From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A set of balls, as they are used for Pétanque.
Boulodrome in La Palmyre, France
Players examine the result of a competition

Boules is the name for a number of similar hand-games, which are played with heavy balls. In most cases, the aim of the game is to throw a ball, and to get it as close as possible to an object ball (small ball). Variants of these games include pétanque, which is popular in France, boccia from Italy, and bowls from Great Britain.

Today, these games are played with balls made of metal, which weight between 800 grams (28 oz) and 1,500 grams (53 oz).

History[change | change source]

Such games have a long history. In the 5th century BC, Greek physician Hippocrates of Kos recommended the game. It used stone balls at the time. Julius Pollux, a Greek scholar who lived in the 2nd century, described a game where bowls were thrown at a brick. Boule Lyonnaise, and boccia (soft pétanque) go back to this game.

During the Middle Ages, the game was forbidden at various times. In the 17th century, some people wanted to promote games such as battledore and shuttlecock, and argued against boules which, at the time, was more popular.