Comprehensive Guide: Petanque Game

Petanque is a game of boules that is popular in France. The game is similar to British bowling and involves rolling an object, so it gets very close to the marker. Interestingly, the word Petanque is derived from two French words pieds (feet) and tanqués (firmly attached). This game was invented by Jules Lenoir in 1907 and is still played by many people in France.

There are two professional Petanque courts called Bulomanes and Bouledrome Jules Lenoir in Toulon, a city in France. Tournaments are held there every year during the summer and people from all over the country get to attend. These events take place for 5 days and over 10,000 players from France and around the world get to participate in them. You will find simple Petanque winning tips.

How to Play Petanque?


You can play the game of Petanque with a single opponent. Petanque can also be played by two teams with two or three members each. To play this game, you will need metal balls, for throwing, and a wooden target ball, called “cochonnet” in French. Both teams are expected to have six metal balls each. However, if you are playing against a single opponent, only three metal balls for each of you will be required. Most importantly, metal balls in the game of Petanque must have the following characteristics.

  • Have a maximum diameter of 8cm and a minimum of 7.05cm ;
  • Must weigh between 800g to 650 g.

Before playing the game, a circle with a diameter of 50cm must be drawn in the court to ensure both teams are throwing from the same point. To decide which team will play first, a coin is tossed, and the first player or team will have the responsibility of choosing the throwing position. This throwing position can be marked with a rope, chalk, or stick. After the throwing position has been marked, the first player will throw the wooden target ball continuously until it lands in a suitable position.

The first player will then try to throw a metal ball and ensure it gets close to the marker. When it gets to your turn, you will try to throw a metal ball and ensure it is closer to the marker than that of the first player. To do this faster, you can try to aim at the metal ball of the first opponent. However, you mustn’t waste any time as you are expected to throw the metal ball within one minute of your turn.

This will continue until both teams throw all their metal balls. The winner will be made to be the first player or team in the next round. For each ball that is closer to the marker, it means one point for the team. More so, to win a petanque game, you need 13 points before the end of the game.

Why do People Love Playing Petanque?


There are 272 Petanque federations in 162 countries around the world. The game also has a lot of clubs, professional players, and tournaments. But why do people love playing Petanque? If you are asking the above question, below are the reasons.

  1. Petanque is a game that doesn’t need special training to become good at it. In addition, you can play the game wearing whatever you feel comfortable in.
  2. When playing Petanque, you can throw the metal ball into the air in a high arch or do an underhand throw. This freedom to throw the ball anyhow you want is another reason why people love to play this game.
  3. You don’t need to be ashamed when playing Petanque. This is because the game doesn’t require special skills to play.
  4. Unlike other games, Petanque allows you to act like you are an expert at it. All you have to do is place enough focus when aiming and try to throw the metal ball with style. Even if the metal ball is not close to the marker, you will look like an expert to your audience.
  5. The game doesn’t require running, which means you won’t get sweaty.
  6. Age doesn’t deter you from playing petanque.

Rules of the Game of Petanque

As with every game, certain rules need to be followed. Petanque is not different. There are certain rules Petanque players must obey. Not to mention, see petanque rules below:

  • The first team or player must draw a circle on the floor with the foot or a stick. Every player must stay in this circle to throw the metal ball.
  • The first team or player must throw the wooden target ball between 6cm to 10cm after the circle, which is the starting point.
  • The first team or player will then throw the metal ball from the same starting point.
  • The next team will throw and both teams will continue to throw in turns until all the metal balls are finished.
  • Immediately the game of Petanque begins, changes cannot be made to the court.
  • Rocks, leaves, or other obstacles cannot be removed.
  • If there is a doubt on which metal ball is closest to the marker, someone will use a measuring tape to make sure.
  • Unlike other sports, the team with the highest points does not win. Only the team with 13 points can be called the winner.
  • For every metal ball that gets close to the marker, it means 1 point for the team or player.
  • The game of Petanque will end immediately after a team or player gets 13 points.
  • The team that wins a round must start the next one.


Petanque is a game that has been around for a long time and is still popular in France and other countries. Fortunately, it is easy to play and doesn’t require special skills. Now that you know all the basics of Petanque, you can start playing today. Finally, you can visit French Iceberg to learn about the Petanque game and so on. Despite Petanque being an age-long game, the zeal at which it is played is unwavering.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept