Petanque ("peh-TONK") has its origins in the South of France in the year 1907. It grew out of an older game, le jeu provençal, and spread throughout France in the ensuing decades. Now played in over 70 countries, petanque has grown into the world's most widely played outdoor bowling game.
The game is played with baseball-size metal boules, about 1 1/2 pounds in weight, with the object of getting them as close to a target ball (called a cochonnet, or "jack") as possible. Unlike its more familiar cousin, bocce, petanque is played in distances of six to ten meters and on a variety of surfaces — with rocks, ruts, slopes, swales and other earthly features contributing to the challenge and strategy of the game.
For more info and history of the game, please go to our Links & Contacts page. Below are a couple of videos about the game.
Casual petanque game in the South of France.
Petanque's birthplace, La Ciotat near Marseille.
Petanque's precursor, Le Jeu Provençale (a.k.a. "the long game"), is still played today.
Measuring to determine points is part of the game.
A neighborhood petanque court in Paris.
In colder climates, petanque can be played indoors.
Petanque games at Clark Park in Philadelphia.
Women's petanque championship in Malaysia.
World Championships in a number of formats are held in stadiums all over the world.
Women's Singles World Championship in Nice, France (2015).
The Petanque America Open is held every November in Fernandina Beach, Florida.