Sometimes it isn t best to get your boules close to the cochonnet

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1 Sometimes it isn t best to get your boules close to the cochonnet If your opponents have a good shooter, your boule will usually get shot out. With a strong team of good shooters (if they're holding the balance of boules) they'll often prefer to shoot - it doesn't really matter how close your boule is to the cochonnet: so long as it is beating theirs, they'll shoot. And if they have a numerical advantage in boules, they know that they can always shoot away a close boule and keep the advantage. It may be a better strategy to place your boule about 40cm in front of the cochonnet. By doing so, it becomes a bit trickier for your opponent. The front-boule is difficult to out-point without pushing/knocking the boule closer to the cochonnet and it s only worth shooting if your opponent is pretty confident of getting a carreau. Pétanque is a highly tactical game between the pointers and the shooters so even placing the first boule needs thought. Back-Boule Stops Your Own Boule There is a saying, "a boule in front is a boule of gold," which means basically that a boule located in front of a cochonnet has its advantages: 1) It may have the point, and 2) It may be knocked closer to the cochonnet if hit by another boule. But a boule in back (as depicted below) allows for some advantages for an opponent: 1) No obstruction for point rolling, and 2) the back-boule can "stop" the opponent s boule from rolling too far.

2 Shooting the Cochonnet Sometimes, there is only one solution: the cochonnet has to go. With such a close placement by your opponent, it can be to your advantage to try to shoot the cochonnet. If you knock the cochonnet to your back boules, you can get the point, and if you hit the cochonnet out of the terrain, the Boules-in-Hand Rule [Article 13] comes into play (possibly adding unplayed boules to your point score). Opening Move Strategy Your first throw should be to point your boule in front of the cochonnet. This boule will serve as a "wall" to prevent your opponent from easily rolling closest to the cochonnet. Bonus: If your opponent hits your boule, it may move your boule even closer to the cochonnet.

3 Squatting Down or Standing Up? Especially on uneven terrain, squatting gives you a better view of the terrain when pointing, enabling you to see more clearly the indentations and slopes. Not everybody finds it comfortable to squat but don't worry, it's not essential. If you want to roll your boule close to the ground, you can simply bend forward from the waist. However, many pointers simply stand and lob their boules. Make sure you choose the landing spot carefully and get lots of practice, so that you learn to lob accurately. It's always important to walk to the cochonnet checking the terrain and boules layout, looking for slopes, thick patches of gravel and stones. Wall Between You and the Cochonnet While you may not easily roll your boule closest to the cochonnet, areas to either side of the cochonnet may still be open. You may indeed point your boule closest, or at least close enough (2 nd closest) to prevent any further points to be added by your opponent. Danger: If you attempt to strike your opponent's boule out of the way, you risk hitting your opponent's boule and move it even closer to the cochonnet. Opponent Has the Point, But You Have the Wall Your opponent has taken the point despite your boule being the wall in front of the cochonnet. You have two choices: (1) push your own boule closer by pointing your boule to it; or (2) if you don't

4 want to risk ruining a good wall position, gently point your boule to the opponent s boule and hit it to move it away from the point while your boule stays on location to make the point. Proper Time to Shoot Your opponent's boule is closest to the cochonnet but the next closest are three of your own boules. You have the potential to accumulate three or four points if the opponent's boule is shot away. Shooting the opponent's boule is then an acceptable risk.

5 Playing well in petanque is ultimately a mixture of geometry, physics, and strategy. You can find some of the methods for improving your game here. PETANQUE The About Backspin PHYSICS Spin As a result of backspin, there is a difference in air pressure between opposite surfaces (upper/lower) of the boule. Backspin thins out air molecules at the top of the boule, and compacts them at the bottom, forming a pressure imbalance that creates a (roughly) upwards force, working against the force of gravity. As a result, the effective gravity is lessened, the boule remains in the air longer, and the downward speed is reduced. A spinning boule will rebound from the piste (court) differently than a boule that s not spinning. The reason is that the spin changes both the absolute speed of the boule and the relative speed of its contact point with the piste, two effects that modify the friction, and thus modify the rebound velocity components. When considering the interaction of the boule with the piste, we're dealing with a falling boule and its upward rebound. For a backspin throw, compared to a similar throw without spin, the boule will drop slower and will approach the piste surface at a shallower angle. Because of its decreased downward speed, the boule won t rebound as high, and because of its backward spin, which increases the relative speed of the contact point with the surface, and therefore increases the friction, it will be held up more than would a boule without spin, making it appear to "slow up on the piste" compared to the non-spinning boule.

6 The nature of the rebound depends on the amount of friction between the boule and the surface of the piste. The magnitude determines whether the boule slides or rolls, and this outcome establishes the magnitude and direction of the rebounding boule and on its rebound spin. Using a high lob (plombée) with lots of backspin, you can land your boule past a wall of defensive boules. It takes plenty of practice, but you ll be glad you added this technique to your skills. Balance in your shooting stance will produce better accuracy The centered leg approach, when done correctly, should feel natural and produce better accuracy in shooting. In shooting, you want your throwing arm to swing smoothly, in line with the shooting target, like a pendulum. But if your stance is incorrect, your shoulders will swivel and distort that pendulumlike throw. You can shoot more consistently when balanced on a centered throwing arm leg. Your boule weighs nearly 2 pounds and together with the weight of your throwing arm, that can be 20 lbs. Standing evenly footed, boule in hand, arms down, you feel your even footed balance. Then raise your throwing hand with the boule, and notice the change in weighting of your feet. You will find the weight shifting noticeably to your boule-arm leg. It is best to balance mostly on that "center" boule-arm leg which will act like the fulcrum (center) of a see-saw (your arms). When you take a "center" leg approach, you can more easily use your non-boule throwing arm and your outside leg to counter-balance your throwing hand to produce a more balanced throw. Your

7 shoulders will not have to swivel as much if you stand primarily on the centered leg of your throwing arm.

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