If you fancy some gentle exercise, and great camaraderie in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere when you visit Benidorm, why not try your hand at Petanca. Growing up, we've all enjoyed skipping stones across a lake or competed to see how far we could throw, and indeed as early as the 6th century BC, throwing games were an amusing pastime for the ancient Greeks. From these simple games many forms of sport and recreation have evolved that include the throwing or rolling of various objects such as modern day lawn bowls, curling and 10 pin bowling.
Referred to by many different names depending on the country playing it, petanca has become a popular game among middle aged and older people living in Spain, especially with the Scandinavian expat communities. Similar in a way to English lawn bowls, petanca is played on hard dirt, fine gravel or crushed sea shells in a rectangle of about 4 metres by 15 metres. This makes it possible to play the game practically anywhere and is specially suitable for Spain's often arid landscape.
Petanca Rules & Equipment
The court – The throwing point is at one end of the court where players either stand behind a line or in a circle, and the target ball, known as the jack is placed at the other end of the court.
Players – The game can be played by teams of 2 or 3, as well one on one. If there are 3 players per team, 2 bowls per player are used, and if just 1 or 2 players per team then it's 3 bowls each.
Equipment – Modern day petanca bowls are made out of hollow steel balls that are small enough to fit comfortably in the hand. The jack is made from hard wood, 30mm in diameter.
The Rules – Standing behind the line or in the circle with feet firmly on the ground, players try to throw as close to the jack as possible during several ends or rounds per game. The team with the closest ball to the jack wins the end, and gains an extra point for each ball that is closer to the jack than their opponents.