Jump to content
Complete France Forum

Official rules of "boules"


Recommended Posts


I wrote this in reply to a question on another forum.
It could be useful to those here ?

The rules / etiquette for boules ..................

Boules (or should it be petanque ?) is a game played by men of a certain age in shady southern village areas in the late afternoon.

Men play boule while their wives prepare the dinner. Maybe the avoidance of helping in the kitchen explains the undoubted popularity of the game.

It is essential you speak fluent French, including local dialects, rustic slang, and local swearwords. Obviously, you will have already practised all the local finger gestures.

To play you need to be able to talk about matters of importance -the young girl (with good lungs) who has just moved into the village, what the boulangeres wife said, and complain about Parisians and other undesirables. A brother in law who lives next door to the man who cleans Madame Chiracs car can be an invaluable source when debating international diplomatic policy.

The crucial part is to be able to meet all the requirements without removing a smouldering gaulloise from your bottom lip except for the second most important part. That is the ability to consume vast quantities of pastis.

Oh, and I nearly forgot, you throw big silver balls at a little black ball. But I don't think this is compulsory.

After dinner you take your garden chair into the village and join whichever group you belong to. (In our village the top group is judged to be more intellectual, but I suspect getting a transfer to another group involves moving house) Then continue to chat until late. This part definitely is played without balls.

So now you are all ready to move to France

The Languedoc Page : http://tlp.netfirms.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>So now you are all ready
>to move to France

Men of a certain age only?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LAST EDITED ON 04-Feb-04 AT 11:09 PM (GMT)

Well Peter, aside from the fun aspect of your posting - Petanque is alive and well and very seriously played here in Kent - My husband has become an addict in the past two years - travelling many miles to compete. He was introduced to the game by my brother and his wife. My brother even crosses the channel almost weekly during the winter to play for the Wimereux (sp) team.
99 & 24

ps. the team includes teenagers to retirement age.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am of a certain age (I'm almost certain I'm 42) and I am assiduously practicing the imbibing of copious quantities of pastis. Do I fit the necessary criteria?
p.s. I can can count at least six correctly spelled long words in the above, so obviously I am not trying hard enough....where's the Ricard!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...