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Jeu provençal

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Title: Jeu provençal  
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Subject: Pétanque, Confédération Mondiale des Sports de Boules, Boules, Bocce, Ritinis
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Jeu provençal

Jeu provençal being played in Lyon

Jeu provençal ('game of Provence'; also known as boule lyonnaise, 'boules of Lyon') is a popular French form of boules.

In Italy, the sport bocce volo, which is played with bronze balls, follows a similar set of rules.[1]


The current version of the game developed during the 18th century around the area of Lyon.

  • The Fédération Lyonnaise et Régionale was formed in 1906.
  • About the same time, in 1907, the sport of pétanque split off to become its own sport.
  • It led to the formation of La Fédération Nationale des Boules in 1933.
  • That became the Fédération Française de Boules in 1942.


The rules are similar to the game of pétanque except that:

  • A pétanque court is about half the size of a jeu provençal court.
  • In pétanque, the feet are fixed in one spot while throwing, while in jeu provençal the normal practice is to take a short run-up to the throw.

These differences reflect the reason that pétanque was invented – to create a sport that was accessible to a disabled player in a wheelchair.

In addition:

  • In pétanque, each player has three boules when playing as singles; in jeu provençal (as in bocce) each player has four.

The grounds and equipment

Under official rules, the court must measure 27.5 metres (30.1 yd) in length and between 2.5 to 4 metres (2.7 to 4.4 yd) in width, with a clear play area of 12.5 metres (13.7 yd) and 7.5 metres (8.2 yd) at each end (one end is the Landing zone, and the other is where the players stand and throw).

When the jack is thrown, it must land at least 12.5 metres (13.7 yd) away from the player.

The boules

The boules vary in size, weight, and composition, usually to accommodate the player's comfort, but tend to be made of bronze (with the jack being wooden) and are usually 90 to 110 millimetres (3.5 to 4.3 in) in diameter and weigh 900 to 1,200 grams (2.0 to 2.6 lb).[2] They must be centrally balanced.


  1. ^ - Italian Games (accessed 18 May 2008)
  2. ^ - Official Rules - Chapter 1 - Materials

External links

  • Fédération Internationale de Pétanque et Jeu Provençal web site
  • - World Class Bocce
  • Confederation Mondiale des Sports de Boules
  • Fédération Internationale de Boules (FIB)
  • Bocce in Volo - La community boccistica della specialità volo italiana (Portale e forum sulle bocce italiane e mondiali) (Italian)
  • A short video showing Jeu Provençal being played
  • sport-boules in French WorldHeritage

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