(extract from playaboule site)
Selecting the right boules for you will have a great impact on your game. There are few points to consider when choosing your boules…
Are you new to the game and playing for leisure? Or have you got it down and are a tournament player?
Are you a shooter, a pointer, or both? The boules you choose will help you perfect your style.
The diameter of a boule affects how much control you have and how comfortable you feel throwing it. If the boule is too small or too large you will have less control when throwing it and your hand will tire out more quickly. In general, the smaller your hand the smaller the boule. Pointers usually prefer smaller boules and shooters usually prefer larger ones. The International Pétanque Federation (FIPJP – Federation International Petanque & Jeu Provencal)) only allows boules with diameters from 2 3/8″ and 3 1/8″ (70.5mm to 80 mm). To determine the size of a boule, measure your throwing hand in centimeters from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your middle finger.
The weight of a boule affects how accurately you throw, how tired you get, and how the boule reacts on impact. In general, the heavier the boule, the less it moves after impact the lighter the boule, the easier it is to throw. A boule that is too heavy for you will tire your arm out faster and cause you to throw short of your target a boule that is too light, may cause you to overthrow your target. If you roll the boule, you should choose a heavier one since they take a straighter path. If you throw the boule, you will want a lighter one to help reduce fatigue. The FIPJP allows weights within the 600 to 800 gram range for official play. As boules wear they lose weight: the FIPJP does not allow play with boules that have lost more than 15 grams of weight or where the markings for weight, model etc. have worn off.
The average weight of all the competition boules we sell is 730 grams.
The groove pattern affects your grip on the boule, the spin as you throw, and the way it rolls on impact. It also differentiates your boules from other players’. In general, the smoother the surface, the smoother it leaves the hand the more striations, the easier it is to grip and the more it grips the ground. If you roll the boule, you should choose one with more striation if you throw the boule, you should choose a smoother surface and if you are a pointer, you should choose a more striated pattern so it grips the ground. For the casual/leisure player the groove patterns greatest value is in distinguishing which boules belong to which players when it is time to add up the score. For this reason most leisure sets are sold in groups, 3 boules each with 1, 2, 3 or 4 grooves.
Boules range in hardness from very soft to hard. Harder boules are more durable. Softer boules move less when hit but scratch easier. Hard boules are best if you are a leisure player, play on a rougher surface, or prefer to roll.
The FIPJP requires the boules to have specific marks clearly visible. This includes the manufacturer’s trademark, identification number, and weight. It may also include engravings of a player or team’s initials, name, or logo.
Choosing the Jack
The jack must be entirely made of wood ( or the newly approved MS resin jack-see our accessories page ) and with a diameter in the 1″ – 1 3/8″ range. The jack can be painted any color.The bright fluorescent colors work very well as they are easily seen at a distance, even in low light conditions.