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Everybody has heard of the Joy of Sex… at least I hope.
Well, the joy of “carreau” is as satisfying as the joy of sex… The joy of “carreau” is almost as satisfying as the joy of sex…
Let me rephrase this.
The joy of “carreau” is not really as fulfilling as the joy of sex… but it comes close.
In pétanque, the king of shots is the “carreau”, the “dead on the spot” shot. It is the most difficult, spectacular and rewarding pitch of the game.
But in order to achieve this, you need to learn how to “to shoot the iron” (in French, tirer au fer).
This means that when you shoot, your boule (without ever touching the ground) should hit the target boule and take its exact position on the ground.
In French it is called a “carreau parfait”, a perfect carreau.
It is a difficult and intimidating shot and most of the beginners shy away from it. But with some practice, I believe that almost anybody can do it.
Because it is relatively easy, beginners start by firing “à la raffle” or “à la raspaille”. In this shot you try to hit the opponent’s boule by aiming in front of the target and hit it after a bounce or two.
This shot (unpopular with purists) can work but has some serious drawbacks. If the field is uneven or if another boule stands in font of your target, it becomes difficult or impossible to do it.
The advantage of “shooting the iron” is that this shot is possible regardless of the field conditions or the positions of your opponents’ boules.
Personally, I started by shooting “a la raspaille” but became frustrated by its limitations. So whenever I could, I started practicing “shooting the iron”. After many, many misses, to the wonder of my partners and adversaries, I suddenly started to hit my mark.
Let me tell you. Nothing feels quite like a “carreau parfait”.
The slight anticipation while the boule in the air, the smacking sound, the yelling, the applauses… Cloud 9.
If you want to elevate your game, stop shooting “a la raspaille” and concentrate on “shooting the moon”.
It is worth the effort.
Alain aka La Foudre
By the way, I don’t know why it is called a “carreau”. In French, the word either means a floor tile or windowpane.