Greetings Paytonk-a-donkers. Welcome to Edition #8 of “Ask the Umpire”. Our repartee has been missed.

Our dear friend Lolli asks the following questions:

(Q1) What are the consequences if a player is out of the circle before the boule hits [the ground]? Obviously his [or her] boule wouldn’t count/be in play, but what if other boules or the pig are moved? Of course, the pig should have been marked, and perhaps the boules as well, but what if they’re not?

(Q2) Also, we have a local Noyo Yoyo player who goes up on his toes when he shoots, but doesn’t step out of the circle. Is he ok?

Response to Q1 –
2021 FIPJP Rules Art.6 –
“The players’ feet must be entirely on the inside of the circle and not encroach on its perimeter and they must not leave it or be lifted completely off the ground until the thrown boule has touched the ground.” (Aside: The subsequent rule paragraph cites exceptions for players with lower limb disabilities or for those players in wheel chairs.)

AND Art.24. “…any boule thrown contrary to the rules is dead, and if marked, anything that it has displaced in its travel is put back in place. However, the opponent has the right to apply the advantage rule and declare it to be valid. In this case the boule pointed or shot, is valid and anything it has displaced remains in its place.

Lolli, you have a good grasp already about the whole ‘everything should be marked’ aspect, since you alluded to it within your question.

So…how do the players themselves solve this mess?
If both captains can mutually agree that the Art.6 infraction did indeed occur, then the captain of the non-offending team may invoke Art.24. The captain may remove (or not) the offending boule, and if all moved objects have been marked, place them back where they were, or leave them in the new positions.

If the objects have not been marked, the offending boule may be removed (or not) by the non-offending team’s captain, then both captains may mutually agree on the altered locations of the remaining objects. If the captains cannot mutually agree, then all objects remain in their post-infraction position.

If an umpire is requested, he/she may only adjudicate on what he/she actually sees or has seen. If the umpire sees the entire scenario transpire, then at the umpire’s discretion, the offending player may also be subject to Art. 35 penalties.

Response to Q2 –

If a player throws whilst on their tippy-toes, Moses supposes those toes-es are roses. Sorry, just a bit of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ there. Take note: Many players throw from a squat, which means their weight is already on their um, toes-es. Throwers from a standing position may also elevate to be upon their toes. This often occurs when a player throws a high-arced plombee. Unless one can see light between the ground and the soles, there is no need to succumb to throes of those toes.


Sauvage! — Petanque without borders

President Jack has asked me to address our readers about guidelines for coloring outside of the lines.

1) Keep the ring at least 1-meter away from obstacles (trees, benches, trash bins, etc.). Art.6
2) Keep the jack at least 50cm (1/2-meter) away from obstacles. Art.7
3) Keep the jack at least1.5-meters away from another ring or jack. Art.7
4) Keep the rings at least 1.5-meters away from another ring or jack. Art.6 & Art.7
5) The jack is dead if it is moved to more than 20-meters from the throwing circle.
*** If the jack is moved to 20m+ with the 12th boule thrown, the end is void. Teams do not get to claim points for any boules closest to the now-dead jack.***

As ever, please send future questions directly to

At your service,

Gregory Conyers

The preceding rules interpretations are offered by EPC member Greg Conyers, NW Regional Umpire. They represent Greg’s interpretation of current petanque rules. Other umpires’ opinions may differ.