Last update 12.04.08

Questions to the Umpire

Mike Pegg - International Umpire (FIPJP, BPUB)

Q. Is the rule still in force that the single string between lanes is a guide line and not a boundary in other words after the jack has been thrown within the guide lines then if it or boule cross the guide line they are still in play.

A. The string line marking a lane is a guide line determining the area in which you draw the circle and throw the jack.
If a boule or jack crosses this line it is still in play except in the following circumstances:

When playing areas are placed end to end, the end lines of the lanes, which are common to both playing areas, are classed as dead ball lines.
When on marked out playing areas, the jack crosses more than one lane immediately to the side of the lane in use.

Q. Now in Grenoble it will be the first time when ladies and men (open) are playing World Champs at the same time in the same place. Of course someone of the ladies team shoots in the ladies shooting, but is it possible to put a member of a ladies team to shoot also in the open shooting? And how about if she's shooting also in the ladies shooting? I believe that this is not prescribed in the rules.

A. No it would not be possible for a woman playing the Ladies World Championship to take part in the shooting championship on the Senior World Championship.
Although this year both events are held at the same time and same place they remain separate championships

Q. I recently played in a match where an opposing player, having positioned himself in the circle to throw, holding three boules, discarded the two boules he is was not needing by dropping them on the piste in front of his feet. Technically are these boules counted as thrown?

A. Technically the answer is yes the boules would be considered to be played.  Normally the umpire would warn the player, of course a repeat of this practice would see both boules being considered as played leaving the team/player very short of boules at the head of the game.

Q. I have seen in this site the drawing of "Marked terrain". In the article 5 it is said "that the dead ball line will encircle the exterior of the terrain (marked) to a maximum distance of 4m , and at 0.3m from solid barriers What is the minimum distance of the dead ball line to the marked terrain line. Could it be that both lines be the same?  Please to not tell me 1m as per the drawing because it is not written in any article in the rules book (English/French or any other languages)

A. I’m sorry that you do not want me to tell you the minimum distance to the marked lanes is 1 metre because that is exactly the measurement.
I understand from your email that you have checked the rules and have been unable to find where it is written, to explain we have to establish just a few points.

Firstly the thought behind having a marked terrain (divided into lanes) is to regulate the area of play for the smooth running of the competition, as we all know ptanque can be played just about anywhere but for most tournaments it is better to have games played in lanes rather than in any direction, I’m sure you understand why.

The minimum distance of 1 metre from this marked area is established by articles 6, 7 and 15 where in each case it states the minimum distance that the circle can be drawn or the jack thrown from the boundary of play (dead ball line).  The idea is whilst restricting the area for drawing the circle and throwing the jack to 15m x 4m we are still giving the players the maximum area in which to play.
If for instance the dead ball line was only a metre from the marked lane then the circle would have to be drawn 1 metre away from this line putting it a metre inside the marked lane.

I hope that I have managed to explain that clearly, in case 'click here' for a sketch to clarify this point.

I guess to some this may appear a bit of an obscure reasoning but if you understand the rules and by that I mean why a particular rule was drawn up, then you will see its about controlling the order or play, area being used but still giving a good area to play in.

Q. With this colder weather many players wish to wear gloves. Personally I find them more of a hindrance as boule may slip, so only put a glove on my throwing hand between shots. We recently had a situation when a player wore a pair of 'gardening gloves' complete with raised 'pimples' on their surface. Now these I feel could assist with putting spin on boules or with grip when it is a wet day, so would rule them unacceptable. I would appreciate your comments.

A. The wearing of gloves as you have pointed out is more of a hindrance than an advantage, regardless of the type of glove it is very unlikely that the player will gain any more control over the spin of the boule than their opponent.
The gloved player is less likely to be able to “feel” the boule and in my opinion would not be able to judge the amount of spin required

Q. I've had much discussion regarding the removal of stones etc. from a playing area before play starts. I interpret the ruling that as soon as the coin has been tossed and a terrain selected, nothing should be removed. The other interpretation offered to me is that, until the first boule has been played the terrain is not 'live' and therefore it is okay to remove things. My argument is that a team selecting a rough area intentionally, should not be 'cleared' by a team who would have preferred a smoother area. I would appreciate your comments.

A. The rule (article 10 Displacement of Obstacles) comes into force once a game has started which as you will know is after a valid jack has been thrown.
Until that time it is considered OK to smooth out the marks made by a previous game etc., of course doing the same between ends is not permitted.

Q. Can you please clarify a situation which arose during a ptanque competition. 
A member of a team stood behind the cochonnet 'Jack' with his feet on a V shape in order to assist his team mate with the direction of his throw.  Some members complained that this is not permitted as it goes against rule number 16 of the Official International Rules of the game of Ptanque, which states the following :- The player must not use any object to give aid in playing a boule.
Would you please be so kind as to clarify this situation to me/us.  Is it or not permitted?

A. Your members are misinterpreting article 16, the “objects” that must not be used are such items as stones, sticks, pieces of paper etc and of course includes drawing lines all of which could stop or deflect a boule.

The team member standing in a position behind, in front, to either side etc., giving a indication where to land, stop or the line of play is of course permitted.

I hope this helps to clarify this issue

Q. Lately my team has encountered with a scenario that we weren’t sure what the rule say about it, also we couldn’t find the answer in the latest rule book .
The scenario :

1)       Team A throw boule 1, and takes the point .
2)       Team B throw  boule 2 , and now there’s no point (same distance from the jack between the two boules ).
Team B throw boule 3- still no point (between boule 1 & 2).
Team A throw  boule 4 - still no point (between boule 1 & 2).
Team B tries to “shoot” team A boule 1 out of play .
“shoot” moves team A’s boule 1 to a new location, but the status remains : no point
(same distance from the jack between boules 1&2 ).

The question is who should play now ?
Team A - because there’s still no point  Or
Team B - That “moved”  Team A boule (although still no point in the game )

A. Although team ‘B’ moved the boule no point was won so Team ‘A’ must play again as the article 28(3) states If both teams have boules to play, the team which played the last boule plays again, then the other team, and so on alternately until the point has been won by one of them.

Q. Can you clarify for me the kit rule for the Grand Prix Series. Do we need to have matching Tops and Bottoms for GP 1-5 of do we need the bottoms for just the top 16?  Please can you let me know as there is some confusion!

A. First I have heard that there is some confusion regarding the standard of dress required at BPF events, I thought the rule was very clear.  However, just in case here is the rule:

10.1     In all competitions teams will be required to be clean and smart and wear matching tops (same colour) sweatshirts, Polo shirts, jumpers etc., with the exception of all International Qualifying events where FULL TEAM KIT is required. This will comprise of matching tops (same colour), sweat shirt, polo shirt, t shirts and trousers, shorts, skirts etc.

 So it’s matching tops for Grand Prix ONLY

Q. I wonder if you could clarify a few points on the rules for me, as my club and I have been involved in several disputes with other clubs.
We have been told that you only have to draw a circle around the jack when playing on an open terrain and it does not matter on marked terrain where you place the circle.

A. Article 7 is the rule that applies:  At the following end, the jack is thrown from a circle drawn around the point where it finished at the previous end, except in the following cases:
The circle would be less than 1m from an obstacle or the boundary of the playing area.
The throwing of the jack could not be made to all regulation distances.

In the first case the player will draw the circle in the nearest valid position from the obstacle or the boundary.
In the second case, the player may step back, in line with the previous end’s line of play, until he or she is able to throw the jack any valid distance up to the maximum distance allowed, and not beyond.  This may only be done if the jack cannot be thrown in any other direction to the maximum distance.

Q. Must you always move the circle so that a 10m jack can thrown even if your team does not require this distance i.e. if you only want to play  at say 8m. the other team can force you to move back  the full distance?

A. No, if you can throw to the distance your team wishes to and this distance is between 6 and 10 metres (adults) then that’s OK and there is no need or requirement to move the circle.


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