The best bocce balls in the UK 2023

Choosing petanque balls is not as easy as it sounds! There are many factors to consider, including the material, their size, the striations, not to mention your style of play, your position, your level of practice and your body type. Read our guide to find the best bocce balls on the market right now.

Obut Tatou - Jeu de 3 boules de pétanque 1

Best value for money

Obut Tatou - Jeu de 3 boules de pétanque

The best petanque boules in 2021

These 100% stainless steel petanque balls are perfect for games with friends or family. This kit includes 3 boules, a goal and a storage bag.

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Each ball in the Obut Tatou set has a unique diameter of 73 mm and weighs 650 to 660 g. Lightweight, these pétanque boules are suitable from the age of 12. As they are leisure petanque boules, they will not be used in competitions and are exclusively dedicated to occasional and recreational use, especially during vacations.

With their silver color, their stainless steel body, and their satin finish, these pétanque boules are quite elegant, although they do not compete with tournament models. Their sturdiness means you won't have to worry about rust. The wooden cochonnet is an additional guarantee of durability. Finally, you can have the engravings personalized when you place your order.

Euroxanty - Set of 3 pétanque balls 2

Best value for money

Euroxanty - Set of 3 pétanque balls

The best entry-level petanque boules

These silver colored stainless steel pétanque balls are dedicated to the professional game. Approved by the Federation, they have a grooved surface pleasant to the touch.

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The bag contains 3 polished alloy competition balls and a wooden jack. The balls have a diameter of 75 mm and weigh 720 g. They are easy to recognize and are grooved and very pleasant to the touch. Very effective for strategy and skill play, they have been designed to withstand the most aggressive ways of playing.

As they are stainless steel petanque balls, they are not susceptible to rust, but they must be cleaned after each use. This set of 3 boules is perfect for all types of players (shooter, middle or pointer). However, they seem to be more suitable for pointers because of their resistance and the fact that they crash better on the ground.

Obut - Boules de pétanque ATX Competition 3

Best value for money

Obut - Boules de pétanque ATX Competition

The best high-end petanque boules

Obut ATX is a set of 3 competition boules. Ultra accurate, they are silver metallic with a gold satin finish. What to distinguish them easily.

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These Obut pétanque balls are smooth. But that doesn't mean that they slide easily on the court. On the contrary, they are devilishly accurate. Their hardness of about 130 kg/mm² will please the pointers. They are semi-tough balls, more straightforward than the norm. You don't have to worry about damaging it because the hardness of these balls is present all around their circumference.

Made of a special stainless steel, these petanque balls have a diameter of 73 mm, and have been custom made for a diameter accuracy of + or - 20 hundredth of a millimeter and 0.5% of the weight of the ball for the balancing accuracy. The kit is composed of 3 balls, a goal and a protective cover. And for the little extra, you can customize your balls.

Engelhart - Jeu de 8 boules de pétanque 4


Engelhart - Jeu de 8 boules de pétanque

The best alternative petanque boules

These are very high quality leisure balls that are easy to handle for both children and adults. They are practical for playing at the beach, in the garden or on a rough terrain.

35,90 £ on Rakuten

Ideal for family vacations, get-togethers with friends and beach outings, these 8 bocce balls come with a wooden goal and measuring cord. Striated with a silver color, these boules are easily noticed. They are easy to handle, pleasant in hand and have a diameter of 74 mm for a weight of 720 g. Even 8 year olds can use them!

These Engelhart petanque balls are made of chrome steel. They belong to the hardest balls, ideal for a game of concentration. The grooves on the balls give them a low bounce on the court and prevent them from slipping too much when thrown. In short, these bocce balls for shooters will be perfect for the game of skill, strategy and concentration.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best bocce balls

Any specific needs?

The best petanque boules in 2021

The best entry-level petanque boules

The best high-end petanque boules

The best alternative petanque boules

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best bocce balls

Obut Tatou - Jeu de 3 boules de pétanque 5
Euroxanty - Set of 3 pétanque balls 6
Obut - Boules de pétanque ATX Competition 7
Engelhart - Jeu de 8 boules de pétanque 8
Obut Tatou - Jeu de 3 boules de pétanque
Euroxanty - Set of 3 pétanque balls
Obut - Boules de pétanque ATX Competition
Engelhart - Jeu de 8 boules de pétanque
These 100% stainless steel petanque balls are perfect for games with friends or family. This kit includes 3 boules, a goal and a storage bag.
These silver colored stainless steel pétanque balls are dedicated to the professional game. Approved by the Federation, they have a grooved surface pleasant to the touch.
Obut ATX is a set of 3 competition boules. Ultra accurate, they are silver metallic with a gold satin finish. What to distinguish them easily.
These are very high quality leisure balls that are easy to handle for both children and adults. They are practical for playing at the beach, in the garden or on a rough terrain.
Best value for money
Very affordable competition balls
Competition Triplet
Very practical leisure balls
Customizable engraving
Stripes very easily recognizable on the field
Gold satin finish steel
Lightweight and durable
Excellent stainless steel finish
Tougher balls and less crushing on the ground
Diameter accuracy of + or - 20 hundredths of a millimeter and balancing accuracy of 0.5% of ball weight
Can be handled by children as young as 8 years old

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Buying guide - bocce balls

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How to choose your bocce balls

#1 - The diameter

Knowing the diameter of your ball is important because it allows you to be comfortable when playing. It also allows you to have a good grip on your ball, which has an important effect on your shot and on the angle of your shot. To do this, the choice of the diameter is based on the size of your hand. In other words, you need to measure the distance between your middle finger and your thumb on the open hand that will be holding the ball. Then find the correspondence of your measurement with the required diameter, demonstrated as follows: 16 cm= 71 mm; 17 cm= 72 mm; 18 cm = 73 mm, 19 cm=74 mm; 20 cm = 75 mm; 21 cm = 76 mm; 22 cm = 77 mm; 23 cm = 78 mm; 24 cm = 79 mm; 25 cm = 80 mm.

#2 - The weight

Of course, this is also an important point in choosing your ball. All it takes is one ball that is too heavy for you to break your game. So how do you get the right weight? Well, simply weigh your balls. Currently the trend is towards lighter balls, you can have 680g and 700g on average for women and 700g to 730g for men. It depends on you. Be aware that in competition, the weight is an eliminatory element: the weight mark allows to detect a "stuffed" ball. Injecting a substance like mercury into a ball will increase its weight. Thus, a referee can simply weigh a ball and be reasonably certain that it has been tampered with if it weighs more than the weight mark. An interesting fact, too, is that a boule slowly loses weight as it is used over the years, so a boule that has been heavily used for decades may lose as much as 5 to 10 grams in weight.

#3 - Hardness

Boules for games with family and friends differ greatly from boules used in competition. Competition boules must follow the requirements and standards set by the federation. But for those who do not go to competitions, there are 2 very distinct categories.

  • Soft balls : when shooting with an iron, these balls recoil less and bounce less. That's why they are appreciated by shooters in general, and especially when shooters are shooting diamonds. But the disadvantage with these soft balls is that they get damaged faster than other types of balls.
  • Hard balls : they are the favorite of the pointers, because they are sharper and more resistant. In addition, they are less likely to crush on the ground.

#4 - The stripes


between smooth and striated balls, the impact on the court is the most important difference. When the balls are striated, they will stop faster on the ground than the smooth ones. The more striations, the easier it is for the balls to "stop". In addition, you will gain a greater advantage in the distance before the ball stops. Also, grooved balls bounce less than smooth ones. Thanks to its grooves, a grooved pétanque ball will have a better grip especially on difficult and sloping grounds. That's why pointers are so fond of grooved boules. Secondly, grooved boules provide a good grip. Rougher to the touch, they are very easy to handle and you can get more effect from the throw when you throw the ball. More or less fine and dense depending on the brand, these striations can have a comfort effect on your game. And thirdly, when there are several players on the court, you will be able to easily spot your balls. Thanks to the stripes, your game will be identified at first glance, and besides, putting stripes on the balls is a way to stand out from the other players.

#5 - The material


are three:

  • Stainless steel does not require much maintenance and does not rust. It provides an excellent grip.
  • Steel does not support humidity and can have slight traces of rust in contact with it.
  • Bronze gives very soft balls. Made from an alloy of copper and aluminum, they are used on very hard grounds. However, these balls are quite fragile and deteriorate more easily than others.

How to keep your pétanque balls?

The best petanque balls 9

To avoid oxidation of the steel, clean them as follows after each use: take a clean cloth and clean the balls with it. You can also use a damp sponge and a little soap.

And to remove moisture, take a clean cloth and wipe them thoroughly until they are dry. When they are completely dry, polish them with another clean cloth lightly oiled before placing them in their case.

If rust is present, consider using something acidic and soak the balls in this acidic solution overnight. The frequency of maintenance will depend on you and your usage, but if you are a professional player, maintenance should be done once a month.

The different types of bocce balls

The boules of leisure petanque

These bocce balls are for the whole family or a group of friends. They are used for occasional events such as vacations and family gatherings. Made of plastic or steel, these bocce balls have a unique weight and diameter, so they easily fit all hand sizes including children. The size and weight of these boules are different from those of competition boules.

For leisure, the boules are lighter and smaller so that children can hold them, but also so that adults who want to learn how to play the game can enjoy it more. The difference between recreational boules and competition boules is that they are filled. Usually, this is sand or water. The goal is to bring weight to the boules. Their rolling qualities will therefore be slightly modified.

Petanque ballscompetition


are bocce balls that are intended for regular use, as they are intended for regular players. These boules must be homologated by the Fédération Internationale de la Pétanque et du Jeu Provençal (FIPJP). This was established so that players can go to competitions or participate in tournaments. The boules are made of 2 materials, stainless steel and carbon steel.

To suit each player, the balls are available in different weights and diameters. The competition balls must be adapted to the size of the player's hand, to his playing style and to his role (pointer, shooter and all-rounder or middle). To guarantee the optimal rolling quality of the balls, they are tested in laboratories and must have a weight between 650 g and 800 g and a diameter between 705 mm and 80 mm.

Beware of moisture

If your balls are made of steel, keep them away from moisture. And when you clean them with water, make sure they are dry and oil them to protect them from rust.

Boules de pétanque or boules lyonnaises?

Petanque balls

Petanque originated from the Provençal game, created in 1907 and made official as the game of pétanque balls in 1910. The boules are played with the feet anchored to the ground, and the rules of the game are specified as follows: the feet must be joined from a circle drawn on the ground, the player throws the ball without taking a run-up and the game must be played on a shorter court.

These boules differ from the boules lyonnaises in size, weight and size of the goal. In general, the Pétanque ball is in the range of 70.5 to 80 mm in diameter, 0.6 to 0.8kg in weight and the size of the goal is in the range of 25 to 35 mm. The balls are made of carbon steel or stainless steel, while the goal or jack is made of wood and has a diameter of 30 mm.

The balls used for this game must be approved by the French Federation of Petanque and Provençal Games (FFPJP). The standard is strict and no unapproved balls may be brought onto the competition field.

Lyonnais balls

The Lyon balls can be smooth or grooved. They are made of bronze and are padded with the same material. As a result, their weight is much greater than that of the boule de pétanque, in the range of 07 g to 1.3 kg, so they are quite heavy.

Their sizes go from 90 to 110 mm and the goal enters the range of 32 to 37 mm. The boule lyonnaise also called "sport-boules" is, as its name indicates, from the Lyon region of France. They are played in teams of 2 or 4 whose goal is to place a maximum of balls near the goal (or cochonnet).

In sport-boule, there are only 2 types of players: the shooter and the pointer. The game takes place on a delimited field, whose dimensions must be 27.50 m long and 2.5 to 4 m wide. As the bowls of Pétanque, the sport-boule holds its federation called FFB or French Federation of the sport-boules created in 1981.


Both games can be played in teams, with family and/or friends. They each have their own rules and characteristics. So they each have their own particularities. They are therefore two similar sports, but with some differences. If you like heavy balls, choose sport-boules and if you like lighter balls, choose Pétanque. The choice is yours.


Define your role before you buy your balls

Indeed, the balls vary according to your role when you play a game especially in competition. For example: if you are a pointer, you will play with balls with a diameter of 71 to 74 mm and a weight of 710 g to 740 g so that the shooters have less surface and the balls are heavy enough for better control. If you are a middle player, balls with a diameter between 72 mm and 76 mm are the most recommended, also choose the semi-tender and slightly grooved balls. They are also used when the game is played one-on-one or when the midfielder plays the role of pointer and shooter at the same time. Finally, if you are a shooter then you should choose balls with a large diameter, i.e. between 74 and 78 mm, they should be light (680 g to 700 g) to make the throw easier, soft so that the recoil is limited and the shots are assured and above all smooth to avoid them catching on the hand when shooting.

Choose the white balls instead of the black ones

White balls are also called "stainless steel balls". They are generally made of stainless steel and will not rust. They are less messy and glide better in the hand than black balls. Unlike white balls, black balls require more maintenance because they are made of steel: even a clammy hand could cause them to rust if they are not properly cleaned after use. Black balls grip better and on the court, they slide better.

Do not hesitate to test


buying your pétanque balls, if you feel any hesitation do the test. Apply the measurement with your fingers (middle finger and thumb) for the diameters and then see what size you are comfortable with. Regarding the choice between ribbed or not ribbed balls, hold the balls in your hands, which one do you feel comfortable with? It's up to you. And regarding the weight, you already know the standard for women and men, but if you still have a doubt, weigh the ball in your hand, and you see whether or not you will be able to throw them.

Choose only authentic balls

Whether it's

a recreational or competitive boule, trademarks are always a sign of a boule's performance. When choosing competition boules, the trademarks help you already determine which ones are homologated and which ones can already be used on the field. They will already be certified in the standard of the federation. If you choose leisure boules, the brands help you to have peace of mind about the authenticity of the boule, about its hardness and about its quality. So do not hesitate to buy branded boules: Obut, jB Pétanque, MS Pétanque, KTK, Boule Intégrale, La boule noire, etc.


What are the best petanque balls?

The best petanque balls depend on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide to find the best products out there.

What is pétanque?

Think of bocce as horseshoes with balls. It's a bit like marbles, a bit like shuffleboard, and a bit like curling.You have to throw or roll a number of hollow steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden target. The object of the game is for teams or players to score 13 points, and those who score first are the winners. Points are scored by having one or more of your balls closer to the target than your opponent's balls.

How do you differentiate between the balls? They all look the same.

Look at the color of the ball. It can be silver or gold. High-end competition balls are often gold plated, less prone to rust and more durable. It can have a polished or matte finish. Also look for the number and pattern of grooves. Recreational balls usually have a very limited set of groove patterns, but competition balls have a much wider set of patterns available. In a single-grooved ball, the grooves can be narrow (close together) or wide (wider apart).

Is pétanque a popular sport?

While petanque, like many other sports, can be played socially, it is also played competitively at regional, national and international levels. Many countries host major showcase events such as the Mondial La Marseillaise in the UK, The Amelia Island open in the USA and the British Open in England. As a result, the sport can be played with family, friends and opposing teams. Thus, in general, petanque is fun. It allows new encounters, it strengthens the bonds of friendship and family. It also allows you to visit several different places if you are one of those who like competition.

Are the rules of pétanque complicated?

Not really. The general objective is to throw the hollow steel balls as close to the jack as possible. The player must have their legs firmly on the ground in a ring while throwing. When all the balls are thrown, the points are counted. The player whose ball is closest to the jack wins the round.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Obut Tatou - Jeu de 3 boules de pétanque 10
Obut Tatou - Jeu de 3 boules de pétanque
Euroxanty - Set of 3 pétanque balls 11
Euroxanty - Set of 3 pétanque balls
Obut - Boules de pétanque ATX Competition 12
Obut - Boules de pétanque ATX Competition
Engelhart - Jeu de 8 boules de pétanque 13
Engelhart - Jeu de 8 boules de pétanque


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