Petanque, five things to get right for a super throw, Release 4


To recap, you have sorted out your feet, in the circle and with a firm balanced base. The grip on the boule is good with no involvement of the thumb. You have brought your throwing arm back and during the throw have kept it nice and straight. The longer you keep the boule moving in a straight line when you are holding it the straighter it will go once you have let go of it. Well that’s it then, off goes the boule in a straight line. Strange because it keeps going straight until it hits that stone that sends it sideways. Oh another stone! Could it be all that good work early in the throw has been undone at the very last moment? If the boule disappears during its flight behind your arm or hand as you let it go then the throw has been sabotaged at the last minute by a poor release. I simple way to check it to keep your hand still at the moment of release. Your arm should be in a straight line from the backswing. If you are bringing your hand across your body this will give a side spin to the boule. Not a lot but enough to sent it off course once it hits the ground. Some players swing their arm outwards as they throw. This has the same effect but not as common as the arm across the body. It can seem natural to pull your arm across your body but this places spin on the boule. You have seen golfers practicing putting without a club. The same can be done with a petanque throw. Just put your feet together and with backswing bring your arm forward and straight with a nice follow through. Your hand should be straight at release. Give a few swings to get the idea when you are practicing. Palm should be facing down and no twisting of the wrist should occur during the throw. As mentioned in the backswing section The boule should rest on the fingers when the boule is being thrown so as the arm comes forward the centrifugal force acting on the boule is pushing the boule onto the fingers. This will lead to a rolling off the finger tips as the boule is released and backspin occurs naturally. The stiffness of the fingers can create more or less backspin. This is a trick most top player’s use to deadly effect. It can be done with practice and can be a useful tool on fast pistes when you want the boule to land and roll. If you have heard the term “soft hands” that is what they are talking about.

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