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Best of 2000: Best Place To Play Petanque

Morley Field
Balboa Park
(858) 488-6710

It's your call: You can play bowls the English way, on manicured greens wearing formal whites; like the Italians, with wood-hearted bocce bowls in long sand pits; or like the French, anywhere there's a patch of open dirt. French bowls are smaller, baseball-sized 1H-lb. steel balls. Pétanque is the name (meaning, in Provençal, "feet together") that Jules Noir gave it when he invented the game in 1907. Make that "reinvented." People have been playing some sort of pétanque since Greek and Roman times. In San Diego, a bunch of Frenchmen started playing it on a patch at Morley Field in 1980. What draws them -- and now many locals -- is a combo of the game, the companionship, the food, the wine, and, incidentally, the exercise. You soon discover you're either a placeur or a tireur. A placer or a shooter. Placers try to get their ball nearest the jack. Shooters fling theirs in the air and knock enemy balls away. Pétanque is more about conviviality. Kids, men, women, rich, poor, champs, chumps -- they all play this game. Old guys too. Some old players too stiff to bend down use magnets on strings to retrieve their boules. You couldn't do that with bocce. First and third Sundays.

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Morley Field
Balboa Park
(858) 488-6710

It's your call: You can play bowls the English way, on manicured greens wearing formal whites; like the Italians, with wood-hearted bocce bowls in long sand pits; or like the French, anywhere there's a patch of open dirt. French bowls are smaller, baseball-sized 1H-lb. steel balls. Pétanque is the name (meaning, in Provençal, "feet together") that Jules Noir gave it when he invented the game in 1907. Make that "reinvented." People have been playing some sort of pétanque since Greek and Roman times. In San Diego, a bunch of Frenchmen started playing it on a patch at Morley Field in 1980. What draws them -- and now many locals -- is a combo of the game, the companionship, the food, the wine, and, incidentally, the exercise. You soon discover you're either a placeur or a tireur. A placer or a shooter. Placers try to get their ball nearest the jack. Shooters fling theirs in the air and knock enemy balls away. Pétanque is more about conviviality. Kids, men, women, rich, poor, champs, chumps -- they all play this game. Old guys too. Some old players too stiff to bend down use magnets on strings to retrieve their boules. You couldn't do that with bocce. First and third Sundays.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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