Inter Regional Competition


I believe there is an appetite for this type of competition throughout NZ. Over the last few years the inter regional concept has grown but in a very ad hoc manner. Wellington has been to the forefront of this development. For several years we played a Clash with Canterbury. This was organised over a range of sports and coincided with the Wellington vs. Canterbury rugby game. Generally in Wellington we used this as a development type tournament as we perceived we were stronger than Canterbury and wanted to develop an even competition (I was not so involved at this point but this was my understanding).

Wellington has also had an annual one day tournament with Hawkes Bay played in Palmerston North (1/2 way). The format for this tournament varies according to the availability of players in both regions.

The next inter regional involved Auckland and Wellington. This has become an annual home and away fixture for the Chanticleer Cup. In 2009 it included a Senior section. It began as a development tournament i.e. for those players without international experience, in an attempt to bridge the gap between club play and international play. That gap still exists but probably for all players not only those who have never played international competition. This competition has been going for 3 years.

In the first year of the Chanticleer Cup a tournament involving Central and Wellington also took place. There was some difficulty with the Central Region being so geographically vast that it hasn't happened again.

In 2008 the Tri Star Series involving Wellington, Christchurch and Southern region began. This was very successful, so successful in fact that a Senior Tri Star Series followed on very quickly. The second open Tri Star Series will take place in Wellington at the end of November and the Seniors Tri Star will be at the beginning of May 2010.

I believe the growth and success of these tournaments speak for themselves. Having said that I think there is a need for PNZ to become involved and standardise the formats to give all regions in NZ the benefit of stiffer competition on a more regular basis.

Current Status

As I said Wellington has taken a lead role in the development of the Inter Regional Tournaments and to date they have been strongly supported by all the players that have participated in these events. They have been keenly contested and the general standard of play has been at a consistently high level. I attribute this to a couple of factors;

Having been involved in most of the inter regional events as either a coach or a player I see the format that is used for the Tri Star Series as the best way of organising a National Inter Regional event. I want to acknowledge both Graeme Morris and John Targett for the work that they did to initiate and organise the initial Tri Star, consequently I have run this proposal past them for their thoughts and ideas as well as adding some of my own.

The Tri Star is essentially a quadrangular tournament with four teams of six players.

The Way Forward

The reasons we suggest using this format are that it is simple to organise and encompasses all three disciplines of petanque. We see this as being important as it puts responsibility on each player and assists them to build their all round skills and tactical ability. (In singles there is nowhere to hide.)

We believe that we already have an incredibly successful tournament and we don't think we need to reinvent the wheel.

The suggestion is that we run two parallel Tri Star tournaments, the current one in the southern area and another in the northern area involving Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Bay of Plenty (Rotorua, Whakatane, Putaruru, Tauranga etc). The tournament would be rotated around the regions. If at anytime the host region is unable to field two teams then the second team could be offered to one of the other regions.

The top two teams from each area, Northern and Southern, would then contest a national Tri Star Tournament. The venue for this tournament would alternate between the Northern and Southern Area. The venue within the region would be dependant on which teams qualified from the regional tournament.

We believe this would integrate very effectively with the current representative process. It would particularly encourage players from the South Island to play at a national level if they should qualify.

It gives a purpose to coaching and training programmes in the regions and we believe it will lift the level of overall play.

A tournament where we have the best 24 players in the country playing each other 9 times during the weekend, in addition to the qualifying tournament, will only improve our game.

One alteration that could be made without affecting the format and organization of the tournament is to increase the teams from 6 to 8 players. This would only affect the triples games where you would have a team of 4 competing. This would give our players and coaches the experience of using substitutions.


It is anticipated that the Northern and Southern Tournaments would run early in the season and the National Tournament would be towards the end of the season. This would give time for coaching, training and team development between the regional and national tournament.

We anticipate that we would begin these tournaments in the 2010/2011 season beginning with an Open Tournament and a Seniors Tournament. If these were successful, and we can see no reason why they wouldn't be, then we would add a women's tournament and a junior tournament in the 2011/2012.

Dirk Winnie

Distributed to WPA clubs, 20 November 2009

Responses can be sent to Dirk ( either individually or from a club.