What is this tournament all about?

This tournament is being organized by petanque players in Austin, Texas in cooperation with the village of Annot, France. It will be a "casual" tournament with no connection to any official petanque organization. It will be open to players from Texas, local players from Annot, friends and family.

Even though the tournament is the focal point, it's really intended to provide an opportunity for Texas petanque players to have some fun and visit this beautiful part of Provence. Because Annot is a little bit off the beaten path (in the foothills of the Alps), we strongly recommend that participants spend at least four days in the area.

What are the tournament details?

The exact organization of the tournament is yet to be determined, but we know it will be a triplette competition (three players per team), with 21 players on the U.S. side and 21 players on the local side. There is space for seven courts on the terrain.

There will be no entry fee. This will be a totally "friendly" tournament.

The rain date will be the next day if necessary.

Aside from the formal tournament we expect to play a lot of informal games in the days leading up to the big show.

Feel free to Contact us if you have any input or questions.

What do I need to know before I leave?

Make sure that you have a valid passport. It takes months to apply for, or renew, a passport.

The closest airport to Annot is the Nice - Côte d'Azur International Airport, about 60 miles from Annot. Delta, British Airways and Lufthansa all offer one-stop flights from Austin to Nice.

If you want to reach Annot the day of your arrival, we recommend that you choose a flight that arrives in Nice in the morning or early afternoon. The last train to Annot leaves around 6:00 PM.

What about lodging in Annot?

There is a Resources page with information about places to stay in the area. We add new places as we think of them. Also, there are two sites with tourist information, one at the Annot Tourist Office and another at Verdon Tourisme Annot with lodging options. 

How do I get to Annot?

Important: Don't expect to travel to or from Annot on the day of the tournament. Unless you have a car and are willing to drive very early or at night, you will need to arrange to stay at least a couple of nights in the Annot area.

If you are flying to France, you will want fly to the Nice International Airport.

What about renting a car?

If you plan to rent a car, you'll be able to do so at the airport. You won't have to go through Nice to get to Annot. The road to Annot starts north of the airport, west of the city.

Driving route from Nice airport to Annot

What about taking the train?

If you want to go from Nice to Annot by train you should go to a small train station called La gare des Chemins de Fer de Provence to get on the Train des Pignes. This is not the main (SNCF) train station.

We recommend taking a taxi, an Uber or a Lyft to get to the train station. There is a tram and a bus leaving from the airport, but to reach the station, you'd have to change lines, and it is not practical with luggage.

Driving route from Nice airport to La gare des Chemins de Fer
At the train station, you'll take the train in the direction of Digne les Bains. There are only five trains a day stopping in Annot. Here is the Train Schedule.

As you plan your trip, please take into account that the last train to Annot leaves Nice at 6:09 PM. If your plane arrives later than 4:00 PM, it's probably wise to spend the night in Nice and catch a train to Annot the next day.

What will the terrain be like?

Here is a short video of the pétanque terrain in the center of Annot.

Where is Annot?

Annot is in the south of France. Nice is the nearest big city.

What are the famous Les Grès formations of Annot?

Annot is surrounded by a geology that attracts climbers from around the world. The film below explains (in French) how the famous boulders of Annot were formed and gives an overview of the village, surroundings and nearby hiking trails. (The classroom scene just happens to be filmed right in front of our building.)

What about activities around Annot?

Even though Annot is a small village it has just about everything you need. There is a post office, a library, a small bank with an ATM machine, even a doctor and a dentist.

In the middle of the village there are bar/restaurants, a pâtisserie - boulangerie (bakery), a couple of delicatessen shops, a bookstore and a pharmacy. At the edge of town, about one kilometer from the center, is a grocery store.

Every Tuesday morning there is a fun farmers market in the center of the village with people selling everything from wood stoves to shoes to wine and vegetables.

Annot is a medieval village surrounded by many beautiful trails that attract hikers from all around the world. The ancient roman trails are an ideal place for hiking.

Beyond Annot there are many beautiful sites to see, some of them on the Train des Pignes line.

The Gorges du Verdon, known as the Grand Canyon of France, is approximately two hours away by car.

Most players will probably want to spend some time in the city of Nice (where the closest international airport is). Please look on the Resources page to find advice on places to stay and things to do there.

Will there be any group activities?

We are working on a day-by-day Timeline so we can coordinate group activities.

What will the weather be like?

The month of September usually has ideal weather conditions. Since Annot is in a valley and at about 2000 feet altitude it warms up and cools off relatively quickly. 

Next > Visit the Resources Page

n general what level of participation would the village of Annot like to have? No participation at all, or interested in having complimentary activities.

Is there any interest in making this an annual event?

Can we use the terrain for the tournament? Will the locals get upset if we are having a tournament?

Can we used the “Activity Center” (where we had the dinner) throughout the week?

Can we have a big dinner at the Activity Center (after the tournament?)

Can we show movies at the Activity Center?

Will local people be allowed to play?

How many teams will be participating? What is the maximum number?

How can we work with the Tourist Office for the benefit of the village? Would the village like to make a “big weekend” out of the event where people come from places like Nice as spectators. They could discover Annot and spend money at the stores and restaurants.

What about the availability of places to stay? People can book hotels, and bed and breakfasts in advance. What about the availability of the “cabins” for rent? What about the possibility of people staying at the campground? Does the campground have cabins that can be reserved?

People could have hotels in Nice and still participate because it is only about an hour away.

What about the capacity of nearby villages like Entrevaux? Do they have hotels?
What are the things that the village of Annot says we must do and must not do?

Should there be a way for a large number of spectators to watch the tournament? Is there a need for temporary bleachers?

Would it be desirable, and possible, for vendors to come like on the market days? For example food trucks could have customers during the tournament.

Is there any possibility of coordination with any other cultural events? Could there be a play, or music group in the old square?

Will the restroom facilities near the terrain be available?

Can we use the lights at night?

Is there any curfew, or limit to how late we can use the terrain?

How many courts can be made on the terrain?

What if there is not enough room on the main terrain for the early elimination rounds? Is there a space nearby we can use to set up more terrains?

We will need equipment that we cannot bring with us. can we use things like tables, chairs, water, electricity, power cords, lights, sound system, etc. that belong to the village?

What will the entry fee be?

What financial interest will the village have in the tournament? Will the village be willing to “sponsor” the tournament by providing the things listed above.

What about the participation of local individuals as volunteers to help operate the tournament?

Will there need to be any special arrangements made for extra parking, or extra police?

What about the prizes and trophies? How will we pay for them and where will they come from?

Are there other organization or businesses that would be interested in sponsoring the tournament? For example food companies that provide food and beverages?

Does the village of Annot have interest in sponsoring the event with money?

Who will we get as umpires are there local people who can do that?

What kind of tournament will it be? Single, doubles, triples, mixed???? Will there be a junior part?

Will games be timed? It can make a difference.

We need to have umpires, a designated organizer, and score table attendants.

Need to determine the tournament format. Single elimination, double elimination, round robin, etc..???

What about the dates? Are there days where there are conflicts for the village?

What happens if the weather is bad? What happens if it is raining on the day of the tournament? If the tournament is supposed to be on Saturday, could it be delayed to Sunday?

Will we need to arrive a week in advance to organize things?

If the village participates, what responsibilities will need to be organized by the village and what will be done by us? For example, if there is advertising it need to be done well in advance.

What role might the tourist office play in all of this?

What jobs can we assign to our member who will be there?

Can we approach Obut about sponsoring the tournament. Would they help with organization? Would they set up a booth?