Although typically played with metal or wooden balls this can be played with any ball… just bear in mind that boules when thrown are not expected to bounce when they land, so small juggling balls (the bean filled ones) will produce better game play than tennis balls or footballs.
[These rules are adapted from the English translation of the rules provided with a set of French boules so apologies if some parts of this don’t make sense]
“The game of Boules, first started in Provence and is now played all over France and many countries throughout the World.
To play the game, you need a jack (A small hard ball about 4 cm in diameter) and a set of six boules (these are usually made of metal about 10 cm in diameter) The object of the game is to aim the boules as near to the jack as you can. This can be done by either throwing the bowl high in the air until it stops dead, or by rolling along the ground as in traditional English Bowls (if you have footballs, tennis balls then this might work better). When playing Boules on the continent, you will often find boule courts are filled with sand to inhibit the balls from rolling on landing. So this makes a good game to play on a beach or anywhere else with soft ground.
The game can be played with individual players each having three or four bowls each, or with teams of two each playing with three boules; or teams of three, each having two boules. The game continues until all players have used their boules.
- One player marks out a circle, about 45cm in diameter which is clear of any obstruction or obstacle. This becomes the throwing point.
- From this chosen point the first player throws the jack. The player is given three chances to throw the jack to a correct point about 5/10m from the edge of the throwing point.
- After the first opponent’s turn the other player follows and tries to hit the jack which has been positioned. However, the first player always has the right to throw first.
First player throws the bowl and the second player follows, aiming as near to the jack as possible. This is ‘Point’
A match consists of 3 games of 13 points each. The team or individual that wins gets one point for each bowl that has landed nearest to the jack than the best bowl of the opponent(s) after the completed game.