Pétanque Articles about Provence

Pétanque

Pétanque
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You’ve probably heard before about the outdoors game now fashionable and exciting - pétanque. It were the Provencals who «invented» it (although the residents of ancient Rome and ancient Greece were fond of similar games).
Since olden times in Provence in almost all towns and villages there were playgrounds specifically designed for the pétanque game where people «bowled» with pleasure in their spare time! There were also many volunteers to just watch the nimble players, enjoy the winning of a friend or relative.

If you translate literally the name of this game (derived from the Provencal «pieds-tanques») you will «feet-stakes» or «legs that grew into the earth». It reflects the basic rule of the game - when throwing the balls the players cannot have to «rip» their heels off the ground, as long as their ball not touches the ground. (Though pétanque can be played on actually any platform: gravel, sand or soil).

The legend for long delivered «from mouth to mouth» says that once upon a time these rules came up with an avid player who once could not move actively because of illness of the feet. A version of the game modified by him was liked by all the rest – so this way the pétanque as we know it appeared!

The favourite game of Provencals has one more funny rule - a player who has lost «without scoring a point» (i.e. did not won a single point) is required publicly to ... kiss the «Cul de Fanny» («Fanny’s bun») - a dummy depicting this very part the female body.

And such images of «buns» adorn the walls of buildings not far from each area to play this Provencal «national sport»!

But the game is to the «taste» of the people of many other countries also - there is even the «International Federation of Pétanque Players»!

About the rest of the rules of this fun and exciting game (and about, for example, what the «cochonnet» is) you will learn by visiting Provence.

Pétanque, Provence, France, Notre Provence Group


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