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Rotary Club of Newbury host Boules in the Square

Charity event raises money for local charities

Rotary club Newbury, Charity, Mencap, Rivar Sand and Gravel, Sand, Boules, Fundraiser

Rotary club Boules event

The Rotary Club of Newbury held their fifth annual "Boules in the Square" fundraiser on Sunday 11th June, raising money for their nominated charities End Polio Now, West Berks Young Carers, West Berkshire Mencap, Parkinson’s UK and others.

16 teams from the local community and local businesses competed for the prized trophy, after a great battle the winners were the Charles, Lucas and Marshall team who also won a meal at Strada, the runners up also took way a hamper from Bills, with beer from West Berks Brewery for the winners and the last team over the post, everyone went home happy!  

The Rotary club converted the Newbury Market Place into a French square with 6 Boule Pistes erected and filled with sand that was donated by Rivar Sand and Gravel, the competition took place across 5 pistes and one being reserved for the "closest to the jack" competition which member of the public were warmly invited to join in with, the winner of the adult category won a meal for 2 at the Elephant in the Square and the winner of the juniors won a box of pastries.

£2000 was raised at the event which will go to the Rotary clubs charities, please click here to find out about the Rotary club and the brilliant work it does in our local community. Events like this can't take place without the volunteers and local businesses that support them and that is why Rivar Sand and Gravel are proud to support these events. 

If you would like to have a go at Boules or Petanque as it is also known, here are the rules. Have a practice at home and maybe you can join in the fun and games at next years Boules in the Square!


The Place to Play - Petanque is also known as Boules and is played outdoors on any reasonably firm surface: your yard, the park, a field, a gravel parking lot, cinder running track, etc. Hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt or very soft like a fine sand beach or long grass are not recommended. The ideal surfaceis hard packed earth with course sand or pea gravel approximately 1/8" - ¼" deep covering the surface. Find a place that is open and fairly flat. If there are a few bumps and hollows that's fine and can even add more challenge to the game.

Choose Teams - Divide up into two teams. You can play Singles with one player on each side, Doubles with two players on each side, or Triples with three players on each side. For leisure play a good way to choose teams is for one person to take a boule from each player and throw them out all at the same time. The owners of the boules that lie closest to the thrower make up the first team.

Select Boules - Both teams select their boules. Each team's boules should haveGroove Patternsthat distinguish them from the other side's boules: that way, they will be easy to identify when counting up points. When playing Singles or Doubles, each player uses three boules and for Triples each player uses two.

Decide Who Goes First - Toss a coin to see which side goes first.

Toss the Jack - The team that wins the coin toss chooses the starting location and then selects one of their players to throw out the jack. The starting location is indicated by a circle that is 14 to 20 inches in diameter and at least three feet from any obstacles. The circle can be drawn with chalk, etched in the dirt with a stick, or made from a piece of rope whatever works. Once the circle is drawn, the player then stands with both feet inside the circle and throws the jack. The jack can be thrown in any direction but must land within 20 to 30 feet of the starting circle and three feet from any obstacle.

Throw the Boules - All boules must be thrown from within the starting circle and with both feet on the ground. The player attempts to throw the boule so that it lands as close to the jack as possible it is okay to hit the jack. The player must remain inside the circle until the boule has landed. A player from the opposing team then steps into the circle and attempts to land his boule closer to the jack even if it means knocking his opponents out of the way. The boule closest to the jack leads or is said to be "holding the point." The other team must continue throwing boules until they take the lead or run out of boules. There is no order that team members must follow when throwing their boules however, they must only throw their own boules, and they must go one at a time from within the starting circle. If they take the lead, the other team then tries to recover by landing a lead boule.

Winning the Round - Once a team has usedall its boules, the other side is allowed to throw the rest of its boules. When all boules are thrown, the points are counted. The team that has the boule closest to the jack wins the round. In addition, they also receive a point for each boule that is closer to the jack than their opponents closest boule. Only one team scores points during a round.

Beginning a New Round - Once the points are counted, the next round begins with previous round's winners drawing a new starting circle. This starting circle is drawn around the final position of the jack in the previous round. The winning team then selects a player to toss out the jack from this new starting circle and then throw out the first boule.

Winning the Game - The first team to earn a total of 13 points wins the game. There is not a required number of rounds that must be played.



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