Rules to play petanque
The Place to Play
. Petanque is also known as Boules and is played outdoors on any reasonably firm surface your yard, the park, a field, a gravel parking lot, cinder running track, etc. Hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt or very soft like a fine sand beach or long grass are not recommended. The ideal surface is hard packed earth with course sand or pea gravel approximately 1 8 ? deep covering the surface. Find a place that is open and fairly flat. If there are a few bumps and hollows thats fine and can even add more challenge to the game.
. Divide up into two teams. You can play Singles with one player on each side, Doubles with two players on each side, or Triples with three players on each side. For leisure play a good way to choose teams is for one person to take a boule from each player and throw them out all at the same time. The owners of the boules that lie closest to the thrower make up the first team.
. Both teams select their boules. Each teams boules should have Groove Patterns that distinguish them from the other sides boules that way, they will be easy to identify when counting up points. When playing Singles or Doubles, each player uses three boules and for Triples each player uses two.
Decide who goes first
. Toss a coin to see which side goes first.
Toss the Jack
. The team that wins the coin toss chooses the starting location and then selects one of their players to throw out the jack. The starting location is indicated by a circle that is 14 to 20 inches in diameter and at least three feet from any obstacles. The circle can be drawn with chalk, etched in the dirt with a stick, or made from a piece of rope whatever works. Once the circle is drawn, the player then stands with both feet inside the circle and throws the jack. The jack can be thrown in any direction but must land within 20 to 30 feet of the starting circle and three feet from any obstacle.
Throw the Boules
. All boules must be thrown from within the starting circle and with both feet on the ground. The player attempts to throw the boule so that it lands as close to the jack as possible it is okay to hit the jack. The player must remain inside the circle until the boule has landed. A player from the opposing team then steps into the circle and attempts to land his boule closer to the jack even if it means knocking his opponents out of the way. The boule closest to the jack leads or is said to be holding the point. The other team must continue throwing boules until they take the lead or run out of boules. There is no order that team members must follow when throwing their boules however, they must only throw their own boules, and they must go one at a time from within the starting circle. If they take the lead, the other team then tries to recover by landing a lead boule.
Winning the Round
. Once a team has usedall its boules, the other side is allowed to throw the rest of its boules. When all boules are thrown, the points are counted. The team that has the boule closest to the jack wins the round. In addition, they also receive a point for each boule that is closer to the jack than their opponents closest boule. Only one team scores points during a round.
Beginning a New Round
. Once the points are counted, the next round begins with previous rounds winners drawing a new starting circle. This starting circle is drawn around the final position of the jack in the previous round. The winning team then selects a player to toss out the jack from this new starting circle and then throw out the first boule.
Winning the Game
. The first team to earn a total of 13 points wins the game. There is not a required number of rounds that must be played.
. 3 boules per player a tape measure 6 foot, and 1 cochon.
. Petanque is played on a large dirt or gravel dirt, semi level surface. If you wish, the playing area terrain can be marked off in a rectangular area with string. 15 meters x 4 meters 13ft x 49 ft.
. Players are divided into 2 teams. Depending on the number of available players, or the type of tournament, each team is made up as follows
one player vs. one player tete a tete with 3 boules each player
two players vs. two players doublettes with 3 boules each player
three players vs. three players triplettes with 2 boules each player
. The first team to score 13 points wins. It will take a series of rounds ends to get to 13.
Start of Play
. The starting team is selected at random by flipping a coin. Any player in the starting team selects a place on the playing field and draws a circle in the soil 35 50 cm 14 20 inches in diameter. When throwing the boules, each player must stand within the circle and not raise their feet completely off the ground until their boule is thrown. The cochon, which serves as the aim ball, is thrown from the circle to a distance of 6 to 10 meters. The cochon, after it lands, must also be at least 1 meter from the boundaries of the playing area if there are boundaries. If the cochon is thrown invalidly, then it must be rethrown. Any member of the starting team that tossed out the cochon throws their first boule as close as possible to the cochon. Being closest to the cochon is called having the point. A member of the opposing team then stands in the circle and attempts to throw their boule closer to the cochon than the other teams boule. That team must keep trying until it has the point or runs out of boules to throw.
How to Score Points
. Only one team scores points during each round. That score is the sum of all of the one teams boules that are closest to the cochon before the other teams first closest boule.The first team to acquire 13 points wins the game. If neither team has reached 13 points, the players pick up their boules and start another round. Typically the new thowing circle is drawn around the cochon.
. After a little experience, players usually categorize themselves as being either a pointer or shooter. The pointer lobs or rolls their boule as close as possible to the cochon. They are trying to get the point by moving their boule nearest to the cochon. The shooter tirer hits the boule of an opponent away from the cochon by rolling, throwing, or lobbing their boule at the opposing teams boule. There is an especially difficult shot that a tirer makes called a carreau. This is when the shooter throws his her boule hitting an opponents boule directly without touching the ground, in such a way as to replace its position perfectly with their own boule.
Strategy and Technique
. Though the rules for petanque are relatively simple, the strategy can become sophisticated. There are limited boules to point shoot, and different player experiences with shooting and pointing as well as different areas in the terrain to work with. Some basic strategy includes
1. pointing your boules so that they rest in front and in the way of your opponents boules. This boule in front not only presents a barrier to your opponent, but that boule can be accidentally pushed closer to the cochon by an opponents boule.
2. keeping track of how many boules your opponent has left to play so that you know what shooting risks you can take.
3. leaving an open path to the cochon for others on your team to point.
4. leaving a wall in front of the cochon to keep your opponents boules away.
5. using an opponents boule as a backstop when pointing to the cochon.
Court is used
. Any surface, with the exception of concrete, asphalt or tiles will do. Best is not too soft however on a regular soft sandy beach, for instance, the boules will drop dead, without rolling any further. But most beaches do have a harder part, e.g. close to the dunes, which is perfect. Very short grass will do as well. The best is hard soil, like clearings in the woods, baseball diamonds or an unpaved backyard. Some fine gravel enhances drainage and makes it more exciting and unpredictable. There are no limits as to maximum size of the court. The generally accepted minimum is 4 meter 12 ft wide by 12 meter 39 ft long. Actually the word court is a misnomer. We use it here because many people search for that term. Petanque is by nature a game one can play without a setup, sort of like frisbee. You could start one one end of a driveway, and end up at the other end, 300 ft further, when youre done. A player can toss a target ball towards a tree, to be in the shade for the next round, or into a rougher area, because thats his her favorite surface, or wherever he she likes to play. Obviously, if you want to play in your garden, and your space and or budget is limited, a rectangle is the logical shape. But we always like to convince those who are designing a larger playing area not to stick to say 6 neat independent rectangles, but rather a plain open area that fits into the surroundings. A tree here and there makes it so much more enjoyable.
Petanque vs Bocce
. We are often asked what the difference is between bocce, the Italian bowling game and petanque. The difference is right there traditional bocce is more of a bowling game, whereas petanque is more of a tossing game, like horseshoes. Bocce players take steps before throwing, petanque players stand still. Bocce balls are usually rolled palm up, petanque balls tossed palm down, so they get backspin upon release. Petanque balls are the size of an orange, hollow, and always made of metal. Bocce balls are larger and solid, about the size of a grapefruit, colored green & red are popular, and generally made of resin or wood. Bocce has different variations as to court size and layout. The court should be smooth and flat some rules call for wooden sideboards to make it an enclosed area. Petanque can be played on almost any terrain most players actually prefer an uneven terrain to make it more challenging. The counting of points and game tactics are very similar between the two games. Overall petanque is more flexible no need to find a court, and the equipment is easier to carry around. For the record, there is a variation of bocce bocce volo where balls are delivered palm down and metal balls are used. The players run up in this one is spectacular, similar to boule Provencale, the forefather of petanque.
Pointer or shooter
. After a while, most players start to specialize in either pointing or shooting. To point means to close in on the aim ball with precision, and to place your boule in a tactical position. This is commonly achieved by lobbing the boule. After hitting the ground, it will roll the remaining feet and inches. A shooter on the other hand will directly aim for an opponent boule to knock it out. When hit accurately, the arriving boule will actually replace the other one. Its a spectacular sight, and known as a carreau, the perfect shot. In triplettes teams of 3 players one will generally also find an all round player milieu, who is good in both pointing and shooting. His her skills we be called upon when one of the other two players is out of boules.
. Competition Boule are between 70.5 and 80 mm in diameter and weigh between 650 and 800 gm. They are stamped with a makers 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.
. 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 isnt 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. Players from the side not leading then continue to play till they get nearer the coche than the opposition best Boule. If they dont, 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. Boule that hit the boundaries of the terrain are deemed Out. Once the Coche is thrown no obstacles stones, leaves, etc can be moved.
. The area where a petanque game is played is called a terrain from the French word terrain. Games can be played out in the open in a public park, say where the terrain is essentially unbounded, or played on a marked terrain with marked boundary lines. The boundary lines can be drawn with chalk or paint, but traditionally the boundary lines are made of strings tightly strung between nails driven into the ground.
. In petanque, players throw while standing in a circle. Traditionally, the circle was simply scratched in the dirt. Starting around 2005, red plastic prefabricated circles were introduced and they are now very popular. Some clubs prefer to draw the circle the traditional way, while others prefer to use the plastic circles. A circle drawn on the ground must be 35 50 cm in diameter, while a plastic circle must have an inside diameter of 50 cm.
Throwing the jack
. A game begins with a coin toss to determine which team plays first. The team that wins the toss begins the game by placing the circle, throwing the jack, and throwing the first boule. The jack must be thrown to a distance of 6 10m from the inside of the circle. A jack that is thrown too short, or too long, must be re thrown.
. To throw ones boule at an opponents boule or at the jack in an attempt to knock it out of play. When the opposing team has a boule positioned very close to the jack, often the best strategy is to attempt to shoot it. A team in a desperate situation may attempt to save itself by shooting the jack out of bounds.
To have the point
. A team is said to have the point if one of its boules is closer to the jack than any of the opposing teams boules. A team that has the point is basically in a winning position, so the team that does NOT have the point throws the next boule and attempts to gain the point.
. pronounced care ROW. A shot that knocks an opposing boule away from the jack and replaces it in very nearly the same spot with the throwers own boule. Basically, the perfect shot.
. Leisure boules are boules that do not meet competition standards, but are less expensive than competition boules and completely adequate for backyard games. Unlike competition boules, leisure boules are a one size fits all affair they come in one weight and size.
. When 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.
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