Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Boules is a collective name for a wide range of games in which the objective is to throw or roll heavy balls (called boules in France, and "bocce" in Italy) as close as possible to a small target ball.
Boules-type games are traditional and popular in France, Italy, Malta and Croatia, some former French colonies and also in my native Netherlands (see pictures). In those countries, boules games are often played in open spaces (town squares and parks) in villages and towns. Dedicated playing areas for boules-type games are typically large, level, rectangular courts made of flattened earth, gravel, or crushed stone, enclosed in wooden rails or back boards.
In the south of France, the word boules is also often used as a synonym for pétanque. Coloured berets make for ideal team recognition!