A rather rainy Sunday has allowed me to catch up with my last post from the Provence trip. The club at Istrès held an informal Shooting a Back Boule competition one afternoon.
We have held similar events in Brighton – they’re great fun! Shooting a Back Boule at 10m is one of the great traditions at French clubs. Shooting is, of course, a key part of the game and shooting a back boule at 10m is one of the hardest tests shooters have to face.
You can just place two boules on the terrain but often you’ll see a special area set aside for such practise – usually either an old tyre with two boules bolted on or a piece of rubber, which is what we have at Brighton and what they used at Istrès.
Players usually put a stake into a pot, everybody lines up and shoots at the target boule. You must hit the back boule – if you hit the front boule, it’s an invalid shot. If you hit, you stay in for the next round, if you miss, you’re out but you can often buy back into the next round, but usually at double stakes.
Eventually there will just be two players left in – winner takes all.
Note how the young children gather round to watch – it’s how children grow up learning to play.
Shooting now has it’s own championships and there is a World Record for shooting 1,000 boules in one hour. There are some recent videos on YouTube and Boulistenaute with 10 of the world’s top shooters each shooting 100 boules to revisit the 1,000 boules record.
While each player has individual variations in style, there are a number of common factors:
- Smooth, gentle swing.
- roughly shoulder-head height arc.
- The release puts backspin on the boule – increasing the chance of a carreau.
- All shots are boule-to-boule.
- Although there are the inevitable few misses, two misses in a row are extremely rare.
Have fun 🙂