It’s not bocce or bowls, but petanque

Give petanque a red-hot go.
Give petanque a red-hot go. Photo Think Stock

GAMES are fun. Surely everybody agrees on that. It's often harder to find games that appeal to everyone, but I'd like to move that petanque is one such game that can appeal to a broad audience.

Petanque is a French form of boules that is popular throughout Europe and the South Pacific. All that is required is a flat, gravelly surface, a minimum of two players who each have three hollow steel boules and a wooden jack, or as the Francophile would say, the cochonnet (piglet).

The objective is simple: end the game with your boule closer to the jack than anybody else. But, achieving this is another matter altogether. Players will sacrifice boules to smash opponents' boules away from the prized little piggy. The cream of the crop enjoy wowing crowds with a carreau - this shot removes the opponents' ball while leaving the thrower's boule in its place.

I tried my first game of petanque on the bustling beachfront public courts in Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila. First a player tosses the cochonnet to a distance where they feel they have the advantage.

The local players, dressed in thongs and imitation surf brand t-shirts, were extremely patient explaining the rules to me, and within 10 minutes I had a good understanding of the rules. Initially, each player throws their first boule towards the cochonnet and then the player whose ball is closest to the piglet has the luxury, or stress, of being the last to throw. Of course, the moment another player's boule lands closer to the piglet, the dynamics change completely.

At the end of the game points are awarded to the team with the closest ball or balls to the cochonnet. So, if two of my balls were closest to the piglet - they weren't - I'd have earned myself two points. For the record, my opponent defeated me by three points.

Follow David on Twitter: @bigkamo

Topics:  petanque sport

Careers fair opens new options for Rocky students

rockhampton State High School students Gemma Roug, Molly Hartley and Tahlia Kiraly at the school's inaugural careers fair.

GALLERY: Students enjoy The Morning Bulletin's photo booth

Rocky court rejects line from drink driver 4 times limit

Jordan David Coles pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on February 19 to one count of drink driving for when he was caught with a blood alcohol content of 0.195.

HE was busted drink driving twice in six months

premium_icon Revealed: Full list of Rocky region's top ranking schools

Rockhampton State High School principal Kirsten Dwyer.

Local underdog school takes out Rocky's best OP school ranking

Local Partners

To the stranger who Photoshopped my picture

MIRANDA agreed to have her photo taken with her mum in a jewellery store. When she logged onto Instagram the next day, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

Don't delay: this test could save your life

LIFE-SAVING: Rob Patch is on a mission to convince people to have their sleep apnoea checked in order to prevent an early death.

"The doctors said I had come there to die.”

Cricket's Merv Hughes can’t stomach drink and drug-drivers

AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Merv Hughes of Australia prepares to bowl on December 26, 1990 in Australia. (Photo by Getty Images)

former Australian cricketer’s first car was an HT Holden wagon.

Russia’s seedy ‘virginity trade’

On Russian social media, young girls and women are being recruited to sell their virginity to wealthy men. Picture: The Sun

Girls as young as 17 sell their virginity

Cancer teen married two days before death

19-year-old cancer patient Lydia Dominguez married her boyfriend Joshua Ordonez just two days before she died.

Teen with cancer dies after getting married two days earlier

Dad’s shock: ‘I was told I was a paedophile’

Karl Pollard was taking his daughter Stephanie to visit her sick grandmother. Picture: SWNS/Mega

Hotel apologises after wrongly accusing innocent dad of paedophilia