Petanque in the Park

Pa – wha? Is usually the response I get. So it’s okay if that was yours too. Just say pay then tank with a snooty French accent. That’s it!

Okay, now what is it? Let’s start from the beginning.

When man climbed out of the primordial soup, or pretty near there to, it’s been well documented that he liked to throw things at other things.  Invented in France around the time of Arch Duke Ferdinand’s assassination, petanque is just a sophisticated version of that eternal pass time: throwing stuff.


So, instead of throwing a rock at, say, a mastodon, you try to get your boule (or ball, see above) as close to the cochonnet (literally means little piglet) as you can. How do you do that? Good question.


Like this, mainly. Note the under hand throw, very important.

Let’s say you get a really good point. Hurray for you! Meet The Shooter.

Ze "Shooter"

Basically, he throws the ball, the ball hits your ball, you go bye-bye.  Superior. For every boule your team has closer at the end of a round, you get 1 point. First to 13 wins. Ready, set, go!

How did I come upon this odd and incredibly addictive game? About 3 years ago I was procrastinating on some research I had to do at the New York Public Library. Bryant Park, directly behind the library, is an oh-so-nice place to procrastinate and while getting my coffee from the Witchcraft stand (better than you think it would be) I saw a group of people throwing stuff. About ten thousand games later, I’m still hooked.



I’m pretty sure I hit that one. Maybe.

Until next time. I’m thinking the Yankees. The Staten Island Yankees that is.


Leave a comment

Filed under Manhattan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s