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Petanque Terminology

Petanque 6

Image credit: Benson Lin/SportSG

Here are some of the most important terms you need to know in order to participate in and enjoy a game of petanque.


Boule

A boule can refer to the hollow metal ball that players throw or roll towards the wooden target ball. Alternatively, a boule can also mean the action of throwing or rolling the ball towards the target ball.

Carreau

A carreau is widely known as the perfect shot, as it is a shot that knocks the opposing team’s boule away from the jack. The player’s boule usually replaces the boule that it has knocked away .

Dead Ball Line

A dead ball is a ball that has gone over the boundary. Similarly, a dead ball line is a line that ‘kills’ any ball that crosses it.

Have a Point

To have a point in petanque refers to a team having a boule closer to the wooden target jack ball compared to its opposing team. The team that has the point will have to allow the opposing team a turn, until the opposing team has a point.

Fanny

To fanny refers to the act whereby a team wins a game without the opposing team scoring a single point.

Jack

Also known as a cochonnet, a jack is the wooden target ball, which players have to throw or roll their boules towards. The closest boule to the jack gains the player’s team a point.

une Mene

This loosely translates to ‘the end’, which refers to a round or innings that make up part of a game of petanque. Each round ends when all boules have been thrown, and the game consists of as many ends as possible for one team to reach 13 points.

Point

To point refers to the act of throwing the boule so that it stops near to the jack.

Terrain

The terrain refers to the playing ground for the game. The terrain can be any flat surface, and can be both an open space or a marked terrain, surrounded by boards or strings indicating  the boundary.

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