What is a “boule thrown contrary to the rules”?

In the 2016 version of the FIPJP rules, the title of Article 24 is “Boules thrown contrary to the rules”.

Any boule thrown contrary to the rules is dead, and anything that it displaced in its travel is put back in place, if its original position was marked. However, the opponent has the right to apply the advantage rule and to declare that it is valid. In this case, the boule pointed or shot, is still alive and anything it has displaced remains in its place.

If nothing was marked, then this means basically that everything is left in place and the opposing team has the choice of whether or not to leave the offending boule on the terrain.

So what, exactly, is a “boule thrown contrary to the rules”?

Between 2008 and 2010 the FIPJP rules included an example of what it meant by a “boule thrown contrary to the rules”. The example was a boule thrown from a circle other than the one from which the jack was thrown. Plastic throwing circles were introduced into the game in 2005, but many players of course continued to draw circles on the ground. In 2008 the FIPJP probably felt that it should tell players what to do if a player mistakenly threw a boule from a dead circle drawn on the ground. So they added the example. By 2010 the FIPJP probably thought that plastic circles had become so common that the example could be removed. The upshot is that the current version of the FIPJP rules does not give us any clue about what is meant by “a boule thrown contrary to the rules”.

One idea for how we can come to grips with Article 24 is to look at other rules about how boules should and should not be thrown, and make a list of how each of those rules could be violated. I we do that, we come up with this list.

  1. Throwing two or more boules simultaneously. Note that throwing several boules simultaneously is NOT considered to be a case where one boule was thrown legally and the other boules were thrown out of turn. ALL of the simultaneously thrown boules are considered to have been thrown illegally.
  2. Throwing more boules than you’re allowed. This usually happens when a player throws a third boule in a triples game (where each player is allowed only two boules).
  3. Committing a foot fault— throwing while a toe or heel overlaps the circle.
  4. Lifting one foot off the ground before the thrown boule hits the ground.
  5. Throwing while illegally holding an “extra” boule in the other hand (see Article 15).
  6. Throwing the boule from the wrong circle, or from outside the correct circle.
  7. Throwing a boule that has been moistened, or that has something foreign (like mud) clinging to it.

There are two cases that you might expect to be on this list, but are not.

  1. Throwing a boule that belongs to a team-mate.
  2. Throwing a boule that belongs to one of the opposing players.

They are covered by Article 22—”The player who plays a boule other than his own …”

Should throwing a boule out of turn be on this list? See our posts on boules thrown out of turn and dealing with a forgotten boule.


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