How to Choose the Right Ball for Petanque?

Playing petanque is not as simple as throwing a ball around. It takes skill and experience as well. It’s not as straightforward as tennis (which tennis fans who bet on US Open know best), but it encompasses similar moves. But as with every sport you have to have the right equipment for it. When it comes to petanque, the only pieces of equipment you will ever need are your balls.

So how to choose the right ones for you?

Choose the Right Diameter / CC BY-SA (

Starting with the size of the ball, there are several ways that you can go about hits.

First of all, you have to decide on your position or style of play. It will greatly influence your final choice when trying to pick the correct one for you. You can check out a table of offered sizes and choose based on that. However, this one does not guarantee success.

The best way would be to measure your hand. Measure that hand that you are going to hold your ball from the point of the thumb and that with your major open hand. It is the easiest way of determining the size of the ball you need for petanque.

What Type of a Player are you?

Based on the post that the player occupies in petanque, there are three types of balls that are needed.

The Pointer uses balls that are smaller in diameter, 71 to 74 mm. This is because it offers less surface to the gunner. It also leaves enough doors for better control. These balls are hard, guaranteeing longevity, and striated, allowing then to stop better on difficult terrain.

The Medium is usually going to play with balls of 72 to 76 mm in diameter, which are general-purpose balls. They come in average weight (680 to 720 g) and are semi-render with little striated. It is also a great choice when a player ones to occupy two positions, a pointer or a gunner, at the same time.

The Gunner, of the shooter as some call it, uses the biggest balls that are of 74 to 78 mm in diameter. They are lighter though (670 to 710 g) as they limit tiredness and limit the rebound. These balls are also smooth so players will avoid hanging the ball at the time of the shooting.

Which Metal is the Best?

There are several ways that one can go about this and each one of them comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

Stainless is the type of metal that requires the least amount of maintenance. It does not rust and most importantly of all guarantees great behavior in hand.

Steel is hard, tender or ½ to tighten. These types of balls also offer good behavior but have a tendency to rust. Keep them in a rag and oil them slightly.

Bronze is a special allow and is very tender. It is usually recommended for use on very hard ground.

An important thing here to note is that the tender the ball is the greater the risks of markings on the surface.