Petanque is a Southern European form of boules that is traditionally played with metal balls on a court of either gravel or hard dirt. Petanque is a tactical precision game where the goal is to place your balls closest to the target ball, known as the jack, while keeping your opponent from scoring by shooting their balls away from the jack.

Petanque is a popular family activity, club sport and senior sport – it is a game for everyone who enjoys excitement, suspense and quality time with friends and family.

In the last couple of decades, indoor petanque has grown popular. It is played with lighter, soft balls on all types of floor surface.


Petanque developed from the ancient Provençal game Le Jeu Provencal.

A French champion of this game suffered from rheumatism and therefore developed the less demanding petanque in 1910.

The game is little short of a national sport in France, where there are around 500.000 registered players.

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  • Petanque can be played single, double or triple.
  • In singles and doubles, each player has three balls. In triple, each player has two balls.
  • The international dimensions of a petanque court is 4×15 meter.
  • A coin toss determines which team goes first and throws the first ball.
  • A player from the team who won the coin toss will begin by throwing the target ball, also known as the jack, onto the court at least 6 m and no more than 10 m from the starting point.
  • A player from the same team will then throw the first ball and try to get as close to the jack as possible.
  • A player from the opposing team will then try to either get closer to the jack or shoot the first ball away.
  • The team whose ball is furthest away from the jack must continue to throw until one of their balls are closest to the jack. Then, the turn reverts to the other team.
  • When a team is out of balls, the other team will continue to throw their remaining balls.
  • When all balls have been thrown, points are awarded. Only one team is given points each round.
  • The team whose ball is closest to the jack will be awarded points equal to the number of balls they have that are closer to the jack than the opponent’s closest ball.
  • The team who was closest to the jack will begin the next round.
  • The winner is the team who first gains 13 points.

Find the official rules on FIPJP’s website

(FIPJP is a worldwide organisation of licensed players for Petanque and the game Provençal – two similar sports which have a shared modern history).


There are different ways to throw at petanque and boule: You can point or shoot. When pointing, you can throw in a standing position or you can squat in a relaxed and well-balanced position (fig. 1). The ball is thrown out in a slight arc and rolls the rest of the way towards the jack (the target ball).

When shooting, the ball is thrown in a large, high arc so the ball lands in front of the jack and lies “dead”. The starting position should be standing, preferably with the feet almost together and the body in balance. The throwing arm is drawn backwards, you focus on the ball that is to be shot away and throw (fig. 2).

Play technique Petanque


At international competitions, the petanque court measures 4 x 15 m. For indoor petanque or indoor boule, a far smaller court can be used. You can easily play petanque on an area that measures 2 x 7 m for example.

Petanque Course


Petanque Superior 12 balls set

“Indoor petanque has become immensely popular in Sweden where it is called “Inomhusboule”. The game is played at senior centres, pensioners’ clubs, senior residences and many other places.

It is not strange that it has become so popular because the game is very social and contributes to enjoyment, laughter, activity, fellowship, exercise and excitement. All at the same time. Almost everyone can play petanque and it can be played everywhere on any kind of surface. It is simple and easy to play and the balls are easy to hold and of high quality.”

Kjell Jonasson, Gothenburg has closely followed the development of indoor petanque in Sweden.

Seniors playing Petanque

Lotta Tengberg, Centre Manager:

Lotta Tengberg, manager of several Activity Centres in the Gothenburg area comments on Indoor Petanque:

“We started with one court, but we have now expanded into several courts. We have had many more visitors since we started Indoor Petanque. This has given positive, social effects. People meet before and after the game and chat together and have a pleasant time.”

Fokus Svensk Nyhetsmagasin logo

Swedish weekly magazine

The Swedish weekly magazine, FOKUS, selected Handi Life Sport’s Indoor Petanque as being amongst the 3 best products that were shown at the Senior Trade Show in Gothenburg.