Welcome everyone to the pilot season of the National Pétanque League! The NPL may be just beginning, but it has been spinning in the minds of avid pétanquers for many years now. It was not long after I founded a singles (tête-à-tête) league in my backyard in 2007 that I started to wonder how well others played the game across the United States. Unfortunately, my backyard league was nearly 400 miles away from the nearest club. Tournaments are obviously the ideal way to test oneself against the competition, but there are so many to choose from, spread across such a vast area. The NPL means to bridge this wide continent, to recognize player achievement from numerous clubs, and to highlight our top players in the competitive sport of pétanque.
What I like most about the NPL ranking system is that it encourages all forms of play, and a lot of it. The point system encourages tournament attendance, and it will promote the hosting of more tournaments for small, isolated clubs. The NPL standings use a simple scoring composite of win average within a club, combined with points earned from tournaments and performance merit. It is extremely easy to submit scores from games, and doing so allows competitive players across the league to follow other players, and see how well they are performing against leaguers from all participating clubs. The NPL will be able to bring you news, insights, standings, and updates all with the click of a button. We are only in our pilot season, but I feel confident that our own club will carry its tradition into its 9th season and the future as part of the NPL.
To join and be a member club is easy. Clubs interested in playing in the NPL need only contact us with your club information and your roster of league players. Once your club is added, you need only designate one player to submit scores. What better time to get involved with competitive tête-à-tête play than to be following in the wake of the recent World Championship!
Lastly, I’d like to offer a word of gratitude to Ed Porto, and Etienne Rijkheer with FPUSA for supporting this endeavor. I would also like to thank Steve Lessard for his tireless work on this, including the development of the website and database. A huge thanks as well to all clubs willing to participate in helping launch a great new approach to the game we all love. March 20th is Opening Day. Get set to play boules!