Petanque is a French game gaining acceptance in Louisiana as a sport and a means to learn French.  Mike LeBlanc joined 'Mornings With Ken and Bernie' today to explain the game and it's importance for local French speakers.  According to LeBlanc, each year an international competition is held in Lafayette which brings together enthusiasts from France, Belgium and other parts of the United States to play a time-honored game.

LeBlanc said while the object of the game is to displace an opponent's chromium steel ball (or boule) from it's nearness to the place marker ball (or petit cochon) what comes into play is more important.  LeBlanc says,

"As players become more familiar with the game and each other, their French speaking skills improve.  French from rural areas is spoken in South Louisiana as is the French spoken by many of the foreign competitors."

Petanque is played on the north end of Lafayette's Girard Park every fourth Sunday and the games are open to everyone.  Newcomers can use boules provided until they feel comfortable enough to purchase their own.  For more information LeBlanc directed everyone to e-mail him at

Listen to the interview: