Make sense of... French boules games

Playing boules has a long history in France, probably even going back to the Romans and, contrary to its image, it is not limited to the south.

The game of boules – especially its most famous form, pétanque – has a typically French image, but expats can expect to be made to feel at home if they want to take part, says Clément Meneghin of the national federation FFPJP.

Mr Meneghin said one of the main reasons people join pétanque clubs is their friendliness.

“As it’s a game that was born in France, the French are always very happy to see people of other nationalities taking an interest,” he said.

“Another advantage is that it suits all ages – you can start when you’re five or six and still be playing at 80 if you’re in good health.

“It’s skilful, but doesn’t require huge physical effort, though if you’re playing competitively you need stamina, because competitions can last a long time.

“You also need calm, patience and concentration. Nervous ...

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