Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 24th, 2017

Measuring Petanque performance? Which club took this important step?

The game of Petanque is like playing horseshoes with additional complexities: We play with metal balls that could be hit and displaced and the target is a tiny light ball called cochonet that can also be hit, displaced with various consequences.

In Lebanon, the game of petanque (boules) is mushrooming in many villages because young and elder people can play it and gather and meet.

The drawback is that this physically relaxing game (though you end up walking a lot) is Not that relaxing emotionally: A few people (mostly the bullies) shoulder the responsibility of selecting subjectively who is a good player, who’s Not and forgetting the potential new arrivals.

Petanque is a relatively easy game that requires plenty of consistent training to conveniently acquire the skills for analyzing the field and controlling your nerves and muscles for punting (pointeur) to the target or hitting the closest enemy ball to target (tireur).

A team in competition is of 3 players, holding 2 balls for a total score of 13 points to win. Otherwise, we can play with 4 members or even 2 people holding each 3 balls. The target cochonet is to be located between 6 to 10 meters.

The subjective selection, usually done by lousy performers, is alienating many players and discarding great potentials, especially when travelling to other villages for competition.

Asking someone to take statistics of each player in each game in order to tabulate performance shouldn’t be such a great burden. A computer software usually manipulate most of the data, provides all kinds of ratios and print the best performers.

I suggest the following criteria for taking statistics:

  1. For punting, coming closer to the cochonet, a distance of less 20 cm is allocated 3 points, less than 30 cm two pts, less than 50 cm a single point
  2. For hitting the ball (tireurs), a carreaux (displacing the other team ball and taking its place) allocate 3 pts, just displacing the ball 2 pts, hitting but not making a significant difference a single point. If the player displace his team’s ball then we deduct 3 points (-3).

It is important to discriminate between performance and consistency in potential skills.

Performance is measuring the scores and selecting the highest scorers for any competition. Potential is just adding the binary numbers of 1 and Zero, like hit or No hit, satisfactory punting or totally lousy.

For example, if you are consistent in hitting regardless of type of hits, or satisfactory punting like within 50 cm, then this consistency can be promising with additional training.

The metallic ball can be of various weights (680 to 730 grams), of slightly different diameters and of various alloys.

I conjecture that the ball is a minor factor, but the types of field is the main variable. 

If you are not flexible and do Not exercise on different throwing methods, in holding the ball, the trajectory of the ball (high or rolling on the ground…), and flexing of the wrist… you will be at a disadvantage.

I find that the wrist is an important factor: if you are Not conscious of the direction and position of your wrist before throwing, the ball will travel according to the normal direction of your wrist.

Also, take all your time to aim and throw: you have 10 seconds to throw. At least, you will enjoy throwing the ball and play on the nerves of the opposing team members.

Beware of those who volunteer to give you advice on their particular methods of throwing the ball: Just keep experimenting with what is best for you.

Lately, many players would like to impress on you that a certain throwing method is the rule (regulation), but I didn’t find any rule, pictures, graphs or anything of the sort of how you hold the ball and throw. (Usually, those who mention “rules” at leisure are lousy performers)

Note: I realized that balls made in China are practically discarded as Not fitting regulation? Why? I think it is a French political and economic colonial constraint for players.





August 2017

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