City of Edmonds to dedicate petanque courts July 16 and host tourney July 17

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Participants play the game of petanque at Edmonds Civic Center Field.

The City of Edmonds on Saturday, July 16 will dedicate two new courts for the game of petanque adjacent to an existing court at the Edmonds Civic Center Playfield at 230 6th Ave. N.

Following the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., a demonstration of petanque (pronounced pay-tonk’) will be given, after which anyone who wishes to learn the basics of the game will receive free instruction. Equipment will also be furnished to the players.

On the following day — Sunday, July 17 — the Edmonds Petanque Club will hold its first tournament on the three courts as well as on additional “courts” marked out on the soccer field at the Civic Center Playfield.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. on location July 17.  Players may also sign up in advance by mailing a registration form that they can download from the club’s website.

T-shirts will be provided for every player at the tournament, and the top three teams will receive medals. The registration fee is $25 per person.  Teams will consist of two players.  You can bring a teammate, or you will be assigned to a team on the day of the tournament.

Billed as one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, petanque was first introduced in Edmonds in 2010. Michelle Martin, a French woman living in Edmonds, convinced the City to build a petanque court consisting of a heavy plank frame 50 feet long and 16 feet wide, filled several inches deep with small crushed-rock for the playing surface.

Petanque originated in ancient Greece, was refined by the French, and is currently played by over 17 million people in France today.  It is popular in many other countries as well, including Canada, England, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan. The game essentially consists of standing inside a circle with both feet planted on the ground and throwing hollow metal balls (called boules) as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (ko’-shon-ay) or piglet.  It can be played by as few as two people, or as many as six in a single game. This number can go up to eight in informal games.

If you can’t wait for July 16, we’re told that the Edmonds pétanque courts are always open, but, weather permitting, pétanque players usually meet on the following days and times:
-Wednesday at 9 a.m.
-Saturday at 10 a.m.
-Saturday at 3 p.m.
-Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

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