Thanks to our two experienced niçois members, Jean-Marie and Marcel, the Alliance Française of Northwestern CT had for the first time a Pétanque league that ran from June through October 2016. Trainings were held at in May so that each “non-initiated” player could learn the proper techniques, the rules of the game and some strategy.

Each of the 16 league participants played at least one game against all the others, in teams of two, rotating the teams three times. Maître Jean-Marie maintained and updated regularly the spreadsheet with the schedule of games to be played, points scored from each game and helped to coordinate new scehdules each time someone had a conflicting schedule. Fortunately, we had two courts for the matches: one in Southbury and one in Bethlehem. Part of the fun was the ‘après-jeu’ snacks and Pastis” served after each match.

The weather cooperated for most of the summer up until the final round that was scheduled for Sunday, the 9th of October, bien sûr, when Hurricane Matthew decided to come up the coast. Since the celebratory dinner was already in the works, we came together anyway to enjoy some delicious potluck hors d’oeuves and delightful conversations.

Miraculously, the rain stopped early enough to allow the top four players: Marcel, Jean-Marie, Terri and Jim D, to play their final round. The weather was not ideal – around 53 degrees and damp, but having been exposed via Twitter to #ExtremePetanque, the players decided they were up to the challenge! (Notice the change of clothing from the early hot summer matches in shorts to the ponchos, sweaters, jackets and hats for the finals.)

To add to the excitement, there was a tie for first place so Terri and Jean-Marie had to play another game: finishing just before dark.

WINNERS: 1st place Gold was Jean-Marie, 2nd place Silver was Terri and 3rd place Bronze was Jim D and 4th place was Marcel. Once the medals ceremony was concluded, everyone went back inside to get warm and eat our final courses, including cheese and dessert and some sparkling wine.

We’re sure to have another league next year so watch for the signups in late Spring. You won’t want to miss out on all the fun!

It’s clear when you watch the videos that these players were the top four.