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This is a general discussion forum about petanque. All issues may be discussed here.

Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Eric Breib) at 2007-08-05 18:58:32
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Who, in Petanque/Boule communities, is considered the best player? Is he/she still living and competing?

I'm a complete novice, but I'd like to know if this sport keeps track of players, teams, etc., that are raising the bar sotospeak.

Lastly, if applicable, what technique(s) did this person use to catapult himself/herself to their calibre of play in Petanque? Was it one specific move, or a plethora of skills that made them win that big match?

Eric Breiby

Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Jeff Widen) at 2007-08-06 15:38:29
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Are you talking about the World's best or in a specific country?

There are a number of major tournaments around the world which determine top players, but these rankings can be a bit "gray" because the tournaments are doublettes and triplettes.

Mainly, there are two main events:

Annual World Championship of Petanque (Championnat du Monde Petanque) which is in it's 43rd year - and will be staged in Thailand on September 18, and in Senegal next year (2008):

Then there's the Petanque Masters (Masters de Petanque) - which has top teams competing in various locations around France. This triplette event includes qualifying teams only:

Probably the best way to get a feel for the top players is to see the qualifying heirarchy from the Petanque Masters:

Henri Lacroix
Philippe Quintais
Pascal Milei
Jean Marc "Marco" Foyot
Philippe Suchaud
Dylan Rocher
Zvonko Radnic
Richard Bettoni
Stephane Dath
Bruno Leboursicaud
Thierry Figueres
Sebastian Rousseau
Christian Fazzino
Michel Loy
Bruno Rocher

are in the top category... again, a team is formed of pointers and shooters - and some of these players are better (this is of course relative) in one aspect than the other.

as for HOW they because great players... It is a combination of experience, and coaching... France, the birthplace for petanque, would of course, have many more players - hence, they have a larger pool of players to choose among, in order to get top petanque players. Thailand - which makes petanque a mandatory form of exercise for it's army, now has quite a few good players - and world ranked shooters.

As far as keeping a tangible "score" or ranking - this differs from country to country. In the United States, there is the World Championship Qualifier Tournament (the winners participate in the World Championship) - but the individual players are not ranked.

I hope this helps,

Jeff Widen
-Detroit Petanque Club

Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Ray Ager) at 2007-08-06 17:01:30
Posting has been displayed 806 times

Hi Eric,

If you look at the French Federation's site it lists previous champions.

If you speak French, has lots of interviews with the top players, about their background, successes, etc.

Marco Foyot, one of the all-time top players and still amongst the top players, has written various books and produced videos on training.

He's done a lot to change the image of petanque from "the old men on the village square" to petanque as a serious sport requiring the same degree of practise and coaching as any other sport.

Good luck with your game.



Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Guy Therrien) at 2007-08-06 22:01:41
Posting has been displayed 959 times

Among the top players listed by Jeff, Christian Fazzino 49/50 years old was elected the player of the last century. One of his record is the shooting of 982 boules out of 1000 within one hour.

Dylan Rocher, also listed, will be the player of this century. He is only 16 years old and a two-time world champion (youth). He plays with world champions (senior) and is the shooter on the team.


Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Don Nairn) at 2007-08-07 02:21:18
Posting has been displayed 932 times

With any “the best” discussion will cearly depend on the criteria you use to judge.

True petanque players as opposed to “petanque sport” players may argue that the game would not be the same if it were not for the activities of Patrick Ricard the chairman of Pernod Ricard a large Pastis producer.

I have no idea how regularly or well Patrick plays petanque:-)

Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Eric Breiby) at 2007-08-08 23:56:13
Posting has been displayed 868 times

Quite the indepth description: thanks. I'm impressed that it's taken a strong foothold with the Thai military. Interesting to say the least.

Experience and coaching is how it's done then. Commonsense now that I think about it. Most of the experienced folks would reside in France.

nice info.

Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Eric Breiby) at 2007-08-09 00:00:26
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great! I'll have to see if Marco Foyot has any DVDs on training: as I am sure it takes more than just gross arm movements rather, precise execution of all the techniques.

Given Alaska, I am sure there is not one iota of training info here so I'll peruse the internet for Foyot.


Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Guy Therrien) at 2007-08-06 22:47:29
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Correction: Christian Fazzino shot 992 boules out of 1000 within one hour.

As I was writing how many boules he shot, I was thinking about how many boules he missed (8) and wrote 982 instead of 992.

Unlike a woman, I can't do two things, right, at the same time.


Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Eric Breiby) at 2007-08-09 00:02:36
Posting has been displayed 836 times

May I ask: What is Pastis in relation to Petanque? I am sure my naivete is showing once more in regards to the history and people of Petanque.


Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Jeff Widen) at 2007-08-09 06:20:05
Posting has been displayed 861 times

Philippe Boet, of Petanque America, has a Marco Foyot video entitled: "Ma Méthode" for sale on his website:

The internet has quite a few videos which show top players in action, but not necessarily offering detailed instruction. But - you can always learn strategy, use of team resources (who should point, who should shoot) from these videos... try:

for example... and other videos found on YOUTUBE.


Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Eric Breiby) at 2007-08-08 23:58:06
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I feel exactly the same. 992 boules, amazing!


Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Eric Breiby) at 2007-08-09 16:31:33
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much appreciated, Okay, I'll have to double-back and check the info you've offered:
•the dailymotion link and
•that Philippe's website, www. petanque -america. com has the link to Foyot's DVDs.
**I should've perused his site more closely.

Eric Breiby in soon-to-be-frozen-Alaska.

Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Ray Ager) at 2007-08-09 17:25:45
Posting has been displayed 914 times

Pastis is the aniseed flavoured aperitif, drunk with water and ice, popular all over Provence, especially with petanque players!

Ricard and Jannot are the two main brands, both sponsor or have sponsored petanque competitions.

Connoisseurs ask for a specific brand rather than a generic “Pastis”.

Warning: it’s pretty strong stuff – too much and too much sun makes you crazy!!!

Who is considered the best?

Posted by: Ray Ager) at 2007-08-09 17:00:37
Posting has been displayed 913 times

IMHO "Ma Methode" is the best coaching video available.

True, others are useful for watching some of the top players, but few offer much in the way of techniques/instruction.



Pastis, Petanque in Alaska, and replies

Posted by: Eric Breiby) at 2007-08-12 22:46:59
Posting has been displayed 771 times

Great to know these things, as one never knows when they'll be in demand out on the Petanque rounds of the day: Pastis. Thanks.

Jeff, Ray, and others: Thanks for the information regarding the "who's-who-on-the-Petanque-communities".

Ma Methode, I'll have to look into that as well.

Well, it's OFFICIAL: my family and I started our first Petanque "match" tonight! In Alaska! It was on an area set up parallel to a driveway, and not exactly to the general standards of = 4 meters X 15 meters. We were short some in the width. But, it was great nontheless. After about an hour of raking and clearing a non-paved driveway, we managed to get a reasonable area. Not clay-covered mind you, but just the cleared dirt of the driveway, with even pebbles in the mix. *Tried to get most of the pebbles out of the way but could not remove them all. We'll try to improve the area's composition and dimensions as time goes along.


Pastis, Petanque in Alaska, and replies

Posted by: Jeff Widen) at 2007-08-13 10:10:47
Posting has been displayed 975 times


I'd love to get some photos of your Alaskan petanque playing. If you can, send them to me at my e-mail:

much thanks - and e-mail me anytime!


Pastis, Petanque in Alaska, and replies

Posted by: Eric Breiby) at 2007-08-13 13:09:37
Posting has been displayed 1067 times

...sure, we'll have to remember the digital camera next time 'round.


Back to who is the best

Posted by: Tony Andersson) at 2007-08-17 13:02:50
Posting has been displayed 976 times

If you would measure it by who has won the world championship most times it is still Phillpe Quantais I belive he has won it 7 maybe 8 times.

Christian Fazzino, Marco Foyot and Choupais (forgot his first name) is however all very valid names in the discussion.

Not many times when you discuss these things do you see pointers names in there so I want to push some really good pointers too.

Voisin again first name is blank at the moment was a very good pointer I dont know if he still alive I would think his best petanque days are behind him though I estimate he would be 80 years old by now.

Algeria had a very good pointer in the 80's and 90's whom I think hold the record for playing in the most world championships I think his last name was Alloui.

It should also be mentioned that Marco Foyot has mostly played the mid position in world championships.

In my mind if you want to check out the perfect arm movement for a shooter look at Phillipe Suchaud nickname: Le enfant terrible but don't break your arm trying to copy it :)

I could go on forever talking about these guys they are truly amazing all of them but I better get back to work now.

Ps. sorry my memory wasn't cooperating with me Ds.


Back to who is the best

Posted by: Ray Ager) at 2007-08-19 17:03:26
Posting has been displayed 809 times

Interestingly, Philippe Quintais, one of the all-time top shooters, usually plays pointer in his team!

This shows how highly he values pointing and how much of an all-rounder he is, also making the best strategic decision on how to make the best team from the players.



Back to who is the best

Posted by: Tony Andersson) at 2007-08-19 23:20:09
Posting has been displayed 1234 times

Ray I agree with you also the exceptional pointing by Choupais in 1996 world championship when his pointer diidn't live up to his task showed a similar respect for the art of pointing.

unfortunately I cant refer to pointer in question by name memory issues again ?


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