WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL BLOG for La Pétanque Marinière in San Rafael, California. LPM has been an active Marin pétanque club since 1972 and affiliated with the Fédération of Pétanque USA, since 1975. We welcome people of all abilities, ages and nationalities to come and enjoy pétanque with us.

The Pierre Joske Courts are located on Civic Center drive in San Rafael. (click for directions). Casual games are played every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from about 1 pm. Tournament play is usually held on the second Sunday of every month.

Please consult the links on the sidebar to the right for more information on clubs in the bay area, nationally and world wide.

If you would like to play but haven't any boules, please contact our President, Christine Cragg, or Ken Lee. They can bring some for you to use, as well as introduce you to the basic skills and techniques of pétanque. In addition, if you are looking to purchase boules but are unsure as to which size and weight are right for you, we have a range of different examples from which to choose.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wooden Balls, Metal Balls - Bowling Fever Grips Lamorinda

There's clanking and clattering all over Lamorinda as the locals turn out to play variations of an ancient sport. And somehow, there's always a nice Merlot within reach.

Growing up in the Midwest – I won't say exactly when, but if the name Ozzie Nelson rings a bell, you're in the ballpark – indoor bowling was hugely popular. Bowling places were popping up all over, so much so that it was difficult to keep one's mind out of the gutter. Brunswick, maker of mechanical pin-setting machines, was a brand better known at the time than McDonalds… although Brunswick fries weren't nearly as tasty.

Nowadays, bowling alleys are hard to find as cheap real estate in Lamorinda. According to the Yellow Pages, the closest to us is in Costco Country, on Monument Boulevard in Concord.

Although alleys may be on life support, bowling remains alive and well. It's simply moved outdoors. Think of the sport of bowling al fresco. Hereabouts, it is being lapped up in two European flavors: French and Italian.

The former is called petanque (PE-tonk, as in "Honk If You Like Petanque"); the latter, bocce (BOCH-ee) ball. In Italian bocce means kiss, or so I'm told. What do I know, I'm Irish. Both derive from a game originated eons ago by Greeks.

The current form of petanque originated in Provence, France, more than a century ago. An estimated 17 million French play the sport in the homeland.

Click here for the complete article.

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