Petanque movement: Throwing and rolling

Petanque 2 

Image credit: CBK/SportSG

Since the main objective of the sport is to get your team’s boules as close to the jack as possible, it is vital for the players to throw or roll the boules in the proper way. Here are some of the popular methods for moving the boules across the petanque terrain.

Before you throw or roll the boule, it is essential to get used to the stance. While there is no standard stance, experienced petanque players favour the four most common ones: playing while standing upright, bent at the waist, bent at the knees, or in a semi-crouch. It doesn’t matter which stance is used, as long as both feet are firmly placed on the ground inside the circle when throwing.


Pointing refers to the act of a player throwing a boule in order to get it to be as close as possible to the jack.

Rolling Point

As the name suggests, the rolling point involves the player rolling the boule all the way from the circle and towards the jack. This involves a rolling throw, and is commonly executed with the player bending at the waist or the knees.

Half Lob Point

This throw involves the player throwing the boule so that it lands between the circle and the target jack, with the intention of causing the boule to roll towards the jack for the remaining distance upon landing on the terrain. However, this method of throwing should only be carried out on smoother terrains, as rough terrains will restrict the distance in that the boule is able to roll.

High Lob

This is the last of the three main pointing methods, and it is one of the hardest. The high lob involves the player throwing the boule so that it travels in a high arc, and landing near to the jack without rolling away upon landing.

The high lob often requires a high throw, as well as a rougher terrain, in order for it to be executed properly. The boule rarely stops dead where it lands, often rolling at least a slight distance after it touches the terrain. However, this is one of the best methods as it allows the player to get the boule as close to the jack as possible.


Shooting is another form of throwing, but with the intention of knocking the opponent’s boule out of the way and thus clearing the way for throws that will ensure your boules are closer to the jack.

The most common way of shooting is to throw the boule a short distance in front of the target boule that the player wants out of the way. Best carried out on smoother terrain, the player needs a strong hand swing so that the boule carries enough energy to travel across the terrain and to knock the opposing boule out of its path.

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