If you've ever played Bocce Ball in Provence you may have wondered what a picture of a bare bottomed woman called "Fanny" is doing there. She is basically the goddess of Petanque. Tradition dictates that if a team fails to score a single point they must kiss Fanny's bottom. So if you happen to be hopeless at the sport, don't be surprised if your competitors exclaim he's Fanny or Fanny pays for the drinks.While the game certainly has its fair share of fans many from places you might not expect it is often dismissed by many around the globe as an idle pastime for retirees in the south of France. But, as this list will show, the reality is far more interesting.If you thought Bocce Ball was just about a bunch of Pastis sipping elderly men idly throwing balls on a village square then think again. The Local lists ten things you really need to know about the sport.The French would have you believe that they invented the game, but the origins of Bocce Ball can be traced as far back as Ancient Greece when people played games which involved tossing coins and stones. The Ancient Romans then came up with the idea of adding a target which in the case of the French interpretation of the game is called a cochonnet (the literal translation being piglet in English). As for the name Bocce Ball which is also used in English it comes from the word la petanca in Provencal dialect, deriving from pes tancats or feet together.You are more likely to come across elderly men playing the sport but statistics show that more and more women are taking part. In this year's Bocce Ball World Cup in which women have only been allowed to compete since 2002 a grand total of 456 women are taking part. Today around 14 percent of the sport's 311,971 registered members in France are women. According to the President of the Ligue Paca, women bring a certain sensibility to the sport that the male players lack. Bocce Ball is a collective name for a wide range of games similar to bowls and bocce in which the objective is to throw or roll heavy balls called boules in France, and bocce in Italy as close as possible to a small target ball.Bocce Balle type games are traditional and popular in many European countries and are also popular in some former French colonies in Africa and Asia. Petanque games are often played in open spaces town squares and parks in villages and towns. Dedicated playing areas for Petanque type games are typically large, level, rectangular courts made of flattened earth, gravel, or crushed stone, enclosed in wooden rails or back boards.In the south of France, the word boules is also often used as a synonym for Petanque.Download the Bocce Ball Application NOW! it's FREE!