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05/06/2010

"Alors, tu tires ou tu pointes", Pétanque


These two photos were taken in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris (Association Sportive du Jardin du Luxembourg - Section Pétanque).
They are showing people playing Pétanque, a form of boules where the goal is, while standing with the feet together in a small circle, to throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (jack). The game is normally played on hard dirt or gravel.The current form of the game originated in 1907 in La Ciotat, in Provence, in southern France. The English and French name pétanque comes from la petanca in the Provençal dialect of the Occitan language, deriving from the expression pès tancats, meaning "feet together" or more exactly "feet anchored".The casual form of the game of Pétanque is played by about 17 million people in France, mostly during their summer vacations.
Throughout the world, there are many outdoor games that have as their central activity the competitive pitching of a heavy ball along the ground so as to arrive closer to a target than one's opponent. The English have their lawn bowling, which is played on a manicured lawn and has several sub-types. The Italians have their Bocce; the South Slavs their Balinaje, etc...The French game pétanque is among the more aggressive versions and is played by more people all over the world than any other.


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