Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

As City Ponders Removing the Petangue Courts, Some Remember What Petangue Is

"The Palisades Park pétanque courts are under-utilized and may be replaced," says the City


The Petanque courts are located in the 1400 block of Palisades Park, just south of the Camera Obscura building at 1450 Ocean Ave.

Editor's note: We received the Letter below in response to the City article at the bottom:

Here's the full story about the Petangue Courts. It's probably before your time, but the City did not actually install Petangue courts in Palisades Park-- the courts already were there, but were "repurposed" in City Jargon. (I always worry when the City says it's going to "repurpose" a perfectly good place, such as the Sears store or SM Airport--it's usually bad news).

In the 1950's and 1960's, these were the shuffleboard courts, which were very popular. I remember always seeing large crowds of older men and women playing and watching the shuffleboard games. They drew folders from what there was called the Half-Century Club, later the Senior Center.

I don't know whan shuffleboard lost out to Petangue, but it was probably about the same time they stopped square dances and removed the horseshoe field from then-Lincoln Park.

--Rufus Baker, Santa Monica

The City Parks Department is looking at replacing the Petangue courts located at 1450 Ocean Park Blvd. "The Palisades Park pétanque courts are under-utilized and may be replaced," says the City's website, asking you to take a survey. Ping Pong tables or landscaped areas "for passive recreation" are among the alternative choices.

Pétanque is a form of boules where the goal is to toss or roll hollow steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally "piglet") or jack,while standing inside a circle with both feet on the ground. The game is normally played on hard dirt or gravel. It can be played in public areas in parks, or in dedicated facilities called boulodromes. Similar games are bocce, bowls and (adapted to ice) curling. And someone at some point in time, probably thought installing a court in Palisades Park would be a hit with the public!


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