Canada was nothing short of fabulous. We were welcomed with open arms and treated so very well by all the opponents and spectators. We had numerous people ask to be photographed with us (nothing like that to boost one's ego!) and all games ran very smoothly with exceptional sportsmanship displayed by all. Although disappointed by the change of tournament mid day, we had a great time and suggest anyone who has the opportunity to travel to Montreal to play should do so.
Here is the lowdown on the women's 2016 National Pétanque Team games in Montreal. Day one, as scheduled, we played four games. Our team showed exceptionally well with three wins and one loss in a close-timed game 10-12. Then, we were surprised to be asked to play an additional game on day one (after placing 2nd overall) only to learn afterwards that it was NOT a game to assist the other team in placement but was a qualifier. Unlike other years and standard format, we learned that only one team moved on (not teams 1-4 as usual). This was the first time in the tournament's history that they changed the format like this mid-day (after announcing in the morning that we would have four games). No one was aware of the rules change. All the women's teams were upset and confused. We lost 10-12 (all games were timed). Sadly this put is in the consolante pool.
Day 2: In our first morning game we lost; we suffered but rallied, true to our best form in the final games with 13-1, 13-3, and 13-0 wins. Games won were 13-1, 13-0, 13-7, 13-3, 13-4, 13 -0, and losses at 10-12, and 7-12, which exhibits the efforts, skill, and ability of our team. Our final was our best—Tish on the cochonnet nearly every time, Shannon squeezing in points where most would think it impossible, and I had nice shots including a 10-meter carreau. The game took minutes and we were ready to keep going, but sadly, the day was complete.
The games were spectacular and we made a fine showing. It was a true honor and so many people wanted photos with us and to my utter amazement, asked for autographs. This makes all the hours and hours of practice worth it. When one of us faltered, the others stepped up. The teamwork was perfect. We were under constant observation by the arbitre during our two loss games and perhaps the pressure influenced us—the arbiter warned us once as we went over on time (1:04) and ONCE when my heel was on the ring for one shot—regardless a loss at 10 in a timed game is fine.
Tish conquered the courts with beautiful first points, Shannon followed up with the same as well as nailing her shots when called upon. I managed many clean shots and some pretty carreaux which allowed us to have some big wins. We had wonderful friends, both new and old supporting and encouraging us, and I am, again, exceptionally thrilled to have been a member of the USA national team. Thank you FPUSA for the opportunity, thank you to my coaches & advisors (Gerard & Claude) and of course, my teammates...Shannon Hodge and Tish Harris. A true honor. Thank you!