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Le Progrès talks about our soft petanque, an unusual concept made in Bellignat

Published on : 20/07/2021

The company Bellignati MG2 launches the Schmolle, plastic balls that can be thrown without risk outdoors or indoors, on all types of surfaces: tiles, parquet, balcony, terrace … A game above all fun, which can address a wide audience.

Certainly, it is not a totally new concept, some games made of fabric, polyester fiber or imitation leather are already on the market of soft petanque. But the Schmolle, made in Bellignat, differs from its competitors according to its creator. “We wanted to start with a format identical to the traditional boules, on a 7 cm format, weighted at 250 grams (against 700 for the real ones), therefore heavier than the others, to offer a better feeling in hand, explains Emmanuel Girod, co-manager of MG2. This crazy idea came from a conversation in a café: a colleague wanted to buy a soft petanque game, so we decided to design it with our know-how.”

Quality made in France
Made from soft plastic (TPE), as for the recyclable masks, the balls are the union of two molded half-shells, with steel shot inserted inside, which involves a small manual operation, carried out for the moment at an industrialist in Oyonnax. “We overmold the joint that makes the connection. Then, we want to give an ecological side to the project, by proposing a product resulting from 100% recycling. To answer the plastic bashing, it is the proof that we know how to make quality made in France, at correct prices, less expensive than products sourced at the other end of the world.”

No risk of injury
After the first castings in January, then a series of 200 sets of 3 balls, the project is coming to fruition this summer, with the launch of the marketing (29 € for 3, 49 € for 6) and a new production to have stock. The game comes with a boxwood jack made in the Jura (Monneret). “We have opened an online store and the idea is also to attract wholesalers. We do not really address professionals, who play with soft models, in gyms. Our use is rather playful, between colleagues, in family. There is no risk of injury, so the Schmolle is just as suitable for children as for residents of nursing homes, for example. The product has been well received, petanque is a game that speaks to the elderly. During the long winters, it can be an interesting indoor activity.

Attracting an urban audience
As you can see, this original version of pétanque can be played both indoors and outdoors. When in contact with the ground, the ball obviously has a cushioning effect, which is surprising during the first throws. Emmanuel Girod wants to appeal to an urban audience. “Not everyone has a petanque court nearby. You can play on balconies, terraces. Or on tarred paths, the material resists abrasion.

Le Progrès – Alexandre PSALTOPOULOS

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