Pétanque Wallingford

Pétanque Wallingford

powered by

How to play pétanque

Pétanque is played with steel balls, called boules, and a small wooden ball called a jack or cochonnet. It is played on a hard surface - the terrain - which in turn is divided into pistes (or lanes).

The game is played between two players (singles), or two teams of two (doubles) or three (triples) players. Triples teams play with two boules each, and singles and doubles play with three boules each.

The object of the game is for one team to throw their boules closer to the cochonnet than their opponents can throw theirs (this is called pointing). It is permitted to knock the opponents’ boules away from the cochonnet in an effort to leave your own boule closer (this is called shooting). 

A coin is tossed to decide which team starts. This team then draws a circle on the ground (or uses a 50cm diameter ring) at one end of the piste. Standing in the circle, they throw the cochonnet to a distance of between 6 and 10 metres. They then throw the first boule, aiming for it to end up as close to the cochonnet as possible. The second team then throws a boule with the aim of getting it closer to the cochonnet than their opponents’ boule. If they succeed, it is the first team’s turn again to do the same. If not, they continue trying. The team whose boule is not closest to the cochonnet continues to throw until they have the closest (or holding) boule - and so on taking turns depending on which team's boule is holding.

When one team has used all their boules, the other team can throw the rest of theirs. When all boules have been thrown, points are scored for every boule one team has closer than their opponents’ closest. This is called an end. Play restarts from the other end of the piste, with the team that won the previous end throwing the cochonnet and the first boule.

The game is over when one team has reached 13 points.

Please click on the link below to watch a video produced by the Danish Pétanque Federation which gives an idea of how accessible the sport of pétanque is for all the family:

members nameclub role
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Thanks for your message!

We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.