Page updated 17th May 2017
This page covers our history and first looks at our products then moving on to
Frequently asked questions FAQ's
We don't love petanque because we sell boule. We sell boule because we love playing Petanque
All our products are specially chosen for their quality and performance. We have been supplying competition boule in the UK for 24 years. All our competition boule are recognised by the F.I.P.J.P Fédération Internationale de Pétanque et Jeu Provençal therefore have the Makers name. weight in grammes, serial number and type of boule stamped on them. Our boule are guaranteed for Three years. Our other products are the very best petanque equipment available. You can order from us safe in the knowledge we supply the best for the best so you can enjoy the great sport of Petanque
The choice of boule.
To find the right set of boule for your individual requirements there are several factors to consider. With the different types of boule shown in our catalogue and on our website there are thousands of possible variations. Before you select your boule you will need to know which Diameter, Weight, Pattern and hardness you require.
The FIPJP ( Federation Internationale de Petanque et Jeu Provencal ) allows diameters from 70.5 to 80 mm. The diameter required depends mainly on the size of the players hand and the use the player will put the boule to. Women, Juniors and players with small hands generally prefer diameters from 71 to 73 mm. Pointers favour smaller diameters as they feel they will make smaller targets if being shot. Meanwhile shooters lean towards bigger boule in the hope they will hit the target boule easier. Please ask for a hand size chart for a guide
The FIPJP allows weights from 650 to 800grms. Pointers, as mentioned earlier, prefer small boule but they also like to use heavy boule. These tend to take a straighter path upon landing when they hit rough ground. For shooting, the tendency is to use lighter boule, this gives an advantage when shooting boule to boule as the distance of throwing is often 9 to 10M, this can be easier with a lighter boule and does not result in tiredness during competition play. Shooters prefer weights from 680 to 710 g.
In general, new players tend to use an average weight of between 700 to 720 g unless they feel the need to specialise.
For shooting, the boule should have few or no stripes (the boule can be released smoothly from the hand) i.e. patterns T,G,1, 0. For pointing, more stripes give greater control i .e. patterns T, 1 B and D.
Hardness 3 types of boule
Hard : 140 kg/mm The hardness of the boule prevents wear on the boule when applying backspin when pointing on a rough surface, it is this reason pointers prefer hard boule. Also the hard surface ensures the boule lasts for many years of play.
Soft : Between 110 and 115kg/mm The annealed boule give a greater absorption of impact when shooting, giving the boule a tendency to carreau more often when hitting boule. This is the reason shooters prefer soft boule but they do wear quickly
Semi Soft : 120 kg/mm The hardness of the metal prevents wear on the boule, however, the boule is left in a semi soft state to help absorb the impact of a shot and thus remain in the head. It is this reason middle players in triples prefer semi soft boule.
If the above details are taken in the order given, you will generally find pointers will choose hard boule in a small size and heavy weight with some stripes. i.e. 72 mm 710grms with a pattern. A shooter may choose a larger, lighter boule, i.e. 75 mm 690grms with little pattern. The main rule is to choose a boule you are comfortable with.
If you require any clarification or assistance in boule selection feel free to visit our shop or call our Mail Order helpline on 01359 250829 where we can provide a hand measure via the post
Established in 1993 we moved to larger premises in 1995 and are based Nr. Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk where we run the only UK shop dedicated to Pétanque. We are a family business and we can give the individual attention you require to choose your Pétanque equipment.
Pen-Y-Coed Pétanque are specialized in helping Pétanque players everywhere. All our staff play the game and are able to help and advise on the choice of boule that is right for you. Like any other sport you need the best equipment to play your best and as the UK stockist of boule from the largest boule manufacturer in the world, Boule Obut, we have the expertise to supply the top quality boule. We hold large stocks of boule but as our range is so extensive and you want the right size boule for you we sometimes have to ask you to wait 2 - 3 weeks for your choice. Supplying boule is not the end of our business as we also promote the game of Pétanque within the UK. We have sponsored the Great British team at the World Championships and have contacts of where to play in your area whether you wish to play at Pub, Club, Regional or National level.
Our web site www.pycpetanque.com has all the latest equipment, news and tournament information. Assistance given to players and clubs ranges from piste installation to help sheets on how to play, boule selection, history of the game and even which measure to use! Our web site www.winningpetanque.com covers all you want to know about the game including coaching tips and tactics.
We attend exhibitions and come and try events as well as Pétanque tournaments all over the UK from Inverness to Llandudno, from Cardiff to Hastings. If you would like any assistance with your Pétanque please do not hesitate to contact us.
We sell boule and all associated Pétanque equipment, we do not sell E mail listings, address listings or any other information about our customers to anyone. Please feel at ease to order from us and receive your order and nothing else. No junk mail, E mail or other communications that waste your time. Time that could be spent playing Boule.
Remember all orders within the UK are carriage free
All orders from stock are despatched same day and will be delivered via Royal Mail Parcels or Parcel Force World-wide. General delivery times by this service range between 4 and 10 working days. Next day delivery can be arranged for stock items, price on application.
All our boule are guaranteed for three years. Any faults due to manufacture during this time will be replaced without question as soon as possible. If you are dissatisfied with any part of your order i.e. size, weight, colour etc. the items will be replaced or refunded (In the case of Boule they must not have been used) All goods should be returned to our office in Bardwell before they are replaced. Replacement products from stock will be despatched same day and will be delivered via Royal Mail Parcels or Parcel Force World-wide. General delivery times by this service range between 4 and 10 working days. If the items are not faulty in any way but you wish for a replacement or refund please understand the return postage will be at your cost.
What does Pen-Y-Coed Petanque Mean
Pen-Y-Coed is Welsh for 'top of the wood' and comes from the time when we had offices in Lower Pen-Y-Coed Nr Welshpool in Wales. We have moved to larger premises Nr Bury St Edmunds Suffolk . We kept the name as it is linked in the Pétanque world to Quality and Service.
Is Pétanque played in the UK
There are over 25,000 players in the UK that play regularly in leagues and competitions. Many Public Houses, Leisure centres and sports grounds have piste's though many are hidden away in corners and under trees and if no one is playing on them they can look just like car parks. Contact us to find details of a club near you or join many of our customers who have laid their own piste in their garden.
What is the difference between Competition Boule and Leisure Boule
It does appear at first glance that all boules are the same, this in fact is not the case. Competition Boule vary in diameter, weight, hardness and pattern or stripes, all within the limitations set out in the Fédération Internationale de Pétanque et Jeu Provençal (F.I.P.J.P.) rules. It must be noted that all boule conforming to the FIPJP rules should have the name of the manufacturer, the type or mark of boule, the weight in grams and a serial number. The player may have his / her name or initials engraved on the boule but this is carried out at the manufacturing stage so as not to alter the balance of the boule in any way. The permissible diameters are from 70.5mm to 80 mm and the weight must be between 650 grams and 800 grams. Even the Hardness of the boule is governed but they are generally classified as Hard or Soft.
Leisure Boule are generally 74 mm dia and are lighter in weight at approx. 660 grms. They are usually guaranteed for a year but there are some very dodgy leisure boule about that need extreme caution if buying. The safest option is to buy from a boule manufacturer who also makes competition boule.
Can you play on Grass
Many people play on grass but the problem is with the landing area. In wet conditions the area can cut up badly and in dry conditions clumps of root can send the boule off at an angle thus disrupting the game and making it less fun. But if you only have grass then that will have to do. But keep a look out for gravel drives, car parks etc that may provide a suitable playing area.
How did Pétanque start
Boule is a generic term covering many ball and jack games i.e. Boccia, Pétanque, Boule Lyonnasie and Jeu Provencal all from the European continent. Boule Lyonnaise is a game similar to Lawn Bowls, played over long distances and a run up is required to launch a metal boule up to 17 metres. Just take a moment here to imagine an English lawn bowl thrown through the air to remove an opponents bowl hitting the bowl without hitting the ground first. Some shot! The athleticism required to play this game makes it a sport for the dedicated sportsman. However the sport of Boule Lyonnaise is the direct relation to Pétanque. A master of the sport of Lyonnaise suffered from arthritis in his latter years and found the running and throwing difficult to maintain with accuracy. In 1910 he devised a game where you stood with your feet together in a circle. With no run up allowed the game was played between six and ten metres from the circle. The game caught on very quickly and the game of Pétanque was born. One of the few sports played at World championship level that was created by a disadvantaged person. With this beginning the sport is indeed suitable for all.
Should I shoot with my last boule
Possibly the most asked question from players who have played for years. We like the statement "Never mess up with your last boule" The reason the question is asked is because many people say it when you have a disaster and give away points or even the game by moving the jack or removing your only boule in the head. So before you shoot with your last boule just take a moment to look at the worst possible scenario because it will probably happen!
What is the Boule in Hand Rule
If you have no more boule left and the jack is deemed dead i.e. moves over a dead boule line or shoots off the piste. All the unthrown boule the opposition have in their hands count as points. However if you have only one boule left to throw the end is deemed dead and the team that started the dead end starts another and no score is given to either team on that dead end. This rule allows you to kill an end without loss of points as long as you have one boule left. Unfortunately it also allows teams to kill the end and score the boule in hand if you have thrown all your boule. For example you have thrown the first point and it is very close. The other team shoot and miss, they shoot again and miss. They then thrown their last four boule and defend the jack so well you would have trouble scoring any more points. The option maybe to kill the end by hitting the jack with a shot. Hopefully the jack is deemed dead and you would score four points from an end where you may have only scored one or two. But back to the last question "Should I shoot with my last boule" you should always weigh up the options of shooting. If the jack moves but does not go dead it may stop you scoring points, remember the opposition shot twice and these two boule may be at the back of the head still live. Yes the jack will land on them if you are unlucky.
Are every countries rules the same
The British rules are a direct translation of the Federation Internationale de Petanque et Jeu Provencal dated 1984 and revised version currently dated 2017. I have always assumed all other countries playing Petanque are playing to the same rules. I have glanced at the USA rules and they seem to confirm this. I understand however the interpretation of the rules may differ from country to country and so differences may occur.
For answers to any other questions you may have please E mail firstname.lastname@example.org