Inter-regional squad get together at Hanbury PC, Sunday 20th August

Report by Colin R.

The region held its 2017 Inter-regional squad get together at the Gardens of Hanbury PC.

The main programme had the emphasis on the importance required in retaining our first division status and gaining promotion for our challenge teams.
Each team would score points that were achieved verses a possible total.

The first session was playing as a doubles or triple team, in a match that had a pre-set score from which each team had an individual objective to achieve within a time limit.
The aim was replicate a typical stress situation that a team would likely find itself within a match.
An addition difficulty was applied by requiring all these matches, to be played outside the normal designated playing terrains and on a surface that offered a greater challenge.

The second session was a selection of practice disciplines which included;

A pointing exercise with obstacles on a sloping piste beyond a marked line into a zone.
`High Lob` pointing into two separate zones close to a dead area.
Shooting as in a Tir de precision various distances but at a single boule positioned just beyond a rail sleeper.
Positioning a number of jacks into differing circles with various values.

Next was a group session conducted by Vivien in Umpire mode, to deal with the various changes to the rules. It including different practical examples and with question and answers explanations. All aided by printed copies of the salient points and handed to a team member for future reference.

After a short lunch break, a group `Tactical Awareness` session was conducted by Colin and Andy, using practical pre-set scenarios’ the objective being to prompt broader thinking as to best positive solutions as teams.

This was followed by a further group session conducted by myself, with inputs from Viv and Andy.

The main theme was on the importance of the challenge that lays ahead of our two squads.

For those who have found themselves elevated to the championship, is the advice amongst others, that they slow their own game down, insure the circle is marked, constantly mark the jack and boule, check the surface of the area they will throw onto.

The aim is to prevent the opposition of creating their naturally fast playing rhythm, so they do not get steamed rollered. Additionally be positive in their preparations and applications and look confident.

Every team can be beaten, even the best.

For our Challenge teams, it is an opportunity of achieving promotion, as this group contains a tremendous amount of experienced players.

The next session was a return to the matches played earlier with the roles reversed. The results were quite interesting in that some of the team extracted revenge from losses to earlier games.

The final physical element of the day was competition between two groups at Petanque Football.
To add an element of amusement to the game, the target `Foot boule` could be viewed as being no more than a large ball bearing. Watching some of the attempts to power shoot a little `Boule` that is only 4 metres away and missing was crazy… ! What happened to just a hard pointing approach..!!.

One side being triumphant winning 3-1 in points by crossing the mid line.

The final session of the day was to hand out the IOW / EPA paperwork and a general admin summary, issue the regions kit to those present. For those not present the remainder will be with Vivien for collection.

In summary. Whilst the day was constructive it was disappointing that only 20 players representing 9 of our teams were able to participate. In some cases it was just one person from their respective teams.

My thanks to Vivien and Andy for their important contributions, to those who took time to participate and to the Gardens of Hanbury PC for the use of their venue and support.

Let`s go to the Inter-regional with a positive frame of mind, motivation and belief as we did last year.