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French bowls stop New York traffic

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11:23 CEST+02:00

An amateur tournament of the traditional French sport pétanque in New York Sunday was so popular that some people were turned away, one organizer said.

An amateur tournament of the traditional French sport pétanque in New York Sunday was so popular that some people were turned away, one organizer said.

Hosted by the French consulate in New York, the event entitled "Rock 'n' Pétanque" blocked off part of a city street in Uptown Manhattan, covering eight courses, specially made for the occasion, with a ton of sand.

Joined in friendly competition late into the afternoon, some 32 teams of French and American nationals listened to rock music and played the traditional game, which like the Italian bocce ball, involves tossing hollow metal balls on the ground.

Pétanque is a little-known sport in the United States, but there are two known clubs in New York: one in Manhattan called La Boule New Yorkaise (the New York ball), and the New York Pétanque Club (NYPC) in Brooklyn, where some 50 members try to play every weekend, said NYPC Vice President Xavier Thibaud.

Louis Bertignac, of popular French 80s band Telephone, was invited to finish off the event with a concert.

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