WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL BLOG for La Pétanque Marinière in San Rafael, California. LPM has been an active Marin pétanque club since 1972 and affiliated with the Fédération of Pétanque USA, since 1975. We welcome people of all abilities, ages and nationalities to come and enjoy pétanque with us.

The Pierre Joske Courts are located on Civic Center drive in San Rafael. (click for directions). Casual games are played every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from about 1 pm. Tournament play is usually held on the second Sunday of every month.

Please consult the links on the sidebar to the right for more information on clubs in the bay area, nationally and world wide.

If you would like to play but haven't any boules, please contact our President, Christine Cragg, or Ken Lee. They can bring some for you to use, as well as introduce you to the basic skills and techniques of pétanque. In addition, if you are looking to purchase boules but are unsure as to which size and weight are right for you, we have a range of different examples from which to choose.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

pétanque vs bocce

A question often asked is "What is the difference between bocce, the Italian bowling game and pétanque?"
The difference is this: traditional bocce is more of a bowling game, whereas pétanque is more of a tossing game, like horseshoes.
Bocce players take steps before throwing, pétanque players stand still.
Bocce balls are usually rolled palm up, pétanque balls tossed palm down, so they get backspin upon release.
Pétanque balls are the size of an orange, hollow, and always made of metal.
Bocce balls are larger and solid, about the size of a grapefruit, colored (green & red are popular), and generally made of resin or wood.
Bocce has different variations as to court size and layout. The court should be smooth and flat; some rules call for wooden sideboards to make it an enclosed area.
Pétanque can be played on almost any terrain; most players actually prefer an uneven terrain to make it more challenging.
The counting of points and game tactics are very similar between the two games.
Overall pétanque is more flexible (no need to find a court), and the equipment is easier to carry around. For the record, there is a variation of bocce ("bocce volo") where balls are delivered palm down and metal balls are used. The players run-up in this one is spectacular, similar to "boule Provençale", the forefather of pétanque.

courtesy of Pétanque America

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