Petanque in Ireland
If you enjoy good company and friendly competition, you will enjoy playing petanque.
It is a simple game to learn, costs very little and can be played almost anywhere outdoors by young and old.
We are here to help you enjoy our sport at whatever level you wish to play - whether the occasional game with family or friends, or want to play at a more competitive level.
If you have never played petanque and would like to try the game, contact your nearest club.
Visitors are always assured of a warm welcome. If you would like more information about forming a club or building a playing area ('piste'), or indeed anything related to petanque, please contact the secretary.
The Irish Petanque Association (IPA) was set up in 1990. It is the governing body for the sport in North and Republic Ireland. It comprises of affiliated clubs, those belonging to affiliated clubs and others who also play outside of a formal club structure.
Our aim is to promote the development of this sport in Ireland for everyone, regardless of age, gender or ability.
For such a small country, clubs tend to be located at considerable distance from one another. The IPA seeks to bring people together through its competition programme and facilitating major club events.
Since the IPA's inception, we have always competed in the annual Celtic Challenge with Scotland and Wales and, on occasion, in the Home Nations Tournament.
The IPA is affiliated with to the Confederation Europeene de Petanque (CEP) and the Federation Internationale de Petanque et Jeu Provencale (FIPJP) which is the global governing body of the sport.
Ireland has competed in the World Championships and the European Championships. Ireland has also been represented in the Ladies' World Championship in 2013.
Any organisation wishing to find out more detail about the game or events should contact us or clubs that are affiliated to the IPA.
Irish Petanque Association Constitution
The Irish Petanque Association Constitution is available here
Irish Petanque Association Council
New Officers will be published in News Above in the IPA minutes document.
Irish Petanque Association Membership
The IPA offers the following types of membership:
I. Affiliated Club: A local club becomes an IPA affiliated club, on the payment of the required fee.
II. Affiliated Member: Members of an IPA affiliated club who pay the required fee.
III. Ordinary Member: Anyone who is not a member of an affiliated club becomes and ordinary member on payment of the required fee. Categories at (ii) and (iii) will be eligible to compete in all IPA competitions and will be entitled to attend and vote at AGMs. Under 18s in categories (ii) and (iii) are regarded as 'junior' members.
IV. Honorary Lifetime Membership: Conferred on individuals who, in the opinion of the IPA Council, have made a significant contribution to Petanque in Ireland.
Irish Petanque Association Insurance
The Irish Petanque Association carries a global insurance that covers members of affiliated clubs, affiliated and ordinary members, whether they are playing in club events, national events, international events or merely practicing.
Irish Petanque Association Fees
The Irish Petanque Association Fees
New Fees Structure will be in the minutes in the News Section.
Irish Petanque Association Annual General Meeting
The Irish Petanque Association Minutes of AGMs
Policy: An AGM is required to be held before the end of February. The IPA's Constitution sets out the conduct and business to be considered at an AGM.
New AGM minutes will be uploaded in the News Section.
How To Play
1. The game is played in teams of one, two or three players. Players may combine in teams of four, or indeed any number, but these groupings are no used in competitions.
2. The first team to play is chosen by tossing a coin. Any player in the team winning the toss chooses the starting place, and draws or places a circle on the ground, in which to stand. The circle should be between 35cm and 50cm. The jack (cochonnet) is then thrown between 6m and 10m away an no nearer than 1m* from any obstacle (wall, tree, etc). Both the thrower's feet must remain in the circle until the jack has reached the ground
* Local circumstances may require a change to this distance, generally 50cm to 1m.
3. Any player from this team then throws the first boule, trying to place it as near as possible to the jack. The player’s feet must remain in the circle until the boule has landed.
4. A player in the second team then enters the circle and tries to throw his boule nearer to the jack, or knock away the leading boule placed there by the other team.
5. The boule nearest to the jack leads. Then it is up to a player in the team not leading to throw, until his own team gets a leading boule. If this happens, then a player from the opposing team takes his turn to throw.
6. When a team has no more boules, the players of the other team throw their remaining boules and try to place them as close as possible to the jack. When the teams have no more boules, the points are counted.
7. The winning team gets as many points as it has boules which are better placed that the best boule of the losing team. For example, if Team A has three boules nearer to than the nearest one of Team B, then Team A scores three points. Use a measuring device when the distance from the jack cannot be judged by the eye.
9. An end (mene) is over when each team has thrown all its boules. A new end is started by a player of the team which won the previous end. As before, a circle** is drawn, the jack is thrown from it and the game continues until, after completion of an end, one the teams has achieved 13 points in total.
** Generally, the circle is drawn around the point where the jack finished in the previous end, unless this position does not allow the jack to be thrown within the rules, eg, max 10m.
Rules of the game
Please see this document from the Federation Internationale de Petanque et Jeu Provencale to learn about the rules of the game.
Building a Piste
For International competitions and national championships the minimum dimensions of a single piste are 15 m x 4 m with a 30 cm surround before any solid barriers. These dimensions, however, are frequently altered for club and leisure situations to take account of limited space situations. Many club pistes are 12 m x 3 m.
Petanque may be played on any surface but grass is not recommended. Gravel or hard earth is the favoured surface. Topsoil should be removed to a depth of 6 to 8 inches (150 - 200 mm) and a layer of hard-core, brick rubble, stone etc laid in the bottom. This should be compacted down to approximately 4 inches (100mm) using a wacker plate or Roller. The area can now be filled with crushed quarry stone 1 ½ inch down to dust. This is known as type 1 subbase or scalpings. A heavy roller over this, if it is not too dry, will provide a hard firm surface. However if played on at this stage the large stones will come to the surface. The area will need subsequent rolling and watering to settle the stones down. A shower of rain (hosepipe) would be beneficial.
A solid surround of some sort is usual to a playing area to prevent boules that are out of play rolling considerable distances or causing injury. A wide variety of items are seen used for this purpose, most commonly, old railway sleepers, planks old kerb stones, old telegraph poles etc. Depending on the size of the edging available it can be incorporated at any stage after digging 4-6 inches (100-150 cm) above the finished playing area.
Once the material so far included has been very well compacted, a thin layer of limestone grit or 3mm gravel should be spread over the area and rolled until relatively even. The ideal surface will take some time to appear as some pistes take time to settle. During the first year you may find soft areas appearing where for frequent boule landings take place. The surface can be maintained by raking the surface with a wire leaf rake. Care should be taken to try to place the jack in differing areas of the piste. Boules make good whackers for the surface. Any large stones working their way to the surface should be removed from the area.
The overall surface should not be “Billiard Table” level so that a certain amount of thought and skill will be required to cope with the odd small irregularities in the surface. A piste should be an ever changing surface as the above structure compresses with rolling, whacking, rainfall, general play and a constant walking up and down of the players
Code of Behaviour
During all competitions in individual games players are expected to
1. Play and abide by the rules of the game as instructed by the organiser(s) and umpire(s) of the day.
2. Play the game in a sporting manner including completion of all games and series of games.
3. Not use foul, abusive or insulting language particularly to other players, officials and spectators.
4. Accept without argument the decision of the umpire
5. Observe the correct dress of the day 6. Not drink alcohol during games for the duration of the competition. Arriving under the influence at the start of the day is unacceptable 7. Not smoke during games or on the terrain at any time (Even if on the terrain and watching another game).
8. Not leave bags and other personal items, including drinks, on the piste. They must be a minimum of 30 cm outside the dead ball line so as not to constitute an obstacle. 9. Not to leave unplayed boules on the playing area. They may be left behind the dead ball line at the playing end of the piste. 10. Switch off mobile phones during games
11. Any player found to be in breach of this code of behavior will be considered to be guilty of improper behavior, and liable to any penalties which may be specified
(a) in the IPA or club constitution
(b) in the IPA or club b ehaviour code or
(c) by the organiser(s) before during a particular game or event.
Spectators (Note that players are spectators for the purpose of any game other than that in which they are playing).
1. Spectators must observe total silence when a player is preparing to throw a boule as required by article 17 of the FIPJP rules.
2. Only players involved in a particular game and the umpire(s)of the day are permitted on the piste during play. Spectators, friends etc may not enter the playing area to advise, coach or otherwise communicate with the players.
3. Supporters and/or family or friends must not encroach onto the terrain or allow any pets or children to do so during play.
4. Spectators should refrain from making or receiving telephone calls anywhere near where games are in progress.
5. Any Spectator who, through his or her actions causes a disruption or disturbance on the piste, shall be removed from the ground as possible disciplinary action and/or suspension of license, if applicable and depending on the severity of the fence
Running a Competition
Following its AGM on 23rd February 2008, the IPA council re-adopted much of its existing competition policy, but also agreed on a number of significant changes.
These were principally that
(a) When competition dates have been agreed, they will not be re-arranged, regardless of how few entrants.
(b) For IPA national competitions, a minimum of 4 entries are required to make a competition viable, other wise it will be cancelled.
(c) Pre-determined competition formats have been established for IPA National competitions
(d) A Selection panel has been set up to determine teams for the Celtic Challenge
(e) Separate arrangements have been agreed for selecting a team for World Championships.
The Full Competition Policy is available HERE
Paperwork for formats other than those shown here may be available. Contact the Hon. Secretary in the first instance.
How to play
How to play (Video)
Rules of the game
Building a piste
Code of behaviour
Running IPA Competition
IPA Singles 2007
Winner: Pierre Di Pizzo (L)
Runner Up: Humberto Tavares (R)
IPA Doubles 2007
Sylver Breteche (L)
Gilles Breteche (R)
IPA Doubles 2007
Winners: Humberto Tavares (L) and
George Davidson (R)
IPA Singles 2008
Winner: Fayaz Sookhary
IPA Doubles 2008
Winners: Fayaz Sookhary (L) and
John O'Grady (R)
IPA Triples 2008
Winners: David Beck (L)
Jim Ryan (M)
Humberto Tavares (R)
IPA Doubles 2009
Winners: Fayaz Sookhary (L)
John O'Grady (R)
IPA Triples 2009
Winners: John O'Grady (L)
Jack Di Pizzo (M)
Martin Lovisek (R)
IPA Singles 2009
Winner: Fayaz Sookhary
No Competition Info from 2010
No Competition Info from 2011
IPA Singles 2012 - 02 June 2012
Winner: Arshaad Dooreemeah
IPA Doubles 2012 - 24 March 2012
Winners: Junette Bostrom (L) and
Jim Ryan (R)
IPA Triples 2012 - 21 April 2012
Winners: Humbero Tavares (L)
Jack Di Pizzo (M)
Pierre Di Pizzo (R)
2012 CELTIC CHALLENGE
The 2012 Celtic Challenge was played in beautiful sunshine over 5/6 May, at North Down PC premises at Pickie Bowling Club, Bangor.
After the first day’s play, the situation was fairly close with Scotland and Ireland A on 14 wins, Wales on 13 wins and
Ireland B on 7 wins. However, on day 2, Scotland pulled away to finish with 31 wins, their second successive win in the
competition. The final results are shown below.
Of particular mention is the performance of Scotland 1 ( Paul Bretenoux, Robbie Stronach and John Wilson ) who finished
as ‘top triple’ with victories in all 12 matches for the second year running. Interestingly, one of their tightest games was
against Ireland B3 ( Owen Kelleher, Adam Kelleher and ‘Misty’ ) who matched them all the way before losing 13 – 11.
The top Irish Triple was Ireland A4 ( Richard Elvin, Sebastien Stevenot and Arshaad Dooreemeah. )The top Welsh Triple
was Wales 4 ( Peter Beresford, Gay Evans and Kon Tomczk )
1. Scotland 31 Wins + 124 points
2. Ireland A 26 Wins + 32 points
3. Wales 25 Wins + 23 points
4. Ireland B 14 Wins - 179 points
Ireland A1 Ireland A2 Ireland A3 Ireland A4
Ireland B1 Ireland B2 Ireland B3 Ireland B4
Scotland 1 Scotland 2 Scotland 3 Scotland 4
Wales 1 Wales 2 Wales 3 Wales 4
IPA Singles 2013
IPA Doubles 2013
IPA Triples 2013
IPA Singles 2014
IPA Doubles 2014
Winners: Gilles Breteche (L)
Sylver Breteche (R)
IPA Triples 2014
IPA National Club Doubles 2014 - 24 May 2014
Winners: George Davidson
Winning Club: North Down
IPA Doubles 2015 - TBA
IPA Triples 2015 - 18 April 2015
Winners: Jim Ryan (L)
Martin Ryan (M)
Jackie Broderick (R)
Runners Up: George Davidson,
IPA National Club Doubles 2015 - TBA
Celtic Challenge 2012
Please Contact the Hon Secretary to know more about how to affiliate with The Irish Petanque Association
Please fill in the form below to get in touch with the secretary.