The description of Petanque
Pétanque (French pronunciation:; Occitan: petanca [peˈtaŋkɔ]) is a form of boules where the goal is to toss or roll hollow steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally "piglet") or jack, 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. Similar games are bocce, bowls and (adapted to ice) curling.
The current form of the game originated in 1907 or 1910 in La Ciotat, in Provence, France. The French name pétanque (borrowed into English, with or without the acute accent) comes from petanca in the Provençal dialect of the Occitan language, deriving from the expression pès tancats, meaning 'feet fixed' or 'feet planted' (on the ground).
As early as the 6th century BC the ancient Greeks are recorded to have played a game of tossing coins, then flat stones, and later stone balls, called spheristics, trying to have them go as far as possible. The ancient Romans modified the game by adding a target that had to be approached as closely as possible. This Roman variation was brought to Provence by Roman soldiers and sailors. A Roman sepulchre in Florence shows people playing this game, stooping down to measure the points.
Pétanque is played by two teams, where each team consists of one, two, or three players.
In the singles and doubles games each player plays with three metal boules. In triples each player uses only two.
The area where a pétanque game is played is called a terrain. A game can be played in an open area like a public park, where the boundaries of the terrain are not marked, or on a "marked terrain" where the terrain boundaries are marked (traditionally, by strings tightly strung between nails driven into the ground).
Pétanque player throwing from a prefabricated circle
In pétanque, players throw while standing in a circle. Traditionally, the circle was simply scratched in the dirt. Starting around 2005, red plastic "prefabricated" circles were introduced and are now widely used. A circle drawn on the ground must be 35–50 cm in diameter, while a plastic circle must have an inside diameter of 50 cm.
A game begins with a coin toss to determine which team plays first.
The team that wins the toss begins the game by placing the circle and throwing the jack. The jack must be thrown to a distance of 6-10m from the circle — a jack that is thrown too short or too long must be re-thrown.
A player from the team that threw the jack, throws the first boule. Then a player from the opposing team throws a boule.
From that point on, the team with the boule that is closest to the jack is said to "have the point". The team that does not have the point, throws the next boule. That team continues to throw boules until it either gains the point, or runs out of boules.
If at any point the closest boules from each team are equidistant from the jack, then the team that threw the last boule throws again. If the boules are still equidistant then the teams play alternately until the tie is broken. If the boules are still equidistant at the end of the mène then neither team scores any points.
The team that won the end, starts the next end. A player from the winning team places (or draws) a circle around the jack. He/she then picks up the jack, stands in the circle, and throws the jack to start the next end.
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