Petanque 1 articles

Petanque 1 group articles

The curse of twelve

Triples game 10.30-11.30, Sunday 13th February 2022
We: Sue, Tony & Peter Them: Geoff B, Elissa & Anne

Sunday morning: Cold and windy with the threat of rain, Pétanque group 1 assembled at Seacourt. The lolly sticks were shuffled; teams were drawn, the piste freshly raked, the scene was set.

We won the toss, took the sunny side, and delivered the jack.
Despite scoring first, We were soon behind, most ends producing only one point. We were 5-7 down when they scored a massive 5 points, bringing Them to 12-5 up and only 1 point required for game! Our position seemed hopeless as They took control of the Jack and played for that one extra point and adjournment for coffee.

Not so fast!! As sure as a Harry Potter spell, the Curse of Twelve took effect. Could They get that extra point. No way! We proceeded to score two quick singles and a very lucky 4. Standing then at 11-12 down, the jack at 8m, favouring shooters, We were down to our last boule, They having played their last and We with one point ‘on the ground’.

Decision time! Should We take the point or play that last boule? Opinion was divided, with a risk of losing if it went wrong the last boule was delivered. Played dead weight it seemed at first to be too far to the right but by chance it clipped a short boule, changing course to the left, slowing dramatically and coming to rest by the jack! Two points and Game!

It is with regret that I have to report that We demonstrated a brief and unseemly celebration before retiring to Seacourt for their excellent coffee.

Anne Hollis

This article appeared in the Spring 2022 newsletter.

Group report

As a result of Covid-19 restrictions since March, the group has had to limit the number of our twenty-six members playing at any one time, initially to six, later rising to twelve as the social distancing rules were gradually reduced from 2 metres. We are playing to guidelines laid down by Pétanque England and are optimistic that, as we are an 'outdoor organised sport', we will be permitted to continue in this vein, possibly even rising to our self-imposed limit of sixteen players using the two rinks. This has yet to be agreed with Seacourt.

We have had to adopt sensible modifications to our method of play to help stay safe. Payments for the hire of the rinks and for refreshments from the Club House are paid by contactless debit/credit cards. One upside from our current arrangements is that, in theory, any member of the group can now organise a match at any time on any day. In practice, one of our members, Bill Tait, who cycles from Bedhampton every time to play (weather permitting), has landed himself with organising teams meeting three days a week at present. He has also developed an impressive spreadsheet which he maintains in order to monitor (and he hopes equalise) card payments by all the players.

On balance we believe the group has been able to cope with lockdown far better than we originally envisaged that we would. We have also had several U3A members expressing interest in joining the group. To these, we would ask them to be patient as we cannot increase our present membership until we come out of lockdown and the number of our currently 'shielding' members return to play.

Geoff Hollis and Steve Walker (Joint Group Leaders)

This is an article published in the Autumn 2020 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter .

Group report

The Group continues to have a full complement of members with Sunday and Wednesday sessions at Seacourt Tennis Club's two rinks (or more correctly, pistes) each attracting an average of about 10 players. Earlier in the summer we were challenged by the newly formed Ems Valley U3A Pétanque Group to a friendly match which we managed to win by 3 games to 1. At the end of September we entered 4 teams in the annual National U3A Event at Mill Rythe which featured about 54 teams from across England and Wales. Three of our teams eventually went out in the knockout stages but one team made up for this by winning all of its games and ended up taking Gold! A truly magnificent achievement especially since many of the opposing teams were considerably more experienced. A photo of the winning team – comprising Sheila Partridge, Geoff Belding and Sue Humphrey - proudly displaying their medals is shown below.

Geoff Hollis

This is an article published in the Winter 2019 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter

Group report

This is an article published in the Christmas 2018 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter….

The U3A has held its third successive national weekend of Pétanque, which took place at Mill Rythe Holiday Village on Hayling Island on September 22nd and 23rd. This was arranged by Pétanque subject adviser Andrew Lloyd (Malmesbury & District U3A), a national Pétanque player, coach and manager of over 20 years’ experience.

48 teams from 19 U3A’s took part, including the Hayling Hawks (Sheila Partridge, Sue Humphrey, Judy Adams, Peter May, Bill Tait, Pat LeClerc, Tony Higham and Geoff Belding.)

It was a very rain-soaked event! Teams came from all over the country, from as far afield as Guernsey. We played 5 games on the Saturday, giving everyone a turn in the 3-player per side games. We only lost one game, and that was to one of the teams from Torridge, North Devon, who ended the weekend as finalists. Sunday morning games were cancelled because of heavy rain, but the knockout rounds were played in the afternoon in brightening weather. Sadly our Hawks lost their first knockout game, but were very proud to have finished 10th overall on the Saturday.We thank the organisers for putting on this large event, and coping with the prevailing conditions. We hope to enter at least one team in next year’s event.

Geoff Belding (Co-coordinator for the weekend)

The Pétanque group is very sad to hear of the death of Tony Higham, who was part of our team at Mill Rythe. We would like to send our condolences to his family.

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...


The Hayling U3A Petanque Group has been enjoying playing at Seacourt's petanque terrain for a year. We are a relatively new group and in our first season we have attracted an enthusiastic membership and have gone from every other Wednesday to every Wednesday and Sundays!


The highlight for us this year was to take part in the National U3A Petanque Tournament which was held at Mill Rythe Holiday Centre in September, over two days and attracted 52 Teams from all over the country including one from Guernsey!

We entered two teams for whom this was a new experience and they acquitted themselves incredibly well. After the first day they came in the top third of the table and progressed to the knock-out on the second day. Finally, we are very pleased to report that one team did even better and secured a runners up medal in their section.

The weather was good and the teams really enjoyed the experience of meeting other competitors in such a friendly atmosphere and we are looking forward to entering next year's tournament which is an annual event here on Hayling.

Steve Walker and Geoff Hollis