Frequently asked Questions

We are sure that you will have many questions to ask about the club so here are some answers to the more frequently asked questions.

Do I have to buy my own Boules? What sort of Boules should I buy?

There are boules available to borrow, but it is recommended that serious players buy their own competition boules. Advise on what, where and how to buy can be given to player.

Is there any general etiquette that I must follow?

There are a number of does and don’ts. Being a French game these can be a little difficult to follow to start with, but after a while become second natue.

Are there any other fees for booking a Boules piste?

No. However we do charge a nominal visitors fee at club sessions.

What is a licensed player?

Like most sports, to play in competitions or at league level (not the internal league), players are required to obtain a license from Petanque England. This not only allows players to enter regional and national competitions, but also provides some basic third party insurance.

Is there any coaching available?

There is. We do a coaching session every Monday during the summer months. We have a PE qualified club coach who would be welcome to introduce anybody to the game.

Are there any age restrictions?

Certainly not. Petanque is probably one of the only sports where people of all ages, gender and physical ability are able to play in the same game. The only concession to age is that junior players are able to play with smaller boules, and the only concession to wheel chair confined players are that they must keep one wheel in the circle when throwing.

Is there any difference between Boules and Petanque?

Petanque quite frequently will be called Boules. However, “playing boules” can refer to any number of games played with boules. Petanque is just the version that we play at Hampton and is the most common form played in this country.

How big is a pitch?

A pitch is called a piste, and can be any size really as you can play what is called “open terrain”. However, the international size is 15 mtrs by 4 mtrs minimum. That said, a lot of clubs have much smaller pistes. It can more easily be defined by the fact that the cochonnet (jack) when thrown to start, must be at a distance of between 6 and 10 mtrs from the circle (starting point). We have two terrains which are approximately 14x 6.5, split into two pistes each of just over 3 mtr width.

How do you score?

The standard length of a game is the first team to score 13 points, although sometimes games can be played to a time restriction. To score a point, your boule has to be closer to the cochonnet than the opponents boule at the end of each end. i.e. when all the boules have been thrown.

Is there any order in which players throw?

To start a game, the team that wins the toss throws first. The opposition then have to throw their boule to get closer to the cochonnet. If they don’t, they throw again, and so it goes on till they have thrown all boules.

Will I enjoy it?

There is no question that if you try, you won’t want to stop!