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For Daniel

Hi Daniel it is easier to put everything here than on an email.


Boules or petanque - will be played by 2, 4 or 6 people.

On a street scene it is really unlikey to be a game of singles (2people playing each other). If the game is going on it will be sociable - but in France ALWAYS competitive! So it is likely to involve 4 people (this is doubles two play two) but MOST likely to be triples - 3 people playing 3 people. This is a good social lunchtime game and is how the game was invented to be played.

When boules (petanque) is played in France it will attract spectators - maybe only passing spectators, but usually someone is watching.

ALSO - petanque is now a BIG game in France and worth a lot of money to competitve players but in essence to most it is a sociable game - picnic baskets, wine, cheese are all shared while the game is played - There should be baguettes and a wine bottle (or a Ricard bottle) in the vicinity.


History - the game in France used to be Jeu Provencal or Lyonaisse boules depending where you were from. The widely held belief is that petanque was invented by a person who was lame or lost the use of a leg. In boules previously you ran to throw the boule. In petanque you stand still. ('Feet still' is supposed to be a rough tranlation of petanque).Petanque was started in 1910 (roughly) so would only be popular from the 1930's onwards. Before this other forms of boules would be played (the boules are much larger)



Petanque is played between 6 metres and 10 metres long. This is the distance from the thrower to the jack (or coche or cochonette)

A boule is between 70 to 80mm in diameter

A coche/cochonette or Jack is NOW 30mm but in the past there have been variations and they can be much smaller - but not a lot larger.


boules are generally (stainless) steel but older boules may be copper in colour. New boules may be black etc but this would not be true at the time you are modelling (I think)

Jack or cochonette is brightly coloured these days - but would probably be plain wood in the 30's 40's or single colour such as red.


There are two areas to model.

First:- the throwing end. This is where people would be waiting for their turn to throw.

In triples everyone has 2 boules. There would be a 30-50cm circle drawn on the ground - where you throw from. In a street game though you would not bother with this you would just mark a line in front of your feet.

This is a boring 'end' to model MUCH more interesting is the end that you are throwing at. This is where all the action/ arguements occur.

Second:- the Head or end you are throwing at.

Here there will be a cochonette on the ground and a number of boules around it. There may be 1,2,3,or 4 players looking at the boules and coche. The other players would be getting ready to throw.


Players at this end would be telling their team how close they are and what to do.

This is much more interesting because there may be a measurement required - to see who is the closest. There are likely to be players looking closely at the game and also this is where any spectators would be.

When the 'end' is finished you turn round and play back to where you came from.

The best reason for modelling this end is the arguements.

Arguements in French petanque are part of the game. No matter how friendly or sociable the game an aguement is never far away.

My Favourite Insult
This will not help with modelling but I must share it - to give yo u a flavour of petanque.

I played in a competition once where we (welsh/english) were mixed in teams with our french hosts. At one point the man I was playing with threw a boule and it hit a stone and bounced off - a long way from the target coche. He said something out lound ehich I did not undrestand. My wife who can speak French very well later told me that he had said

'My boule is a whore and so is its mother'

It was a friendly game but shows the passion involved.



The reason I did this on a web page was so that I could put up some photos. Obviously these are all modern - but they are the same whenever the game is played.



This is a welsh pair at our club - but it sums up the passion better than I ever could

This is a singles game - but it captures the arguements that ALWAYS accompany good games.


There are loads more of these at




Standing up




The INTERESTING end (the head)


Deciding what to do - or giving instructions








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