“Sunshine, nature, family, good friends, a good-humored spirit and healthy competition: these are the values of petanque...” - Obut
What is Petanque?
Petanque is a boules-type game played with sets of hollow steel balls and a small wooden ball called a "cochonnet". Its modern version originated from southern France in the early part of the 1900's. Petanque is played around the world, and is a very accessible sport or pastime for all age groups and levels of athletic ability.
If you've ever played a backyard game of horseshoes, cornhole, or bocce, the concept is very similar. The core of the game is played by tossing steel boules, about the size of a baseball, and trying to get them as close to the cochonnet (or jack) as possible to score points (called "pointing"). Tossing boules to move other players boules farther from the cochonnet (called "shooting"), or even moving the cochonnet itself, is also acceptable. The player (or team) with the closest boules to the cochonnet at the end of a round totals all of their boules up to but not past the closest opposing players boules (1 point each). A round ends when all players have tossed all their boules. The first player (or team) to total 13 points wins the game. While the game seems simple at first, there are many subtle strategies and techniques that can be learned, practiced, and perfected over time.
Petanque is commonly played outside on a relatively level terrain typically made of gravel; think gravel driveway. Some playing terrains have borders, like wooden beams, and others blend into or are part of their surroundings. However, petanque can truly be played just about anywhere; your backyard, a forest, an empty construction site. In fact, a new twist on classic petanque has developed in the last several years called "Extreme Petanque". Extreme Petanque emphasizes more challenging multi-level terrain to play on while keeping focused on the essential rules and essence of the game.
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