National Petanque Convention

 

Petanque Talk!

OK, before anyone gets too excited, as far as I know there is no National Petanque Convention, Workshop, Camp or any other such event planned for the near future. But that doesn't mean that we can't do some preliminary thinking about what it might be like if we did have one.

Here's what I would like to see. The same weekend as the World Championship Qualifier Tournament, at the same time in the same city there is held a National Petanque Convention. It would be a convention like any other hobby or sports convention - booths of equipment manufacturers, round table discussions, expert presentations, workshops... of course the gala final event would be the tournament finals on Sunday with everyone from the convention watching and cheering on their favorite team and players.

Each year, a number of famous petanque players would be brought in to do workshops, and sign autographs. Boules manufacturers would come to show us why their boules are the best and bring some of their sponsored players along to help convince us! Other clubs would set up booths to encourage us to go to their major tournaments, perhaps their booths would be sponsored by their local Chamber of Commerces. European travel agencies would tempt us with special group rates to the major tournaments in France and Germany, indeed to the World Championships! Dealers' booths would offer a plethora of boules, petanque DVDs, books, apparel and equipment.

We would meet people that we have only known through internet web sites and exchange ideas over dinner and become close friends.

Let's fill the town with petanque!
 
  Imagine!

Sure the tournament participants would probably miss out on a lot of the workshops, autograph signings and fun stuff like that, but that's the price one pays for chasing fame and glory. And anyhow the rest of us need those workshops to catch up. Of course the advantage to them is that they would have hundreds of cheering fans for their finals! And you had better believe we will be watching their progress and cheering them on (via whatever means available to us) as they go to the Worlds representing the good old US of A!

 
 

A National Convention could be an income generator for the FPUSA and the hosting club. A recent American Begonia Society National Convention in California turned a cool $18,000 profit. Not a huge amount but I suspect that is more than the FPUSA brings in annually in dues. So that such an event were not an impossible burden on the local club, the FPUSA could handle some of the coordination, and the local club could suggest appropriate hotels, near their terrain, and arrange for shuttle from the convention hotel(s) and the terrain.

DVDs of the tournament, workshops, demonstrations and presentations would be made and sold to benefit the FPUSA.

I want to see Suchaud!  
 
Foyot Master Class?

Workshops could be fashioned as "Master Classes" similar to ones that I saw at a small but very successful classical guitar convention. People paid to be admitted to the convention, allowing them to watch any Master Class, or other presentation. However, if they wanted a "private" lesson from the Master, they paid extra ($80.00 if my memory serves me) to have one on one time with the Master. Everyone else watched and learned too, but that person had his technique watched and perfected by the Master. The same could be done with petanque - if you wanted one on one with Foyot or Quintais, you could do so at the National Petanque Convention!

Or workshops could be en masse at a nearby terrain with all participants learning to curve, or a better way to carreau, or learning the niceties of the high lob.

 
 

Presentations would include discussions and tips for putting petanque into local physical education programs and community centers. The advantages to the tourism and recreation industries of putting in a petanque terrain for their patrons. Petanque for rehabilitation of the handicapped. Alternate game forms. Running a tournament or league. Terrain maintenance. A fashion show of what the Europeans are wearing on the piste! Question & Answer with past World Champions. Exercises for shoulder health. Trajectories favorable to carreaus. Tactics. Building stamina for two day tournaments. Walking the line and end evaluation. And many, many, more!

 

Stronger shoulders!
 
 
Claudy! Show us how to shoot!

The National Shooting Contest - always an impressive event - would be held at the Convention, perhaps in the hotel parking lot! Throw some dirt down and bring in some bleachers the way they do in France!

A skills test course could be set up with small prizes for different levels of success either in the hotel parking lot or at a nearby terrain. This would be a fun course, like a miniature golf course for the pointers to show off their skills.

It would be an incredibly fun, educational and inspirational event. We would all go home inspired to practice what we learned and become even better petanque players. In doing so we would challenge our home club members, and teach them what we learned at the Convention and they would consequently become more skilled players. The positive effects on the sport of petanque generated by the National Petanque Convention would spread throughout the United States, and more people would find joy in the game and encourage their friends to play.

I can hardly wait! So when is the next National Petanque Convention??? I'm there!!!

 

OK, I so can't wait for the next National Petanque Convention, that I am in the process of organizing a Petanque Camp on the California Central Coast! For more information on this exciting weekend click here: Petanque Camp at Camp Ocean Pines, Cambria.