We have a fabulous Boules pitch available at the village hall, Boules sets are kept in the Blacksmiths Arms on the edge of the village green for would-be competitors to borrow and try their luck - there is no charge and everyone is welcome to play. A set of rules will be posted close to the pitch.
Practice nights are every Tuesday and Friday from 6pm. Matches are played throughout the summer. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pétanque or Boule in its present form was invented in 1907 (or possibly 1910) in the town of La Ciotat near Marseilles. It was invented by Ernest Pitiot, a local café owner, to accommodate a French jeu provençal player named Jules Lenoir, whose rheumatism prevented him from running before he threw the ball. In the new game, the length of the pitch or field was reduced by roughly half, and a player no longer engaged in a run-up while throwing a ball—he stood, stationary, in a circle.
The first pétanque tournament with the new rules was organized in 1910 by the brothers Ernest and Joseph Pitiot, proprietors of a café at La Ciotat. After that the game spread quickly and soon became the most popular form of boules in France.
Before the mid-1800s, European boules games were played with solid wooden balls, usually made from boxwood root, a very hard wood. The late 1800s saw the introduction of cheap mass-manufactured nails, and wooden boules gradually began to be covered with nails, producing boules cloutées ("nailed boules"). After World War I, canon-ball manufacturing technology was adapted to allow the manufacture of hollow all-metal boules. The first all-metal boule, la Boule Intégrale, was introduced in the mid-1920's by Paul Courtieu. The Intégrale was cast from a bronze-aluminum alloy. Shortly thereafter Jean Blanc invented a process of manufacturing steel boules by stamping steel blanks into hemispheres and then welding the hemispheres together to create a boule. With this technological advance, hollow all-metal balls rapidly became the norm.