Boule Game in Paris

 

Here are five amazing things you can do in Paris

1.) Adopt the proper dress code to play “Pentaque”

Indeed, in the South of France, the temperature is higher and amateurs mostly play during summer. Players therefore put some shorts on, some flip-flops or espadrilles, a t-shirt and a hat (if possible made of hay).

2.) Adopt the Parisian specificity of the Boule Game

As pastis is an alcohol from the South of France, Parisians are used to drinking rosé wine when they play to distinguish themselves from the Southern players. But do not worry rosé wine is as fresh and as tasty as pastis!

3.) Play in the Luxembourg Garden

The Luxembourg Garden is one of the most beautiful and majestic gardens in Paris. There you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Senate sitting on a chair in front of a refreshing fountain. But there are also “Pétanque” fields where a lot of people come to play or watch the game on the weekend in summer.

4.) Discover the Place Dauphine having fun

This historical plaza dedicated to Louis XIII is located in a very calm neighborhood where only locals are used to hanging out (metro station Cité on line 4). Indeed, the end of the city island is not very touristic and yet it is very enjoyable with the backside of the Justice Palace. Of course, “Pétanque” players also kidnap this plaza in summer.

5.) Play in the Villemin Garden

Located in the 10th borough, not so far from Montmartre (metro station Gare de l’est lines 4, 5 and 7) this garden is also really beautiful. But it is even more local and typical from the Parisian everyday life as the neighborhood is not that touristic. Hence, if you come to play “Pétanque” there, you are likely to make local friends.

Facts about the Boules Game

Boule Game is one of the most ancient games in the world. Egyptians and Greeks played it before its introduction in Gaul by the Romans. It has rapidly become very popular in the entire country, with a climax during the Renaissance when it was one of the nobles’ favorite sports. Even from 1629 to the Revolution when it was forbidden for obscure reasons, the interdiction was not respected and people continued playing Boule Game.

It became an institutionalized sport in 1850 when the first federation opened in Lyon. Since then, it is very popular and mostly played in the South of France, in Provence. Players usually practice after lunch, with a hat as the sun is at its zenith. They drink a glass of pastis (typical alcohol from the South of France) while the game goes on in a very friendly atmosphere.

The rules are simple. There is a smaller ball called “piggy”. The goal is to get as close as possible to the “piggy” with your big iron balls. You launch your balls from a circle drawn on the floor. Two teams face each other and you will also have to shoot at the others’ balls during the game so as they are not the closest to the “piggy”. The party is played in thirteen points. The first team to reach thirteen points (one closest ball for one point) wins. Each player has two or three balls.

Villemin Garden

How to get there

 

In any park of the city, during summer, you are likely to encounter “Pétanque” players. Just join them; they will be happy to play with you!

Insider’s tips:

  • Try to make equilibrated teams if you want the game to be more captivating and to last longer.
  • Do not be so keen on victory or you won’t enjoy the atmosphere as much as you could if you were not.
  • 13 million visitors a year 99%
  • Incredibly detailed 80%
  • Contains hidden mysteries 70%

Opening Hours

The opening hours of the park/garden you go to play, can easily be checked out on the internet.

Pentaque Attractions

Boule Game with a local guide
That way you can enjoy a great Boule Game with a local guide who is going to give you everything you need to play, explain you the rules clearly and transmit you its knowledge and anecdotes about the city and the neighborhood. All that around a glass of rosé wine of course… Awesome experience to live!

Why it’s worth trying

  • The coolest French game as the atmosphere is really friendly.
  • It is a good way to taste French wine or pastis.
  • All the family can play the game, and men and women can play together.
  • It is going to be sunny as you only play “Pétanque” when the sun shines.