BHPC Founding Member Translates Major Book on Pétanque

We are delighted to report that Ray Ager’s English translation of a book on pétanque – The Winning Trajectory – has just been published. Last year Ray, a founder member of our club, decamped to La Ciotat,  the birthplace of pétanque.

Ray writes “As any club members who remember me will know, I’ve always been very keen on coaching and practice. For me, it’s the basis of learning to play well: the same as with most sports, although often neglected in many pétanque clubs, including the French ones. I was delighted, therefore, to discover the website Pétanque Apprentissage et technique,, devoted to training and practice.

I was often in contact with Gilles Souef, the website and book author, mainly asking for advice but also making a few suggestions for things for the website. Gilles was always helpful and I was delighted when he accepted my offer to translate his new book into English.

Cover front lo-res                 Cover back lo-res

The basic message is that, with intelligent training — explained in the book — everybody is capable of attaining a reasonable standard and in so doing, will enjoy playing more. Through applying his own methods, Gilles has now won several French championships.

The book covers Technique, Tactics and a lot on the Mental side of the game. It’s primarily aimed at intermediate players wishing to develop their game. Personally, I found the section cover the stance for shooting particularly helpful. As a result, I’ve modified my stance and when I remember to do it correctly, there’s a noticeable improvement. I also very much liked the section on the philosophy of playing, perhaps a more esoteric side of the game but well worth studying and taking on board.

Although a serious book, Gilles has a very humorous style of writing, with a lot of word play and jokes – Alan Issler, take note! These are always tricky to translate: for example, how do you translate French word-play about Galileo, falling milk bottles and pétanque boules? You’ll have to read it to find my answer!

Best wishes to everybody and keep training.

There’s also a reference to the Sussex video, These Boules Were Made for Shooting!”

The Winning Trajectory – 200+ pp, lots of illustrations and some colour photos – can be purchased through PayPal via the author’s website <

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