Oakhurst Pétanque Club plays by the rules. The less formal the game, perhaps the more lenient the players might be with certain rules, but the sport does have official rules used worldwide, and carefully interpreted into many languages. So whether you play in France, Sweden, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Thailand, China, Antarctica, or Peru, the rules will be the same.

The rules we play by are those of Federation of Pétanque USA (FPUSA). Click HERE for their U.S. rules. All new members of Oakhurst Pétanque Club receive pocket sized rules as part of their membership.


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Boules are made in sets of three - the maximum used by one player. They are made of various types of steel and metals, are marked with matching designs, their weight, the diameter, and the maker's initials or brand name. Try other players' boules before buying your own, or use "party boules" until you get used to hefting them. Then you'll know whether you'd want heavier or lighter, smaller or larger boules for yourself.

You'll want something to carry your boules in, and there are lightweight and cheap nylon boule bags with a single handle that store boules "vertically" inside, or the horizontal branded bags with a carrying handle, wooden boxes that hold 3 or 6 boules are available, and extravagent aluminum and "crocodile leatherette" boule carriers are available as well.

Everyone needs cochonnets. They have a mind of their own and seem to disappear with alarming frequency. If you buy a dozen, you'll be down to one in no time! They are the "expendible supply" of Pétanque. They just vaporize - usually into opponents' pockets! Buy lots of them. Wood or the new resin cochonnets are allowed in the sport.

A measuring device is a must-have in your equipment bag. Whether you choose a glamorous metric tape measure that's gold plated, or a cheap Stanley model from Home Depot, you're out to measure which boule is closest to the cochonnet. So you need something that can handle from a few feet down to a fraction of a semi-demi-hemi-inch. The game is usually metric as far as any measurements and rules requirements, however an inches/feet tape measure works just fine for measuring how far boules are from the cochonnet when there's a question.

A good scorekeeping device will last a lifetime with good care, i.e. keeping the two screws tightened to the point you can just turn the wheels. Some players rubber-band them to their wrists, others carry them in a shirt or pants pocket, but nearly everyone uses them - never relying on anyone else to help remember the current score. Good ones are made of leather (pictured above) and come in colors.

You can certainly bend over to pick up your boules after each end, which is very good exercise...but for many, a magnetic boule picker-upper is a must-have in their pocket. These telescoping magnets can easily lift a couple pounds of steel boule. They also allow you to reach into the middle of a forest of legs to grab your boule out of the clutch quickly and efficiently. These are magnets at the end of an extensible steel pole and you will also find them available at auto supply stores as they are frequently used in auto repairs for picking up loose bolts and nuts. Just like the old fashioned car antenna, they may break over time. Order extras.


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