Petanque league table for Timsbury 7 Stars
Season 2022
Wed, 29/Jun/2022

The Ancient Greeks are recorded to have played a game of tossing coins, then flat stones, and later stone balls, trying to have them go as far as possible, as early as the 6th century B.C. The Ancient Romans modified the game by adding a target that had to be approached as closely as possible. This Roman variation was brought to Provence by Roman soldiers and sailors. After the Romans, the stone balls were replaced by wooden balls, with nails to give them greater weight. In the Middle Ages it became commonly known as 'boules,' or balls, and it was played throughout Europe

Pétanque (boules) in its present form was invented in 1907 in the town of La Ciotat near Marseilles by a French player named Jules Lenoir, whom rheumatism prevented from running before he threw the ball. The first pétanque tournament with the new rules was organized in 1910 by the brothers Ernest and Joseph Pitiot, proprietors of a café at La Ciotat. After that the sport grew with great speed, and soon became the most popular form of boules.

Boules was first played in the Timsbury area in the late 1980's and early 90's when a league was formed at the Butcher’s Arms in Farmborough. It was during this time that a team representing the Butcher’s Arms joined the Great Western League, a district league that included other pub teams from North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

When new management in the mid 90's reclaimed the boule pistes to enlarge the car park the teams looked around for a new home and settled on the Seven Stars in Timsbury. At this time the Great Western League also split and, as well as forming the new Seven Stars pub league, a team also entered the newly formed Brunel League which covered only clubs from North Somerset.

Interest continues to grow within the vicinity and the Boules (Petanque, as it is more correctly known) Club at the Seven Stars now has nine competing teams playing throughout the summer months.

Larry Cunningham
April 2009

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