French petanque player killed after struck by ball
Local rugby coach Franck Hourcade was bending down to query the score when he received a blow to the head from the heavy metallic ball on Friday.11 August 2008
LOURDES - A French petanque player died after being struck on the head by a rival's player's ball, near the southwestern Catholic shrine of Lourdes, local gendarmes said Sunday.
Local rugby coach Franck Hourcade was bending down to query the score during the game Friday night when he received a blow to the head from the heavy metallic ball. Seriously injured, he was taken to a hospital in Lourdes where he died shortly afterwards.
The quintessentially French game of petanque, which involves tossing orange-sized metal balls at a little white jack on a dusty court, was invented in the southern French town of La Ciotat a century ago.
Usually associated with old men in berets, fuelled by potent glasses of pastis, the sport has more than half a million registered players in France and a growing following abroad.
[AFP / Expatica]
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