petanque.org is actually one of the oldest user-driven websites on the internet today. When we started up in 1997 there was no plan, it all started with a group of web-designers and programmers that enjoyed drinking beer at the local pub. However we realized that drinking beer was not a good excuse to leave home at any given time, we needed a better plan. Or just simply a plan.
And fortunately one of us had 12 competition-boules at home and a few years experience at playing petanque. So the club PPP was formed.
The the P's stand for
- Pipe ( we where all pipe smokers)
In the summer the first P was often exchanged with another P - Pastis.
Hosting was extremely expensive back then, so we bought an old 100Mhz pc, and set the site up on that. There were other technical challenges, for instance you could not download any blog-software, they did not exist back then. So we wrote our own content management system.the Hotboule-script was given to us by the man who made "snohoo", a snooker site. The rest was made by hand, line by line. It took a lot of time..
In the first years we participated in "Copenhagen open", a massive tournament in Denmark with over 150 teams. Due to lack of sleep and the face that danish beer is so nice we lost all matches. But we had a wonderful time. Upon arrival we almost got shot by the guards at the US. embassy, a bomb threat had been sent in, and we pulled up outside in i minibus filled with screaming petanque-players. But we managed to slip away. We slipped down the wrong way, and ended up driving into a police car in a one way street the wrong way, but thats another story.
So every monday we gathered to plan and drink, and plan the website. And play. In norway the winter is pretty rough so we stayed inside when there was more than 50cm of snow.
One advantage of being an early startup it that we got a lot of contributions - people from all over the globe sent us material. They could not post their images on Flickr(it did not exist), upload their videos to youtube (it did not exist) or discuss it in Facebook, twitter, myspace or blogger (they did not exist either). we were the only game in town, so to speak. They could search for petanque on atavista (it is gone), but not on google (it did not exist either!!)
For some reason the worl championship in petanque is held in the buzzling metroloplis of Tahiti this year! So pack your swimwear and go there at once!
Finally petanque has found a new home, as a bar game! Althought it might take a few years befor the darts-boards get the boot and petanque moves in everywhere it has started to happen
The Financial times has finally understood that Petanque is the game of the future, with our long time friend Mike Pegg, International umpire. "It may not be the sunny south of France but even on a chilly Devon day, British fans are warming to the charms of pétanque"
This is a product we have mentioned earlier, just because it is sooooo French. A Tour de France petanque-set! This is more French than a baguette!
We stumbled across a petanque-game for the andoid-system. From the produces description:"Petanque in St Tropez is a 3D bowls game, as played on the mediterannean coast." We do not have an android-phone to test it on, perhaps one of you can help us out?
The world wide petanque and boule community, by and for users.