Rugby World Cup: A Sétois invents pétanque balls… oval

Spread the love

unusual It was while attending a rugby match for the first time in Montpellier that José Llinarès had the idea of ​​creating pétanque balls in the shape of olives

Rugby World Cup: A Sète resident invents oval pétanque balls

José Llinarès had the idea of ​​creating oval balls while attending a rugby match. — José Llinarès

  • José Llinarès, former head of the Criée de Sète, had the idea of ​​creating oval pétanque balls while attending a rugby match for the first time.
  • The rules differ a little from traditional pétanque: if you always have to get as close as possible to the goal (the olivette!), the oval ball game is played in 15 points, and the players can shoot from wherever they want, along of one line.
  • On the occasion of the Rugby World Cup, the agri-food giant Andros asked José Llinarès to introduce this strange sport to World Cup spectators. The next meeting is September 21, in the Old Port.

Perhaps you know square boules, the astonishing variation of pétanque, practical for hitting irons on sloping grounds. But now there is another alternative to traditional boules: boules… ovals. This is the Sétois José Llinarès who imagined, two years ago, these funny balls, in the shape of olives. This passionate football player had a click when he attended, for the first time in his life, a rugby match, Montpellier (Hérault): that day, in the stands, the former head of the Criée de Sète was enthusiastic about this oval ball, which made these big guys run.

“It really left an impression on me,” says José Llinarès to 20 Minutes. I said to myself: “What if we did that, too, for pétanque?” This strange idea did not stay with us until now. the bar. For months, José Llinarès stirred; heaven and earth, to find a manufacturer cheeky enough. to make these balls in the shape of rugby balls. « çit was a bit of the Stations of the Cross, recognizes the Sétois. I had a really hard time doing this. find someone… »

Balls made by the Italian company Boulenciel

It's a friend, Alex Biancardini, who will pull José Llinarès of this impasse. “For my part, I knew Maryan Barthélémy”, champion and figure of pétanque in France well, confides Alex Biancardini. “And he knew Boulenciel very well”, one of the most prominent pétanque boule manufacturers in Europe. And… Check! The Italian company happily agreed to embark on this adventure, and offered the duo the opportunity to design balls in Cuproaluminium. “And make them full, explains the inventor from Sète. Because all pétanque balls, normally, are hollow. » The oval ball was born.

But for José Llinarès, there is no question of making his innovation a lucrative product. Through the association Les Copains d'abord, this game is only used raise funds, during tournaments organized here and there, for great causes, in particular for women affected by breast cancer. As for Alex Biancardini, he regularly organizes oval ball competitions to raise funds for victims of multiple sclerosis, with his association, Multiple Sclerosis à àgrave. Poussan.

The oval ball « requires both skill and luck»

But how do we play the Oval Ball Game, the official name of this astonishing discipline? “It’s completely different from traditional pétanque, explains José Llinarès, who officially filed the regulations of this new sport. First, we play to 15 points, a nod to the French XV. Then, the players no longer have their feet planted on the ground, in a precise circle. They can play from where they are. they want it, condition of remaining on one line, from left to right; RIGHT. And ça, çit changes everything.” For the rest, it’s rather similar to pétanque: the objective, for the players, is to get their balls as close as possible to the goal. “But for the Oval Ball Game, it’s not a jack, but an olivette, also in the shape of a rugby ball”, explains the Sétois.

< p> Rugby World Cup: A Sète resident invents oval pétanque balls

An oval ball tournament, in front of the Montpellier rugby stadium. – Friends First Association

You don't throw an oval ball like a round ball. Not everyone holds it in the same way. Some send it horizontally, others point forward. And once in the air, they are more capricious than their round cousins. « This requires a lot of effort. both skill and luck, continues José Llinarès. With a square ball, it's just luck. With an oval ball, it’s a mixture of the two. »

Presentations of the oval ball for the Rugby World Cup

“It’s a very fun discipline, adds his comrade Alex Biancardini. For shooting, this is not a problem. As with round or square balls, if you touch a ball, it goes away. To point, on the other hand, it's different. But little by little little, we develop techniques. » And with a little experience, you can even achieve this. make it turn around, thanks to its oval shape. But that’s for the cracks.


À On the occasion of the Rugby World Cup, the invention of José Llinarès typed in the eye of Andros. The French agri-food giant, official partner of the Mondial, has proposed to the Sétois to present the Oval Ball Game to spectators of certain matches. The next meeting is on September 21, in the Old Port, in Paris. Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), at the occasion of France-Namibia. “But what we especially want is to show that the interest of the oval ball is to raise funds for associations”, notes José Llinarès. However, he would be happy if the discipline he imagined became, one day, as popular as traditional pétanque. Or even football. “There is FIFA, so why is FIBO, the International Federation of Oval Ball?”, is he laughing.