About the Petanque Libre Project

Par les joueurs. Pour les joueurs.
| English/Anglais | French/Francais |

There are two major problems with the FIPJP rules of pétanque. One: they are very badly written. Two: they are written by and for umpires, not players. For both of these reasons, the FIPJP rules are not fit for use by ordinary players in games played without umpires. Such players need a set of rules that they can use, understand, and apply without an umpire. The goal of the Petanque Libre Project is to develop such a set of rules.

The French word libre means “free”, “open”, and “independent”. The name of the project— Petanque Libre— was chosen to indicate the fact that the project is independent of the FIPJP. Currently the project is the work of Stephen Ferg, an American player. Ideally, it would be run as an open international standard and routinely issue a Request for Comments (RFC) when contemplating revisions to the standard.

To download a copy of the rules
In the menu bar at the top of this page, click on The rules/Les règles.

Comments and feedback
We welcome and actively seek comments and feedback from petanque players all over the world. To contact us leave a comment or send email to:

The base version of the rules is written in English. We welcome translations into other languages and will be happy to work with you if you decide to prepare a translation.

To receive news about the Petanque Libre Project
News and announcements will be posted on our News & Announcements blog.

To get email notifications of those posts, look to the right side of this page and find the Follow Blog via Email heading. Use it to subscribe to our posts. Your email address will not be publicly visible, and it will not be used for any other purpose. Email messages from Petanque Libre will contain an “unsubscribe” link, so you can unsubscribe whenever you wish.

3 thoughts on “About the Petanque Libre Project

    1. Hi Blarty,
      In 2016 BOULISTENAUTE.COM conducted an informal survey of world-class players. (The Youtube video “Pétanque le TaT à 3 ou 4 boules? Interwiews” is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYTgJVBooKo ) By a ratio of 2 or 3 to 1, those players said that they would prefer to play singles with 4 boules. That’s why (as the section on differences between FIPJP and PL says) “PL rules contain a deliberately provocative specification (4 boules) because PL wants players to make an active decision about this matter— something that the Consensus Rule allows them to do.” The Consensus Rule allows players to play singles with whatever number of boules they prefer– 3, 4, 5, 6.


    2. the advantage of 4 boules is that the game is less interrupted.

      but there is sometimes a smell of lobbying – those who will really benefit from 4 boules are the manufacturers.

      a note on the side: a player can use four /different/ boules, there is no rule stating that all boules must be identical. so it is very likely that almost all Petanque players have enough boules.


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