"Petanque, Anyone?"

"Hey, what's that?" you ask, looking at the large gravel-filled rectangle just beyond the covered deck of Zaytouna Lounge.

 

It's a petanque court. Petanque is a game that originated in the south of France more than 100 years ago. Morocco, which was once a French protectorate and still has cultural ties with France, enthusiastically adopted the game. More recently, petanque has spread throughout the world.

Rules of the Game

Related to Italian bocce and English lawn bowling, petanque is paradoxically both simple to play and challenging to master. Players may compete as individuals (tête-à-tête), or in teams of two (doublettes) or three (triplettes). Play begins when the bouchon, or small target ball, is thrown from a circle with a diameter of 35 to 50 centimeters (14 to 20 inches). The bouchon, often colored red, may also be called a pallino or pig, depending on where you play the game. The bouchon must come to rest 6 to 10 meters (20 to 33 feet) from the circle before play can begin.

 

Players then take turns tossing boules, or hollow metal balls approximately the size of softballs. Their feet must remain within the circle, which is why the game is called petanque. (The French pieds tanqués means feet together.) This French variation of an ancient game was actually invented to accommodate a man confined to a wheelchair!

 

Only one team receives points during a round, based on whose boules end up closest to the bouchon. The team that wins a round receives a point for each boule that is closer to the bouchon than any of the opposing team's boules. Play continues until one team reaches 13 points. Official rules are posted on the petanque.org website.

 

Join the Fun!

You can play petanque whenever you visit Zaytouna Lounge, but why not join in the fun at the weekly competitions? Every Thursday evening, beginning at 6:00 PM, players compete for a $20 gift certificate. A modest entry fee of $5 per person gets you into the competition. All contestants receive a complimentary coffee, tea, or soda as well.

To be part of Petanque Email list: Sign up Here!