The Content Of The Article:

A bowling alley at home, our reader dreamed about it. At the approach of a party, Nicolas Husson challenged himself: prepare the ground and release it on D-Day.

Realize a boules pitch

Beginner level
Cost: about 400 Euros
Time: 2 weekends
Equipment: wheelbarrow, cord, spade, shovel, grass roller (or lady).

See the plan of this realization (in pdf): Pétanque boules pitch: the plan

A pitch of twelve meters by three

No question of creating a track approved by the French Federation of bowls sport! Nicolas Husson recognizes it when he explains that his ground was just finished before the arrival of his friends. Nevertheless, the game of petanque is not played in the grass, on pavements and even less on a driveway asphalt. It was therefore necessary to prepare a field worthy of the name, dense enough to allow the balls to roll and big enough not to interfere with the game.

The tread

After having done some research, Nicolas Husson defined the playing area and defined all the stages of his construction: to drop a play area of ​​about 40 m2 on a 20 cm area, to fill the excavation with several layers of composite materials. In order: all-comer, gravel (15-20) and quarry sand (0-3).
● Each layer is spread, equalized and tamped. A geotextile felt (commercially purchased) is placed between the hedgehog and the gravel. It ensures drainage and prevents "creep" (see box). The whole is surrounded by large planks which delimit the surface of play and serve to prevent the vegetation from invading the ground progressively. Finally, the planks act as a freelance to adjust the horizontal level of the ground during the embankment.

A realization of the simplest

The upper layer of the ground is made with a quarry sand which is well balanced and provides sufficient resistance: the balls of petanque must slightly bounce without sinking.
The ideal is to use gore (or gohrr), a decaying metamorphic rock. Its texture is both clayey, sandy and granular. The gore is often used in public facilities to cover walkways, for example. Its texture effectively blocks the soil without making it impermeable. Its color varies from orange yellow to dark red depending on the place of extraction.
● For a petanque pitch, lay a layer of 5 to 10 cm thick made of several passes that are set, watered and rolled. The gore is sold by weight. Count about 1.4 tonnes per cubic meter (caliber 0/6). For a realization of 12 x 3 m as here, it takes about 5 tons of gore. This quantity is about the same for quarry sand of the same caliber.
● The same method can be used to create a play area, a deck or an open space (receiving an above ground pool). The foundation of this achievement is even sufficient to support the weight of a car. It is an economical way to make your driveways, much more stable than the usual layer of crushed gravel.

A felt to limit the "creep"

Once is not custom, clay and compact terrain is a blessing to achieve a petanque! Indeed, it is not necessary to disburse it. Just level the surface and remove the stones before making the tread.
● Be careful, do not aim for the size of the ground. Those retained by our reader should be considered as minimums. Otherwise the game is likely to be confined to a narrow corridor in the center of the field: it takes indeed a distance of at least 60 cm between the position of the jack and the edges so as to clear the playing area. on the other hand, the petanque rules stipulate that the goal be thrown at a distance of 6 to 10 m. As a result, the longer and wider the field, the greater the pleasure of playing.
● Think about setting up the grounds. The land of debris will be used to create massive. Plant a low hedge (oak tree, boxwood...).
And do not forget to install a bench: the sport, it tires!

The interview

Over time and bad weather, the finest particles settle out, the ground becomes bumpy, the gravels rise to the surface.
This slow deformation (called creep) can be considerably limited by setting up a geotextile felt. Another important advantage is that it delays the return of weeds, especially those that spread through the roots.

A boules pitch: the realization

To keep the ground clean, apply a spray-preventive weed killer in the spring. Also use a thermal weeder.
On the other hand, avoid pulling weeds. Cut them flush with a knife.
Once a year, even out the surface with the back of a rake. If there are significant deformations, bring some sand that you have set aside at the time of the realization. Then lady with the grass roller.

Disburse the location

Disburse the location



The defined area (12 x 3 m) is completely disbursed to a depth of 15 to 20 cm or about half a spade. This operation ensures a first adjustment of the horizontal level of the ground.

Realize a boules pitch: area

The disbursement is particularly tedious but essential. The bottom of the excavation is roughly equalized with the back of a rake.
The biggest roots are cut.

Install the planks

Install the planks

The planks (300 x 15 x 5 cm) are sunk on the edge of the excavation. The upgrade is made from the lowest point, identified according to the natural slope of the terrain.

Realize a boules pitch: pitch

Round stakes (Ø10 mm irons) hold the planks in place. To take into account the slope of the ground and the thickness of the foundation (about 30 cm), the boards are doubled in height.

Gravel layers and tread

Gravel layers and tread

The all-comer is distributed at the bottom of the excavation, on a thickness of about 10 cm. After equalization, the felt is laid and a new layer of gravel is spread (15 to 20 cm).

Realize a boules pitch: area

The two layers of gravel are spread on the rake, leveled with the shovel and then packed with a roller. It is the same for the sand of the tread (about 10 cm thick).

Realize a boules pitch: ground

The ideal is to make this tread in layers of 2 to 3 cm. Each thickness is spread by shovel and rake using the top edge of the planks as a horizontal marker.

Video Instruction: Saratoga Petanque: From the Floor of a Closet, to The Heart of a City Park