Club Rules


Play by the rules.

Never argue with an official. If you disagree with something that has occurred, have your captain, coach or manager approach the official during a break or after the competition.

Control your temper. Verbal abuse of officials and sledging other players, deliberately distracting or provoking an opponent are not acceptable or permitted behaviours in Pétanque.

Work equally hard for yourself and/or your team. Your team’s performance will benefit and so will you.

Be a good sport. Applaud all good plays, whether your team or the opposition makes them.

Treat all participants in your sport as you like to be treated. Do not bully or take unfair advantage of another competitor.

Cooperate with your coach, teammates and opponents. Without them there would be no competition.

Participate for your own enjoyment and benefit, not just to please friends, parents, partners and coaches.

Do not mix alcohol with sport. (No player will be permitted to take part in any competition where there is any indication of intoxication.)

Comply with the safety guidelines as outlined.

Do not behave in any manner, or engage in any activity, whether on or off the field, that is likely to impair positive public perception as to the orderly and professional conduct of the sport of Pétanque.

Promote inter-club sport as a spirited, safe and enjoyable competition to be
enjoyed by players, spectators, officials and administrators. Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of them gender, ability, cultural background or religion or of their physical or psychological disabilities.

Brisbane Petanque Club


Pétanque can be played on any surface (although not usually grass). And the less flat the surface, the better it can be because it challenges and develops the skills of the players. When pistes are formally marked out, the playing area is usually about 4 metres wide by 15 metres long, but for  social games can be played on somewhat smaller areas.

Games are played between two teams, which can be:

Singles: two players, one against one using three boules each
Doubles: four players, two against two using three boules each
Triples: six players, three against three using two boules each

Social games are sometimes played to 9 or 11 points, but competition games always to 13 points. The number of ends played in a game is dependent on how long it takes one of the teams to attain the number of points required for Game.

The basic aim is to place as many boules as possible nearer to the coche than your opponents’ boules. Each team aims to hold back as many of their boules as possible until the opposing team has thrown all of theirs. They do this by ‘holding’ the coche, that is, by having at least one boule closer than any of the opposition boules.

If they are being enforced, dead boule lines must be agreed to by both teams before start of play. In some cases, any boule that pass over a dead boule line takes no further part in the game and cannot contribute to the score.


1. A coin is tossed by either one of the teams. The winning team chooses the piste, draws a circle of between 35 cm and 50 cm in diameter (or uses a 50 cm diameter plastic circle provided), and then throws the coche and the first boule.

2. The coche must come to rest between 6 and 10 metres from the front edge of the throwing circle, and be no closer than certain specified distances from the boundaries of the piste.

3. The person who throws the coche does not have to throw the first boule; another team member may do that.

4. Players must stand in the circle to throw the coche and their boules. Both feet must be entirely within the circle (not even touching the perimeter) and both feet must remain on the ground at all times until the boule has landed.

5. Both teams are responsible for confirming the distance of the coche. If it is too long or too short, the player should always ask the opposing team’s permission before picking it up.

6. In untimed games, the starting team has one attempt at throwing the coche and if it not within the 6 to 10 metres, the opposing team then has the right to place it. But the first team still retains the right to throw the first boule.

7. In timed games if the coche is not with 6 to 10 m then the opposing team places the coche at any legal position on the piste.

8. The opposing team is entitled to measure the distance of the coche after the first boule has been thrown to check the 6 m and 10 m limits. This is particularly likely if a good shot has been thrown!

9. After the first team has thrown the first boule, the opposing team throws their first boule. From then one, after each throw the team not closest to the coche throws the next boule. This continues until one team has no more boules to throw; the other team then throws its remaining boules.

10. If there is doubt as to whose boule is closest to the coche, measure it. This isn’t being pedantic; it’s a perfectly legitimate part of play. Having said that, where possible a consensus approach is best. An Umpire is best used to make a decision in a tournament.

11. If measuring hasn’t resolved it and both teams agree the boules are the same distance from the coche, the team who threw the last boule throws again.

12. When all the boules have been thrown, the end is finished and the number of winning points needs to be agreed to by both teams. Only then can the boules be picked up. The losing team announces that the other team has
won the end and by how many points (that is the winning team is granted
their points by the losing team – they do not claim them!)

13. After each end, it is a good idea for the progressive score to be verified
before starting the next end. This avoids the possibility of a dispute.

14. The team who won the last end starts the next end, beginning where the previous end finished (although there are variations allowed on this in certain circumstances).

15. The first team to attain the required number of points wins the game. This is always 13 points in a tournament

16. Always congratulate the winners. It is customary for the men to shake
hands with each other and for the women to kiss all players, but anyone
who is uncomfortable with this practice can take the initiative and put out
their hand to shake instead.

17. As a general rule, when a player is throwing their boule, members of the opposing team should be no closer than two metres from the coche, nor in the region between the circle and the coche.