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Simplified Rules of Boules


You can play the game with two teams of one, two or three players on each side. With teams of one or two, each player has 3 boules; with teams of 3, each has 2 boules


Boules should have a diameter between 7 and 8 cm; ideally made of steel and weighing between 650g and 800g. They should be marked so each player can tell which boules belong to them. The cochonnet should be made of wood, about 3 cm in diameter.


Toss a coin to choose which team plays first. Any player in this team chooses where to draw a circle on the ground in which every player will stand to throw their boules. The circle should be about 0.5m in diameter and at least 1m from any obstacle (wall, tree, edge of playing area, etc).


He/she then throws the "cochonnet" between 6m and 10m, or 6 to 10 paces from the circle in any direction. It also must not be closer than 1m from any obstacle.


Any player from the first team then throws the first boule, trying to get it as close as possible to the "cochonnet". Both feet must stay together on the ground and within the circle while throwing and until the boule has landed.


A player from the other team then steps into the circle and tries to place a boule closer to the cochonnet than their opponent, or to knock the opponent’s boule away. You must throw within 1 minute of your turn starting. The boule nearest to the cochonnet is said to be “holding the point”.


The players in the team that is not “holding” continue throwing until they place a boule closest to the cochonnet, and so on. Players on the same team do not have to take alternate throws, but player must always play their own boules.


When a team has no more boules to be played, the players of the other team throw theirs and try to place them as close as possible to the cochonnet.


When both teams have no more boules, you stop and count up the points. The winning team scores one point for each boule nearer the cochonnet than the opponents closest. Only one team can score points in each round.


​Starting the next round A player from the team that has won throws the cochonnet from a new circle drawn round the cochonnet’s last position. The winners are the first team to reach 13 points (or whatever total you decide).

Playing the Game

Here are some useful links


Equipment suppliers:




British Petanque Association:


With many thanks to Chris Chubb from Petanque England who kindly provides the occasional training session to improve our game!

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