Pétanque in Almuñécar is very popular in the winter months, when the “snow birds” all flock to Almuñécar. Here in Spain it is referred to as Petanca. The play areas can be quite crowded, so some groups have even stopped publishing the days and times they meet. That said, you can pretty much count on it any day the sun is out, which is nearly every day!
How to play Pétanque
- Split into two teams of two, this is the most common way pétanque is played. In this case, each player would get three balls (called boules in pétanque).
- Split into two teams of three. Each player would get two balls.
- Play one against one. Each player would get three balls
Preparing to start Pétanque
- It’s time to pass out the boules to the team members and make sure you have the Jack!
- Pétanque boules should be metal, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, and weigh 1.5 pounds (700g).
- The Jack (one target ball, also known as the “cochonnet”), should be 1.25 inches (3 cm) in diameter.
- Draw a circle on the ground about 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter.
- Whenever any player is playing they must stand in the circle, and both of their feet must be planted on the ground in the circle.
- Determine which team will go first.
- This can be a coin toss or any other means to determine who starts.
Time to play Pétanque in Almuñécar!
- The first team should have a member stand in the circle and toss the jack. The jack can be tossed in any direction and should be at least 3 feet (1 m) away from any other object. It should also be between 20-33 feet (6-10 meters) away from your circle.
- A different member of the first team will start play and toss the first boule, by standing in the circle and aiming for the jack. The process of tossing a boule and aiming for the jack is called “pointing”.
- The second team will now have a member stand in the circle and toss their boule, aiming for the jack.
- The goal for the second team is to get closer to the jack with their boule than the first team did. Whichever team’s boule is closest to the jack, gets the point.
- The second team must keep playing until they have the point. For example, if the second team tosses a boule and it doesn’t land closer to the jack than the first team’s boule, they would have to toss another one. This would continue until they get a boule closer to the jack than the first team’s boule. If they run out of boules before they have the point, the game is over and the first team wins.
- Alternate between teams every time a new team has the point. If a member of the second team tosses a boule and it lands the closest to the jack, it would then be the first team’s turn. If the first team then tosses a boule and it lands closer to the jack than the second team’s boule, play alternates back to the second team. This continues until both teams are out of boules.
- The game is over once both teams are out of boules. If one team uses all of their boules before the other, the other team gets a chance to use the rest of their boules. The game is over once all of the boules have been tossed from both teams.
- Only the team that has the point (one of their boules is closest to the jack) at the end of the game gets a score. The winning team gets one point for each of their boules that are closer to the jack than the losing team’s boule that is closest to the jack.
Let’s do it again!
Draw a new circle on the ground where the jack is to start a new round. The new circle is now where all players must stand to toss their boules. The winning team from the previous round goes first. The first team to earn a total of 13 points wins the game. There is not a required number of rounds that must be played.
Where can we play Pétanque in Almuñécar?
There are actually several great locations to play Pétanque around the area, but you will often see it being played in a couple of locations. The first is at the fútbol pitch on San Cristobal beach between Chinasol and Hotel Helios. The second is at Pozuelo Park, just across from Pozuelo beach, at the far end of Velilla beach. Follow these links to view a map to the local beaches and local parks.
Pétanque on San Cristobal Beach
Pétanque on Pozuelo Park
There is a group that meets every Sunday at 09:45 – 10:00 by the kiosk in the park, to start playing at 10:30. Anyone who wants to play can just turn up and join in. They will have boules available to lend to anyone, if you don’t have your own or if you would prefer to try out petanca before you buy your own set.
Pétanque Playa Puerta del Mar
Wednesdays at 09:30
Additional references with instructional photos:
- Club de Petanca Internacional de Almuñecar
- Playaboule rules and photos on how to play
- Wikihow – which is where we obtained most of our directions
- Almuñécar games on San Cristobal
So tell us what you think. Do you play? Do you have a club or team that we should mention here? Please comment below.
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