Boules in Limerick July 10 2021

Boules/Pétanque Tournament – Saturday 10 July 14:30-17:00

Join in the Wild Geese Festival by playing a game of ‘pétanque’, the traditional French boules, for a prize of a very good bottle of wine from O’Brien Wines with runners up receiving a bottle of Pastis. There are prizes for kids (up to 14) too. Competition starts at 14:30. Get a team of 3 players together and register here! Or register yourself and make some friends on the day.  The event is free but Limerick Mental Health Association volunteers will be coordinating and donations into their buckets will be very welcome. If you cannot register online, it means all slots are booked but there will be live queue (lots of activities related to the Wild Geese Festival to watch) and an opportunity to compete. Assure your place by booking your team here or by phone (061) 312 833.


There are two IPA competitions ‘just around the corner’.

IPA SINGLES will be held in Bushy Park on 21st August.

The closing date for entries for the Singes will be 31st July to allow for any alternative formats e.g. provincial qualifiers, should covid restrictions limit the numbers we can accommodate in Bushy Park. This is similar to what we had to do to facilitate the recent, highly successful, IPA Doubles. Should an alternative format include qualifiers these will take place in the week ending 15th August.

IPA Triples – Celtic Challenge Qualifier will take place on 11th September in Bushy Park Dublin.

It was agreed by the IPA Council that this event would be both the National Triples and the selection process for the Celtic Challenge in Glasgow 2022. The closing date for entries will be 21st August to allow for any alternative formats e.g. provincial qualifiers, should covid restrictions limit the numbers we can accommodate in Bushy Park.

Teams entering MUST confirm, at the time of entering, if, should they qualify, they are available to take up a place on the Ireland team going to the Celtic Challenge in Glasgow in May 2022. Once a team advises that they don’t want considered for Celtic Challenge selection they cannot change their mind at a later date. Should an alternative format include qualifiers these will take place in the week ending 5th September.

We hope to see many of you at these two events.


Building a Piste


The size of the terrain should be no less than 12 metres long and 6 metres wide. This will allow two games to be played at the same time. A larger area – 15m x 15m – is more appropriate, as it allows a small tournament to be played, and allows play in two directions. Making the terrain longer than 15m is a waste of space, but making them wider allows more pistes to be added.

The final surface should be hard, with a thin sprinkling of loose grit. The tendency is to make the terrain too soft, so that the boules either sink or damage the surface easily. A new terrain should be allowed to settle before being played on. Lots of heavy rain helps settle the terrain.

It is essential to strip off topsoil, otherwise the boules will bounce on the surface. The surface need not be flat. A tree or a boulder in the middle of the terrain is not a problem.

Sinking the terrain should be no more than 150mm – excessive sinking poses a danger to the public. A border of timber helps stop the boules from going outside the terrain. Concrete borders can become cracked and chipped.

The process of building a piste should follow these guidelines:

Excavate to remove topsoil. The minimum depth of excavation should be 150mm.

If the depth of excavation exceeds 150mm then what is below 150mm should be made up with broken stone (Clause 616 or four-inch stone) compacted with a roller or compactor.

Lay 75mm of Clause 804 (this is a graded stone, graded from 25mm down to sand). This 804 needs to be compacted. As it is compacted it will become dense and hard. However, when boules land on it the surface will break up, so we need to seal the surface to protect it.

There are various means of sealing the 804 surface. But it is essential that the sealant is thin. 1mm to 2mm of brown clay sprinkled evenly, rolled and watered in, would be ideal. Alternatively a 1mm to 2mm layer of minus an eight (this is a graded material that varies from 3mm to dust. Like the 804 it is capable of being compacted into a hard surface). Whatever the sealer either water it in or leave it until it had rained and dried.

After wetting, drying and resting our surface is ready for the final grit layer. Lay small chippings (not sand and not graded – one size). The depth of the chippings should be no more than 10mm, but 6mm depth is ideal. Limestone chippings will not allow moss to grow. Gravel, or rounded pebbles are better than broken stone, because boules hitting broken stone can behave erratically, but sourcing rounded pebbles is not easy. The simplest specification for the chippings is 6mm limestone chippings. The chippings can be deposited in heaps and then loosely raked out. The chippings should not be rolled.

Getting to be a habit!

Sarif and Keith retain Irish Doubles

Once again the team of Sarif Antaroo and Keith Talbot proved too strong on the day for the other 11 qualifiers for the 2021 IPA doubles on June 12th.

The 12 finalists, from an original entry 22 teams, quailified for the final after 3 very sucessful and close fought Provincial qualifiers held in Leinster [Dublin, Bushy Park], Munster [Cork, Frankfield] and Ulster [Belfast, Ormeau] during the previous week. The IPA thanks the three host clubs for facilitating the qualifiers.

Runners-up were Dave Beck and Des Spratt from Ulster.

We’ll done also to semi-finalists Conor Delaney & Dawid Zydorek [Leinster] and Fred Subtil & Phillipe Odron [Munster].

Our photos show the finalists with their Prizes – and congratulations to all who took part.

The BIG question is can Sarif and Keith do it again in 2022? We’ll have to wait and see!

“Where’s this?” – I hear you ask.

Well it’s the newly opened Pétanque Piste at Athlone Regional Sports Centre.

The official opening of the new Fitness Park was last week, although it has actually been open since November last year.

The overall park is getting good use, but unfortunately the Pétanque Pistes have barely been used at all.

So any of you within ‘shooting’ or ‘pointing’ distance of Athlone should get yourself down for a game or two and if there’s half a dozen of you maybe there is the nucleus of a new club to be started in the’ Centre of Ireland’.

If any of our readers in the area are interested, please contact who is the Hon. Sec. of the IPA and the IPA will give whatever help it can in getting a new club started.

European Triples Championships update

CEP will be making a final decision on the running of these events in the first week of July.

This does not give mech time for teams to get organised but due to the changing COVID-19 restrictions in various European countries it is understandable. Keeping players and officials safe and doing our bit to stop the spread of the virus is of real international importance.

However, players should continue to think about their availability to play in Albertville, France in late September.

We will keep you up to date as and when CEP Advise.

IPA Doubles Final 2021 line up confirmed

Following the last two provincial qualifiers, the final 8 teams for the Finals to be held on 12th June are

From Leinster

Terry Greene & Johnny Kelly

Rory O’Neill & Conor O’Neill

Roberto Caira & Randeea Nundram

Sariff Antooaroo & Keith Talbot

Steve Hickey & Michael McGrath

Owen Kelleher & Pat Morgan

While from Munster the two teams going through are

Fred Subtil & Phillippe Odrton

Jim Ryan & CathalO’Boyle

These 8 join the 4 teams already qualified from Ulster. We wish them al good luck for Saturday

IPA Doubles Update

Congratulations to the 4 teams from Ulster who have qualified for the Finals in Bushy Park Dublin on June 12th.

the teams are Michael Greene Donal O Foghlu

Sylver and Franck Breteche

Des Spratt and Dave Beck

Benji Lair and Franck Cannet

Leinster and Munster finalists will be posted once their respective qualification events have been completed.


Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the number of teams wishing to enter for the above it has been decided that, to accommodate all interested parties, that there will be three provincial qualifying events held in Leinster, Munster and Ulster.

Teams will play in their provincial qualifier based on where they live- any team from Connacht will play in the Leinster qualifier.

The Leinster qualifying event will be in Bushy Park, Dublin on 7th June – Munster and Ulster qualifiers dates and venues to be arranged.

To facilitate the provincial qualifiers the closing date for entries has been brought forward to 2359 on 31st May 2021 and entries should be made via email to

Teams already entered do not need to re-enter.

All players must be members of the IPA prior to playing in the qualifying events.

Membership fees are 20€ per person if a member of an affiliated club [40€ if not in an affiliated club] and 40€ for family membership where members of the family reside in the same household.

Membership fees should be paid using the following details

Account Name – Irish Pétanque Association

Account Number – 56696078


IBAN – IE66 BOFI 9028 0556 696078

The usual IPA competition fee of 8€ per person will be applicable for the finals only and NOT for the qualifying events.