of ivory. A game invented in France but, evidently, popular around the world much less here in the D’. I googled it and came up with 3, 550,000 hits. The guy that intro-ed me was Jeff Widen. Guess who showed up a little later and is called a “ringer” by the guys? Mellisa who was the head ramrod here at detroit metblogs before Jaime succeeded her. Anyway, what a nice group of people. The Detroit Petanque Club games are open to the public. Weekdays 12pm-1pm in Caddilac Square, Saturdays 12pm-5pm at Campus Martius and Sundays from 1pm to 6pm at the VFW Park in Royal Oak. Now I have to find out where I can purchase my very own “boules” and get in the game.

1 Comment so far

  1. Jeff Widen (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 10:36 am

    Thanks Rick, and talking about ringers, Rick has been playing like a pro! Everyone is welcome to come to the club meets and play some petanque. There’s no fee, we have all of the equipment, you just show up and have a good time. We have tournaments throughout the year, some local (like the one on August 26th at Cadillac Square) and others near (Chicago) and far (New York; Miami; Portland).

    And in addition to the Weekday lunchtime games at Noon, we also have been playing on Wednesday evening (5:30pm-9pm) at Campus Martius Park during the Buzz Bar band nights.

    Jeff Widen

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