Basic construction tips to build a Boules court

You will need a flat area of garden or an area that can be  leveled  about 10 feet by 40 feet to build a Boules court.

 

First Construct a 10 feet by 40 feet rectangular border for the court using 2" x 4" treated timber, fastened together by screws. 

 

The border should end up about 4 inches above the surface of the garden. Or if you prefer dig out an area of lawn at least 4" deep.

A simple to build Boules court
A simple to build Boules court

 

Spread a layer of between 1 and 2 inches of gravel inside the court this will help to drain the court. If the area is prone to water logging, drainage channels will need to be installed first. Much easier to build your boules court on a dry piece of land.

 

Evenly spread a fine rock mixture, over the gravel until the gravel is approximately 1 inch beneath the top layer, this will settle into the gaps between the gravel over time, and will need topping up now and then.

 

Variations in the playing surface are normal; Boules can be played on nearly any soft, flat surface. The surface needs to be kept fairy loose and gritty by raking over if it becomes to flat and compacted to hold the boules from rolling too far and fast.

 

The perfect piste that will be played on every day will need more thought but, for boules in your garden as long as you ......

 

........remove all the grass and compact the earth, water it in so it becomes solid and then add one or two inches of inches of powdered stone, watered in with some fine small shingle on top it should be fine.

 

The main thing is to end up with solid surface that does not break up but is rough enough to slow down the ball, the ideal finish is like a badly made gravel driveway, hard and a little rough. 

 

It takes about a year to settle into a good playing area. Slight slopes, a few humps and bumps are ok and in fact will give you an unfair advantage as you get to know your court and take on your visitors. You will be the local boules champ.

 

An international sized boules court is 4 meters wide x 15 meters long, but boules courts of 3 meters x 12 meters are ok for school or home use. 


Materials you will need to construct a Boules court

 

Materials used in Boules court construction

Boundary materials. 
Various materials can be used to construct the boules court boundary, railway sleepers, poles, tanalised timber etc. or the court can be simply sunk below the surface so the materials are held in naturally. To stop the boules rolling off and disappearing in the borders a timber surround just above the court surface is a good idea.

 

Sub base
A course sub-base of either, gravel, road metal, small stones or shingle/clay mix (AP20 or AP30) is laid to give a compacted depth of 50mm within finished court depth 100mm.

 

Bed

Sand to a compacted depth of 10mm is laid over the sub-base course.
The remaining 30mm to 40mm is filled with granule sized crushed lime, crusher dust or dolomite and lightly compacted. The surface should be raked to create a loose surface.

 

Topping
A topping of crushed shell, river or pea gravel (6mm to 7mm diameter) are suitable alternatives for producing a loose surface. It will also reduce the glare from the court.

 
What's different about a Petanque court.
What is Petanque, Its a variation on the traditional game of boules, which is also known as bocce in Italy. Unlike bocce, which is played with plastic or wooden balls, petanque is played with steel balls.
Petanque is a ball game that can be played almost anywhere that has a suitable flat court surface about 12  x  3 meters. It has a few simple to follow rules but doesn't need a formal court marked out with  lines or boundaries. 
Petanque rules are simple, its a game played between two players or teams. and the goal, similar to our English bowls,  is to get the balls closest to the target jack . Each player or team  gets two throws per round. The winning target is 13 points.


How much will it cost to build a boules court ?
Cost to have a Boules court constructed by a landscape gardener,
Dimensions 10 feet by 40 feet, 200mm deep and filled with type 1 stone then dressed with 4mm to dust hard stone is going to cost about £2000 to £4000  depending on what landscape materials are used for the boundary.

There will be a lot of soil to dig out, move and dispose of so access and disposal will be an important consideration. 
D.I.Y. Construction is fairly simple and the finish is best if not particularly smooth or flat. 

 

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