Boules or pétanque is a traditional game where the goal is to toss or roll hollow steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet or jack, while standing inside a circle with both feet on the ground.
Why: Boules is a game that can be enjoyed by all the family and socially with friends for fun or more competitively up to European and World Championship levels.
How it works: French in origin, it is played by throwing a hand-sized hollow metal boules on the ground. The object of the sport is to get as many of your team’s boules closer to a small wooden ball (jack) than that of your opponents.
All boules of one team nearer to the jack than any boule of the opponent’s counts for one point each. Usually all games are up to 13 points.
It is a team game of Triples (three players with two boules each) or doubles (two players with three boules each) though pétanque can also be played as singles (one player with three boules).
Benefits: It is inclusive as all ages and abilities can play. It a low impact exercise involving throwing, bending and walking.
Give it a try at:
Croston Sports Club: In 2012 Croston Sports Club built a boules pitch and entered a team in to the Croston and District Boules League which is played every Tuesday night during the spring and summer months.
Longton VM: The club, in Victory Lane, has two boules pistes and four boules players, but it is looking to set up a team. The club is offering 12 months free membership to 14 people that are willing to get the boules side going. For information call 07711290975.
Broughton & District Petanque Club: The club, in Whittingham Lane, has a double purpose-built pitch and is part of the bigger Broughton & District Club. It runs various tournaments including an Open Tournament in September which attracts 20 pairs.