Hostel Bretagne

Outdoor games of France and Brittany

We may be good at Football, but it’s not the only thing we’re playing at once we’re outdoor ! French and Breton are pretty good at having fun with few 🙂 All you’ll need is just a little bit of equipments and a lot of sun ! Here’s 3 outdoor games Breton people love to play at !



1- Petanque



That one is super famous in South of France, but to be honest it is played all around the country ! It is a really popular boule sport (yes, it’s considered a sport !) and was created during Bronze Age.



Of course, French people are the ones playing it the most, but it is also played by other nationalities (over 100 !). Even if it is not known outside of France, tournaments and championship still exist.




What you need first is a flat area with sand or dirt if possible. Here’s the rule, you’ll see it is very simple :


  • First you need to throw the little boule called “cochonnet”, and don’t ask me why it’s called that way ! You should try to throw it a little bit far, from 6 to 10 meters from you. Once the cochonnet stopped, you can start to play the game 🙂


  • If you’re 3 people against 3 people, then each member of the team will have 2 boules to throw. If it’s 2 against 2, or 1 versus 1, it will be 3 boules each!


  • The goal is to throw your boule the closest possible to the cochonnet. You need to throw every boule you have until you are the closest to the cochonnet. Once you manage to do it, then it’s the turn of the other team.


  • The winner team is the one that got the closest boule to the cochonnet. That team win the round !


  • Then you need to count points. Each boule closer to the cochonnet than the closest boule of the opponent team is worth 1 point.


  • The first team reaching 13 points win the game!





It looks like there’s a lot of rules, but it is in fact very simple. And the best of all is that you don’t need a lot of equipments to play it ! Only the boules and cochonnet, which can be found at 5 euros, a flat area and some sun 😉




2 – Palet Breton



Now we are talking about some very specific stuff ! Palet Breton is, like its name mention, a typical game from Brittany. Even though it is played a lot in West of France, you can easily find some other places where it is played, like in Loire for example 🙂



Not as known as pétanque (which is really considered as a traditional game from France), palet Breton is still very famous all around France, especially in Brittany. It is not played everywhere in France, but everyone knows this outdoor game !





To play the game you will need 3 things except from the sun and the flat area. First are the mighty “palets”, heavy little disks made from metal, the “maître” which is a small palet and finally a wooden plank.

Every player starts with 2 palets to play with 🙂


  • You first need to drop the plank, at around 5 meters from the players. The plank is the area where you need to throw the palet.


  • Then you need to throw “le maître”, the little palet, on the plank ! It’s fine if you miss, because you can throw it 3 time total. If you miss those 3, then it’s the turn of the opponent team 😉


  • Once the maître is on the plank, the team that succeeded to place the maître starts to play.


  • The first team throw 2 palets on the plank. The goal here is a bit similar to pétanque, since you need to get your palet the closest possible to the maître !


  • Then the second team can throw 2 palets. If they don’t get the closest to the maître, then they need to throw 2 palets again etc.


  • You count the points once every palets are thrown !


  • Same as for pétanque, the winner team is the one closest to the maître. Then each palets closest to the maître than the opponent team is worth 1 point.


  • You need to get to 12 points to win !



Same as for pétanque, rules are very simple ! The best is probably to just give it a try and then it will comes naturally 😉

That game can be a little bit more expensive than pétanque, because you need to get a wooden plank with the palets. You can also just buy palets and then get a wooden plank by yourself 🙂




Le petit palet



Last one I’ll talk about is also the easiest game to play ! The rule is even more simple than the 2 games above, in fact it’s so simple that the game can also be played by children 🙂





That game is also a Breton creation, maybe around 400 years old. It was played alongside the palet Breton tournament and is supposed to be just a game for fun.





All you’ll need that time is palets again and a little wood cylinder. Fortunately, you can play that game as well as the palet Breton, since the tools are pretty much the same!

Each player has 12 palets this time. Maybe you can share your own a little bit ? 😉


  • To start the game, place the wooden cylinder standing up and place the maître on it. The best is to put the cylinder on top of a large log of wood. It should be at around 3 meters from the players 😉


  • Then you can throw your palet at the cylinder. The goal is to make it drop!


  • During your turn, you can throw all your palet one after the other until you don’t have anymore.


  • Each time the cylinder drop is count as 1 point.


  • Once you’re done throwing your palet, it’s the turn of the other player.


  • The round is over once no one has palet left.



Since it is a simple game meant for fun, there’s no particular rules about the number of round or the number of points you need to achieve. It’s entirely your choice !

Oh, by the way, did you know that “palet breton” is also a pastry from Brittany ? It looks like the palet of the game, except it’s tasty and crispy biscuit made from butter and sugar 🙂 It’s so delicious with coffee !



We do love throwing thing, haha ! I hope you enjoyed that new article about outdoor games of France and most particularly Brittany ! If you also love to throw stuff, feel free to bring your own boule set at Edd Hostel 😉


Are you curious ?


Talking about pastries, check on that article about Kouign Amann !

Still hungry ? Have a peek on the other Breton specialties !

Eager of activities ? Here’s some awesome stuff you can do in Saint-Malo 😉

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