from this month’s MSD newsletter to seniors

Pétanque — a fun and inexpensive game

Hibiscus Pétanque club member Charles Dean has kindly contributed this article:

Some people call it ‘Boules’ but the game is actually called Pétanque. It originated in France and people aged 9 – 95, male and female, play it all around the world. Pétanque is played almost anywhere but a gravel terrain is best. The ‘boules’ are steel balls of around 700 grams which are thrown to a jack or ‘cochonnet’, and teams play to get nearest through ‘pointing’ close or ‘shooting’ to remove opposition boules. It’s an easy game to learn but more challenging to become really good.

At Hibiscus Pétanque Club in Orewa we have 20 terrains, a shared clubhouse with the bowling club and a thriving membership of 60 plus, the vast majority being seniors. We normally play Doubles, but Singles and Triples are possible. Most members are social players but there is scope for serious players to play in NZ competitions, some of which are played at Hibiscus as we have one of the best facilities in the country.

It is played throughout New Zealand and, if you like competition, there are regional and national competitions for when you are good enough. We even play Australia on an annual basis and send teams to the world championships. Some of the biggest clubs are Hibiscus, Herne Bay, Stanley Bay, Panmure (Auckland), Tauranga, Napier, Levin, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and a youth academy in Rotorua. About 36 small and medium sized clubs exist throughout New Zealand. Our national organisation has details of play and clubs at this website.