The Italians named it Bocce, the French refer to it as Jeu de Boules, and the British call it Lawn Bowls. North of the Alps, the game is called Petanque.
There are references to games such as these as early as 300AD in Greece and in Rome. As Roman Legions moved throughout Europe, they introduced the game in many countries.
Outdoor bowling games of this type are played in many countries of the world today. The game is played on a flat outdoor surface.
Sometimes the game is staged on a "public court" which features "regulation" playing courts; at other times the game is just played on a homeowner's lawn. However, court size varies dependent upon where the game is played.
Normally this is a game for adults divided into two teams of two or more players on each team. Each team uses three or four "throwing" balls (about 8cm in diameter) which can be made of iron, wood, or hard rubber.
Players accumulate points by hitting a target ball that is about 4cm in diameter. The number of points required to win a game also varies and is dependent upon where the game is played and the cultural variation used.
Last update February 9, 2010