Pétanque is a variation of the generic sport of 'Boules' and most commonly associated with France. The game is played around the world and quite extensively in South East Asia.

The origins of the sport can be traced to ancient Greece and Rome, and hence the long standing association with Mediterranean countries.

It is believed that the game played by Sir Frances Drake on Plymouth Ho was more likely to be 'boules' than 'bowls' and probably with cannonballs!

What is Pétanque?

Pétanque (pronounced pay-tonk) is commonly known as boules.  The aim of the game is to finish with more of your boules (metal balls) closer to the jack (a small wooden target ball) than your opponent's closest boule.  It's played on a rough surface so, unlike British lawn bowls, the boules are thrown some or all of the way to the target.  In fact sometimes the boules are thrown with the express purpose of knocking an opponent's boule out of the game!

How much does it cost?

Pétanque is a very inexpensive game.  A set of beginner's 'leisure' boules can be bought for less than £10 whilst a set of 'competition' boules (certified for all levels, including internationals) can be had for less than £60, and up to £200! 

Once play has graduated to a competitive team standard and external matches, competition boules will be needed. These are precision made to a hardness (for pointing or shooting), a set diameter (for hand fit), and weight. Competition boules are about 30% heavier than leisure boules (550-700 gm).

Even with regular play, boules will last for years.

If you join Harrogate Montpellier Pétanque Club, club boules are available for new members to try before investing in their own.


What equipment do I need?

If you already have some boules and a jack, then you have everything you need to start playing.  Why not get down to the Boulodrome and give it a try?

If you don't have any boules, it costs very little to hire some from the Oxfam shop and nothing at all if you come down to a club session for a taster.

How do you play it? The rules are very simple and easy to learn.
Where can I find people to play against? Simple, pop along to a club session.  We can guarantee a warm welcome for anyone interested in pétanque.  We have members at all levels, from beginner to very experienced.