The 2016 Petanque Tournament was held in Lafayette where members of the petanque community, who were coming from Louisiana, Texas, Belgium, France, Romania and far beyond, gathered together to win medals and awards. Since the Petanque World Championships started in 1959, the countries with the most gold medals were France, Thailand, Belgium and Spain. The said tournament had an inclement weather and harsh rain on the Saturday which challenged the participants greater than the sunny spring feeling experienced on the Sunday. The tournament showed the skills and abilities of old and new players alike. After the events rolled out, the results of the tournament finally came in.
Ranking in first place was the French team Bernard Champey, a former boules world champion, and Gerladine Ortiz. Champey, at present, is retired from formal play, but he travels around the world to promote the game globally for others to know more about petanque sport. Ortiz comes from the couple’s home village in Antraigues sur Volon, which is located in the south of France in the Ardeche Department.
On the second ranking were Rudolph Valee and Ed Priest, who are both from the French Legation Petanque Club found in Austin, Texas. Valee is a French chef, and together with Priest, they both have more than fifty years of petanque experience. They were able to reach second place because of their effective techniques and coordination.
Placed on the third ranking were Andrew Barron and Siva Nunna, who were both from the Thibodaux Swamp Petanque found in Louisiana. On the fourth ranking were Hasmukh Patel and Thierry Amisse who were both from the French Legation Boules Team, which is also found in Austin, Texas. Amisse has been entering tournaments, mostly in Singles Tournament, and won medals. They both have great petanque experience which made them play well or are on equal footing against very good players in national and international competitions. However, it didn’t give them the opportunity to rank up to top 3 this time.
In the fifth place was a team that is considered new to the local petanque club named La Boule Cadienne de Lafayette, and these were Alex Hayes and Austin Keller. They were considered the underdogs of the tournament, despite their new appearance to the petanque world. Placed in the sixth were independent players from Lafayette, one being a young environmental chemist named Huy Nguyen, and a landscape designer named John Oliver.