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The 2 basic and most often used boule deliveries in Petanque are POINTING and SHOOTING.

The Point – to carefully deliver an accurate boule which arrives close to a target, usually but not always the jack.

The Shot – to displace a target boule previously played by the opponent, or sometimes to relocate the jack, even taking it completely off the playing lane.

The usual method of play in a team is for a player to take a role specializing in one of these deliveries, although the more skillful and effective match-player will be able to confidently do both.  This is especially true for “the milieu” or middle player in a triple team and, of course, a competent singles player.

The action of delivering a boule with the intention of hitting one of your own boules and thereby moving it into a more advantageous position is called promoting a boule.  It’s different to the basic shoot or point, but is much more similar to a pointed boule.  (on heavy ground, a “hard point.”)

The target boule to be promoted is one of your own, already played, not holding the point/scoring and lying in a position which prevents you from pointing into the area you wish to arrive at.  At the moment, it’s an obstruction to you but could be used to your advantage.

An advantage of promoting a boule is that when the desired result is achieved, the boule just played often remains in an effective position amongst the others in the head, perhaps giving the opponent more than one problem.

Unlike a missed shot, intended to knock the opponent’s boule completely clear of the head but hitting nothing and perhaps ending up out of bounds, a boule played with the intention to promote, might remain around in the head even if it misses the intended target.

“The Pointer” in a team is able and confident to play a promoting boule, whilst that player may feel reluctant to shoot.


  1. Deliver the boule as you would a point but carefully aimed to hit and move one of your own team’s boules in front of the jack rather than directly towards the jack itself.

  2.  Play the boule with a little more power than a usual point, as your intention is to shift another heavy boule. (if you can get your boule to closely follow/trail the promoted boule, bravo that’s a bonus!)

  3.  Choose your landing spot carefully.As with any pointed boule, obstacles in the path, a slope and/or a rough terrain, can easily deviate the boule from its intended path.Therefore, it’s usual to land the delivery as close to the target as possible, without striking directly onto it.

What to think about before playing this shot: 

  • the type of terrain, obstacles in the line of play

  • the distance you wish the promoted boule to travel

  • the number of boules remaining to be played that end by you

       and the opponent

Would it be a better

idea to shoot?

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