Have you got the boules?

Did you know that for the past 17 years (every year since we set up business) Source has been trying unsuccessfully to win the Colliers Cup, a petanque competition that has been running in Leeds every summer since 1999.

It’s a little-known fact that tucked away between Greek Street and Park Row, in the centre of Leeds, is a purpose-built Petanque court and every year as many as 40 teams, mainly representing city centre businesses, compete there for the prestigious Colliers Cup.

For those unfamiliar with petanque, it is a form of bowls, played with steel boules and a small wooden target ball called a cochonnet, that originated in Provence, France early in the 20th century.

Players throw their boules at the cochonnet while standing inside a circle with both feet on the ground. After all boules have been thrown a point is scored for each boule you have closer to the cochonnet than your opponents’ nearest boule. First team to 13 points is the winner

It is a game of skill, strategy and sometimes a big slice of luck.

First and foremost, skill is required to throw the boule accurately. Strategy plays a big part too - it’s not always a case of aiming your boule at the cochonnet, sometimes you will be better served by knocking your opponents’ boules away from the cochonnet.

Last but not least, you need a bit of luck! The petanque court is made of gravel and boules can sometimes take a bad bounce or roll off in an unexpected direction.

It goes without saying that Source has suffered a lot of bad luck over the last 17 years. Nothing else can explain our lack of silverware, can it?

Our team has remained more or less unchanged over the years, comprising Peter, myself and Daniel (maybe that’s the problem!) Peter is our lead off man, tasked with getting an early boule close to put the opposition under pressure, while Daniel has developed into the role of back man, responsible for either consolidating a winning position or performing last ditch heroics to rescue us from a losing position. We won’t mention the times (not many) when he’s managed to transform a winning position into a losing one with an injudicious boule!

In 17 years our best performance is losing finalist, a feat we have achieved twice, most recently last year. As such we are current holders of the ‘Runners Up Rosebowl’ – who said you get nothing for finishing second?

Disappointingly, as I write this blog, we have just heard that we have failed to qualify for the final of this year’s competition. Having reached the final group stage we unexpectedly lost 13-9 to a team called Total Boules after leading them 8-1.  (They were lucky – say no more!)

Our enthusiasm, however, remains undiminished so we will be back next year hoping we don’t boules it up.

And if anyone reading this fancies entering their own team next year, let us know and we will put you in touch with the organisers.

Or you are welcome to challenge Source to a game – if you’ve got the boules!  

Written by Steve Clark, 21/09/2018