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The Story of Petanque

In the popular French game of Pétanque, players stand with feet together in a small circle, to throw metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally "piglet") or jack.

The ancient Greeks and Romans played an early version of the game and this was brought to France by Roman soldiers and sailors. It originally had a larger field and players ran before throwing the ball.

The current form of the game originated in 1907 in Provence, southern France. A champion player developed rheumatism which prevented him from running to throw the ball. The game was modified to allow him to continue playing - the length of the field was reduced by roughly half, and the moving delivery was replaced with a stationary one. Pétanque comes from la petanca in the Provencal dialect meaning "feet anchored".

And you can learn more in the "Discovering Provence" DVD set. If you live in Sydney and woud like to learn to play petanque .. come and join us at Kirribilli every month. Click here for details.