Petanque

A report from Councillor Mike Cohen’s blog.

There is something new at Cote Saint-Luc District 2 Rembrandt Park.

This week pétanque courts have made their debut. Councillor Mike Cohen saw a lot of  these courts during his recent visits to Paris and Nice.

Pétanque is an extremely simple game, just like horseshoes. There’s a target, and you have to get as close to it as possible. What makes it so appealing, is that you can be way ahead for a while, yet lose a second later, or vice versa. Because nothing is decided until the last player plays the very last boule. If he or she moves the target ball or knocks an opponent ball out of the way, the layout of the boules – and thus your score – may change dramatically.

This game is for people  of any age, as strength or speed are not important. Pétanque evolved early this century from an old French bowl game (la boule Provencale), when one of the old champions, meanwhile suffering from arthritis and mourning his heydays, suggested there be no more running and jumping: everyone should throw the boules standing still, feet together, in a small starting circle. The old champion was back in the game! These days, on many market places in France, petanque is played day in, day out. While retirees are in the majority during weekdays, teenagers and everyone else who wants to unwind for a while will join them after school or work and on weekends.

Players of all ages are invited to gather for games of pick-up pétanque. You must bring your own balls and jack.  If you are interested in participating in a league, contact François Marechal at francoismarechal@videotron.ca or 514-996-8709.

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