History of the Tucson Petanque Club

See also our page of photos from the history of the Tucson Petanque Club.

Steve Ferg learned to play petanque (with the National Capitol Club de Pétanque) while he was working for the federal government in Washington DC. After retiring and returning to his home town of Tucson in 2012, Steve surveyed the parks in Tucson, looking for a place for a petanque group to meet and play. Using the selection criteria from the “All About Petanque” web site, he found an excellent area in Reid Park.

In January 2013, Steve created a WordPress web page for “Tucson Petanque Club” and started posting notices on web event sites, looking for other players in the Tucson area. A few people found the club almost immediately, and after that TPC grew slowly but steadily. Some of our earliest players were Jon Malmberg and Hans Drake.

Jon and Hans in Reid Park, January 2014


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Playing in Reid Park, January 2017

One of the highlights of our time in Reid park — Ziggy Kessouagni gives a tutorial/workshop, November 2018.

In addition to Reid Park, we occasionally played on Cottonwood Lane in Fort Lowell Park, the Golf Links Sports Complex, and Harold Bell Wright Park. After a few years there was enough demand for us to begin playing on Thursdays in Harold Bell Wright Park.

Playing in Harold Bell Wright Park, May 2019. David, Carl, and Serge.

In March 2019, to our surprise, we found our terrain in Reid Park fenced off and slated for assimilation by an expansion of the adjoining playground area. We searched for a new home for several weeks, until Wilma Reiber suggested Brandi Fenton Memorial Park. That turned out to be an great idea. The park’s location is convenient for most of our players, and there is an excellent variety of playing conditions. Brandi Fenton became our new home in May 2019.

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Playing in Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, December 2019

Brandi Fenton Park, a spectator

Normally we went on hiatus during the summer, but after we moved to Brandi Fenton, Wilma found that there was enough interest for her to be able to coordinate early-morning play even during the summer. After she’d successfully been Summer Coordinator for two years, we began to play officially year ’round, even during the summer.

In March 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic hit. In response, we adopted guidelines for play (including the wearing of masks) during the pandemic, and the web site announced that we had suspended regularly-scheduled play. To a reduced degree, some of us continued to get together unofficially.

Playing while masked, Brandi Fenton Park, November 2020

Because of the pandemic, the 2020-2021 winter season was almost non-existent. Our normal winter visitors had to stay home and many of our players wisely self-quarantined. When Covid-19 vaccines became available virtually all of our players immediately got vaccinated, so in April 2021 we relaxed our Covid-19 guidelines and resumed our normal schedule.

Still, we had a smaller group of regular players and winter visitors during the 2021-2022 winter season, and it was a heavy blow to all of us when the virus took our good friend Patrice Boudou in December 2021.

Wilma and other members of TPC had been playing in Oro Valley, on and off, for more than a year. In October 2021, as an experiment, Steve created an Oro Valley Petanque website, and Wilma assumed the role of webmaster.


Tucson Petanque Club in Reid Park – December 9, 2018

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