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Rolling through time: Ancient sport finds home in Shaoxing

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: March 6, 2024 L M S


Athletes compete in a boules match in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province on March 3. [Photo/Tide News]

The Zhejiang Boules Association organized a captivating team competition in Shaoxing's Yuecheng district on March 3.

Boules, a game of precision and strategy, involves throwing or rolling balls with the aim of landing closest to the target ball on a flat surface. Players or teams take turns, scoring points for each boule closer to the jack than their opponents. The first to reach a designated score wins.

Wangjiafeng Village Boules Hall, now dubbed the "Zhejiang Boules Training Base," unveiled its facilities with a ceremony on the same day. Li Peng, a distinguished trainer and deputy secretary-general of the Zhejiang Boules Association, assumed the role of chief coach.

Dating back to ancient Egypt 5,000 years ago, boules finally found its way into Chinese universities in the 1980s, gaining momentum in recent years as an official event at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games in 2023.

Wangjiafeng village prides itself on Shaoxing's inaugural rural sports hall, providing basketball and badminton courts for year-round fitness.

To solidify its position as a provincial boules hub, the village has constructed four international-standard courts with retractable canopies and grandstands, ensuring all-weather training and competition. Additionally, eight metal boules courts accommodate various levels of play.

Coach Li envisions a future where Wangjiafeng village forms its own boules team, ready to compete in provincial and national tournaments.