UPCOMING PETANQUE AT HECKMONDWIKE

It was brilliant to see our return to playing with firstly a great turnout of 48 members in our first Wednesday in glorious warm sunshine followed by a not quite so warm Saturday with 35 members. Now we’re all getting back into the groove of playing petanque it’s the plan to play our first of six club championship events for 2021.

As we didn’t play it last year and it’s perhaps the safest to play from a Covid control point of view we will start with the club SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP

The format will be decided when I have an idea of the entry level and what the majority prefer to play. There is a choice of Round Robin matches being played over a few weeks on any day of the week, perhaps best of three games, or we could play leagues followed by knockout rounds. When we have an entry list I will consult just in case ladies might prefer to play a LADIES ONLY competition. Not that we’re scared of playing you of course!!! I know in the past ladies have been more than ready and capable of holding their own in an OPEN competition.

The idea is to start the competition during the last couple of weeks of April so it would be very good if members could let me know ASAP if they wish to enter. Just in case you’re not sure whether you have already entered this is the list I have so far. Also I should add that if you see your name in this list and you don’t want to play please let me know.

ENTRIES FOR SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP SO FAR :- Ian F, Tony McD, Colin C, Patricia C, Clive W, Kath W, Gordon W, Kevin H, Chris H, Roger F, Bill E. That’s 11 so far.

As a bit of competition for everyone and an introduction to competitions for our latest new members we will end APRIL with a Month End Melee. It will be a stand alone competition as we haven’t yet developed any form of a year long event. This will be Saturday 24th April.

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GOOD NEWS – PLAY CAN RESUME

As many will already be aware, from Monday 29th March “organised sport” can resume providing we meet the control measures indicated in the government and Petanque England’s guidance notes. As a member club of Petanque England, and through that member of the Petanque England region, Yorkshire Petanque, we are able to resume petanque play as a club. Note that non-members of PE are considered “casual” players and can only play in groups of no more than 6 people or from just two households.

Following on from that, only members of our club can play at our club sessions and they must adhere to the control measures put in place by the club designed to prevent the spread of Covid 19.

Our first club session will take place on Wednesday 31st March starting at the usual time of 1pm.

We are still not allowed to use the pavilion except to access equipment such as sanitising materials and use the toilets.

The following are the main points regarding our control measures but a full briefing will take place when you arrive at club :-

If you are experiencing any of the typical symptoms of Covid 19 such as headache, raised temperature, loss of sense of smell etc DO NOT TURN UP.

When you first arrive do not congregate closely in groups of more than 6. Remember that you cannot move between groups of six during the day.

We will play our social play days by doing one draw to start the session. You will then stay in that group for the session and you can swap partners for each game of the session.

We will be playing occasional melees or club competitions in the coming weeks where the format will be different and controls adapted to suit.

We will play with an empty piste in between each game being played. This means that we will have 12 pistes available. Thus we can accommodate up to 72 players. Groups may, by agreement, swap pistes for each game to give a change of conditions during a session.

Before players arrive a club official will have sanitised with wipes all surfaces likely to be touched by players such as door handles, toilet flushes, hand rails, equipment hanging frame etc. Members should use the wipes and gel after touching these items.

You should bring your own drinks/food and please don’t leave bottles where other folk might accidentally touch them.

Use of plastic rings and club score boards is not permitted. If a player brings their own personal ring they must be the only person to handle it.

In play you must not touch anyone else’s measures, boules or coche. If a team throws an invalid coche the opposing team must simply place their own coche in a valid position.

Note a briefing will remind players of the new rule changes before play begins.

All players must ensure their presence is recorded on the test & trace register.

Sanitising wipes and hand gel will be provided and should be used by everyone on a regular basis during the session and at the end you should wipe your boules and coche as well as sanitising your hands. Players may wear face coverings if they prefer.

If, after any club session, a member experiences symptoms typical of Covid 19, will they please advise me as well as isolating and getting appropriate testing and medical help.

We have a full club general risk assessment and an updated Covid risk assessment displayed at the club and if anyone has any queries please ask me.

During the next few months we hope to begin playing our club Championship events. We will probably start with the Open Singles during April so if you’re keen to enter please get your name on the entry sheet ASAP. Format will be determined once I have an idea of the number of entrants. It could be round Robin with games played any time or day by agreement or it could be leagues and knockout over a single or couple of days.

Hope to see you all next Wednesday.

An update plus Harry needs some help.

You will be aware that the 1st Step of coming out of lockdown is due to begin Monday 29th March.

As yet, while it seems quite likely we will be able to meet up to play again on Wednesday 31st, we are still waiting for Petanque England to issue some updated guidance to the playing control measures which will guide us to make sure we play in a safe manner. They in turn are awaiting advice from Sport England. So I’m sorry but I can’t confirm anything just yet but keep your eyes peeled for another post in the next few days.

Our member and friend Harry Overend, is Secretary of Mirfield Petanque, and they are needing a little support. It seems there is a small fund been made available for improvements at Memorial Park where Mirfield play their petanque. They would like to add a couple of pistes to their terrain to allow them to grow and attract a few more members. Competition for these funds is probably quite intense as there two cricket clubs, a bowls club and a tennis club in the park who may all want some money for projects.

Harry has launched a petition which he would like as many of us as possible to sign to show the level of support they have to get their two extra pistes.

Please take the time to click on the link below and click on the red line to register your support. You will also see numerous other petitions listed but these are not relevant to this project so you can happily just ignore them.

Please read this petition by clicking here, or copying and pasting the address in you browser… https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fchng.it%2FHrMsZbwM&data=04%7C01%7C%7C08b70e5cb92041301d6b08d8eb01d3cc%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637517740364718243%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=W%2Bo%2F3f3xe0TJ%2FTe2PEibwwLSE6ctWjuH9Z%2FbgLasbq4%3D&reserved=0

Click on the red bar at the bottom of the page to sign the petition.

GOOD NEWS

I’m sure many of you will have been watching the government briefing today, so you will be aware that the day when we can meet again and play a few games of petanque is not so far ahead now.

Organised outdoor sport can resume from Monday 29th March, of course, still with the requirement to comply with our COVID 19 Risk Assessment control measures regarding social distancing and not touching other folk’s boules etc. As yet we don’t have the formal guidance from Petanque England giving us the fine details but at least we can meet and play. I will update the details when I have that Petanque England guidance.

This means we can meet to play as a club on Wednesday 31st March at 1pm. Unless I get any further guidance we will probably play socially, with an initial draw for partners and then playing all three games in those groups. You can swap partners within your group.

Unless Kirklees tell us otherwise, I’m assuming we will not have full use of the pavilion.

During the weeks of lockdown we’ve been busy at the terrain. All of the terrain surround timbers have now been given a new sports surface covering that significantly reduces the slip risks.

Also, for those not happy about hanging bags etc on the the terrain fencing, we have built and erected a bag hanging structure with shelves around the floodlight pylon. This should reduce significantly the risk of theft by anyone passing by while we’re playing. There are 40 hooks around the structure as well as the two shelves. There will be antibacterial sprays on hand to spray bags to ensure full protection.

As far as leagues, competitions etc I will advise as soon as Yorkshire Petanque has finalised it’s 2021 draft playing programme. It certainly looks hopeful that we can stage our La British Open in July.

I’m also hopeful that if things go as well as planned we will be able to hold our AGM in April, if not May, even if we do it outdoors.

So, get your boules ready and see you at Firth Park Wednesday 31st March.

HOPE EVERYONE IS WELL

Just checking that everyone is keeping well and away from the dreaded virus. It would be good to know some of you have had your first or even second dose of vaccine. I trust everyone is getting their daily exercise, be it long walks or more likely you’re in the park practising your shooting or your high lob pointing. Well done and keep it up.

For those that have now read the new petanque rules and are looking for some more bedtime reading I have a new offering for you.

If you go onto the site – http://www.cep-petanque.com/umpires.html you will find an excellent document called “A Guide to Umpiring” produced by Mike Pegg, our senior umpire.

I know you’re thinking, I want to play petanque not be an umpire, but this guide gives you an excellent interpretation of some of the new rule changes. Also it gives you guidance on how to measure properly from boule to coche using a variety of measuring equipment. Yes, I guess you’ve all got tape measure, folding/slide measure, calipers, wedges to support boules etc but I’m afraid I see little evidence of them on club days. You may decide after reading this document that you will be prepared to measure when the situation requires it and have the confidence to know you’re doing it correctly.

Furthermore, it gives you a great insight into what to expect if you play in a competition that does have official umpires. This could help you avoid the dreaded yellow or even red cards with the long, slow and embarrassing walk to the clubhouse.

I’m afraid there aren’t booklets available but you can either read it on line or download your own copy and print it off to read at your leisure. If you need any assistance give me a call.

MEMBERSHIP ISSUES – Thankyou to all of the many members who have paid their 2021 Heckmondwike Petanque subscriptions. If anyone is still wanting pay and is not sure how to go about it just text me on 07594 371626 and I will help. I can either give you Alma’s address to send a cheque or I can even collect cheque or cash from you.

This also applies to those members who want to join or renew membership of Yorkshire Region (£8) or Petanque England (£33). I have the forms ready.

For now please stay safe and hope we can all meet up again soon for another game of petanque.

COVID UPDATE

We now have the updated guidance from Petanque England. It doesn’t change the position significantly but it does clarify a couple of points.

Firstly we cannot operate our usual club social play days of Wednesday and Saturday.

PRIVATELY OWNED PETANQUE FACILITIES MUST CLOSE.

Heckmondwike’s terrain is a PUBLIC SPACE which can remain OPEN. This, of course, is providing Kirklees Council don’t take it upon themselves to close it. At the moment we have not had any suggestion that they will do that.

The government’s legal restrictions say that we can exercise once per day either alone, with members of our own household or bubble or we can meet one person who is NOT in our household or our bubble.

There is NO RESTRICTION ON THE TYPE OF ACTIVITY YOU CAN DO WHEN EXERCISING OUTDOORS.

By the rules above you can play a game of petanque, in a public park or space, with a person(s) in your household or bubble or with ONE PERSON who is not in your household or bubble. It is stressed you should maintain safe social distancing from everyone nearby including any other two people exercising. Wearing face coverings would help and if you have antibacterial gel with you that would also reduce risks. Our club guidance would also be helpful such as don’t touch the other person’s boules or coche.

I will update this guidance as we get further guidance from either government or Petanque England. Please stay safe.

YORKSHIRE PETANQUE AND PETANQUE ENGLAND MEMBERSHIP

As we’re unlikely to meet in person too often during the lockdown period, if any of our members wish to renew or join for first time either as Yorkshire Associate member or PE member then please contact me for details of bank account to pay. I will do the forms and pay the associations etc. My mobile is 07594 371626.

Yorkshire Associate Membership is £8.00 (same as last year)

PE membership is £33 which includes the automatic Yorkshire membership (£8).

Keep safe everyone.

GOOD NEWS – BAD NEWS

Perhaps you don’t need me to tell you the bad news but guess what – we have been locked down which means that our club sessions must cease for a few weeks at least.

We can only leave our homes for exercise, shop for essentials, medical reasons etc. Petanque England have not, as yet, published their guidance but it seems fairly common knowledge that grass roots organised sport cannot continue in club formats.

A small crumb of comfort is that you can meet with your household members to play or you can meet one person not in your household but it must be outdoors. As far as we are aware our park remains open and so you can continue to get your exercise there. Please keep safe, get your vaccine jab asap and we will all meet again soon.

The GOOD NEWS, and perhaps a second reason why you would be unlikely to slip and injure yourself on the often slippery surfaces of our wood terrain surrounds. The A-Team has now completed the task of covering the wood surfaces with an excellent non-slip sports surface material. A brilliant effort over the last couple weeks by David Whittington, assisted today by Colin Child and myself means all 270 metres of woodwork are suitably covered and, as members have noted during this period, gives us an excellent non-slip surface even when covered in snow.

Here are the brilliant team and a couple of pics to show the final result of their tremendous efforts. A special mention for Stanley and his super knives but heaps of thanks to our wonderful benefactor for making this job possible. I hope to be able to give them suitable thanks and recognition shortly when I have their approval.

The Brilliant Team – David and Colin.

Precision craftsmanship.

A fuller picture of a brilliant job, well done. Thanks guys.

BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR

To all our members, their families and petanque players everywhere, may 2021 bring a return to more normal lives and to good health for all.

While some of us have been fortunate enough to dodge the dreaded virus and play our petanque together through 2020, several of our members have had a pretty tough year. We hope 2021 will be kind to us all and everyone can return to good health and we can all meet up again to play and enjoy life together once more.

GOOD NEWS – TIER 3 FOR NOW

What a strange thing to be cheerful about. Tier 3 continues for a while longer for West Yorkshire. It could easily have been worse. At least petanque can continue as we have been playing for the past few weeks.

Well done to the hardy 19 members who turned up today and enjoyed a lovely afternoon of petanque. See you all again on Saturday hopefully.

Our annual subscriptions are now due so if you could pay Alma Johnson by either cash or cheque that would be brilliant. Thankyou. If she isn’t around when you come to pay you can give it Kath or myself to pass on.

Anyone interested in either joining Petanque England or becoming a Yorkshire Region Associate member please ask me and I can advise how to go about it or I can provide you with an entry form.

I’m still awaiting confirmation of entry fees but I believe them to be:-

Yorkshire Associate Membership £8.00

Petanque England Membership (includes Yorkshire membership) £30.00

Petanque England membership includes Liability Insurance cover and the freedom to enter not only National Championship competitions but also Yorkshire Regional Championships that lead to qualification to the National Champion of Champions events. You can also enter the Region’s qualifiers to represent Yorkshire Region at the September Inter regional Petanque competition weekend.

If you become a Yorkshire Associate member you can enter Yorkshire Region championship events that do not lead to Champion of Champions national competitions. There is no liability insurance via this membership but of course Heckmondwike Petanque Club does have its own Liability Insurance cover.

Finally, I have acquired a few scorers from DC Petanque. Several members have one now and they seem to be pretty reliable. I have three left after today’s rush for them. They are priced at £11.95 each. First come – first served.