La Pétanque

Pétanque - a great Provençal game deformed in 1833

Table of Contents


Petanque is a famous traditional game in France that many citizens love and play. The game is similar to bowling as it involves throwing the ball at a marker. However, it differs from bowling in that it is not about breaking pins, but about defeating your opponent's balls.

The game was invented in 1907, in a village called "La Ciotat" but is still popular throughout France. In fact, there are two professional pétanque courts in the country where tournaments are held every year.

If you are interested in this French cultural game, you are in the right place. Here is everything you need to know about petanque and how to play it.


The very first thing to understand is the different tools involved in this traditional game. Typically, metal balls are required by the players to throw. Meanwhile, wooden target balls called "jacks" serve as markers.

Petanque can be played between two opponents or a team of several people. If you play against one person, you will have three metal boules each. If you are playing as a team, you will have six boules each.

Another thing to note is that the metal balls must have the following features:

  • a maximum diameter of 8 cm
  • a minimum diameter of 7.05 cm
  • the weight should be 800g to 600g


Before the game starts, a 50cm circle is drawn on the field to ensure that players throw from the same distance. A throw is made to decide who starts the game. The player who wins this throw also gets to choose the position of the throw.

The position is marked by a rope, chalk, or a stick for reference. After that, the first player starts the game by throwing the jack. One thing to note is that the player will throw continuously until the wooden target reaches a suitable position to start the game.

First, the first player throws his metal ball so that it gets closer to the jack, then his opponent does the same. However, your goal is to make sure that your ball lands closer to the jack than your opponent's.

You should also avoid wasting time as each player has only one minute for each throw. The game continues until one player scores 13 points, thus winning the game.


Here are the reasons that can help you to understand why the French and other people from different countries like to play pétanque:

  • the game does not require any professional training
  • you don't have to worry about wearing specific clothes
  • there are no age restrictions
  • the game does not require running or making you sweat
  • you can throw the ball using any technique


This is all you need to know about pétanque and its importance in France. It is also worth noting that people from more than 162 countries play the game. If you want to take part in these games during your stay in France, be sure to contact Planetazur!


If you wish to immerse yourself in the historical, natural and sporting beauties of France, visit our website, you won't regret it, I assure you, it is made for you,, where you will find many itineraries and experiences that will make you completely love the region!

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