The History of F.I.P.J.P.
Actualisation of history (1996-2010) soon, by president of FIPJP, Mr. Claude AZEMA
More information about pétanque old history only in french version here
In 1957 in Spa, Belgium, during an International tournament, arranged by the Belgium Pétanque Federation and organised by the local boule club, the foundations of the International Federation of Pétanque were laid down.
MM. Mentior (Belgium), Grimaldier (France), Danielli (Morocco), Veglia (Monaco), Borloz (Switzerland) and Rahis (Tunisia) were present at the meeting. The decision was made to create an International Federation, which was achieved a few months later on March 8th, 1958 in Marseille. By that time Spain had joined the six countries that were present in Belgium the year before.
Mr Altério (France) was elected as President, Mr Mayen (France) as General Secretary and Mr Borloz (Switzerland) as General Treasurer. The election of these committee members, coming from different countries, at a time when there were not all the technical facilities available that we have today, was a source of much difficulty for the future smooth running of the new federation.
Neither the F.I.P.J.P. nor the F.F.P.J.P. were proactive organisations. In 1966 after organising the World Championship in Palma de Majorca (Spain) the F.I.P.J.P. became dormant. Five World Championships had been held up until then, the first in Spa (Belgium) in 1959, then in 1961 in Cannes, in 1963 in Casablanca, in 1964 in Geneva and in 1965 in Madrid.
Due to the many managerial problems in the Federation, Mr Altério resigned at the 1961 International Congress in Cannes and Mr Habib (Switzerland) was elected as President with a Swiss committee, MM. Borloz and Canale being Treasurer and Secretary. The situation deteriorated to such an extent that France left the Federation in 1964 and Mr Habib resigned at the end of 1967. Meanwhile the job of handling routine matters was given to Spain under the Presidency of Mr Sabata-Anfruns from Barcelona.
The French Federation was also having managerial problems, but in 1969, after the election of a new committee at the head of the French Federation (F.F.P.J.P.), the new President decided to contact the National Federations, mentioned above, with a view to breathing new life into the International Federation. Discussions during a meeting in Marseille in 1970 were positive and the year after a World Championship was organised by the County Committee of Alpes-Maritimes under the direction of the F.I.P.J.P.´s young and new General Secretary, Mr Henri Bernard. Since this date, the World Championships have been organised every year without interruption.
At the Congress of 1971, Mr Paul (French Federation´s President) was elected President of the International Federation with MM. Bernard and Garnier as General Secretary and General Treasurer. Since this date France has always held the Presidency. When in 1977 President PAUL ended his mandate with the French Federation, he decided at the same time to no longer continue as the F.I.P.J.P. President, the General Secretary Mr Henri Bernard was elected as the President of the F.I.P.J.P. a position which he still retains.
Following its new start in 1971 the F.I.P.J.P. has continually welcomed new members. The number of member Federations has increased from the original seven to forty three across the five continents. The number of licensed players is higher than half a million (figures as of 1996).
The "little boule" is no longer rolling just on the boulodroms of France, North Africa and France´s neighbour countries. It has crossed the seas and the oceans and is now played in America (USA, Canada), South Africa (Madagascar), Far East (Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Japan), Australia and New Zealand.
Since 1987, in addition to the classical World Championships, World Championships for ladies and youngsters have been held alternatively every two years.
The F.I.P.J.P. has also been a member of the A.G.F.I.S. (Association Generale des Federations Internationales de Sports) and under this name took part in the World Games in 1985 in London, in 1989 in The Hague and in 1993 in Karlsruhe. It is now the C.M.S.B., of which more is spoken later, who incorporated the F.I.P.J.P. into its organisation and it is as a member of the C.M.S.B. that the F.I.P.J.P. participated in the 1997 World Games in Lahti (Finland) together with 27 other International organisations.
Following further discussions between three International Federations, the C.B.I. (Confederation Bouliste Internationale), F.I.B. (Federation Internationale Boules) and F.I.P.J.P. it was decided to create the Confédération Mondiale Sport Boules (C.M.S.B.), which was done on December 21st, 1985 in Monaco where the C.M.S.B. has since that time had its registered offices.
The immediate goal of the C.M.S.B. was to be recognised as a member of the C.I.O. (International Olympic Committee), the purpose of which was consideration for entry to the Olympic Games. This recognition was granted on October 15th, 1986 in Lausanne. The candidature of the C.M.S.B. to the Olympic Games in Barcelona, as a demonstration sport was unfortunately not agreed and the only way forward for the C.M.S.B. is to continue, year after year, to improve and re-present its application.
Taken of the speech by Henri Bernard - President FIPJP, for the 50th anniversary of the french federation.
Translation by Jean Amiot (S.B.F.) and Mike Pegg (B.P.A.).