Boules (pétanque)

La Boule Bleue

Established 1904

Founded in 1904 in Marseille by Félix Rofritsch, La Boule Bleue makes the most iconic pétanque boules. It all started when Rofritsch opened a shop on the rue des Fabres, and sold goods that he called ‘articles from Paris’. He also began to manufacture a typically Marseillais item: boules. He studded the wooden boules with nails which he himself hammered in one by one, and manufactured only two pairs a day. With the first official pétanque competition in 1910, his boules were in high demand. This changed a bit with the invention of the bronze/brass boule in 1925.

In 1937, Félix’s two sons, Fortuné and Marcel, took over the company. They created the first boule made of carbon tempered Swedish steel, with shades of blue caused by the heat treatment and hardening. These unusual colours were noticed wherever they were used, so it seemed only natural for the Rofritsch company to take on the name ‘La Boule Bleue’. The blue boules are still the only ones manufactured in Marseilles, in the family factory.

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Photo credits
© La Boule Bleue, Marseille, France

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