Greetings Friends.

Our club member Philippe has asked me to explain the topic of ALTERNATING BOULE THROWS in the two scenarios wherein teams encounter “boules are tied.” 

Art. 16, paragraph 6) -Throwing of the first, and following boules-

“If the first boule played goes out-of-bounds, it is for the opponent to play first then alternately so long as there are no boules on the designated terrain.”

Art.16 scenario – IT MAY BE A KNOT, BUT IT IS NO TIE

After the jack has been placed legally, team [A] throws the first ball out of bounds. What next? 

There is no tie, because the opponent, team [B], has not thrown any balls yet. So team [B] must play its first ball. If the first ball from team [B] also goes out-of-bounds, then team [A] plays again, with both teams alternating until one is able to keep the thing inbounds.

Some players indicate that if both teams have their first ball out-of-bounds, it becomes a tie, and at that point Article 29 (team [B] ‘throw again’) becomes applicable. 



Art. 29, subsection 3) -Boules equidistant from the jack-

If both teams have boules at their disposition, it is for the team which played the last boule to play again, then the opposing team, and so on alternately until the point belongs to one of them.”

Art. 29 scenario – IT IS A TIE, BUT IT’S NOT A KNOT.

Both captains (or an umpire) have agreed that each team has a ball which rests equidistant from the jack. Now what?

The boules are tied. Team [A] set a ball which clearly claimed the point. Subsequently, team [B] also set a ball but it ‘tied’ and did not take the point from team [A]. So team [B] tries again, but team [B] still did not take the point. However [B’s] tie ball is still in position, so now team [A] needs to throw and try to break the tie. Then alternating throws. If all twelve balls are thrown, and there is still a tie for point, the end is re-thrown.

Hoping this helps.


Gregory Conyers

Regional Umpire