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The boules are made of metal and weigh between 650 g and 800 g, with a diameter of between 71 mm and 80 mm. The jack is made of wood or synthetic material and has a diameter of between 25 mm and 35 mm.


The playing area should be at least 15 metres (49 ft) long, by 4 metres (13 ft) wide.

A player from the team that wins the toss starts the game by drawing a circle (35 to 50cm in diameter) on the playing field. Both feet must be inside this circle, touching the ground. The player then throws the jack to a distance of between 6 and 10 metres from the starting circle. The jack must be visible and at least 1 metre from any obstacle or boundary, otherwise it must be thrown again.

A player from the team that wins the toss then plays the first boule, trying to place it as close to the jack as possible. Then the opposing team must get closer to the jack and keeps playing until they succeed. When they do, it is back to the first team to do better, and so forth until all the boules have been played. The team with boules closest to the jack wins the end and counts their score. The game continues until a team reaches a score of 13 points.

A successful pétanque team has players who are skilled at shooting as well as players who point. The   pointers play first. The shooter is held in reserve in case the opponents place a boule close to the jack, in which case the shooter will try to shoot it out. Placing a boule in front of the jack is much better than one behind the jack, because a front boule is more likely to be pushed into a better position.

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