Questions About Illegal Moves in Pétanque

Jeff Brown here, taking over for Johnny Carreau.

Johnny is still around, sheltering in place at home, but he lost his Internet connection because he couldn't pay his electric bill - after losing his side job as a costume designer for the Olympic figures skaters.

Johnny really did great work, but times are hard.

Hopefully, Johnny will be back online soon.

Illegal Pétanque Moves

As an Official  Pétanque Umpire it is my duty to be aware of, and enforce, all the rules of pétanque. The question of the potentially illegal moves involving hypnosis don’t appear to be well defined in the rule books.

Apparently, the use of hypnosis against your opponents is considered ILLEGAL in some other sports.

For Example:

Honestly, I would not know what call to make if, for example, in the middle of a game Gary and Amine decided to use hypnosis to turn Ed and Thierry into a couple of crazy, disco-dancing zombies.

Or what if Victor and Kelly decided use one of those boule magnets on a string, swinging it back and forth like a pocketwatch, to mesmerize Carolyn and Don causing them to go into some kind of funky trance? I don't want to think about Don doing "The Worm" in the hangar.

But there is nothing about using hypnosis in the rule book!

This Rule May Apply:

This is from the official rule book:

"The opponents must not walk, nor gesticulate nor do anything that could disturb the player about to play. Only his or her team-mate/s may remain between the throwing circle and the jack."

So I assume using snake-charmer gestures to put your opponents under a disco dance spell could be considered a form of gesticulation, and therefore, illegal.

Anyway, until I get clarification, be warned, if I am the umpire of your game - NO HYPNOSIS!

Until then, try not to get COVID-19.


Leave comments below:

French Legation Update – June 1, 2020

Message from Ed Priest:

I hope this finds you and yours healthy and well.  I did want to give you an update on last month’s progress.

The work on the French Legation is progressing very slowly.  Not a lot of headway has been made since my tour in May.

The project has been delayed by the modifications to the carriage house, as well as the Covid-19.

The carriage house addition will include a small kitchen for light lunches and drinks.

This addition will include three restrooms, a storage room, and a maintenance office.  The plumbing has been stubbed up and is ready for the final foundation work and concrete.

Work has started on the new ADA stairway to the meeting area above the carriage house.  The deck area on the east side of the carriage house is nearing completion.  

The main visual progress on the Legation building itself is the addition of the new four pane windows and new shutters.  The wooden stairs are being completed.

LBC is still hoping to hold our first tournament of 2020 at the Legation on Sunday, November 1.  Hopefully, construction on the French Legation will be completed at that time, and also the Coronavirus will be under control.

So save the date, Sunday November 1, 2020 .  Hopefully we have a tournament on the horizon.


More pictures on the Facebook Page

New Pavilion for the Farmer’s Market

Hey Everybody!

Long time no see! As far as I know, no LBC members have gotten Covid-19. Let's keep it that way!

The following is a message from Jim Schwobel:

​Howdy LBC,

I thought the LBC would be interested in what the latest Mueller newsletter is saying about the Farmers' Market's future move from the Browning Hangar to the pavilion at Mary Elizabeth Branch Park at the northeast corner of Philomena and Aldrich streets.

For the past several years, no estimate of completion date has been announced but this article goes so far as stating "end of 2020". My guess is that Covid-19 will delay that schedule.    

Details can be seen at the Mueller Newsletter

I've seen this written elsewhere for several years but it is still disconcerting that the article states  "The Hangar has always been intended to be used in some other commercial capacity that has not yet been determined."

Let's hope that effort is as slow developing as everything else.

Jim Schwobel

​You can leave comments below.

2020 Membership Dues

A message from LBC President Peter Gray:

Dear LBC members,

​We hope you are all doing well and staying positive during the last few months. 

​LBC has decided to waive membership fees for 2020 and your membership dues as paid in 2019 will carry your membership through to 2021.

​We will wait to see how the state/city re-opening goes prior to scheduling any LBC events.  Our next tournament is scheduled in November. Once the hangar re-opens, folks can coordinate their own gatherings and games but LBC will not announce any official play dates until we are sure it is safe to meet in large groups.

​Coordinating personal games via text, phone or Facebook/Legation Boules Club may be an option for organizing small games for now. Feel free to contact me regarding LBC updates.

​Cheers and stay safe,

​Peter Gray
President Legation Boules Club

French Legation Update May 7, 2020

​Ed Priest has an update on the French Legation:


The work on the French Legation is progressing, but July completion is doubtful.  The project is being delayed by the modifications to the carriage house.  This addition will include a small kitchen which will be providing a light lunch menu and drinks.

The addition will include three restrooms, a storage room, and a maintenance office.  Excavation for the addition is now under way.

The parking lot is completed and landscape installed.

The new stone work at the Embassy Road entrance is complete with new gates installed.

The new brick walkway is almost completed.

Work is continuing on the interior of the Legation.

Work on replacing the three pane windows has started.  To make the building more historically accurate, four pane windows will be used.

The Legation’s interior will not be furnished.  Instead, it will include a display about the history of the building at the time it was constructed.  There will also be other historical displays.

LBC is looking forward to holding our 2nd Terry Plemons Tournament benefiting the French Legation.

This Carousel Tournament is scheduled to be held on the grounds of the French Legation on Sunday November 1st.  Construction of the French Legation should be completed at this time,  and hopefully the Cornavirus will be behind us.  So start saving the date, Sunday November 1st.  We can see a tournament on the horizon.


Dallas Tournament?

​Message from Menzina Churchman

of the Dallas Pétanque Club:

(And the Legation Boules Club)

"Because of these sad times of being unsure when we can officially return to playing our beloved game of pétanque, I have a proposal...

To get the boule rolling, on behalf of Dallas Pétanque Club, I would like to invite all players from San Antonio and Austin, to Dallas for a Texas showdown on October 18, 2020!

If successful, it would become an annual event.

​Players can email me directly at

I will make a list and to reply to those who are interested with final details.

​I trust all is well with everyone and I look forward to seeing y’all sooner rather than later.

Take care, stay safe - but mostly - have fun!"

 - Menzina     

Continue Reading

Movie Suggestions

​On a normal day, the LBC Newsletter is not the place to be talking about movies... right?

But these are not normal days.

Everyone has their own taste in movies. We all get that. But there are some films that just about everyone will appreciate.

Here is one that always keep me grinning from ear to ear.


If you have suggestions for your all "All Time Favorite" you can put it in the comments below.

“In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.”

Imaginary Pétanque

The Browning Hangar in 1943

​Here is some fun stuff from Jim Schwobel!

​You can leave comments below.

Here is a short story that I wrote for LBC. Perhaps it will serve as a moment's entertainment for the members during this extraordinary time in our lives?

Imaginary Pétanque

Since we are all sheltering in place, only going out for groceries, I had the idea of creating an imaginary pétanque game that might serve as a substitute for actually playing. Perhaps it will help satiate everyone’s cravings until we meet again. Perhaps LBC members will want to add your creativity?

Speaking of grocery shopping…my last trip to HEB was over two weeks ago. I usually go about once a week but since we Americans have large refrigerators, that allowed me to buy a bit more of some items without feeling like I was hoarding. With existing items in my cupboard, I should be able to avoid shopping for another couple of weeks and with a little creativity, I can go a couple weeks more. However, near the end, I’ll be eating the small packets of ketchup and the jar of maraschino cherries that has been at the back of my cupboard for who-knows-how long. I don’t know how long because they came from an era before manufacturers had to include “best used by” dates in their packaging. 

Back to the imaginary game…We were fortunate that there were exactly 6 of us at the Historic Browning Hangar on a Saturday night and we started with the usual sorting processes you know so well: placing 1 boule each and the cochonnet inside a circle. I wanted to avoid the usual cumbersome task of collecting the boules/cochonnet in my hands and tossing them – so I just kicked everything. Awful mistake wearing sandals. I broke my big toe and on the way to the ground, I caught the plastic ring with both feed and broke it in two places (the ring two places, my big toe one place). The damaged ring also struck the cochonnet, knocking it about 10 meters from the scattered group of boules so we had to find a long tape measure to determine relative boule distances and resulting teams. Time passed.

After the customary confusion of determining teams, caused by most of us picking up our own boule before finding our partners, some of whom had wandered off to the wine table, and which team would start the game, we decided to use the traditional coin flip. No one had any change in their pockets so we fanned out in the Hangar to search the ground for any coin lost at last week’s Farmers’ Market. Finally, a penny was found. This was the first (and time would prove, the last) good luck we had as you know, pennies are hard to see being of similar color to the crushed granite surface.

Let the game begin…On his first shot,  Amine’s boule broke in half so recognizing what an advantage it would be, my team insisted he play the rest of the game with the larger of the two halves. Citing some “official” rule we insisted was in the rule book and since no one had a copy of the rules, we won that debate. He continued to shoot better than 90% with that boule (piece).

On one end, Amine shot the cochonnet (with his hemispheric boule), and against all odds, the cochonnet broke in half! No one had a substitute cochonnet so we played with the Larger half because Marie-Claude’s dog found the smaller piece and promptly ate it. We wanted to take up a collection for the anticipated vet bill but as you will remember, no one had any change.

The game continued until mercifully, we were forced to relinquish the Hangar to the Farmers’ Market vendors who arrived to set up their booths. Yes, it was now mid-Sunday morning.

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. You are invited to exercise your creative juices (mine have run dry) and add events to this imaginary game.

Jim Schwobel

LBC members are encouraged to insert your own "recollections" of this game below.