I never paid any attention to the wooden structure with the front sign "Petanque Club" located at the entrance area to my hometown; that is, until yesterday evening. I happened to be walking nearby , and I approached the cosy spot to watch the players. The weather outside was bearable ( during the day it's hot and humid and people seek refuge indoors).
Men and women , dressed casually and placed in several small adjacent terrains, were throwing some metal balls (boules). I watched the game for about half an hour trying to get the very basic rules.
Petanque ( word pronounced 'pay tonk') evolved from an old french bowl game. One of the players suffering from arthritis suggested there be no more running and jumping . Everyone should throw the boules standing still, with feet together , in a small starting circle.
The goal is to throw the hollow steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden target ball called ' jack' ( or 'cochon'). The team that ends up nearest to the target ball when all balls are played, wins. Petanque seems to be a good workout for the upper arms (ladies, to your attention), and a very good exercise for the power of concentration.
Anyone can play this game. Age and gender are not important. (I suppose, however, that those who most benefit from this kind of sport are elderly people as it doesn't require strength and speed). It can be played on most outdoor surfaces, and the equipment is inexpensive. It looks like a pleasant, relaxing game, and a nice way to socialize and make friends. I think I want to go for it. But since my middle name is Lazy, I really don't know when that will happen.