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Losing 0-13 in Petanque is known as a Fanny. Why

Fanny. Good or Bad

Petanque is a sport that has a lovely history and is enjoyed by so many people. Players of all ages play the sport that has moved from pastime to the World championship arena. One of the quirky details of our sport is the Fanny. Dreaded by some, ignored by others and the rest look on in disbelief as strange customs and rituals are carried out in a strange, almost religious manners.

The question is this. Does the public humiliation of players new to the game put people off the sport? I can remember kissing a bare bum of an 18 inch high gnome elegantly placed in the surround of a loo seat at the Bank House pub in Maidstone. The whole play at the venue was stopped and a bell rang while this took place. Very, very humiliating. From that moment on we always have two tasks in any game. 1. Score a point, 2.Win the game.

The history of the fanny dates back to the games very beginning in Lyon, France. The shame of a Fanny was to, as legend tells us, kiss the backside of the ugliest prostitute on the square where the game was played. The bare backside can still be seen on fanny trophies and medals. How a gnome got involved we will never know.

So newcomers to the sport have a minefield of fannies awaiting them. Is this a form of bullying that should be driven from the game or just a nice quirky ritual carried out within the ranks of more established players. The two tasks we have in a game are not as unrelated as it may seem. Scoring a point gives you the jack and the position of said piece of wood. New players seem to always throw all their boule without thought to the consequences. Last week we were 8 nil up against a fairly new team. On a lightning fast pitch I placed my last boule 6 inches in front of the jack. They where holding with a boule 4 inches to the side with two boule to play. The fanny was off and we were happy with this result as we do not wish to fanny any one without due cause. One of these causes I must say is to stop a good team getting the jack. Anyway you all know what happened. The opposition threw both boule and with the last one knocked up my boule to put us on 9-0 instead of 8-1. So not all fannies are as blatant as they may seem. Some people fanny themselves though lack of thought. Maybe the fanny is a method of coaching involving pain and humiliation. Remember you do not have to throw your boule. Take what you have if there is a risk of losing the end and get hold of that jack!


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