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October 21, 2019

La Marinda 30th Anniversary(La Marinda Cup)​

Yesterday, the Bay Area pétanque fraternity was invited to celebrate Lamorinda 30th anniversary and many devotees eagerly responded to the invite.


Fifty-two players (52) accompanied by family and well-wishers came running… and I am also happy to report that for once, at least 12 members of La Pétanque Marinière found the vigor to attend.


Pascal Gravier (Lamonrida’s president) outdid himself to make this event memorable. He even invited Mike Anderson (Lafayette’s mayor) to throw the first boule of the tournament and the mayor obligingly complied.


“La pièce de résistance” of the event was a giant astonishing birthday cake crafted by “maître-pâtissier” Jean-Claude Etallaz. I hate to use this superlative, but damn, it was awesome! Don’t tell anybody but I had two servings of it.


Tidbits: Daniel Genini completed his 90th parachute jump. Saperlipopette!
Met Julie Hackett: who introduced herself. Extremely nice and charming young lady.


Now about the tournament!
It was well organized and well-run with the First and Last Names of all participants properly spelled, printed and posted for all to see.


We started playing around 9:30 am and completed 3 timed games before lunch. In the afternoon, as usual, we started to compete for the Concours and Consolante. Tamara and I barely managed to win a single game and were sent packing after our 5th game.


But this was part of my strategy. After leaving the competition, I put away my boules and unsheathed my camera.


Some people believe that I have the gift of ubiquity, but this not quite accurate. I can only be at one place at a time and you will normally find me where the light conditions are most favorable for photography. If you don’t see yourself in my new photo album, it is probably because you played in a shaded area.


The tournament attracted a bunch of very good players and the competition was fierce. Not being able (yet) to be at two places at the same time, I opted to pay closer attention to the Concours than to the Consolante.


In the semifinals, Peter Mathis and Holly Sammons faced Mickey Coughlin and Barbara Hall. It started very badly for Mickey and Barbara. At one point they were led 3 to 8 by Peter and Holly. It did not look good, but they did not give up. Little by little, they came back to reach 10/11.
At this moment, anybody could have won, but finally, Mathis/Sammons prevailed and won the match 13/10.


One of the most interesting game of the tournament, with all the players, playing extremely well.

In the Concours finals, Peter and Holly came against Fue Vang and Mae Her Vang, the same people who trounced us in the morning.


Fue has an unorthodox style of shooting but can be very accurate; Mae points very well. But against Peter and Holly, they seemed to freeze and were unable to score a single point. Needless to say that Peter shot extremely well and Holly kept her usual steady cool.
The game ended sadly by a Fanny: 13/0.


On the Consolante side, Serge Hanne and Dolzee Austin battled Carlos Couto and Beth Lysten, the same miscreants who beat us 13/4 earlier.

1st place: Peter Mathis and Holly Sammons – $ 120.00 for each
2nd place: Fue Vang and Mae Her Vang – $80.00 each
3rd place: Mickey Coughlin and Barbara Hall – $60.00 each


1st place: Carlos Couto and Beth Lysten – $48.00 each
2nd place: Serge Hanne and Dolzee Austin – $32.00 each
3rd place: Jean-Claude Bunand and Liliane Sebban – $20.00 each



May 19, 2017

- Update #1: FPUSA & Jules Le Noir Petanque Club -

FPUSA Members: Pre and Post Marseillaise Activities

in La Ciotat’s Jules Le Noir Pétanque Club – Birthplace of Pétanque

This is an update on the events that are planned in La Ciotat, France during the weeks surrounding La Marseillaise in 2017. The initial announcement from FPUSA was emailed to all FPUSA members on March 19, 2017.
The city of La Ciotat has organized a variety of activities relating to pétanque – most notably a formal proclamation, by the Mayor of La Ciotat, that will establish un jumelage(twinning) between the Jules Le Noir Petanque Club (birthplace of pétanque) and the Federation Pétanque USA. This unique document will establish a relationship between the two organizations that will promote the sport of pétanque between our two cultures and encourage future reciprocal visits. See Invitation below for official announcement.


IMPORTANT: If you are attending or are considering attending any of these activities in La Ciotat, you should register with Jim Schwobel. 
You may email him at  or call/text him at 512-619-4646.

Future updates with important information will be sent to only those who register with Jim.


 Friday, June 30 is the big day!  
(See Program below for exact schedule). Free!

There will be an all day tournament "Berceau de la Pétanque Cup." at JLNPC with picnic lunch.  FPUSA and JLNPC members only!

In the evening, there will be the dinner-banquet where the Mayor of La Ciotat will present the official "twinning” proclamation on the patio of the historic Eden Theater overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

FPUSA members are also invited to participate in these activities: 

- Daily tournaments with prize money during the week before La Marseillaise. Various formats, entry fee   5€/player

- July 1: Pre-Marseillaise Triples Tournament at Jules Le Noir / 500€ prizes (FPUSA license required).     Entry fee 5€/player

- July 2: La Marseillaise – free shuttle bus to/from Marseille for FPUSA participants (1 trip/day,  maximum 16 people)

- Daily tournaments in La Ciotat with prize money during the week after La Marseillaise at BOTH  pétanque clubs: JLNPC and

  Cercle des Boulomanes Ciotadens. These two clubs are only 200 meters   apart! Various formats, entry fee 5€/player

Additional activities being planned include: 

- Boat trip to the Calanques (beautiful coves on the Mediterranean coast) - 31€

- Free shuttle bus trip to see the Boule Bleue factory. If you were to pre-order boules, you could pick   them up on this trip.

- Two ½-day (morning) workshops conducted by local coaches at Jules Le Noir Pétanque Club - 10€/day

Here is some additional information to help you plan for this great pétanque experience:

To register for La Marseillaise:

- City of La Ciotat Web site:

- Video of La CIotat:

- Eden Theater web site:

- Web sites for lodging in La Ciotat:                    



- Lodging in the “Old Town” or near the “Old Port” is less than a 10 minute walk to everything including   JLNPC

If you want to extend your adventure, remember that Bastille Day celebration isFriday, July 14, a national holiday in France

Address of Jules Le Noir Pétanque Club: Traverse des Pieds Tanqués 13600 La Ciotat

Facebook page: search “jules le noir pétanque”

For those people staying in Marseille, you are welcome to participate in any of the activities in La Ciotat. There is train service between the two towns but you will need to take a bus or cab from the La Ciotat train station to downtown La Ciotat (10 minutes)

Remember, to receive future updates, please notify Jim Schwobel.

You may email him at  or call/text him at 512-619-4646
Future updates with important information will be sent to only those who register with Jim.

April 27, 2017

A message from Philippe Boets about The 2017 Petanque America Open and the Petanque America business.


Hello all!


The PA Open:
I'm getting a lot of calls about the Open this year.
Our local Tourist Office (AICVB) has agreed to take over the overall organization. The competition proper will be run by Ernesto Santos & Xavier Thibaud, who did a great job last year as well. .
Dates are Nov 10/11/12 and registration starts on May 1st, at 10amET.


The new website:


This means that - for the very first time - I can be there and welcome you all without having to stress out over the logistics! ☺


PA business
Some of you also know that, after 26 years (OMG, has it been thàt long, no wonder!), I want to slow down with the "24/7/365 petanque".
As of May 1st, I will be joined by Joel Woodlief, who will gradually take over the business and make sure equipment remains readily available, right here in America, from Amelia Island. Joel is new to petanque, but has lots of experience in business and marketing, and I am confident he will take very good care of the petanque community.


We will continue to promote:
- the inexpensive, chrome sets, for beginners on a budget, for when lots of boules are needed, to lend out, etc...
- Obut competition boules (with the drop of the Euro, no more need to import from elsewhere as I did before).
- the new, intermediate, Obut stainless steel leisure boules. They are great value for money, in 8 designs, at $64 per set of 3. More than ever, I believe the focus for beginners should be on "good quality, middle of the road", instead of "only official boules". One of the reasons why our Amelia Island club grew so fast, and steadfastly remains among the top clubs in numbers, is that we never worry about "regulation" boules. The easier it is to get newcomers started, the better.
And we remain always open to suggestions for new, complementary items.


I sincerely appreciate your support over all these years and look forward to see many of you here in November!  ☺



PS: feel free to pass this message along to your club members.


Petanque America
1438 E Oak St
Fernandina Beach - Amelia Island, FL 32034
Phone: 904-491-1190

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