Thursday, August 5, 2010

Petanque, I'm coming !

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.


  1. Ah yes, we play that game here as well. Here it is called Bocce Ball and it's played with wooden balls. I think we actually have a set up in the garage somewhere.

  2. I had no idea but yes, here we do call it Bocce Ball, we played it on our annual church picnic last month. Go for it'll love it and who know who you might meet. 'Might just be some great material for blog fodder!

    God bless you sweet lady and have a terrific day!!!

  3. Go for it, Duta! I'll bet you'd love it.

  4. The game is similar to Bocce which I've played just a few times. Balls are bigger and are maybe ceramic where these look and sound like metal. There is a bit more rolling involved with Bocce and can be played on uneven terrain. This game can be as well I'm sure.

  5. I like Bocce a lot - although I'm not very good. If you're playing with folks who aren't TOO serious it can be a hilarious game.

  6. It looks quite interesting. It is like Bocce, I have never played it, but always thought it would be fun. Give it a try, who knows you might just show them a thing or two...lolol

    until next time... nel

  7. I wondered if this was something like our Bocce Ball (which I know nothing about) and I see that it must be. Interesting.

  8. That sounds pretty interesting to me :) And the picture of the game being played under the lights is very appealing as well. I would love to play it for the sheer pleasure which it is promising to provide (any game for that matter makes us forget our worries and problems.)
    Middle name “LAZY”? ---hehehe loved the way you presented that line. By the way my first name is Lazy :), I’m happy to meet you. :)

  9. Duta...I cannot believe you and I have the same middle name!! :-)

    What an interesting post. I thing you should definitely go for it. I think I would be pretty good at that game, I have pretty good aim.

    And Oh My...what incredibly handsome men in that video. I know I was only supposed to be watching the game, but my golly...yum-alicious!!! I'm off to go watch some videos of the championship!

  10. We have game like this in Ireland.There is also a game usually played by men using a metal ball,like a small cannon ball,the object of the game is to throw or bowl the ball in turn.I is played along the road and it finishes at a pub.!! the player who gets there with the least amount of throws is the winner.
    I hope you have a go at your game,let us know how you get on.

  11. Kathy,

    I looked up Bocce Ball on the web.Indeed it's based on the same principles as bowling and pethanque. Thanks for the information.


    Bocce Ball originates in Italy whereas Petanque in France. It seems these are two versions of the same game.

    Janie B,

    Thanks for encouraging me; it's nice and it could help.

    One Fly,

    You seem to know quite a lot about Bocce.
    I'm sure you're a good player too.

    The Bug,

    I think playing with you could be great fun, as you've got humor and take things easily.

    Sue ( Someone's Mom),

    Acording to the previous commmenters and to the info on the web, Petanque is indeed like Bocce Ball , except the balls in pethanque are made of metal only. It's interesting how a game migrates to other countries just like people.

  12. Nel,

    It is. I was impressed by the relaxed atmosphere, although the players were competing (not as teams but as individuals).
    Thanks for your confidence in my ability to play the game!


    You're right, the game played under the lights (it was already dark) is appealing.
    So , we're both named Lazy. Hehe! Long live the Lazy-s of this world!


    I love your humor.
    You're quite right about the men in the video: handsome men, worth looking at.

    Wuwu Hao,

    Thanks for the nice saying" " People do not lack strength, they lack the will".


    "...finishes at a pub". I like that kind of finish. Every country, so it seems, has some form of bowling game which is in fact a social game, and as such the pub is an integral part of it.

  13. They play that game here as well, and it looks very chummy and relaxing. Methinks you would enjoy the experience, so hope you give it a go.

  14. He, he! Your middle name is Lazy!

    I like very much your stories. All are full of humor and very relaxing as a pentaque game.
    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Never seen it played nor heard of it until this post. My first question is to ask if you are really elderly enough to pay it? Since you indicated that it was more for the older generation. I have been exercising daily since I went to the Diabetic Seminar last week. Peace

  16. Looks like just the thing to get a beat up old geezer like me out of my easy chair!

  17. Vera,

    'chummy' - I like the word. Yes, the game seems chummy and relaxing, it's only that during summer even in the evening it's hot and humid around here.


    Thank you for liking my stories. I'm glad you do.
    I feel flattered by the comparison with the petanque game.

    Lady Di Tn,

    I haven't made any enquiries as to the money matter, that is, the fee for club membership. I suppose it's decent. It doesn't look something exclusive , but rather popular. The players were a mixture of ages (including three teenagers) and they all looked people from all walks of life.

    Chip"Rocket Man" Allen,

    Since it doesn't require physical strength and agility, it particularly suits middle aged and elderly people. But as I said, it is for all ages.

  18. Hi Duta!
    This sounds like a game i might enjoy, even though my aim is not great. But who knows, with practice I might be passable...

    Thanks for your kind words about my lily post; I'm always encouraged when you leave a comment!

  19. DUTA:

    So many people with the name 'Lazy.' We are family then! I have never heard of this game. Seems like a good and light exercise for the mind and hands (as you have said). Watching the video was a nice addition to the post.

    Have a blissful week ahead :)

    Joy always,

  20. Dimple,

    'Practice makes perfect' as you well know.
    As for my comment on your lily, you're welcome.

    Susan Deborah,

    You've heard about it now, and you're right: Petanque is good for both mind and body (upper arms).
    I'm glad you liked the video as an addition.

  21. 人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份..................................................

  22. V Hu Kai Lun,

    Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment.

  23. This game looks to be similar to Bocce Ball which is played here. I have always been intrigued by it but have never tried it. It does look very intriguing.

  24. Cheryl,

    Well, anything french or italian has to look intriguing, don't you think? LOL. It's worth a try for its relaxing quality and its exercising of our concentration ability.

  25. Oh, Duta, I always learn so much from you! You make me wonder why more gentler games like croquet are no longer played here in the U.S. They were games more for the social encounter than the hype of beating someone. Thanks for your post, it has enlightened me that there are still places where people enjoy interacting safely.

  26. Kon Ou,

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you think you've learned something from reading this post.

    C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    I'm flattered by your kind words.
    Indeed, "gentle game" is the right expression for games that are more social than competitive, and enable safe interraction of people.

  27. Here in South Africa we of course have Bowls, but none of the other similar games that you speak of.... well in any case, none that I know of. However, we do have a game called "Jukskei". It is not played with balls at all but with a wooden pin from the yoke of an ox. This pin, or "skei" in Afrikaans, is thrown over a distance towards a wooden peg planted in a sandpit. The aim of the game is similar to the other games as everybody tries to throw his skei nearest to the peg. The game started many, many years ago when oxwagons were still used to transport goods.

  28. A human kind of human,

    That's interesting to learn about games in various coutries and find out similarities as well as differences. It appears we have "globalization" in this domain too.
    Thanks for sharing information about the south african game "Jukskei".

  29. Bocce it is, then!
    "since my middle name is lazy..." That made me laugh, but I really doubt it's true!


  30. Susannah,

    Bocce or Petanque, the name doesn't matter; it's the game that matters and it's a nice, relaxing game for all ages.
    I'm glad my "middle name" made you laugh; laughing is good.