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PFA February 2022 Newsletter

PFA Newsletter February 2022

President's Report

Hello everyone,

It is that time again (midst of an Australian summer) when different parts of our country are affected by our diverse weather - rain and floods in some areas; devastating bush fires in others.

My childhood hometown of Corrigin, in the WA wheat belt, was one of the most affected by the fires earlier this month. My thoughts are with those (including my cousin) who suffered devastating stock and feed losses. Let’s hope all rebound as quickly as possible.

It’s also time to organise your teams for the National Championships, to be held at Novar Gardens in Adelaide over Easter.

The Board has agreed to open Registrations for the various categories on February 21. However, we do ask you to please not pay until March 9. An updated Conditions of Play, reflecting these changes, is now available. We fervently hope that no border closures or quarantine requirements will thwart these plans!

Information regarding the AGM, to be held in Adelaide in April, has been sent out last week to all PFA member Clubs and Leagues

Also in the pipeline are a call for Expressions of Interest from Clubs or Leagues which are willing to host the Interstate Challenge, as well as from players who are interested in putting their names forward for consideration/selection for the World Championships Singles and Doubles in Karlslunde, Denmark from 12-15 May 2022.

There is no further update on when, or if, NZ will hold the Trans Tasman this year.

However, the Oceania will be held in Tahiti (26-29 September 2022) An EOI has also gone out for that one.

So as you can see, there are numerous competition opportunities coming up during the year.

Finally, I hope you are all proudly sporting your new Bumper Stickers! They have been sent to all Clubs, so please ask if you haven’t yet received yours.

That’s all for this month,

Kindest regards,

Rosemary Wall (PFA President)

National Championships Registration

AS mentioned by President Rosemary, Registrations for the Easter Nationals open on Monday 21st February. Go to this page for all the details and links to the registration My Petanque site. Make sure you read thoroughly the Conditions of Play before registering as there are some significant changes from last year.

Record Number of Licenced Players!

We have passed the 1800 licenced players again. Last year we peaked at 1800 in June at the end of the licence period. We are thus ahead of that already in February. This is in part due to some Clubs holding Come and Try days where they then pick up some new licenced players. Congratulations to all Clubs for this magnificent achievement. Can we break the 2,000 mark by June?

Petanque Points Podcast

The latest edition of the entertaining podcast from Audio Rexy is available on this website.

Gerry's Trivia Corner

We always love feedback here at Newsletter-central, and last month, in response to Gerry's Trivia about Le Mondial La Marseillaise where he stated that in 2015 there were 37,440 boules used, an old colleague, Rod Deakin (now residing in SW WA), replied.

"I enjoyed reading Gerry’s Trivia Corner where he notes that 37,440 boules were used at Le Mondial La Marseillaise in 2015. I wonder if Gerry has given any thought as to how that many boules could be stacked in the smallest possible space? And the dimensions of that space? This seems like a modern application of Sir Walter Raleigh’s question to Thomas Harriot in the 1590s regarding efficient stacking and counting of cannonballs. This led Harriot to devise a clever method of stacking and counting and he contacted Kepler on this matter. This problem led Kepler to his famous ‘sphere packing conjecture’ that has only recently been proved."

And so to this month's Trivia - thanks Gerry -

Most people with more than a passing interest in Pétanque know that the game originated in France and is essentially a French game. But just how true is the second part of that statement? After all, in recent world championships, there have been teams from over 60 countries, hailing from every continent with the exception of Antarctica!

Today, we'll take a look at Pétanque in Asia - more particularly, South East Asia.

As it happens, Pétanque in this part of the world is particularly strong and growing rapidly. In some countries such as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the adoption of Pétanque was a result of French colonial influence, and in these countries the game is widespread and popular. It is also becoming increasingly popular in Malaysia, Singapore, China and Indonesia, to name but a few countries. Since 2001, Pétanque has become part of the South East Asia Games (SEA). In 2021, the 31st SEA games were held in Hanoi and included teams from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam (host).

But the brightest light for Pétanque in Asia is Thailand, which boasts over 80,000 fully licenced players and over 2,000,000 social players. These numbers are most impressive considering the game was largely unknown prior to 1950. To understand this unprecedented adoption, a little trip into history is warranted. Back to the year 1932 to be precise ...

This was the year of a revolution in the Kingdom of Siam (as Thailand was known then), which saw an absolute Monarchy replaced by a Constitutional Monarchy. A year later, following this upheaval, a member of the Siamese Royal Family, Princess Srinagarindra, decided to move to Lausanne in Switzerland, with her children. It is during this period of Princess Srinagarindra's life, that she discovered Pétanque (apparently whilst holidaying on the Riviera) and became enamoured of the game!

Meanwhile, in Siam, the 1932 revolution had been followed by a failed Royalist counter-revolution, the result of which meant that the Royal line of succession passed to Princess Srinagarindra's eldest son (Ananda Mahidol) - just 9 years old at the time. Ananda Mahidol returned to Thailand in December 1945 as King Rama VIII, but was assassinated less than a year later. He was succeeded by his younger brother Bhumibol Adulyadej as King Rama IX, who reigned until 2016.

As Princess Mother, Srinagarindra was the driving force behind the popularisation of Pétanque in Thailand. During the 1970s she encouraged its uptake in State schools and Universities, as well as the formation of teams in both the Army and Police. Government scholarships are even available to University students who play well at Pétanque!

Unsurprisingly, the popularity of Pétanque in Thailand is reflected by their success in the World Championship events. Four times runners up in the Men's triples, one-time third place in Men's triples and two times winners of the men's shooting competition.

Meanwhile, in the women's category (since 1988), they have absolutely dominated with the following impressive tallies: 8 times winners in triples, 5 times second place in triples, 4 times third place in triples, 2 times winners in doubles (since 2017), 2 times second place in singles (since 2015) and 2 times winners of precision shooting (since 2002).

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