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The Basic Rules
(see bottom of page for link to official rules)
Petanque is played according to the rules of the British Petanque Federation but this abridged set of rules will give a newcomer to the game an idea of what to do and how to do it.

  1.  The game is played as singles (two players playing each other), doubles (two teams of two) or triples (two teams of three players). In the case of singles and doubles each player has three boules while in a game of triples each player has two boules.

 2.  If numbers dictate, a doubles team can play a triples team with each team having six boules.

 3.  The first team to play is chosen by tossing a coin. Any player in the team chooses the starting position and draws on the playing area (terrain) a circle between 36 and 50 cms in diameter.

 4.   The same player, standing in the circle, now throws the wooden jack (a cochonette) between six and ten metres length and half a metre from any obstacle (such as the side of the terrain or a tree etc.).

 5.   Any player from this team throws (from the circle) the first boule trying to place it as near as possible to the cochonette. The player must keep both feet on the ground and inside the circle while throwing. This applies to all players at all times.

 6.   A player in the second team comes into the circle and tries to throw their boule nearer to the cochonette or knock away the opponent’s boule or move the cochonette. The boule nearest to the cochonette now leads. (Is “holding”).

 7.   Then it is up to a player from the team not leading (i.e. the team with a boule furthest from the cochonette) to throw until their team get a boule nearer than their opponents. (Any player of the team can play in any order). If they do get a boule closer, then a player from the opposing team takes their turn to get nearer.

 8.   When a team has no more boules then the player from the other team throw their remaining boules and try to get as close as possible to the cochonette.

 9.   When the teams have no more boules, the “end” is over and the points are counted. The winning team gets as many points as it has boules that are nearer the cochonette than the nearest boule of their opponents. When in doubt, a measure is used to check the distances.

 10.  A new end is started by a player of the team that won the previous end, throwing the cochonette from a new circle that can be either where the previous game finished or at the opposite end to the first circle. This will depend on the layout of the terrain.

 11.   Play then continues as described above. The game is complete when one team has scored a total of 13 points.

 Official Rules can also be found on the welsh Petanque Web Site www.welshpetanque.org.uk/ or click on the link below to download a copy.

Official Rules for Petanque 

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