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