The Petanque Club of Oakmont invites you to play the French game of Petanque. Petanque rules of play are similar to the Italian game of Bocce, in which players try to get closest to a small ball, the cochonnet (pallino in Bocce). Petanque is played on an open rather than a bordered court, is more a throwing game than a rolling game, and is played with smaller, metal ‘boules.’

Petanque is easy to learn, and we always have extra boules. It is not necessary to call anyone to say whether you are playing or not. Just show up at 9:45 a.m. on the designated Club play days of Wednesday and Saturday, when we divide into random teams and play. We will be delighted to introduce you to the game and if you enjoy it, joining the Club is easy – just sign up to be listed on the roster. No membership fees are required. The courts are also reserved for Club and open pick-up games on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 10 AM for those seeking additional play times. The Petanque courts are located in the Central Activities Complex next to the OVA maintenance building between the Berger Center and the OVA offices and you can park in the small lot off Oakmont Drive behind the Umpqua Bank.

Petanque Courts – Central Activity Complex off Oakmont Drive Designated Club Play Days:
Wednesdays & Saturdays:
Meet at 9:45 AM & Play at 10:00 AM
Additional Open and Pick-up Play:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday:
Meet at 9:45 AM & Play at 10:00 AM

Contact Information:
Max Hinchman, Chair
Phone: 583-7669
Don McPherson, Assistant Chair
Phone: 724-388-0588


The annual Oktoberfest celebration, canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, will kick off on Saturday, October 16, at 9:30 a.m. at the Pétanque Courts with registration for the Oktoberfest Tournament (melée format: randomly assigned teams). The Tournament, the club’s second of 2021, is limited by the capacity of the courts to the first 18 registrants.
Club member Jean-michel Poulnot is the tournament director who will handle registration and randomization of teams. Play begins at 9:45 a.m. Winning teams will be announced at the conclusion. A Potluck Lunch, to which all club members are invited whether playing or not, as well as their spouses/partners/companions, will begin at approximately 12 noon.

All About Boules

Playing pétanque is relatively inexpensive since the game requires just a set of three identically patterned boules. The Club has boules for lending to players new to the game. But at some point most players want to have their own boules, which are metal, sold in sets of three, and last for years. Boules are finished both in smooth surfaces and in various patterns so players can distinguish them.

Boules fall into three categories: “leisure,” higher grade leisure, and “competition.” Leisure boules are chrome and a set typically costs about $20. Higher grade leisure boules are usually stainless steel and typically cost about $70. Competition boules are various grades of specialty alloy and typically range from about $70 – $325.

A Busy July

The Club has wrapped up a busy July and returned to regular Wednesday-Saturday play while looking forward to participating in OVA’s Join a Club Night on September 28 and to the next tournament, Oktoberfest, on Saturday, October 16.

Bastille Day 2021

Jean-michel Poulnot, en béret and fully dressed for the part, led the assembly in his inimitable and always rousing rendition of La Marseillaise. During the potluck picnic lunch that followed, Debbie Knapp provided surprise entertainment, playing cabaret tunes on her accordion and musically transporting the pétancoeurs to the banks of the Seine.

Bastille Day Tournament

The Pétanque Club looks forward with great anticipation to sponsoring its first tournament of the year on Bastille Day, Wednesday, July 14. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.


Playing pétanque is easy, but like most sports playing it well requires focus. By rule, a player whose turn it is to throw has one minute to do so. Alec Stone Sweet of FPUSA urges intentional use of that time. “Never point or shoot until you feel ready to do so,” Sweet advises, “get balanced and comfortable” in the circle, both physically and mentally. “If you miss a shot or play badly, step out of the round, take a deep breath; give yourself a chance to rethink what you are going to do.” Sweet agrees with the maxim that throwing too quickly will almost always yield sloppy play.

Club Play Every Wednesday, Saturday

With French star players unable to compete and fans unable to watch live televised matches on the French sports television channel, L’Equipe, due to the pandemic, two championship players created the Facebook Group “Club Maboule” and organized a virtual national precision shooting tournament broadcast live on Facebook. The top competitors comprised a never-before-assembled group of renowned men’s and women’s players for the marksmanship challenge.


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Pétanque Club

PLAYING TIP: SLOW IT DOWNThe official Pétanque rules specify that a next throw must be made within a minute of the previous throw or completion


Boules being tossed on leisurely afternoons in Provençal village squares dotted with plane trees, or on gravel-patch streets in front of cafés bordered outside by


Awaiting play for an Inauguration Day pickup game. French expatriates brought pétanque with them when emigrating to the U.S. and Canada. In the early 1950s


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Petanque Club 12-15-2019

Don McPherson PÉTANQUE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS The 17th Women and Juniors Pétanque World Championships, a six-day competition involving 449 athletes from 49 countries, concluded November 24

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Don McPherson LEARNING PÉTANQUE Pétanque, the French game of boules, is a fun, social game popular worldwide that people of all skill and physical ability

Pétanque Club (5/15/2019)

Don McPherson LEARNING PÉTANQUE Pétanque is a fun, social game popular world-wide that people of all skill and physical ability levels can play. If you’re

Petanque Club (5/1/2019)

Don McPherson LEARNING PÉTANQUE Pétanque is a fun, social game that takes minutes to learn . . . “and a lifetime to master!” If you’re

Pétanque Club (4/15/2019)

Don McPherson POINTING: THE CRITICAL FIRST BOULE Typically pétanque is played as singles (3 boules each player), doubles (3 boules each) or triples (2 boules

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Don McPherson The Oakmont Pétanque (“pay-tonk”) Club plays daily Monday – Saturday at 10 AM at the Pétanque courts located in the Central Activities Complex