Scoring in Petanque

Petanque 4

Image Credit: SportSG

As petanque is a two-team sport, the winner of the game is the team with the highest number of points. Find out how the scoring system works in petanque, and how points are awarded to each team.

At the end of every round, points are tabulated by looking at the boule that is the closest to the wooden target jack. The team to which the boule belongs to will then be awarded one point. Following that, the game official will then award points to that team for every boule that is nearer to the jack than boules from the other team.

petanque graphic

Image credit: SportSG

For instance, as the first blue boule is closest to the jack compared to the red team’s boule, the blue team will be awarded one point. The next nearest boule is the second red boule. As the second red boule is further away from the jack than the first blue boule, the red team will continue throwing their boules until their boule is closer to the jack than the other team’s boule, hence earning the red team a point. Once the red team has a point, the turn is passed to the blue team, who will throw as many boules as possible until they have a point. The game concludes when all the boules are thrown or rolled.

If both teams throw boules that are equidistant from the jack, it will be considered a tie. In what is known as a tiebreaker or point nul, the team or player that threw the boule causing the tie will have to throw another boule, followed by the opposing team. The teams will have to alternate turns to throw their boules, until the tie has been broken and a point has been awarded to either one.

Each round will be scored in this way, until one team has managed to reach 13 points, which is the maximum points that can be scored in a match of petanque. As a result, this can mean that teams and players have to play quite a number of rounds before a winner is decided.  

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