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Sunday, 24 March 2013


Boules is a French ball game similar to bowls, played between two players or teams, also known as pétanque. The object is to place the ball nearer to a target ball, or jack, than the opposing player or team. It is thought to have first been played in 1910

Points are scored when everyone is out of boules: one point for each boule closer to the jack than the best-placed boule of your opponents. First team to 13 wins.

The only really essential equipment is a set of six steel boules. A set costs anywhere from US$5 for a rusty old set you may be lucky enough to come across to US$120 for a competition set.

A Buddhist monk published a book, L'esprit de la pétanque, advocating the game of boules as an aid to meditation. Maître Kaisen's slim, 95-page volume maintains that similar qualities are required for pétanque and for Buddhist prayer, such as an ability to focus entirely on the game and to ignore outside distractions.

A case of six boules, plus cochonnet (the small jack), will weigh between four and five kilos.


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