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Petanque: The Greatest Game You Never Heard Of: Beyond Bocce, the Elegant & Intelligent French Game of Boules: 1 [Copertina flessibile]

B. W. Putman

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Descrizione del libro

7 ottobre 2011
Almost everyone is familiar with the Italian bowls game Bocce. With the exception of those who have traveled to France, few Americans know Pétanque the "Elegant & Intelligent French Game of Boules." Contrary to the opinion of many ill-informed Americans, the French are a warm and generous people - that is except when it comes to their national game of Pétanque. In America too many clubs are tightly controlled by elitist French-Americans who practice Pétanque as an extension of French culture rather than a competitive sport. This book lets the genie out of the Bordeaux bottle. Americans are the most diverse and sporting people in the world. With respect and admiration to my French friends, now is the time to relinquish control and let the entire world embrace this great sport.

Since I'm stepping on cultural toes (and with apologies to U.S. Bocce players who outnumber U.S. Pétanque players by a 1,000-to-1 ratio) Bocce is to Pétanque what checkers is to chess. Bocce is a simple, two-dimensional rolling game. Although it reputedly can be played on any surface, other than the most casual Bocce game is confined to expensive, smooth and level groomed courts enclosed with side and backboards; Pétanque is a three-dimensional throwing game in which the concept of a formal court doesn't exist. Even the world championships are played on rough, unlevel, ungroomed dirt and crushed gravel terrains. Ugly terrains tend to make Pétanque both aerial and savagely aggressive - boules are rarely rolled, instead they are gracefully lofted high into the air and competitor's boules are removed from play with sniper-like precision before the shooter's boule even touches the ground.

If you're looking for a fun distraction during a family barbeque, stick with Bocce; if you want to be challenged with a subtle, complex, multilayered, inexpensive, egalitarian, environmentally friendly and truly universal sport - then you've got to give Pétanque a hard look. Like all great sports it can be played casually, but it's true essence is only revealed (and fully appreciated) during intense competition.

This is the first comprehensive English language Pétanque book. The 8-1/2" x 11" format accommodates comfortable viewing of the over 100 diagrams and photos. With a few minutes of introductory practice throws, you can play games and have a great time; however, after teaching over 120 people how to throw in just the past year I can unequivocally state that the more technique and strategy one masters, the more engaging and fulfilling Pétanque becomes. The book starts at the absolute novice level and provides sufficient technique and strategy instruction to take a player to a regional-level competition. In Pétanque (like all things French) "function follows form"; throw effortlessly with style and grace, and your game will flourish!

You probably don't live near an existing Pétanque club - but that's not necessarily bad. Starting a new group provides the opportunity to establish baseline etiquette and player ethics to create an inclusive and supportive, yet uncompromisingly competitive environment. Without any prior Pétanque experience you can create a start-up group for less than $100 and a few hours of time. You don't need a formal terrain; play on the types of public spaces reminiscent of the south of France where Pétanque originated: packed dirt public plazas, gravel walking paths, unpaved parking areas, and in America you're never more than a few miles from the dirt infield of a baseball diamond. These surfaces are great terrains.

Strive to have club demographics reflect your community. More than just a great game, Pétanque is an ideal tool to unite a diverse neighborhood with a fun, challenging and inclusive activity in which all can participate. And never forget, we have the French to thank for it!

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Amazon.com: 4.6 su 5 stelle  16 recensioni
12 di 12 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
2.0 su 5 stelle The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, not necessarily in that order. 17 agosto 2012
Di Michael & Cynthia Chaplin - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
I enjoy both bocce and petanque as a casual player, and was eager to learn how to improve my game. I'm very glad I found this book, but I'm even more glad I didn't find it as a rank novice, or it would have turned me off from all types of boules entirely! Parts of the book should rank 5 stars, and other parts should rank zero stars. Let's take the worst, first ...

The Bad and the Ugly: The title of this book as it is currently edited really ought to be "Petulant: The Greatest Whine You'll Ever Read." While others may write of the joy of their favorite sports, Mr. Putman spends far too many pages writing on the "Misery of Petanque." From the very beginning, the author whines about how he failed to be accepted by French immigrant/expat communities in the US, whines about how he failed to engage the sport's governing body in the US, whines about how that body is failing in its duties, whines about how he first failed to interest his friends and family in the game, or whines about how he failed to be interested by other forms of boules, such as bocce. While most of the offending material is in the front of the book and can easily be skipped over, the author cannot but help to snipe and slip in the occasional negative comment, like some useless nag. And while we learn why he thinks petanque is the best game ever, hardly any of the joy of the game itself is communicated to the reader - at least not without being tainted by further whining about the aforementioned topics. If I had read this as a rank novice, I would have likely lost all interest in boules in general, and petanque in particular. Are we meant to have fun, or enlist in a campaign?

(Pro-tips: When writing a book whose object is to sell a game to a potential market of about 300 million Americans, it's generally considered a bad idea to insult them by broadly painting them as being so uncultured as to be uninterested in any sport that doesn't involve cheerleaders or beer sponsorships, no matter how much you may believe it to be true. Also, before complaining about someone else's book devoting a significant portion of its content to court design, try to see the potential irony in similarly devoting a significant portion of your own book - no matter how justified or well written - to ball choice. In that vein, if you happen to prefer one form of boules over another, it's much more edifying to read why you like the one you like, not why you think the other is deficient: De gustibus non est disputandum, so try at least to depict yours without reference to the other; to build yours up without comparing and tearing the other down. Your readers can make their own comparisons and judgements based upon their own tastes.)

So why buy this book at all? Read on ...

The Good: Mr. Putman has done much, much more than channel his obvious enthusiasm for this delightful game into incessant whining and carping. He has clearly devoted his energies to a study of the sport in all its aspects, and it is here the book truly shines. Strategy, tactics, kinesiology, techniques, and equipment; all are treated brilliantly and in great detail by the author, while being related in a way that's easy to comprehend with wonderful diagrams. This *alone* would be worth the price of the book. It's in these sections where the author sets himself aside, takes himself out of the picture, that the game gets to speak for itself through him. Any reader who makes a diligent study of these sections and puts in the practice time should surely see significant improvements in his or her game. I cannot imagine a better treatment. Very well done, indeed!

Recommendations: If you've never played petanque, but are interested in learning more about the sport, I'd save my money and learn more first from the various petanque websites, or from youtube - you'll get a better sense of the game without having to contend with all of the author's negative baggage. If you've played and want to improve your game (and who wouldn't?), there isn't a better English language book available. Actually, there isn't any other English language book available at all, but it's hard to imagine a better job being done than what you'll find in those particular sections. And if you're the author, I sincerely hope you'll consider publishing a 2nd edition of the book, only edited to remove the accounts of your bittersweet heroic struggles as the greatly misunderstood evangelist of petanque, and all the other negative commentary and impertinent, irrelevant comparisons. What you hope to change about the governance of the sport in America will likely happen naturally, but let's have fun in the meantime. That's the whole point of boules, isn't it? Having fun? You have an otherwise excellent book, and the joy of petanque ought to be allowed to shine through ... untarnished and on its own.
5 di 5 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle There never was a do-it-yourself guide to playing petanque.... 26 ottobre 2011
Di Janet Kirtland - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
When I started playing petanque in Portland, Oregon, in May of 2010, there was very little training or coaching available. With Putnam's book there is everything you need to help you learn to play and to play well. You open the cover of this book and it feels like Putnam the coach is right there with you. His experience in other sports and his engineering background give tremendous detail and depth unavailable until now. Just for example, how do you decide which boules (balls) to buy for this game? I certainly did not know. In fact, I did not buy any boules until I met Putnam and he helped me with the specifics of various types of boules and which ones would be best for me and my budget. What great advice! Now, you the reader, have this information in your hands once you have his book. It is so detailed that you can even learn to measure your hand and know which size of boule to buy.

It was only after training and practicing with Putnam in his Palm Springs and Lake Oswego Petanque groups that I started to improve my playing skills and realize that I can actually improve and even excel in this sport. I am very excited to have a future in petanque since wear and tear in my rotator cuff are keeping me from playing tennis at my racquet club. Yes, I helped to edit the book, but now that I have read most of the book I realize I have much more to glean from its pages.

Now there truly is an indispensable guide to the sport, its techniques, its terrains, and the development of skills to play petanque well. Now I have shared my petanque experience with my grandchildren and some other children--the future of petanque.
5 di 5 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle At Last.... 11 ottobre 2011
Di Saved Man - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
Wow, long overdue, at last an English language book that gives the history, politics, lessons/hints, equipment, and joy of the game of Petanque. Hopefully this book will allow more people to find out the fun they are missing and more groups of like minded folks to get together and play. Cheers to the author!
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Skeptic to Fan in Just 30 Minutes 28 ottobre 2011
Di David - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
Yeah, just started! In just two months my wife and I have progressed from inept to mildly un-inept while enjoying every minute of the mystical petanque journey. Byron's seminal book may not take us to stardom immediately but has elevated our play several notches in a very short time. Covering all aspects of the "Petanque Experience", Byron has somehow been able to combine the technical, historical and coaching features into a very entertaining read. If only other "how-to" books were this good.
5 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Informative and entertaining guide to a fun game--Petanque! 3 novembre 2011
Di Kathi Garcin - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
I lived in Paris 15 years ago, and used to jog daily through Champs de Mars, adjacent to Le Tour Eiffel. I would see elderly French guys, with gitanes hanging from their lips, tossing steel balls in the open space walkways throughout the park. In over a year I don't recall ever seeing a woman participate. I was intrigued, but never followed up on my curiosity while an ex-pat. During a winter stay in Palm Springs last year I met Byron and Kris, who introduced me to the game. I loved it from the first throw of a boule! I will admit being a Francophile, but you don't need to be to enjoy this game. I grew up playing various sports involving different shaped balls, and have moved into more indurance oriented sports over the years. It is so refreshing and fun to be back in a team oriented game, that allows people of all ages, shapes, genders and abilities to play together, and find a place on the spectrum from very casual and social to highly competitive. I participated in the making of this book, and have thrown and competed with Byron up and down the west coast. His ability to teach, and enthusiasm for the sport have inspired many, and in particular the until now left out demographic in the sport, women. I have read the book cover to cover, and found it to be very informative, with great descriptions on strategy (including great scenario diagrams), terminology, skill building, and etiquette, along with Byron's entertaining wit. Being a techno-geek, I also appreciated the in depth coverage of the various types of boules, and how to choose what is right for you. Don't miss out on the fun. Petanque really is for everyone!

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