Pétanque

THE HISTORY OF PÉTANQUE.

A game similar to petanque was already played in the ancient Greece and Rome using round stones, and the Romans were the ones to invent the jack (the but).

But the barbarian invasions put the game on hold until the middle ages, where it was played until Charles IV forbade it because he preferred his subjects to perfect themselves in archery instead.

In the sixteenth century pope Jules II, wanting the Holy See to have a prevailing role in Europe, created a formidable stone thrower fellowship that brilliantly fought the French, the Venetians and the Spanish.  This is the first time the game landed in France.

In 1629, the game was once again shelved, because the manufacturers of the game of real tennis, an ancestor of our modern day tennis, conspired and obtained a ban on the game. Nevertheless, the game continued to be secretly played in many monasteries. The monks were the first to build covered “boulodromes”.

The deadliest ever “partie de pétanque” with 38 casualties happened in Marseille in 1792, the game was played with cannon balls in a convent where the military stored gunpowder.

The pétanque as we know it today was born in 1907 and the first official competition took place in Ciotat near Marseille in 1908.

The game can be enjoyed in Hong Kong since 2007, the year of the creation of the first local petanque club (Hong Kong Petanque Club).

In December 2009, "Les Boules", the first indoor petanque cafe in the world, opened in Hong Kong.