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Playing Together in a Team


In Petanque competition, players will play matches in various formats:

  • Singles (tete-a-tete)

  • Doubles/Doublette or Pairs – 2 versus 2

  • Triples/Triplette – 3 versus 3

It is more usual to play as a team in a doubles or triples type of competition. Of course, even when playing singles, a player may be part of a team, but just not with all players playing at the same time.  It can be a telling factor to know that you have the support of other team members around you, even though they may not be playing with you on your piste at the time.  Likewise, if you’ve completed your own game, rather than disappear off, why not stay around to offer support to your team mates if they’re in action.

Additionally, the part your team’s game plays in the overall match is something important to bear in mind.  It may be that you need to “bust a gut” to achieve any sort of win at all and overall victory in the whole match, or that you need to ensure you at least gain a tie.  Perhaps the situation demands that you need to win by a wide points margin or if you lose, it can be only narrowly.  You need to be aware of all such factors in a team match and so must be concerned with the overall match situation and how others are getting on.

When playing in a team it is vital that all players in that team work together as one single unit.  This may seem strange, because a player is obviously alone in the circle when playing any shot.  However, the player must always be aware of being one part of a team at all times in a match.  Everything is done together, and even though just one player delivers the boule, his/her team mates are supporting him and have been a part of the shot making decision, and together will be responsible for the result of that boule.  This way of operating as a team can be extremely rewarding, beneficial, strengthening and empowering.  Remember the old adage that, “a team working well together is worth much more that a sum of its parts.”

Always be a positive support to your team mates.  Encourage and praise their efforts, even when things aren’t going so well (in fact especially when things aren’t going well) .  You are a much stronger force as an efficient team unit.

Practical Considerations

  1. When the opponents play, you must stand away from the playing area. However, always stand together to show and sense your solidarity.

  2. When it’s your team’s turn to play, move onto the piste together.Your team now “owns the piste” and you have total control.Walk together to the playing circle and then together “walk the piste” up to the head.Examine and evaluate the situation around “the head”, where all the boules usually are.

  3. Together, discuss the situation and what shot to play next.This should be a joint decision and one that you all stand by and take responsibility for, even if, in your opinion, you may not agree it is the right one.

  4. Once decided on, one of your team has the responsibility for playing that shot.Whether or not it results in a successful outcome, you must support that player.On no account should any negativity be shown or expressed, which might undermine that players confidence.The worst thing to say is, “we should have done something different.”

And of course, just because the outcome of that boule delivered was not the one intended or hoped for, it does not mean that it wasn’t the right shot to play.

  1. From standing at the head together, the player who has the shot to play will walk back to prepare to play.He will start his shot routine whilst his team mates will move to the side of the piste, or to another advantageous position where the player wants them to stand. An example might be for team mates to stand either side of a boule to be shot, so as to create a type of channel to play down, or somewhere level with the intended donné (landing spot).

  2. Once the shot has been played, your body language and facial expressions become important; clearly show any appreciation of a successful shot, but show never any negative signs of disappointment for an unsuccessful one.Remember that no player ever deliberately plays a bad boule.

It’s widely accepted in all sports that by playing as a team, and by clearly showing that you’re a cohesive unit, you will gain an advantage over the opposition during any competition.

Additionally, the competition becomes a much more enjoyable experience that you are sharing together.


Efficient Teamwork = Competition Success Plus Enjoyment

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