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Chalvington and Ripe Amateur Pétanque Club  


Welcome - Come along and play its great!

What's the club all about?


The club was formed six years ago and started life as a Saturday morning gently athletic but very competitive activity that was played regularly on the car park of the old Lamb pub until building work started on the new homes. Since then we have met on a suitable gravel service usually a player’s driveway.  During lockdown we continued to operate outdoors in public spaces through a series of one-on-one competitions.  Since lockdown then we have reverted to playing two games each Saturday morning with two, three or sometimes four players a side.

The club has a constitution which you can find here and membership is open to anyone over the age of 18 and if there is enough interest from under 18s we can set up some games very easily.  At the moment the club has no outgoings so membership is free. Although it's a competitive game we enjoy good banter during the games usually at the expense of the opposing team and between games a brief opportunity to set the world to rights


The club President and “chief measurer” is currently Joe Ruddock-West whose opinion is always final.


How can I join?


Come along and have a game or two.  If you enjoy it come along regularly.  If you are interested drop an email to 

playing pétanque

What’s Pétanque about?


Pétanque is a sport that falls into the category of boules sports, along with boule and to some degree, lawn bowls and crown green bowling. All of these sports share something in common, in that players or teams play their boules/balls towards a smaller target ball. In English, this will commonly be referred to as the Jack, however in France, and in Chalvington and Ripe its the Cochonnet.


The aim of the game is to be the first player/team to score thirteen points. Points are scored by having one or more of your boules closer to the Cochonnet than those of your opponent, after all boules have been thrown.

The game is played out over a series of rounds, often referred to as an end, with the scoring team of an end being first to start the next round. Pétanque isn't just about throwing your Boule to get as close to the Cochonnet as possible.

Alternatively, there are a number of other tactics that can be employed in order to gain the advantage. Shooting your opponents boule is another option that can be applied. Shooting has the potential to remove your opponents boule from the field of play. However, this doesn't come without risk as if you miss, it could be your boule that exits the field of play. At the highest levels of the sport, shooting is often the preferred option.


Here’s a short YouTube video 

Petanque balls

Why isn't there a proper pitch?


In pétanque language the pitch is called "the piste" no idea why as there is no snow involved.  In France, where pétanque/boule are played a great deal, clubs and communities play on common open space with a variety of surfaces. However, competition level games are played on a more consistent surface with set dimensions. Deanlands Wood Park has a specially constructed piste primarily for residents. At the moment, Chalvington and Ripe villages have no open spaces but one of RACCA’s principal objectives is to establish one or a number of open spaces and the club is confident that when space is available a purpose made piste can be included.

Is Pétanque a proper sport?


Yes.  Whilst pétanque, like many other sports can be played socially, it is also played competitively at regional, national and international level. Many countries host large showcase events such as the  Mondial La Marseillaise in France, The Amelia Island open in the US and the La British Open in the UK.   

In the UK the governing body, Pétanque England, has over 180 clubs and more than 2800 registered players. This figure excludes a large number of players that are unregistered - including us! The official rules as set by Pétanque England can be found here

Is there any difference between Pétanque and Boule?


“Pétanque” and “boules” are two different names for the same game. In French, the word “boule” means “ball” and in France people often refer to the game simply as boules (pronounced BOOL). Outside of France the game is usually referred to as “pétanque” (pronounced pay-TONK).


To play some games email 



Want to know more?


Here's some extra reading:


The beginnings of Pétanque

The right way to position your body in Pétanque

Pétanque rules and how to play

playing pétanque measuring up
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