What is a petanque?
Petanque is part of a group of bowling sports popular in many European countries, as well as in former French colonies in Africa and Asia.
Their origins go back to the ancient Greeks, who practiced their own games of throwing flat stones, and therefore stone balls. Then the Romans added a target ball, and laid down the ground rules that remain to this day, before bringing the game to France.
In its modern form, pétanque has been around since 1907, when it originated in Provence, France.
Prior to this, a version of bowling known as the Provençal game was popular after it emerged in the late 19th century, which involved players rolling their balls or running three degrees and then throwing them.
A cafe owner named Ernest Pitiot tweaked the rules of the game to remove running to make it accessible to his friend Jules Lenoir, who suffered from severe rheumatism.
Pitiot cut the length of the playing field roughly in half and instructed players to throw their balls with stationery.
It was originally known as “pieds tanques” (meaning “planted feet”), which eventually evolved into the current name “petanque”.
Game rules are kept simple: players toss, toss, or toss their metal balls in a bid to finish closest to the target ball over a series of rounds, with the first team reaching 13 victorious points.
Competing players may attempt to smash their opponents’ balls away from the target, a tactic known as “shooting”.
Pétanque is usually played on hard earth or gravel – it’s a familiar sight in town squares across France, but it can also be played in dedicated arenas called bolodromes.
If the sport is best known for its recreational activity, it is also played in competition, with international tournaments bringing together the best players in the world, such as the Mondial de La Marseille in France and the British Open in England.
Google: you can play petanque thanks to the Doodle of the day
It is an activity that will perhaps entertain your Sunday if you are on vacation or simply on the weekend.
Thanks to the Doodle of the day, you will be able to play a game that has fascinated the French (and especially the Marseillais) since 1907, namely petanque. “Today’s interactive Doodle game celebrates pétanque, a popular French outdoor game widely played around the world,” reads the Google site.
To play, it’s very simple: just click on the Doodle’s Play button. Once on the page, she will offer you a workout, before actually playing. To shoot, you have to stretch an arrow downwards pointing it in the right direction, which allows you to control both distance and power of each throw.
For fun, you can play singles or doubles against your friends or in random mode. But be careful, if you want to play, the game will only be available until Monday.
You can play pétanque in Google thanks to this Doodle
Google’s famous Doodle takes you into the world of petanque for two days, with a very nice little game.
It’s sunny, it’s hot: the opportunity to play pétanque in the open air! But why deprive yourself of a double dose? Since yesterday, and until Monday, August 1, Google’s Doodle is adorned with the famous metal balls by integrating a small petanque game.
“Petanque has always been an emblematic French sport. Playing pétanque is for me a return to authenticity, friendliness and all ages. I wanted to share this experience,” comments doodle designer Hélène Leroux. This game is indeed typical of the south of France, but its aura goes beyond that. Its origin is also remote: we must go back to the throwing of flat stones in Antiquity, then to the throwing of stone balls among the Greeks, before the Romans integrated the target ball (the jack) and that they import the game in France.
How to play the Google petanque game?
To play the game, nothing could be simpler, just click on the Doodle’s Play button, which will launch the interactive page. The game is very simple: you have to stretch an arrow downwards pointing it in the right direction, which allows you to control both the distance and the power of each throw. As in any petanque game, the objective is to bring your boule as close as possible to the jack.
You can practice solo, but also face other real players. The game has matchmaking functionality across the 17 countries where the doodle is available.
Google: a mini-game puts pétanque in the spotlight for the 77th anniversary of the French Federation of Pétanque and Provençal games
The French Federation of Petanque and Provençal Game (FFPJP) celebrates its 77th anniversary today. This anniversary is celebrated by the internet giant Google, which called on one of its designers Hélène Leroux to create a mini-game.
The illustrator has imagined a “Doodle” – these drawings that take place instead of “Google” on the home page of the search engine – which also serves as a game in which Internet users can play a game of petanque online with other random players. This idea came “during a week of hackathon in the team“, pétanque being “a popular game that people play all over France“, explains Hélène Leroux.
The illustrator has never lived in Provence but still knows this region from which she drew her inspiration: “When I was a child, I went on vacation to Provence to visit family friends and remember the strongest that I have kept are the long lunches under the sun, with good fresh local dishes and the sound of cicadas in the background! I knew it was very important to have that sound effect, they are part of the soundscape there.”
To illustrate this game, she chose to represent the boules players with one of the culinary specialties of the region. “When we think of Provence, we think of olives, and it’s only natural that I chose to have two teams, green against dark purple (kalamata type). I wanted to make sure I had saturated and vivid colors to give a nice feeling of warmth and vacation,” she continues. “The idea quickly came to make these little olives play a game of petanque on a picnic table and the decor finally became a slice of bread“, explains Hélène Leroux.