Saturday, August 15, 2015

At The Village 2015 Pétanque Tournament, Losers Can be Winners

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The 2015 pétanque tournament  in our village in the Auvergne took place behind the building which houses the 'mairie' and the small elementary school.
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The tournament was hosted by the local hunting club.  Registration took place on the main village square in front of the hunters' club house and next to the church.
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Though the event was supposed to start at 2pm, it took a while for people to assemble.
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This was a 'doublet' tournament, so friends and neighbors teamed up in pairs.
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Patrick and Michel, two of my neighbors were in charge.
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Everything was quite official...
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Eveline, Michel's wife kept track.
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Players either brought their old, scratched up boules,
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or shiny new ones.
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As in years past, there were drinks and sandwiches.  Notice that wine was cheaper than Coke.
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The pétanque courts had been set up in the schoolyard, underneath the old apple trees.
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The fallen apples had been swept aside.
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There would be four games for each team.
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Tension was high as the first game began.
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In all, there were 16 teams.
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Some took the game more seriously than others.
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But secretly, everyone wanted to win.
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Mr. Pardon Me had teamed up with our neighbor, Mr. M.
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Concentration...
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'C'est à vous!'…Your turn to play.
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Some players have perfected the quick flick of the wrist.
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and some adversaries were impossible to beat, no matter the strategy.
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The better players always seem to use a rag to clean the boules before throwing. ( We will have to remember to bring one to next year's tournament.)
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Form is important, of course.
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So is keeping track of the score.
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How to  get one's boule closest to the small wooden cochonet?
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Before throwing a boule, it's important to take a moment to plan its trajectory.
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A tape measure is essential.
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Taking a break.
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After each game, the scores are noted.
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Mr. Pardon Me and Mr. M. lost the first game,
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"Take our picture" they asked.
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Since the winners of a pétanque game have to buy the losers a drink, it was time to step up to the 'bar'.
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So, you see, even if you lose, you can be a winner at pétanque.



1 comment:

Gary Dolan said...

Lovely picture book story. Thanks!