The Sport Of Petanque
Games using balls and a small jack can be traced back to Egyptian times or even before. All similar modern games have been based on these earlier sports, with changes being made either due to the countries in which they were played or by the development of new manufacturing techniques which in the 20th century allowed the balls, of whatever size, to be manufactured in steel rather than wood. Currently there are 70 countries including the English Petanque Association affiliated to the Federation International de Petanque et Jeu Provencal, the world governing body for the sport.
Why does Petanque have such a wide appeal?
There are several reasons but possibly the main reason is that few sports can offer such a wide range of benefits to players of both sexes over a very wide range of age groups, and on equal terms. It can be called a sport for all the family.
The sport can be played by teams of three players (triples), two players (doubles), or a straight head-to-head between two single players. The object of each end is to get more of your boules closer to the jack than your opponent (each one that is closer scores one point) and the team/player to score 13 points first wins the game.
Compared to many sports the initial cost of the purchase of boules is fairly modest.
Petanque is a game of skill and tactics. Whilst in every sport a body that is physically fit will perform better than one that is not, it is the technique of throwing a boule and not the bodily strength of the player that will determine success or failure.
When a player tries to place his/her boule close to the jack. It sounds easy but when one realises that the surface the game is normally played on is often fairly uneven it can be quite a challenge.
When a player throws his/her boule through the air with the object of removing an opponent’s boule and hopefully replacing it with one’s own boule.
Petanque is a sport than can be played socially between a group of friends, or it can be a very competitive sport. It is up to the individual player to determine what they want to get out of the sport. Much of that decision will depend upon the individual’s commitment of time and what their ambitions are.