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How to play petanque for Bastille Day!

Petanque is a little like bocce.

Petanque is a little like bocce. Photo Credit: Kat Doran

In the days leading up to Bastille Day, you can likely find a petanque tournament in the city. Here's how to play the bocce-like game, according to Petanque America:

Teams: 1 to 4 players

Court: A surface that's not too hard or soft, such as dirt, at least 12 feet by 39 feet.

Equipment: Boules, or metal balls (3 per person for teams of 1 to 2 and 2 per person for teams of 3 to 4); a cochonnet, a small wooden ball, aka the target ball

Start: Flip a coin to see which team starts. A player on the winning team chooses the starting point by drawing a circle about 20 inches in diameter. Players' feet must not leave the circle in play.

Play: The same player tosses the target ball 18-30 feet from the circle. A teammate throws the first boule as close as possible to the target ball. A player from the opposing team does the same or can try to knock the other boule. The closest boule to the target ball leads. The nonleading team throws until all boules are used, called an "end."

Scoring: The leading team gets a point for each boule that is closer to the target ball than the other team's. The leading team starts a new end by drawing a new circle and tossing the target ball. The first team to get 13 points wins.


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