A big thank you to all the players who turned out over last weekend to compete for a place to represent Wales at the 2022 Celtic Challenge, being held in Scotland.
Thanks also to Monkstone PC for hosting the event over both days.
It’s fair to say the conditions all weekend was “challenging” – reminiscent of the 2019 Home Nations, held at the same venue.
The pistes needed draining several times throughout the weekend. Still, we managed to get all games played (using a slight change to the original format, brought about because of the weather forecast, which meant a halving of the games played on Saturday).
The CEP Board of Directors met on Saturday 10th July to discuss the current situation concerning Covid-19 in Europe with respect to the scheduled European Championships. Due to the ongoing uncertainty and concern about the “Delta variant” of Covid-19, as well as the logistical challenges with differing quarantine and health regulations across Europe, the Board of Directors took the difficult decision to cancel the EC Triples: Veterans, EC Triples: Men and EC Triples Espoirs and Juniors.
The full text of the correspondence received is detailed below:
You will see that a decision concerning the European Cup for Clubs, which is scheduled for early December will be announced soon. As soon as we receive confirmation of the CEP’s decision we will inform you.
The executive appreciates the disappointment that the players who qualified to represent Wales feel, but the opportunity to play for Wales in the future has not gone away. The aim now to prepare for 2022.
The Executive will now review the playing calendar as additional dates have now become available.
We would like to thank all the members who entered the qualification process at the end of 2020, which was finally completed at the beginning of June 2021.
Originally, the qualification process was to identify the team to represent Wales at the World and European Championships 2020; however, due to the pandemic, all the major championships were cancelled or postponed and therefore the emphasis changed to identify the teams for 2021.
The qualification process was organised and overseen by the coaching team to ensure consistency.
The process comprised two rounds of pointing and shooting exercises to establish the players’ technical ability and was completed by an assessment in a game situation. The final results are tabulated below.
The top five players, highlighted green have qualified to represent Wales in the forthcoming European Triples Championships for Veterans and Men (yet to be confirmed by the CEP) at Albertville, France in September, two reserve players have been highlighted in amber.
The Executive would like to congratulate the following members for qualifying to represent Wales at the following championships:
In the past few days, we have received confirmation from the Petanque Association of Thailand, the host for the 18th Junior and Women World Petanque Championships, that the spread of the Coronavirus has forced them to postpone the championships. The Association hope to be able to host the championships at a later date.
We also received a communication from the President of the FIPJP outlining their commitment to having the championships at a later date, but also for the twice cancelled Men’s World Championship that was to be held in Switzerland (2020/2021); all we can do is wait to see what evolves.
Finally, something closer to home, as we are aware here in Wales, the movement from Alert level 2 to Alert Level 1 continues with a further reduction in restrictions for organised outdoor activities; what this means is that clubs can now exceed the previously stated maximum number of 50 people. However, clubs should undertake a risk assessment to establish their maximum capacity based upon their facilities.
It is still a requirement for Clubs to Track and Trace members attending and ensure Social Distancing is maintained during play. We are currently revising our guidance for Clubs and Players, and they will be published soon.
Finally, Clubs will shortly be asked if they are interested in participating in the Welsh Cup for Clubs. This is a competition between affiliated clubs to find the best club in Wales; please consider taking part, you never know.
The FIPJP has confirmed that due to the continued situation with Covid-19 in mainland Europe, the World Championship: Triples for Men, which was to be held in Prilly-Lausanne, Switzerland, in July and postponed from 2020, has been cancelled.
This must be extremely disappointing for our friends in Switzerland who have worked tirelessly to host the Championships for the past 3 years. However, due to the ever-evolving nature of the virus and the restrictions placed upon organisations, the FIPJP, together with the hosts, decided that the potential quarantine conditions for teams arriving in Switzerland and on return to their country, as well as the constraints that would have to be imposed at the site were also considered too problematic.
Following up on the announcement from the FIPJP, The European Petanque Confederation (CEP) has stated that they “…continue to monitor the pandemic situation across Europe and remain hopeful that each of our championships will go ahead as planned; however, a final decision [by the CEP] on this year’s championships will be made in early July”.
We will, of course, keep you informed of any announcements concerning the European Championships.
A Cold and Wet Day for the opening round of Assessments
The morning (in particular) weather didn’t help the competitors in the first round of the Qualifying Assessments for the 2021 World Championships (Triples: Men), European Championships (Triples: Men) and European Championships for Veterans (Triples: Women & Men).
I need to begin with thanking the Monkstone PC for giving over their pistes for the day to allow us to safely spread out and run the three individual Assessments, as well as a distanced area for playing/warming up (a term I use lightly, given the weather).
I must also thank the people who marked each event – Jean-Yves Robic, Tony Smith and, especially, Lyn Babbage who stepped in at the last minute to help out after I had to pull-out due to illness.
There had been a lot of discussion among the Executive Committee and with the National Coach prior to the event taking place – firstly around whether it should have gone ahead at all. We always knew it would be a risk, starting such an important process in nearly December, and we have 2 further weekends for scheduled into the 2021 Draft Playing Calendar for more rounds for these events, as well as a separate event for the World Championships (Triples: Women). In addition, this is partly driven by the closing date for entries to the World Championships. Based on our experience earlier this year, the organisers will need full details of the team by early Spring.
Given this likely requirement, along with the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus restrictions in Wales, we decided it would be useful to get at least one round “in the bag” while we had a window of opportunity.
We added a second day to the Playing Calendar in case we needed that extra time, depending on the number of players who entered, but as it turned out, only the Saturday was needed.
With a slight evolution of the process, we used in 2019, the original plan for the day involved a number of timed triples matches between teams made up of the players not undergoing their individual assessments and taking place simultaneously with those. The plan was for these games to be observed and each player marked using the same process as our coaches follow at international events. Unfortunately, the lack of people available to undertake this observation & marking meant this element had to be removed from the event.
All the players who took part have been asked for their feedback on the event. I am grateful for the replies received so far and hope the people who haven’t responded yet, will be able to do so. All suggestions/thoughts/views will be considered before the next rounds.
The Standings at the end of Round 1 can be seen below. Each player’s individual detailed scoring will be emailed directly to them by the National Coach.
Congratulations to everyone who took part, and a big thank you again to Monkstone PC and the volunteer markers.
Let’s hope the following rounds take place in kinder conditions.
The 1st WPOC World Pétanque Offline Cup organised by the FIPJP.
The preliminary phase of the WPOC has finished and the qualifying results are out for the WPOC 2020 Championships.
Three WPA players who decided to enter to represent Wales had limited time to produce the necessary video for the qualifying sessions.
Derek Jones got his precision shooting and parthian shooting (trick shot) completed on Sunday 3rd August afternoon while Gareth and Michelle Spencer completed their precision shooting just before the deadline of Monday 4th August afternoon.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time for Gareth and Michelle to produce a qualifying parthian shooting video before the 4pm deadline.
Despite the lack of time the results from the players exceeded any expectation, results as below:
Men’s Parthian shooting Derek Jones – Finalist top 8 (Qualified 5th)
Women’s Shooting Michelle Spencer – 27th Top Female European player
Men’s Shooting Derek Jones – 13th Top Male European player
Gareth Spencer – 32nd Second European player
Congratulations to all players an excellent performance.
Derek has now performed another parthian shot for the final phase and this is currently being assessed by the five judges.
Our friends at Pétanque England have issued the following statement:
The PE Board Meeting met virtually today and a number of playing matters were discussed.
2020 Inter Regional Championships
It is with deep regret that the PE Board has decided in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic that we are left with no alternative than to cancel the 2020 Inter-Regional Championships.
This decision is taken with heavy heart but we have concluded that we are unable to hold and organise such a major event safely for all our members young and old.
Considerable work has been undertaken by the Board to ensure that we were not left with significant financial liabilities and we are very grateful for the support we have received from our partners IoW Tours.
2020 would have been the last time that we would have held the Inter-Regionals at Hayling Island because of their refurbishment and remodelling to a format unsuited to our needs. We are now planning for 2021 and a new venue. We look forward to a major celebration in 2021, where once again we can all gather at the biggest and best national tournament in England.
We will update members when we have more details on the new venue, but just as an advance warning, we are expecting 2021 Inter-Regionals to take place a week earlier in September than they have taken place traditionally.
Although this is disappointing, I’m sure we all agree it is totally understandable, and we applaud the PE Board’s decision to make this call earlier rather than later.