Petanque for beginners: Three main pointing throws

By Mr.Bordsenius at 2001-01-15

There are probably three main pointing throws in Pétanque:-
a.) "The High Lob" (French- la portée sometimes la plombée),
b.) "The Half Lob" (la demi portée) and
c.) "The Rolling Throw" ( la roulette).

THE HIGH LOB (la portée or la plombée)
The "high lob" is the most difficult of the three pointing throws, and requires a great deal of height and a lot of backspin to prevent theboule rolling forward too much. The idea is to throw the boule up and across landing as close to the coche as possible then stopping without moving forward too much. At times the throw is executed so well that the boule stops dead where it lands. The throw is difficult to master but a very effective one when carried out correctly. This throw is particularly useful on rough and uneven terrains.

THE HALF LOB ( la demi'portée)
The most frequent and common way of pointing is the "half lob". Most players adopt this as their standard form for throwing their boule, for many others it is their only way. The half lob is throwing your boule so that it lands between the circle where you are standing and the target, allowing the boule to run along the terrain for the rest of the way to the target. The terrain needs to be reasonably smooth, to allow the boule to roll forward in a line directly to the target.

THE ROLLING THROW (la roulette)
The last of the pointing throws is the rolling throw, as the name implies your boule is rolled all the way from your circle to the coche. This throw of course requires a terrain with a very smooth surface. There are two main variations of "la roulette". The directed roll (la roulette dirigee) is usually executed from a semi crouching position, and the "la roulette Bonne Maman" where you bend forward from your waist and release the boule close to your feet.
Note: Whether you stand, bend forward or squat to make a throw depends largely on the type of terrain you are using. As a general rule for pointing, you need to be higher off the ground on a terrain that is rough, and closer to the ground when the terrain is smooth.

You will no doubt at some time come across the expression "Reading the Terrain". All that is meant by this is, the need to carefully survey the terrain you are playing on. Not just at the beginning of a game or even at the start of each end. Do it throughout the game, keep a keen lookout for the parts of the terrain that can gain you or your team an advantage, or the parts of the terrain that will put you at a disadvantage. Every time you throw a coche or your boule, learn to make the terrain work on your behalf. Do this consistently wherever you play till it becomes second nature and you will have some pleasant surprises to look forward to.

Learn to be at ease on whatever terrain you play on. Match your pointing and your shooting with the terrain you are playing on. Do this and you will never go away from a game, blaming a bad or difficult terrain for your failure.

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