Pétanque (French pronunciation:
In Pétanque the objective is to score points by having boules closer to the target than your opponent after all boules have been thrown. This is achieved by projecting boules closer to the target, called a cochonnet , or by hitting the opponents boules away from the target, while standing inside a circle with both feet on the ground.
The game is normally played on hard dirt or gravel. It can be played in public areas in parks, or in dedicated facilities called boulodromes.
The current form of the game originated in 1907 or 1910 in
Boules games have
In France in the second half of the 19th century a form of boules known as
The first pétanque tournament was organized by Ernest Pitiot, along with his brother Joseph Pitiot, in 1910 in La Ciotat. After that the game spread quickly and soon became the most popular form of boules in France.
Before the mid-1800s, European boules games were played with solid wooden balls, usually made from boxwood root, a very hard wood. The late 1800s saw the introduction of cheap mass-manufactured nails, and wooden boules gradually began to be covered with nails, producing boules cloutées ("nailed boules"). After World War I, cannonball manufacturing technology was adapted to allow the manufacture of hollow, all-metal boules. The first all-metal boule, la Boule Intégrale, was introduced in the mid-1920s by Paul Courtieu. The Intégrale was cast in a single piece from a bronze-aluminum alloy. Shortly thereafter Jean Blanc invented a process of manufacturing steel boules by stamping two steel blanks into hemispheres and then welding the two hemispheres together to create a boule. With this technological advance, hollow all-metal balls rapidly became the norm.
After the development of the all-metal boule, pétanque spread rapidly from Provence to the rest of France, then to the rest of Europe, and then to Francophone colonies and countries around the globe. Today, many countries have their own national governing bodies.