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Pays de la Loire

"Boule de sable" is looking for any and all information about this curious game played in the Loire valley.

It's quite an impressive sport, with many nuances and subtle gestures, played by friendly, happy and extremely skillful people.

It's called "La boule de sable" (sand bowling). If you know anything about this game stand up and be heard! Here's the very little WE know about it.

First of all, in St Florent-le-Vieil the game takes place on the church grounds (just behind the little door to the right of the building).

Secondly, the very well-built (you would have to be) members of the team hurl a metal ball that weighs between 2 and 3 kilos over five meters in a sand pit.

Then the teams change sides and throw their balls all over again.

Let us just add that the atmosphere at these village sporting events is wonderful and that the speed at which the balls are thrown will knock your socks off.

Everyone talks, laughs and just generally has a good time. It's nothing like the very serious and competitive "pétanque" that is played in Marseille.


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