News from Lori & Steve in Belgium

Lori dropped in to visit and play on Sunday, and she had news. They’re still looking at Spain as a retirement destination, but Steve has just started a 1-year gig in Belgium, so that’s where they’re going to be for at least the next year.


Thursday petanque (2/22) @ Golf Links Sports Complex

Thursday petanque (2/22) @ Golf Links Sports Complex

Let’s get together on Thursday at 1pm at the Golf Links Sports Complex.
Directions are HERE.
Weather on Thursday is predicted to be cool (low 60s) and breezy, but sunny.

Note that during the week we start at 1pm (not 2pm, like we do on Sundays). This is so we can finish early enough to beat the traffic of the weekday evening rush hour. terrain_AZ_Tucson_GolfLinkSportsComplex

Photos: our terrain in Reid Park

Photos: our terrain in Reid Park

Here are a few pictures of us and the area where we play in Reid Park. (Sunday, January 14, 2018)

To the west is the parking lot with parked cars, our chairs set up in the shade of a mesquite tree, and the brown restrooms building.

North: two playgrounds with swings and other playground equipment, and the Catalina Mountains in the distance.

East: a covered ramada and a grassy area with some big trees.

South: a long sidewalk, grass, palm trees, and the park’s mini-lake with water fountains.

Photos: 2018 January 14

Sunday, January 14, 2018
This week we had 21 players. (Our record is 22.) I haven’t been very good about taking pictures this season, so I tried to make up for it today.

Some pictures of us and our terrain in Reid Park.
In the background you may see some of the features around the area where we play.

Our players
I also wanted to get pictures of individual players, especially new or visiting players. If you mouse-over these pictures, you can see the titles.

Our younger players – Chris, Nico, and Ricardo

Road testing the rules of Petanque Libre

Normally petanque is played by the international rules drawn up by the FIPJP, the international petanque federation. (FPUSA rules are the same as FIPJP rules.) The FIPJP rules, however, are designed for use in organized, umpired competitions. Attempting to interpret and follow the FIPJP rules in a friendly, non-umpired game can lead to problems and unfair decisions.

There is a project called the Petanque Libre Project (, whose goal is to develop a set of rules for petanque that is designed for use outside of organized competitions, in games played without an umpire. I propose that, during this 2017-18 season, we in the Tucson Petanque Club do a “road test” of Petanque Libre and experiment with playing by the PL rules.

There is one obvious difference between the PL rules and both the current and previous versions of the FIPJP rules. Traditionally, a team was given three attempts to throw the jack before turning it over to the other team to throw. The current (2016) FIPJP rules allow a team only ONE throw of the jack before turning it over to the other team, which then manually places the jack on the ground. Petanque Libre takes the best from both the old and new rules— PL allows a team the traditional THREE attempts to throw the jack before turning it over to the other team, which then manually places the jack on the ground.

Other than this, I don’t think that using PL would mean much of a change from the way that we play now. Mostly it would mean allowing teams to agree to undo illegal events, rather than attempting to follow the murky FIPJP rules governing illegal events. For my part, if I’m asked “what is the rule?” in a certain situation, I will give the PL answer (which was specifically designed to be much clearer than the FIPJP answer). And we can just see how things work out.

So that’s my proposal. For any particular game, of course, the players can choose to play by the PL or FIPJP rules. But if they do, they’ll be playing by the PL rules, because the very last PL rule is THE CONSENSUS RULE: The above rules may be changed, waived, supplemented, or over-ridden by agreement of the teams.

You can download and print the latest version of the Petanque Libre rules at