Terminology – piste, lane, marked terrain

The term “piste”, according to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary is derived from the Old Italian word “pista”, from “pistare” — to trample down — and means a trampled-down trail or track, a beaten path. In snow skiing, a “piste” is a marked ski run or path down a mountain.

By extension, a “piste” is any long, narrow strip of ground where some activity takes place. In fencing, the “piste” is the long, narrow area (the fencing mat) where a fencing match takes place.

In petanque, the term “piste” is used to refer to a marked patch of ground upon which one plays petanque. Older versions of the FIPJP rules once used the term “piste”, but the current version uses the term cadre (lane).

Words like “piste”, “lane”, and “cadre” can be considered petanque technical terms, referring to visible, physical marks on the ground. “Marked terrain”, on the other hand, is merely a description, not a technical term. The French expressions are terrain délimité and terrain tracé, and they are best translated as “terrain with marked boundaries”.

For more information, see our page on the petanque playing area.


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