As close as possible to the piggy
Silver balls roll across the chippings, the pensioners joke, laugh, discuss. Whose ball is closest to the piggy, the small target ball?? French flair and joie de vivre spread when the men and women meet on mondays at the square next to the musicians' home. "We wanted to do a little more, but it was supposed to be a leisurely sport", dieter arheidt remembers the founding of the boule group about six years ago. His wife margareta has also been there from the beginning.
The manner are all retired soldiers and belong to the hammelburger kameradschaft ERH (former, reservists and survivors) in the german armed forces association. "With the support of our honorary chairman ludwig sand, the group was launched at that time", reports arheidt. Six of the wives now also play.
Between 12 and 18 seniors come to the meetings, which are held every 1. And 3. Monday takes place. At the beginning, several groups are drawn by lot, separated into men and ladies. Everyone is allowed to throw two balls, after which they are evaluated. If it is not clear which ball is closest to the piggy, the mabband is twitched.
There are no teams, everyone plays for themselves and tries to score as many points as possible and win games (see also info box). At the end of the season in autumn there is a challenge cup to be presented in november.
"We play even in the rain"
But more important than victories and trophies are undoubtedly fun and socializing. "I always look forward to monday", says theresia stratmann, who joined the group through a friend and is in her third year this year. In the joy of the meetings, the weather also plays a rather subordinate role. "We also play in the rain", she emphasizes.
After an hour of boules, there is always a "french snack" inserted. Dieter arheidt pours red wine, his wife puts baguette, cheese, ham, olives and grapes on the bench. Now the players can help themselves and enjoy the delicacies. "Without this break, it would only be half as much fun", admits otmar zimmer.
But the joy is always somewhat dampened by damage to the site that dieter arheidt discovers when he prepares the meetings. "Often there are deep tracks to be seen, which obviously come from bicycles, but partly also from motorcycles", reports the man from hammelburg.
This damage must of course be repaired before the balls can roll again. Arheidt therefore hopes that the employees of the city's building yard will stop by regularly. Another wish for the city is a rectangular extension of the land. At the moment, the place is not yet exactly demarcated.