Etiquette Guidelines


  • The Official Rules can be confusing. Ask experienced players about how and when to apply the Official Rules. Also, be sure to ask if there are local rules that may apply when playing in tournaments or 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, taking slightly more than a minute to play, forgetting to mark the circle or jack, or accidentally moving the jack when measuring. Sometimes during casual play, teams may even decide to modify the normal game format, such as using a different number of cochonnets or boules.
    • 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” always applies – 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 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.


  • Club Play takes place on Saturdays, beginning at 10:00, and Wednesdays and Sundays, beginning at 1:00. These sessions allow players of all skill levels a chance to meet and play with other club members. Club tradition is that players roll out boules at the posted start times to mix randomly and form teams.
  • Outside of Club Play at the times noted above, the courts are available for play by all members. Games may be pre-arranged or initiated as players arrive.
  • Club members often use WhatsApp to inform others of when they plan on being at the courts to play.  Any member not on the app may ask to be added by contacting any member of the club’s Board of Directors, who are identified on the club’s website.


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 club 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 versus 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 the courts at times other than Club Play times may ask to 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 to maintain their existing teams. Reasons include team training, honing skills, or competing against specific players. It is the responsibility of all involved to explain this preference as considerately as possible. 

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