You might play pétanque at the beach, bach or local park, but the who's who of pétanque players are heading Mount Maunganui for the national champs.
"Pétanque's been in New Zealand for the best part of 30 years now," Lorraine Brock, president of Pétanque NZ said.
"It's a French game and if you go overseas lots of people play it everywhere. We have about 1500 members that are affiliated to Pétanque New Zealand."
Many of those members will be heading to the competition, held over Anzac weekend and a highlight of the Pétanque calendar.
"Clubs throughout New Zealand form a team of six, two of which must be women. They've got people coming from as far south as Dunedin and as far north as Auckland," Brock said.
People that turn up to the tournament will be all ages.
"We're trying to encourage people to come back that are in their 30s. There's a lot of older people and this is why I think it's deemed as an old person's game, which is rather unfortunate. We do have, particularly down south, a lot of juniors that are playing," she said.
One adult player, who's won just about everything there is to win in the sport, is Rotorua-based Andre Noel.
He says despite first impressions, pétanque can be dangerously addictive.
"The first time I saw it I was like; 'oh, this is an old person's game'. A bit like bowls. The tricky part with this is once you play it you get hooked. It's like a legalised drug.
"Off the top of my head I can't tell you how many championships I've won. I haven't tallied it up. But I'm going to go with something in the range of 15 to 20."
If you're not born with the natural gift of being a world-class pétanque player, though, Noel says there's still hope.
"The ones that aren't born with the gift, it requires a lot of training. In saying that, this game is geared up for any age – doesn't matter from 10 years old to 60 or 70," said Noel. "Like my son, I can't get him away from pétanque. As soon as I say there's a tournament, he wants to play with dad."
For Andre's son, it's pétanque's strategic gameplay that keeps him coming back.
"It's a fun game to play," 11-year-old Keelan Noel said.
"Probably the strategy because that's a good part of the game and you need that. I like it for the social aspect and you meet a lot of new friends."
Rain or shine, the Pétanque National Championships will go ahead on April 24 and 25 at the Tauranga Pétanque Club in Mount Maunganui. Volunteers are also welcome.
"We're always looking for people to help and we get very little funding, all the big sports take all the funding so it's hard yakka out there," Brock said.
Made with funding from