Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Returning Soon: Bryant Park Pétanque

Ever wondered what that game played in the park close to 6th Avenue was? We hope you haven't been calling it bocce! The game with steel balls in the gravel is Pétanque, the French game of boules.



Pétanque (pronounced pay-tonk), was first played in 1907 at La Ciotat, a village in the south of France. Derived from ancient Greek and Roman bowling games, pétanque is related to the Italian game of bocce, but a completely different game in practice. Today pétanque is played in more than 70 countries around the world.

La Boule New Yorkaise, a pétanque club based in New York City, has been promoting the game across the US for over 40 years. We're lucky enough to have them as our partner in the park. They offer free lessons to the public on weekdays from 11am to 6pm, hold tournaments, and attract internationally renowned pétanque players to join us in the park. See pétanque come to life in this short video, and study up on the rules below, so you can join in the fun.


The Pétanque Courts are also available for party rentals and special events. Arrange an office tournament for team spirit, or celebrate a birthday party with a French twist. Pair this with a toast at the Southwest Porch, and an instructor to learn the game. It’s a taste of Paris right here in Bryant Park. 


THE PETANQUE MATCH

1. A coin toss determines which team begins the match.

2. A player on the first team begins by drawing a circle 14" to 20" in diameter on the ground and tossing the jack a distance of 6.5 to 11 yards from the circle.

3. Standing inside the circle, a player from the first side throws a ball to place it as close as possible to the jack. While throwing a ball, a player's feet must not completely lift off the ground or step out of the circle.

4. Now it is the second team's turn to play a ball.

5. A player from the second team now plays a ball. After both teams have played a ball, the team that does NOT have the closest ball to the jack must keep playing until it gets the closest ball or runs out of balls.


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