The dust has settled after a successful summer and early fall of petanque. Even before the Civic Playfield opened officially on June 23, the EPC used the new courts for the League Tournament in early June. Bastille Day followed, and in late August, the 12th annual Food Bank Tournament took place, raising $12,000. This success was followed by the inaugural Cross Sound Cup with the Port Townsend Petanque Alliance on October 21. The EPC has been busy! Furthermore, since the initiation of the new Petanque Grove in late June, club membership has grown 30%, and now stands at 115 members, 111 full-time members and four associate members.

November provides time for reflection and evaluation. After the Food Bank event, the EPC Board solicited feedback from players who took part. What did they like and what would they change?

Survey results tell us that overall, the Food Bank experience was a big success. As in the past, this year’s tournament was designed for teams of two. In a change from the past, the championship round and two consolation rounds were played after lunch, requiring all participants to play six games. This was a long, full day of petanque. How did it go? 28 players responded to the survey sent by the EPC Board, and the results are in:

The most important response was that fully 96% of the respondents indicated they plan to play again next year. 93% indicated full support for using the tournament to support the Food Bank overall. 96% appreciated the check-in and administration of the event, and 71% enjoyed the package lunch, though some preferred natural snacks to cookies. It was emphatically suggested that we should ask players to use personal water bottles rather than plastic containers.

The questions that produced the most division had to do with format and design of the day. 80% of respondents found the addition of two consolation brackets a good move, in that it involved all players throughout the afternoon. But only 64% stood behind the requirement to play six games, which is somewhat in contradiction. This finding was reflected in the comments where more than one person registered that the day was long and hot, perhaps too long. Likewise, there was not as much support for the shooting contest (64% as constituted). A written comment observed it had taken too long and involved scholarships and buy-ins that prolonged the day. One comment preferred assigned courts rather than allowing teams to select their terrains.

Given the continuing growth of the club, it may be that next year’s Food Bank Tournament should involve select triples rather than doubles, which would allow more club members to participate. One write-in comment offered that a mix of triples and doubles could be considered. A full 35% of respondents answered that they would prefer teams of three. Indeed, adding one more person to each squad might be one way to accommodate the greater interest expected given the 30% growth the club has seen since June.

The EPC Board thanks all who took part in the event, especially those who replied to the survey. The Board will take your comments into consideration as the Food Bank Tournament takes shape next year.