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Recreational Pétanque May Continue Near Century City

Pétanque
The Los Angeles City Council will be voting on whether recreational Pétanque may continue in the shadows of Century City. (Thinkstock)

A recreational French bowling game involving the tossing or throwing of hollow metal balls towards a smaller wooden ball could soon be a regular activity in the shadows of Century City, as the Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to vote on whether a club may regularly play pétanque at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center.

Similar to bocce or ice curling, pétanque was invented in southern France in 1907 and became a popular sport there and in nearby Spain. A group known as the Los Angeles Pétanque Club (LAPC) hopes to bring the sport to the Century City vicinity on a weekly basis. Council members are scheduled to vote Aug. 13 on a proposed agreement to allow LAPC to use the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center for pétanque matches and lessons on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and one Sunday each month.

Specifically, the LAPC would be given priority use of the recreation center’s grounds within a certain time frame to play matches, teach the game, host fundraisers, and have special events.

The proposed agreement between LAPC and City Hall also stipulates the club must, if an instructor is available, provide free four-hour pétanque lessons each Saturday.

LAPC would also be required to maintain the recreation center grounds and make any repairs as necessary.

The club would be required to pay City Hall an annual reimbursement fee of $1,068 for “utilities, trash and solid waste disposal, and staff impact costs.”

There would be no financial commitments from the City of Los Angeles to allow LAPC to use pétanque courts at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center as described in the proposed agreement.

If approved, the agreement between LAPC and City Hall would last 10 years and is subject to annual performance reviews.

Members of the City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and River Committee unanimously supported the terms of the proposed agreement and recommended it be considered by all 15 members on the dais.

The Cheviot Hills Recreation Center is located at 2551 Motor Avenue in Cheviot Hills, a few blocks south of Century City.

According to the blog “All About Pétanque,” the hollow metal balls are called “boules.”

In attempting to throw a boule as close as possible to a small wooden ball – often referred to as a “jack” or “cochonnet” – the throwing player must keep both feet on the ground. The thrower is also limited to standing within a circle when throwing the boule toward the jack.

There are three team-types that determine how many boules a player may throw. If it is a three-on-three matchup, each player is given two boules. For two-on-two or one-on-one matches, each player is given three boules.

The first team to 13 points wins.

For a complete explanation of the basics of how to play pétanque, visit www.seattlepétanque.org/Basics.pdf.

LAPC was incorporated as a non-profit in 1990 and has promoted pétanque at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center since its inception.

“The yearly value of LAPC’s program services to the public has been determined to be $13,600 based on their annual operating budget, which is principally in the maintenance of the courts,” the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center’s General Manager stated to City Hall.

Cheviot Hills is home to the only pétanque courts within Los Angeles.

“Pétanque is an outdoor bowling game of French origin – related to English lawn bowling and Italian bocce. Presently, [more than] 40 million people around the world follow the game of pétanque,” according to the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center’s General Manager.

Final details of the agreement between City Hall and LAPC will be reported on WestsideToday.com after the council’s scheduled vote on this matter on Aug. 13.

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