Let's play some pétanque

It’s no secret that at Extremis we adore playing some pétanque. Being located close to the French border, we’ve soon learned how to play this boules sport. At the Extremis campus, we often get together at lunchtime to throw some boules on our own pitch. We’ve even included pétanque in our Sensu campaign images! 

Yes, pétanque is a lifestyle. So instead of just throwing some boules around, it’s time to learn it the proper way! 

Let's play some pétanque

The rules

Of pétanque

A great game of pétanque starts very simply… you just take your Extremis boules and try to get them closer to the jack (the target ball) than your opponent.

But there's of course a bit more to it. Find out exactly how to play this French boules sport below! 




Up for a quick game of pétanque? 1 against 1 or in teams of 2 or 3 players?

  • Singles: 1 against 1
    With 3 boules each

  • Doubles: 2 against 2
    With 3 boules each

  • Triples: 3 against 3
    With 2 boules each

There should never be more than 12 boules on the pitch at the same time!

The pitch  

A standard size pétanque court is 4 x 15 m long. The surface can be dolomite, sand, gravel, red shale… as long as the boules roll!

A warm summer day, playing a game of pétanque with friends... What more do you need?

The game

Sascha drawing the jack in the sand with his foot
The jack

Draw a circle of ± 50 cm from which you’ll throw the jack and the other boules.  

Clear the way! Throw the jack some 6 - 10 m away, making sure it lands 1 m from any obstacle (wall, tree, etc.). 

Shoot or point?

Concentrate! It's time to throw your first boule. Aim to land it as close as possible to the jack.  

When you're done, your opponent enters the circle. Will they skillfully place their boule even closer to the jack, or will they shoot your boule and knock it out of the way?  

Sascha throwing a boule
Next player

After each throw, go and check the distances from the jack - the boules may only be millimeters apart! 

The best-placed boule "has the point". The next throw is for the losing team until they gain the point. 

When the losing team has run out of boules, the opposing team throws all the boules they have left. When all the boules have been thrown, the round is over. 

Extremis team celebrating their petanque win

The end of the game

The points

Only the team with the boule closest to the jack wins the round and earns points. Each boule closer to the jack than the opponent boules equals a point.  

What if only one of your boules is closer to the jack than the closest of the opponent boules? You win the round with 1 point! Imagine that 2 of your boules are closer, that means that you’ve earned 2 points, and so on... 

Next round

One of the players from the winning team draws a new throwing circle on the other side of the court. From there, he throws the jack to the other end of the field to start a new round.   

The game continues, round by round more points are earned. 

The end

When one team reaches 13 points, they've won - and the game is over!  

Measuring the distance to the but