Sunday, December 26, 2010
Another year has come and gone, and I hope it was a good one for you all.
FPUSA experienced growth in membership once again in 2010, crossing the 1,500 member threshold with more clubs than ever before. Although numbers are not fastidiously kept, it is clear that participation was up over the 7 national and 21 regional tournaments held in 2010.
Thanks again to all our host clubs and volunteers for putting on the 2010 program and to all who played or supported our title tournaments. We are making strides in our organization and sport administration — not perfect by any means, but members are really coming around to the improvements that we have been trying to implement over the past few years.
I want to give a big thanks as well to the 2010 FPUSA Sport Committee members, Gilles Canesse, Christophe Chambers, Diana Jacobs, Albyn Jones and Paul Yang, for their valuable help in making sport policy and for serving the membership at our tournaments. And to our FPUSA Blog masters, Juan Garcia, Dan Danielson, Joe Martin and Frank Pipal, and to the numerous club bloggers out there, for posting photos and results of our title tournaments throughout the year.
Here are a few highlights from 2010:
Seniors' World Championship
Our compliments and congratulations should go to our Team Captain Jean-Pierre Subrenat, Xavier Thibaud, Eric Bertin, PJ Mallette and Coach Steve Ginsberg for their fine performance at the World Championship in Turkey this past October. They qualified for the concours playoff, something a US team has not done in recent memory, with a position of 18 out of 48 teams.
It was a long haul for our team. They qualified way back in September of 2008 (when we were unsure about the World Championship schedule). Then they had to travel to Montreal in December of 2009 to "qualify" again for one of the two Pan American Confederation's slots at the 2010 WC. It turned out that there was only the USA and Canada at the Pan Am playoff. But our guys kept their competitive edge and defeated Canada, winning two of three games, and took home the first Pan American championship trophy. Nice job, all around!
Women's Qualifier for the 2011 World Championship
This past July, nine women's teams competed for the honor of representing us at next year's Women's World Championship. The event was characterized by tight games and good spirits, so compliments to all for making the event successful and rewarding.
As we all know, only one team can take home the gold. And they were Antonia Paulsen, Diana Jacobs and Pym Nielsen. Winning in comeback fashion over a couple of strong teams in the semis and the finals, they scratched their way to impressive victories, never giving up until the last boule was played. The team has selected Cynthia Stroud, who was part of our 2009 US Team, as the fourth player. Be sure to wish them the best of luck, next time you see them!
Juniors' Qualifier for the 2011 World Championship
For the first time in quite a while, we held a Juniors' Qualifier. Two teams from Fresno, California and Eugene, Oregon faced off for a one-day, best-of-5 series this past July. The sportsmanship that all players and coaches exhibited was exemplary. The match was close and, in the 5th game, Fresno won a nail-biter, taking the series 3 games to 2. The day's match was so close that the total "points for" and "points against" after the five games were dead even!
Congratulations to Pengsue Normen, Hai Normen and Kenny Yang for a job well done. And to the Eugene team of Jackson Bedbury, Carly Stasack and Rio O'Mary. Carly was chosen as the fourth player. Special Thanks to Coaches Paul Yang and Mike Stasack, and to "Chief Statistician" Ryan Baker.
Note: no dates or host sites have been set for the 2011 WC's. Hopefully there will be announcement early in the new year.
We did very well with Nationals in 2010. You can get results from the various entries on our blog, but turnout was great both in Brooklyn (Doubles) and in Lafayette, CA (Singles and Mixed Triples). Triples, hosted by Portland, suffered a bit by not being a qualifier, but luckily there was one team from New York who competed. All other players were from the west coast.
It was nice to see the calendar fill up in three of our regions. The NE is still a tough nut to crack — must be that old "Yankee independence" thing, or something like that. But a big thanks to the NYPC for carrying the program forward there. The players really appreciate it.
Some notes on 2011:
Please see posted events calendar.
FIPJP has changed the traditional "Seniors' World Championship" to "Men's World Championship." All male players must be 18 years of age or older. Our Qualifier will therefore be "Men Only." More details on the event to be held in Lafayette, CA will be forthcoming. We will try to have a secondary tournament, an "open," so that women, juniors and players who are not interested in going to the WCs can be part of the event
Make your travel plans now for the upcoming Mixed Triples and Men's & Women's Singles to be held January 22-23 in Boca Raton, FL. Entry forms and hospitality info will be released soon.
And how about that Fresno Petanque Club?! They will be hosting their first nationals on May 14-15: Mixed Doubles and Men's & Women's Doubles. FPC has a reputation for top notch hospitality, so this one promises to be a real barn-burner!
With our regional offerings now at 7 different formats, you might say we are at our saturation point. The flip side of this "something-for-everyone" approach is that there is plenty to choose from for regions and host clubs. If you have any ideas for new or improved formats, please contact me or a member of the Sport Committee.
Again, three regions have filled the 2011 calendar pretty well. It's still early for event planning in the northern climes, but it's nice to see Maine Boules Club signing up for a couple NE regionals. Let's hope for a few more slots to fill in up there - maybe a Mixed format or two. Despite the many challenges and few members in the Midwest Region, we are still holding out hope for a Midwest regional at some point in time.
Note: SW and NW Regional Singles will be separated into Men's and Women's in 2011. This is an experiment and, is optional for the host clubs. If successful, we will consider making it a permanent feature of our regional program.
Everyone's favorite topic. Ha!... The Sport Committee will discuss and submit some format and rule updates for our title tournaments and qualifier in the new year. FIPJP/FPUSA official rules of the game will be published by Secretary Frank Pipal and distributed to the clubs with the 2011 license packets.
The 2010 regs and official rules will remain applicable until the 2011 editions arrive.
Best Holiday Wishes to you and your families.
And thanks again for your support of FPUSA!
FPUSA National Sport Director
Saturday, December 18, 2010
From the Boule on Kill Petanque Club in Esperance, New York, we have a Happy New Year Greeting.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
FPUSA National Doubles Saturday Sept. 25th 2010 hosted by New York Petanque Club
On Saturday the National Mixed doublet was held at the beautiful new Paul Ricard petanque courts located in Prospect park, Brooklyn. Thanks to a strong contingent from Maine Boules Club, we managed to gather together 20 teams for the contest. 3 games were played in the morning, followed by a lunch provided by one of the club’s sponsors—P’tit Paris.
After lunch, we took 12 teams forward into the concours, with 8 teams going to the consolante. The final was played right into the evening and finished under the lights from nearby lamp posts and car headlights. Such is the chance we take when booking one-day tournaments late in the year. With entry fees and purse incentives, FPUSA was able to give out $1100 dollars in prize money. Not bad for a mixed doublette.
On Sunday it was 2 separate tournaments, the Men’s doubles and the Women’s doubles. The women’s contest fielded 8 solid teams, while on the men’s side 22 teams competed. After lunch, 4 women’s teams and 14 men’s teams moved on to the concours playoffs. There was $900 available to the men and $200 dollars for the women. Of course the first three places in all tournaments received FPUSA medals as well.
Overall, it was a great weekend with a nice turnout. Everyone celebrated the end of the tourney with a complimentary aperitif provided by NYPC sponsor RICARD. Goodbyes were said, and then players disappeared into the New York night.
FPUSA National Mixed Doubles Results: Saturday Sept. 25th 2010
1) Richard “Ti” Meas / Lorissa Rinehart LBNY
2) Yngve Biltsted / Leyla Biltsted LBNY
3) Xavier Thibaud / Holly Sammons NYPC / Willits
4) Diane Bianco / Joe Martin Maine / Portland OR
1) Erin McTaggart / Mike Menefee Willits
2) Alec Stone Sweet / Narin Garrett LBNY / Willits
FPUSA National Womens Doubles Results: Sunday Sept. 26th 2010
1) Cynthia Stroud / Susan Shaw Maine
2) Holly Sammons / Shannon Bowman Lamorinda /Willits
3) Mia Kanazawa / Kate Unkel Maine
4) Narin Garrett / Kate Brideau Willits / LBNY
1) Lorissa Rinehart / Erin McTaggart LBNY / Willits
2) Peggy Matsuda / M. J. Campbell Mann Petanque Mariniere / Maine
FPUSA National Mens Doubles Results: Sunday Sept. 26th 2010
1) Eric Bertin / Xavier Thibaud NYPC
2) Amadou Thiam / Charlie Kossi LBNY
3) Emile Boujeke / Steve Ginsberg LBNY / NYPC
4) Bill Harris / Nick Mullendore NYPC
1) Gilles Ray / Antoine Ray NYPC
2) Jean Pierre Subrenat / Franck Labasse NYPC
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
4) Eric Bertin / Xavier Thibaud
5) Marc Vendrine / Jean Blanchet
6) Bernard Martin / Jean Pierre Hueaud
7) Peter Mathis / Roger Arpaïa
8) Juan Garcia / Mamary Coulibali
1) Art Zuev / Paul Iskin
2) Yngve & Leyla Biltsted
3) Yves Chenette / Pascal Hénault
4) Joseph Hassoune / Jean-Pierre Hemery
1) Jeannot Ruperti / Franck Labasse
2) David Spangenberg / Peggy Matsuda
3) Joel Acchiardi / Joe Drago
4) Stephen Johns / Fernando Triana
1) Robert Pierre / Michel Ribet
2) Jon Claessens / Corey Milliord
3) Andre Strong / Cynthia Stroud
4) Gina DeJoy / Susan Shaw
1) Gilles LaChance / Michel Robechaud
2) Michel Crouzillat / Raymond Fulconais
3) Jean Dagorn / Dan Feaster
4) Armand Lallinec / Jean Birocheaux
1) Daniel Smith / Augustin Vigoureux
2) Howard Ando / Jane Wilkinson
Reported Results by Christophe Chambers. Petanque America.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
(click on the graph to enlarge it)
FPUSA membership is experiencing steady and respectable growth, now at over 1500 players, a high mark for the organization, according to FPUSA Secretary, Frank Pipal.
The graph clearly shows that more new players are joining us each year than are being lost to attrition. The number of clubs is increasing also, with a gradual trend toward filling in some areas of the country that have been missing out on how much fun the game of petanque is.
Adding new players, new clubs, and new venues for tournaments are sure ways to keep our organization on track to set new records.
If you are a member of the FPUSA, then you deserve a pat on the back for welcoming these new players and helping us to continue growing! Thank you!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Those who have been following the World Championships that concluded a couple of weeks ago (October 7-11) know of the results: France won both the triples competition and the shooting contest. The team from Madagascar was second and Spain and Mauritania were collectively in 3rd place. A new world record in the shooting was set by Claudy Weibel of Belgium (66 points out of 100 possible).
And, the Turkish federation with only a couple of months notice, pulled off a very well organized event. You'll remember the championship had originally been awarded to Taiwan but earlier this year, it was determined they would be unable to fulfill their commitment to host it and Turkey, thankfully, took it on.
Our team of four was captained by Jean-Pierre Subrenat, and the three others were Xavier Thibaud, Eric Bertin (all NYPC), and PJ Malette, well known Bay Area player. Steve Ginsberg, also NYPC, had signed on as coach.
Our team was one of the 48 best teams from around the world who gathered in Izmir for a few days of games to sort out the best-of-the-best.
With coaches and delegates and spectators, there were about 500 of us, not counting the large staff of Turkish volunteers and those from the FIPJP.
The teams sought out practice grounds in the dual purpose park containing trade fair pavilions and an amusement park with a roller coaster and bumper cars, etc. There were dirt areas and a practice court had been constructed outside.
Jet lag aside, our guys were feeling good, looked sharp in their uniforms, and one could just sense they were going to play well together.
The large hall had been configured with 24 courts and the concrete floor had been covered with about an inch of coarse and fine gravel. Indeed, there were some spots where a previously tossed boule had blown the gravel away, leaving bare concrete and a boule would descend from its plombée to land directly on bare concrete and then go soaring off the court.
Each team played a total of 5 qualifying games (3 on Friday, 2 on Saturday) using the Swiss System which arranges matches according to how well teams are playing, better teams end up being matched with better teams, worse teams with others that are not playing so well.
At the end of these 5 matches, our U.S. team was ranked a very strong 18th out of the 48 teams in the competition! Rarely in our 30 years of sending teams to the worlds has our U.S. team ranked so high in the qualifying matches. The chemistry and camaraderie was there; it was enough to make one very proud of these players.
In these 5 games, we won against Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Russia, and lost against Thailand and Portugal. Steve's spot on coaching provided valuable strategic insight and all our players logged time in the matches.
All the qualifying games were timed as is necessary in the Swiss system (1¼ hours plus 2 ends), and in the game against Russia, we were down 5-8 after the 1¼ hour time limit, but in the next two ends we pulled ahead 9-8, and got our 3 wins that was needed to qualify for the concours. A nail biter for us!
As it happened, our Concours pool included Morocco and Portugal, and we ended up losing twice and were sent into the Coupe de Nations, where unfortunately for us, we lost to Djibouti, a strong team that got to the Coupe de Nations semi-finals. So then we were spectators which meant we were able to enjoy watching the best teams progress.
On Sunday, the matches concluded with some of the best petanque playing many have ever seen. These players in the worlds are able to make a very high percentage of their boules count in the game, with only the occasional stray point or missed shot. And, many of their shots result in a carreau, so they will shoot a far away boule holding the point knowing there is a good chance their boule will sit in the same spot (sur place) or at least hang around for the point.
In the final for the world championship, it was France against Madagascar. They went back and forth on the score, but it ended up 12-12. In the last end, the jack was pushed out to 12 meters. France held a not too close point, Madagascar shot their last boule, knocking out the French boule. Their boule rolled very close to the jack giving them two points because they had another not so close boule. Philippe Suchaud made a clean shot on the Madagascar boule at 12 meters, leaving Madagascar with the winning point, but France had one more boule and Henri Lacroix pointed it in to win the game! The crowd erupted in cheering and the French team ran to each other hugging and kissing. It was a spectacular game!
After the awards ceremony with the winner's nation's flags being raised and medals looped over heads and bouquets of flowers presented, the 45th World Championship concluded.
That evening there was a gala dinner at a restaurant on the waterfront featuring an entire roasted lamb and pasta and much hugging between the players of the various teams, and trading of team shirts with one another, sometimes peeled off one player to be put on by another.
The New Zealand team doing a very fine "Haka" dance at the Gala Dinner as part of that country's bid to host the 2012 World Championships.
Monday morning several hundred players and delegates made their way by taxi to the Izmir airport for the flights home.
Quite an experience to be around so many excellent players but all enjoying the same camaraderie that you and I experience when we meet for casual play on our courts.
The next Worlds is in 2012, maybe you will want to start sharpening your game now.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Our good friend and player, Roger Arpaia, of the Boca 2000 club who coordinates activities for the week long Festival of Petanque of Salaberry de Valleyfield in Quebec, about 50 miles SW of Montreal, tells us that we players have only two weeks to register for the kick off tournament, the Ben Gauthier International Triplette.
To our amazement, we have learned that there are 72 gravel courts which are the site every year of a days long series of competitions, 23 July through August 1st.
There are several classes of tournaments to accommodate players of all skill levels and qualifications. No doubt some of the 9 different tournaments are for holders of Canadian federation licenses, but Roger emphasizes their welcome extends to Americans, too, so there will be spots for all entrants. Entry fees and prizes vary according to tournament. Camping is available, too.
This is as close to a "petanque immersion" as one can imagine, don't you think?
Complete information is available on the petanque club's website:
Roger can be contacted for details and questions: firstname.lastname@example.org