What happens if the last boule in the mene knocks the jack into a location where it is not visible from the circle (e.g. behind a tree)?
Normally a jack knocked out of sight would be considered dead. But the last boule has been played. Nobody is going to throw another boule. So it seems like it shouldn’t matter whether or not the jack is visible from the circle.
Is the jack dead?
Yes, the jack is dead.
Article 9 – Dead Jack during a mene
The jack is dead in the following 7 cases:
When, located within the in-bounds area, the displaced jack is not visible from the circle, as specified in Article 7.
Article 9 says that if the jack is shot out of sight, it is dead. It doesn’t say that the jack is dead unless there are no more boules left to be played.
At first, this answer may seem puzzling. But if you think about it, it makes sense.
In a game played on a marked terrain, deliberately killing the jack by shooting it out-of-bounds is a legitimate strategy. Things are different in a game played on an unmarked terrain, in a park for instance. There are no boundaries, so it isn’t possible to kill the jack by shooting it out-of-bounds. But a shooter can still try to kill the jack by shooting it. With luck, he can knock it more than 20 meters from the circle, or knock it out of sight behind some trees on the terrain.
In these circumstances, it is just as legitimate to deliberately kill the jack with your last boule by shooting it out of range, or out of sight, as it would be to shoot it out-of-bounds on a marked terrain.
And for that to be the case, a shot-out-of-sight jack must always be dead, even if it was shot with the last boule in the mene.
This question was also discussed on petanque.org in 2007.