|Sent on:||Wednesday, August 31, 2011 6:46 PM|
The current form of the game originated in 1907 in La Ciotat, in Provence, in southern France. The English and French name pétanque comes from la petanca [peˈtaŋkɔ] in the Provençal dialect of the Occitan language, deriving from the expression pès tancats [ˈpɛ taŋˈka], meaning "feet together" or more exactly "feet anchored".
The casual form of the game of pétanque is played by about 17 million people in France, mostly during their summer vacations. It is also widely played in neighboring Spain. There are about 375,000 players licensed with the Fédération Française de Pétanque et Jeu Provençal (FFPJP), some 3,000 in England, and 1,000 in Lafayette, Louisiana, United States. Another 20,000 or so play in Quebec, Canada. Additionally, pétanque clubs have arisen in cities throughout the United States in recent years. Petanque is also played in Southeast Asia due to the French presence in the area during the last centuries: Laos, north Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
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