The story of petanque.org

By Mr.Bordsenius at 2010-07-06

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
- Pils
- Pipe ( we where all pipe smokers)
- Petanque
In the summer the first P was often exchanged with another P - Pastis.


Click on image to zoom
From 1999



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!!)

Local editors

In the beginning we aimed to cover all countries with news about petanque, and en tried to get local editors for each country. At one time we had news from 7 different countries reported, and the content was really flowing. But then the petanque-federations around the word got their own webpages, and we did not need to help them out any more. So we modified into a user driven community, where all content is created and donated by you, the reader.



The first logo


Jac Verheul

One man has stood out from the croud, and that is jack Verheul. A dutch petanque-player and francophile with an seeming endless collection of postcards and books about petanque. Thanks to his efforts we have a section on petanque postcards and petanque books.

Other Contributions(stamps/training)


At other times we get a complete section of the site from someone we have never heard about before, and they are never heard from again either. Vernon Walker wrote and requested that we make a beginners section, and we replied that if he could do it it would be nice. And 3 weeks later he sent it to us. That is the spirit that got the internet starrted. If you're out there Vernon, drop us a line!

Positive news

In 2000 we managed to be nominated by London University as one of the best 3 sport-sites on the internet, in competition with BBC and the european soccer championship for the "internet journalism award". We were invited, but as we are not commecial we did not have the money to go to the prize award. And the BBC won.. no wonder, they had a multi-millon dollar budget, we had none. Just an burning passion!

Decline of submissions


In the latter years submissions , and that is what keeps us going, has almost stopped completely. Everyone has a blog/facebook page or a personal website these days. But please remember, it is much better to get all petanque-related material collected in one place that is easy to find.

And that is what we are for. To spread the word, and love, for petanque.

We are not a commercial company, the ads on the site just about covers the hosting. If we were commercial we'd be pretty stupid, income for each working hour is at around 50 cents an hour now. You pick the currency...


So if you have some petanque-related content on your blog, please send it to us. 15 years from now we'll be 30, and 15 years from now your blog will be a distant memory and your stories about petanque will be lost in history. So save them today!


We'd also like to thank Paul Dunkley, who designed our logo for free!

Stig Bordsenius
petanque.org founder and petanque enthusiast.

Our history is available at the wayback machine

blog comments powered by Disqus

LATEST NEWS

Discount in the Tour de France shop - get your bike-boules today!

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!

25% discount in the Tour de France shop - get your bike-boules today!

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!

25% discount in the Tour de France shop - get your bike-boules today!

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!

Android petanque-game

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 most famous petanque-song: "Une partie de Petanque"

Petanque.org

The world wide petanque and boule community, by and for users.

Tweets by @PetanqueOrg Tweets about "petanque"