What is Petanque? Google Doodle celebrates popular French sport


Have you ever played pétanque? Well, if not, you can try your hand at Google Doodle’s latest interactive creation that lets you play this 19th-century French outdoor game from the comfort of your own home.

According to Doodles Archive, bocce, a sport similar to bocce and bowls, is more than just a hobby. This game is played competitively at regional, national and international levels across the world. The best players attend top events like the Mondial La Marseillaise in France and the British Open in England. Pétanque may be associated with France, according to The Local, but the International Federation of Pétanque and Provençal Game estimates that the sport, which has around 10-12 million players worldwide in 160 countries, is in fact the most popular in Asia. For your information, Thailand currently occupies second place in the ranking of the World Petanque Championships. And about 1.5 million Chinese children apparently play the game at school, according to the report.



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The history of Petanque

The origin of the game dates back to the sixth century, according to Petanque Australia. However, the current form of the game originated in 1907 in La Ciotat, Provence, France, which is now known as Jules Lenoir Boulodrome. In the new game, the length of the pitch has been reduced by about half and a player is no longer engaged in a run while throwing a ball but stands still in a circle. These rules were invented by Ernest Pitiot, a local cafe owner. The changes came about when Ernest tried to host a French Provençal player named Jules Lenoir whose rheumatism prevented him from running before throwing the ball.


How to play petanque?

The rules of the game are simple. All you have to do is toss, throw or roll your team’s metal balls closer to the target ball than the other team. Basically, the objective is to be the first player/team to score 13 points. According to this ispétanque, points are scored by having one or more of your boules closer to the target than your opponent’s, after all the boules have been thrown. The game is played over a series of rounds, often referred to as an end, with the scoring team in an inning being the first to start the next round. The objective may seem simple, but players can use a number of tactics to gain an advantage over their opponent. “Shooting” is a popular strategy, often used at competitive levels, where players attempt to knock an opponent’s ball off the target.


According to The Local, pétanque legend César Brauer, known as “César de Montélimar”, won the first-ever Pétanque World Cup in 1962 and 50 years later took part in his last World Cup. in 2013. He died in 2015.



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