Boules sports struggle to get over their tie-ins with Gaulish culture. The smoking and beret-totting players in town squares all over France hardly portray the modern and athletic games that have evolved over recent years. Exceptional concentration and physical fitness are paramount in today’s boules sports. And both are found outside of the Mediterranean basin too. National teams from Madagascar, Thailand, China and Brazil each won medals in Pétanque, Boule Lyonnaise and Raffa at The World Games already.
Countries around the northwestern Mediterranean basin – the area which saw the emergence and the early development of boules sports – feature still the highest density of people practicing boules sports: 20 millions in France and Italy alone. Well over two million players are licensed in 150 other countries on all continents, with the most significant growth rates currently recorded in South America and Asia.