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This is a general discussion forum about petanque. All issues may be discussed here.

Is there a quick form of the game?

Posted by: Michael Baker) at 2013-06-25 03:25:38
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I have a party with 40 people attending. is there a short form of the game allowing us all to participate in say 1 to 1.5 hours? I would appreciate any advice. thank you
Michael Baker, Bristol, England.

Is there a quick form of the game?

Posted by: Raymond Ager) at 2013-06-25 05:31:27
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Yes, there are various ways to adapt/organise a session/tournament (?) for a group.

Firstly, decide if you want to play Doubles, with 40 players, this would divide into 20 teams or Triples, 13 teams with 1 odd-player. If you have an odd/awkward number, you can always juggle numbers to make an even number of teams.

Next, have you got enough sets of boules for everybody to play? i.e. if you have 20 doubles teams, you need 20 sets of 3 boules.

Now you need to decide on the competition format. With, say, 20 teams, you could have a Round Robin with 3 or 4 rounds and an optional 'Final' for the 2 best teams. The simplest option with limited time is to limit the time for each game, e.g. with 1.5 hours, play 3 or 4 rounds, 15 or 20 mins per game, then a final.

The advantage of a Round Robin is that everybody gets to play in all the rounds, plus you can have a final for the 2 best teams.

An alternative is to have a Knock-out. This can be more fun but it means that those who are eliminated no longer play in the comp - unless you also have a Plate comp for the losers.

If you have a multiple of 2, e.g. 8, 16, 32 teams, etc, then you can do a straight KO.

If you have different numbers, e.g. 20 teams, the simplest option for an informal comp is:

Round 1
Draw lots for the 1st round, i.e. 10 games. There will be 10 winners for the next round - the 10 losers won't play (unless you have a 'Plate' competition for them).

Round 2
Draw lots again - there will be 5 games. The 2 winners and the team with a bye go through to Round 3, the losers are eliminated.

Round 3
The 2 winning teams from Round 2 draw lots - one team will play the Bye team from Round 2, the other gets a Bye into the final.

Round 4/Final
The winners of Round 3 play the Bye team for the final.

Again, you need to limit the time for each round, e.g. 20 mins. If teams are equal, either play 1 more end or have a Sudden Death, e.g. the Team Captains both play just 1 boule - ok for a 'fun' event.

This probably sounds more complicated than it actually is!

Feel free to ask if you need further help.

PS If you haven't got enough boules, you'll have to adapt accordingly.

Have fun :-)

Why not take your team to Thailand!

Posted by: jostein setsaas) at 2013-06-26 15:08:17
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Take your team to Pattaya, Petanque.Th, and now so much more. We have eight courts with the very best drained surface, and not to forget floodlight.
PHIMs restaurant proposes all your preferences, and located on the same property. If followers with preference for other activities, like badminton, pool, dart not to forget relaxed in our Thai massage, all at your disposal.
See you. (You find more information on Club Petanque. Th and if you take a look at clubs in Thailand on

Is there a quick form of the game?

Posted by: Petanque America) at 2013-06-27 03:31:21
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Further to Ray's tips:
Instead of clocking the games to 15 or 20 min., I suggest you limit the games to a set number of ends ("mènes" in French). One extra end in case of a tie. With doubles, 3 ends take about 15 min, 4 ends about 20 min. It takes away the pressure of time, needless arguments ("Hurry up, you're taking too long!!"), but has the same result, i.e. that all the games last about as long.
We're using it for compact tournaments all the time, and it works great.
I would definitely go for the round-robin format, not only to allow everyone to play several games, but also so they know at the start who they'll play against in round 1, 2 and 3. No need for a draw in between games. If their next opponent is ready, and a court available, they can start the game, even if others are still finishing theirs.
Then rank the teams based on wins/losses and point spread, followed by a final.
Have fun!

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