Introduction (quick guide on how you play)
GAME OF PETANQUE (BOULE)
Easy to pick up. Easy to play, and is enjoyable even
if you are a new player playing with (relative) experts.
Suitable for all ages (if you can't bend down to pick up
the Boule - just put a magnet on a piece of string).
AIMS OF THE GAME
To get as many of your Boules as you can closer to the
target Jack than the opposition Boules. Jack
is the proper name, though the Jack is also called
the 'Cochonnet' or 'Coche' or 'But'.
Games can be singles (one against one) or doubles or
triples. In triples players have 2 Boules each, in singles
and doubles it's 3 Boules each.
Basically an 'End' finishes when all Boule have been
thrown. You score one point for each Boule nearer to
the Coche than the opposition best Boule. So the maximum
score in one end in a doubles or triples is 6 points
- but usually only one or two points get scored.
The first side to reach 13 wins the game.
Boule are between 70.5 and 80 mm in diameter and weigh between 650 and
800 gm. They are stamped with a maker's name and unique code number. You
need to use these in official events, leagues etc.
- · There
are also 'Leisure' Boule (sometimes called 'Dog' Boules), which are
made to less exacting standards. New players can get the hang of the
game using these (we have a few sets for trial use), but should plan
to buy some Competition-grade Boule once they have determined what diameter
and weight suits them best. Club members can advise.
- · Boule
come in a variety of grooved patterns - hopefully players in a game
will have easily distinguishable Boule, but sometimes care is needed.
- ¨ Toss
a coin to decide who starts
- ¨ The
first person to play draws a circle on the ground, of about 1 and a
half feet in diameter (officially 35 to 50 centimetres). He or she then
tosses the Coche a distance of minumum six to maximum ten metres (6-1/2
to 11 yards)
- - officially
in any direction, but we usually play across and back across the terrain
when there are a number of games being played. The coche has to finish
up at least a metre from the wood boundaries or posts of the terrain
(on the smaller Limesdowne rear terrain we play to half-a-metre).
- ¨ If
the Coche is thrown too short, long or out, the throwing side have 2
more chances to get it right (then the opposition get the Coche).
- ¨ Then
he or she stands with both feet inside the circle and throws the first
Boule, trying to get it as near as possible to the Coche.
- ¨ It
is usual to lob the Boule, in a 'back-handed' palm-down motion (this
imparts back-spin and makes it more controllable).
- A player
from the other side then stands in the circle and throws. He or she
can try to get nearer to the Coche - or can try to knock away the opposition
Boule. Trying to get near the Coche is called 'Pointing', trying to
hit away a Boule is quite fair and is called 'Shooting'
- The Boule
left nearest the Coche leads (is 'on'). If it isn't clear which is closest,
a tape measure may sometimes need to be used.
- The next
player is anyone from the side not leading (ie not closest to the coche)
- so there is no fixed sequence or fixed turns to go. He or she can
chose to Point or Shoot, as they wish - this is where tactics come in.
from the side not leading then continue to play till they get nearer
the coche than the opposition best Boule. If they don't, when they run
out of Boule the other side then plays all their remaining Boule.
- If the
Coche gets moved you have to look to see who is now leading.
that hit the boundaries of the terrain are deemed 'Out'.
the Coche is thrown no obstacles (stones, leaves, etc) can be moved
all Boule have been thrown, the teams agree which side has won the end
(is nearest) and how many points they have scored. Again it may sometimes
be necessary to measure.
- If a
side reaches 13 points, the Game is over … and everyone shakes hands.
- If neither
has reached 13, the side winning that End starts a new End, drawing
a circle and throwing the Coche.
- Nb -
an End finishes early if the Coche gets pushed 'Out' (special rules
apply about scoring for this end).
to the Full Rules
The guide to the left is just a broad
(and unofficial) outline.
Detail details on playing are in the official rules
For example these can be found at the British Petanque Federation website
(which also has lots of
useful pointers) -- see below
there is a US Petanque Association, which also has the rules up. URL:
General Information on the Game
SCPA's (excellent) site - southerncountiespetanque.org.uk
Which is part of the English Pétanque Association
go to EPA's site
Which is federated to the British Pétanque Federation
go to BPF's site - http://www.britishpetanque.org/petanque
Another source of info is www.petanque.org
..actually that site is run by Norwegians - there's quite a following
of the game in Scandinavia. (they cheat a bit, by playing indoors in the
warm .. we play year-round here out of doors......)
is the site of Pen-y-Coed Petanque (a supplier of boules).
think they now have their uptodate help-sheets up on it, which cover things
like boule (naturally), how to build a terrain, etc. These are useful
and helpful )