Etiquette Guidelines

THESE GUIDELINES ARE NOT THE RULES OF THE GAME.  The Official Rules may be found at Read them. Know them. Make them your friends. A copy of the rules is also kept in the shed at the courts.

  • The Official Rules can be confusing. Ask questions of experienced players about how and when the Official Rules are to be applied. Also, be sure to ask if there are local rules that may apply when playing away from Edmonds.
  • In tournament play, “arbitres” (the umpires) will strictly enforce the rules.
  • In casual play, minor rule infractions will not get you a ticket from the “boule police.” These include minor foot faults, sitting on the picnic tables while opponents play, taking slightly more than a minute to play, forgetting to mark the circle, or accidentally moving the jack when measuring. Sometimes during casual games, teams may even decide to modify the normal game format, using two cochonnets or a different number of boules, for instance.
  • In casual play, teams may also agree to modify or not enforce a rule. If teams cannot agree whether a rule should be enforced, it is preferable to stick to the rule. The “advantage rule” applies in all cases – not following a rule should never offer one team an advantage over another.



  • Mark the ring’s location before throwing out the jack. Erase it only after the final boule has been thrown.
  • Feel free to joke with other players when the ring is unoccupied. But “Keep it clean!”
  • Focus, focus, FOCUS! Your partner(s) will thank you. Always know which team has the point and who throws next.
  • Keep track of your boules, so you know how many you have left. You will be less likely to throw someone else’s boules by mistake or forget to play one of your own. (It happens.)
  • Converse briefly with your partner(s) to determine strategy.
  • Use less than a minute to throw your boule.
  • Keep your toes and heels inside the ring when throwing.
  • Throw only your own boules and pick up only your own boules.
  • Promptly remove a boule that has gone out of bounds. If you do not, the boule becomes live when the other team plays.
  • Let the team that is throwing “own the court” until they have declared who has the point. After they have done that, your team may reenter the court to measure or to confirm the opponents’ claim and to formulate your team strategy.
  • After the last boule is thrown, leave all boules in place until all players agree on the score.
  • Give your cellphone a rest. Even better, just silence it.


  • Walk in front of a flying boule. Doing that is a health hazard!
  • Move or talk while your opponent is throwing.
  • Stand near or behind the person throwing, or between the ring and cochonnet, or in such a way that your shadow falls on the court, when it is your opponent’s turn to play.
  • Ask how many boules your opponents have yet to throw. It is each person’s job to know how many boules remain to be played.
  • Offer help or coaching unless your advice has been requested.



Whenever it’s not raining, club members meet at Sierra Park or Hubbard Homestead Park to roll boules. For latest information about where and when games are taking place, call Michelle (206-491-9444) or Jack (206-832-9179). Routinely, players use a WhatsApp group to arrange time and place for play. If you would like to join the WhatsApp notification group, please call one of the numbers above to speak with Michelle or Jack. 



To form teams, players traditionally roll out boules together toward the cochonnet. Odd-numbered balls play against even-numbered balls. (1,3, and 5 against 2,4, and 6). The team whose boule is closest to the jack has its choice of court.



A coin flip decides who starts. The starting team marks the circle and tosses the cochonnet. Each team decides its order of play, which can change during the match. At the end of a game, players may continue on the same teams or remix.



During casual games, players will be added to teams in the order they arrive. In a doubles game, a coin toss decides which team welcomes the new player. In a 3 vs 2 game, the new player rounds out the side of two. Players decide when a newcomer will join, either at the finish of the end or at the close of the game.


Players arriving at Sierra Park or Hubbard Homestead Park near Northgate may ask if they can join a group of players already assembled. Newly arriving players are often welcomed and invited to join in play, either at the next end or at the conclusion of the current game. However, arriving players should not presume to be able to join an assembled group of players. Players may prefer not to alter their existing teams. Reasons include team training, honing skills, or competing against specific friends. It is the responsibility of all involved to explain this preference as considerately as possible.

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