Pétanque, a traditional French game, is better known as boules. Not only is France famous for its visual art, dance, music and culture, the game of pétanque is enjoyed and played by 17 million people in France during the summer. This game is usually played in a sandy area in French city parks. Everyone likes this game because it’s very easy to play and only requires 2 people. Pétanque was first founded by a French Lyonnais player named Jules Boule Lenoi in 1907 in La Ciotat, France. Petanque’s international organization, Fédération Internationale de Pétanque et Jeu, was established in 1958 and has 600,000 members in 52 countries around the world.
- There are two teams, each containing 2-6 people. There are 2-3 iron balls (Boule) to throw and 1 wood or plastic ball (Cochonnet) as a target. Boules are metal with a diameter of 70.5 mm and a weight of 650-800 grams. To win this game, a person must reach 11 points. To earn a point, someone has to get the boule closest to the cochonnet.
- If the boule hits or passes the piste (boundary) then the boule is dead, and the player can’t score.
- If the cochonnet is knocked out, no one scores.
- The players must agree when measuring the distance between the boule and the cochonnet.
- There are several methods to throw a boule:
- The High Lob (la portée or la plombée) and The Half Lob (la demi portée)
These two methods are frequently used, and is the easiest way to throw. The boule is thrown so it lands about half of the distance and can then roll toward the cochonnet.
The Rolling Throw (la roulette):
This method is considered cheating by some players. The person targets the opponent’s boule and then rolls it towards the opponent’s boule to push it away from the cochonnet.
Carreau is the most difficult method. The person throws a boule directly at his opponent’s boule, directing it away from the cochonnet.
In Asia, Pétanque was a part of the 2001 SEA Games in Malaysia. At the 2001 SEA Games, Petanque was categorized as a sport. There were three Pétanque competitions – individual, dual, and shoot.
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