Make a throwing circle

In olden days, players drew their circles in the dirt using a toe, a finger, or a stick. Some liked to carry a special circle-drawing tool. Plastic circles were introduced about 2005 and quickly became popular. Today, you can buy circles online from Petanque America or Decathlon. They work well, but they’re expensive to buy and expensive to ship. That’s why players often choose to to make their own.

FIPJP rules specify that the inside diameter of a plastic throwing circle should be 50 centimeters. The circumference of such a circle is 157 centimeters, which is equal to 62″ or 5’2″. I went down to my local hardware store and bought 6 feet of plastic tubing. I cut off a long section (62″) and a short section of about 2 inches. I split the short section in half lengthwise to create two halves. Then I used a pair of pliers to fold the half lengthwise and jam it into the open ends of the long section. Basically, it acted as a splint, holding the ends together so that the tubing formed a closed circle. Voila, une rond.

Unfortunately, the first kind of tubing that I bought had been coiled into small tight loops at the hardware store. The tubing always wanted to return to those tight little loops and my circle refused to be truly circular. So I went back to the hardware store and found some tubing that had been coiled into larger, looser loops. It was polyethylene (PE) tubing, 3/8″ (I think) inner diamerter. When I made a throwing circle from it, the shape was a proper geometric circle. The total cost for my home-made circle was about $3.00.

Later I experiemented with a smaller size of polyethylene tubing (5/16″ outer diameter, 3/16″ inner diameter). It holds a proper circular shape, although it is a little less rigid than the larger-sized tubing. I also added a small square of duct tape over the joint to help keep the ends together if the ring was roughly handled. The final product works well.


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