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Petanque 4 metres of fun!

We have looked at how to throw a boule when pointing and now we are looking to control the game! The game of petanque is played between 6 and 10 metres hence the four metres of fun. If you have a favourite jack length then the following maybe of interest.

Throwing the jack

We talked about landing your boule accurately in an area that would provide the best chance of your boule, upon landing, rolling close to the jack. It is clear if the area you choose to land your boule is a four inch deep pile of stones on the piste your boule will not roll much further. However if you liked the area and a high lob into this deep surface would suit you! Well you could throw the jack there. Cunning! Equally you may prefer a fast area of the piste, a favourite slope or a short or long jack. This session we discuss how to use these and other potentially good landing spots by throwing the jack accurately. When watching a game you may sometimes see the pointer walk up the piste before he throws the Cochonnet. The pointer is looking for any subtle areas in the surface of the piste that may cause problems if he throws the Cochonnet in that particular direction. Some pointers may be looking for a softer or deeper layer of topping they can lob into or a thinner harder surface if the oppositions pointer has been successfully lobbing. Remember from the last tips that you can walk up the piste and even test the potential landing area if required before you throw the Cochonnet. FFPJP Article 10. This can be done by tapping your boule no more than three times on the surface before the jack is thrown. This may seem ridiculous as the depth of the piste can normally be felt by walking on the piste, but occasionally that stone sticking proud is actually the tip of a boulder. Landing on this will see your boule whizz off the terrain at any angle it chooses. Other hazards could be small hollows filled with gravel that would stop a boule but not felt by walking up the piste. We may seem to be taking this too far but looking at the piste before throwing the jack will help all your boule count. You would not choose to play doubles with only four or five boule against six. Try not to take too long over this look at the piste. With practice you will get away with a glance and just one tap on a suspect area.

We are straying away from the detail however. The main point is if you want to play at seven metres, nine and half metres, like lobbing into deeper surfaces, like rolling over harder terrain, the position is the same. If you cannot throw the Cochonnet were you want to play, you will be struggling to control the game. If the opposition fail to throw a legal jack then you can place it just where you want it but life is not always a simple as relying on the opposition's mistakes

Throwing the Cochonnet is very important. It should be thrown like a small boule, with some backspin and a gentle loop in the air. The picture shows how to hold the jack. Gently in the fingertips but firm enough to give backspin. The middle finger is used as a guide and the jack is held between index and ring finger. As with throwing a boule, the thumb is not in contact with the jack at all. On a hard piste the jack will roll a long way, hence the back spin. On a deep piste it can be lobbed just like a boule. The amount of backspin and height is a matter of practise for the individual and of course depends on the terrain. Using string circles try to consistently place the Cochonnet in a circle 10 inches or 25 cm in diameter. If you wish, use the circle's to land in so the jack rolls to the target circle. It is important to use very fine marking for these landing circle's so as not to disrupt the natural roll of the jack. Vary the distances so you can be prepared for all eventualities. You may wish to play at seven metres but if your opposition are hitting everything at that distance you may try to stretch the jack out a bit if you manage to get it back that is! Practise all the lengths so you can accurately throw the jack there consistently. Have fun!

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