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  • Writer's picturePhil Boarder

Petanque. Rougher than you think!

Petanque is a confrontational game, it is emotional, and it requires a certain mindset, especially how I play! Many people describe the game as chess at a distance. There are many true comparisons between the game as tactics are the key to success. We have all grown up with chess. Each figure is recognisable to the beginner and expert alike. They all have different features to identify the chess piece. Boule may all look the same but to experienced players they are similar to chess pieces and they all have their part to play. However Petanque is not chess at a distance. It is a blend of many other games. Board games such as Risk, Campaign and Stratego, no I haven’t heard of the last one either. These are mostly war games. Petanque is a battle. Drawing the opposition into making a mistake, picking off their defensive boule, protecting the open ground, pouring through an open defence and controlling the battlefield. This is the game portrayed being played on a dusty French courtyard with players seeming not to care less what the outcome is and then erupting into exultation as they overcome the opposition. Petanque is a game of attrition. Getting the opposition to use all their ammunition before yours, keeping control of the piste, placing the jack where the opposition are not comfortable playing their boule. Sounds like a war game to me. Choosing the battleground by placing the jack where you want it. Playing a length they cannot use their big guns to blast away your boule. Gentle French pastime? If you think that, maybe you should be looking towards quoits as a hobby?

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