The 46th annual Marseillaise will be played starting July 8th and ending five days later. Last year, 4,112 teams (12,336 men and women composed into triplettes) competed in the direct elimination competition.
After five days of physical and mental testing, four teams find themselves in “le carré d'honneur” (the square of honor) to compete for the title most envied by the petanque player: World Champion of Petanque Marseillaise
The contest attracts 50,000 spectators the first day, and nearly 150,000 during the whole competition. Petanque play proceeds on the first day all throughout the City, in twenty-five prepared sites and concludes with the final which takes place deep into night at le Vieux-Port in Borély Park.<>
This park, usually reserved for joggers or family walks, is transformed into a gigantic picnic, in a true theatre of passion where all moods and all the emotions meet.
<>Last year, 80 French departments which were represented along with 19 different nations: Algeria, Germany, Arménie, Belgium, Canada, China, the Comoros, Egypt, Spain, the United States, Guinea, Italy, Madagascar, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Ukraine.
This year the players will undoubtedly be even more numerous and widespread with their common language being Petanque.<>
This contest of boules was created in 1962 on an idea of Paul Ricard who had requested his newspaper friends (of the “Marseillaise”) combine their talents and launch Marseilles as a popular sporting center. The Southern French who invented petanque were quickly attracted to the idea and thus the first edition of this competition brought together 1,164 players, which was not bad for 1962. After a while the annual competition did not cease to grow, gaining street-cred on the national level, and eventually, with the world. <>
Along with the possibility of winning 150,000 Euros in prizes, all the players receive a tee-shirt, a cap, a backpack along with other Petanque swag.