Monday, January 28, 2008

Do you think about playing wth the big boys in Europe?

Our International Events Coordinator, Robert Pierre, has compiled a list of tournaments in Europe open to us as FPUSA license holders. As you know, there are also tournaments open to all regardless of federation affiliation, notably the “Marseillaise” held, of course, in Marseille, but here is a more exclusive list for you to consider.

Robert tells us that these are special tournaments because over time the FPUSA has achieved “invitation” status to them, and as such, teams entering represent the FPUSA and that sometimes food, lodging, entry fees, and other expenses are granted to our team(s).

So here we go:

EuroPetanque d´Azur in Nice, France, usually the second or third week end of July (probably July 18 thru 21 in 2008),

Dronero in Italy, the last week end of July (July 25 thru 28 in 2008),

Zurich in Switzerland, mid August, usually the week end after the “Mondial” in Millau, France (2008 date to be confirmed),

Nismes in Belgium, the last week end of August (23/24 in 2008)

In most of the cases, the organizers would expect to have “national teams”, but high level teams are admitted instead, as national teams are not always available. Yet, with the exception of the EuroPetanque d´Azur, wearing a FPUSA jersey is mandatory everywhere, as well as appropriate behavior.

Still reading and curious? Here are some details:

EuroPetanque d´Azur, Nice, France
Select triplettes only, tournament and consolante, both with direct elimination. Max. 512 teams. Also features a women select triplettes with some 64 teams.
Three days starting on a Saturday morning, registration on Friday afternoon.
Invitation includes entry fee for the main tournament, hotel and meals, and an invitation for the dinner and show Gala on Friday evening. FPUSA jersey is not mandatory, yet recommended. Easy access from Nice int’l airport.

Dronero, Italy
The biggest tournament in Italy. Men and women tournaments, at least 10 to 12 countries are represented. Teams must enter a triplette and a doublette selects. Tournament and consolante, both starting in pools. Over 500 teams for men, a little less for women.
Two days, starting on Saturday morning, but participation to the official dinner on Friday evening is mandatory, as international teams are officially introduced. Invitation include entry fees, hotel and meals. FPUSA jersey mandatory. Dronero is only accessible by car. Recommended from Nice, France or Milan, Italy. It is close to Cuneo in northern Italy

Zurich, Switzerland
Extremely high level tournament. In 2007, 14 countries were present, including several national teams (seniors and juniors).
The last two versions have been won by Marco Foyot, several times world Champion. Men and women tournaments, select triplettes and doublettes same as in Dronero. Main tournament and several consolantes, both starting in pools. Over 500 teams for men, a little less for women.
Three days starting on Friday evening with a mandatory melee participation.
Invitation includes a lump sum per team barely covering 30% of the expenses. FPUSA jersey mandatory. Access from Zurich int’l airport.

Nismes, Belgium
Nismes is a very small village near the french border, a 3 hour drive from Brussels, Belgium or from Paris, France.
The local club has 25 licensees, yet, they manage to invite nearly one hundred foreign triplettes, with the sponsorship of the whole village, the population of which more than doubles during this week end. Absolutely amazing.
Select triplettes on Saturday with a main tournament and two cascading consolantes. Starting with pools of 4, 2 wins stay in the main tournament,
2 losses move to the second consolante, 1 win and 1 loss to the first consolante. Select doublettes on Sunday, including over 500 teams in 2007 for men only.
Nismes also features select triplettes and doublettes for women, and a tournament for juniors on Sunday. Participation in a melee on Friday evening is expected, though not mandatory. Invitation includes hotel and meals. Car is mandatory as the hotel could be miles away. FPUSA jersey mandatory.

Application procedure for FPUSA players:
1. In order to represent the FPUSA and be officially invited to these tournaments, it is mandatory to submit either full teams or individual entries.
2. Entries should be sent to Robert Pierre, FPUSA International Program Coordinator, ( no later than 4/30 for EuroPetanque and Dronero, and no later than 5/31 for Zurich and Nismes.
3. It should be understood that invitations must not be taken for granted and depend on the good will, and the budget, of the organizers.
Entries will be considered in the order they are received.
4. All interested must have been FPUSA licensees for at least 2 years and must be in good standing. All teams will be reviewed by the FPUSA Sport Committee for approval.
5. Teams should include at least one topnotch player (Elite for the french Federation for example), Members of the USA current national teams will be given priority.
6. Players will have to pay for their own equipment (jersey, sweat suit, etc.) and be prepared to bear their own expenses.
(photos courtesy of