Anyone for … pétanque?

petanque Any Sunday morning in France you’ll see locals playing pétanque on the village square.  As much a part of French life as baguettes and French apple flan.

Traditionally accompanied by a glass of Pernod Ricard, the game is deceptively simple: lob your metal balls, “boules”, closer to the jack, the “cochonnet”, than your opponents’.  Of course, there’s more to it than that – underhand scheming, cut-throat tactics, fits of pique.     

But don’t think pétanque is only for elderly French gentlemen in berets and string vests smoking Gauloises.  The game now is played worldwide by a younger set. 

Did you know Buckfastleigh has its own pétanque pitch?  Nestling next to the tennis courts in Hamlyn Playing Fields, the pitch was the brainchild of two members of the Scoriton and Buckfastleigh Twinning Association. 

Recently the Twinners ran a pétanque introduction for Buckfastleigh Primary School and demonstrated the dark arts of pétanque at the recent Sports Day initiative.  And we’ll be polishing our boules for when the French twinners visit us at the end of August. 

Fancy a try?  The court is available for anyone to use.  All you need is a set of boules and some chums for an entertaining, surprisingly competitive, hour or so.