One of the penalties described in Article 35 is disqualification of a boule.
Correct English translation
If one of these players has already been given a yellow card, he will be penalized by disqualification of a boule during the mene in progress or for the following mene if he has no more boules to play.
Incorrect English translation
If one of these players has already been given a yellow card, they will be penalised by disqualification of the boule played or to be played.
[This incorrect translation appears in the official English translation of the FIPJP rules for 2016 and 2020. The expression “the boule played or to be played”, which is now incorrect, was carried forward unchanged from the translation of the 2010 rules, where it was correct.]
What does it mean to “disqualify a boule”?
Disqualifying a boule that has already been played means declaring it to be dead and removing it from the terrain. It also means restoring to their original locations any balls (jack or boules) that the disqualified boule may have moved, if those locations were marked. See this ruling by Mike Pegg.
- Disqualifying a boule to be played in the future means reducing the number of boules that a penalized player will be allowed to play in the future.
Which boule is disqualified?
When an umpire disqualifies a boule, how does he decide whether to disqualify a boule that has already been played, or a boule to be played in the future? The answer is— It depends on the situation.
Disqualifying an already-played boule
When a boule has been thrown contrary to the rules it is clear that that the boule that was just played is the one that should be disqualified. Suppose that Bob has already received one warning for a foot fault, and the umpire is watching him closely. When the umpire sees Bob foot-fault a second time, he shows Bob an orange card and disqualifies the boule that Bob just played.
Disqualifying a future boule
Suppose that Bob has already received one warning for a foot fault. When his team violates the 1-minute rule, the umpire gives his team a “collective” warning. The other players get warnings (yellow cards). But because this is Bob’s second offense, the umpire is going to show Bob an orange card and disqualify one of his boules. In this case, the umpire can’t point to a boule that Bob has just played and say “That is the boule to be disqualified.” What does the umpire do?
If Bob still has unplayed boules, the umpire reduces the number of boules that Bob, the penalized player, is allowed to play in the future. If Bob has two unplayed boules, he will be allowed to play only one of them. If Bob has no unplayed boules, the umpire reduces the number of boules that Bob will be allowed to play in the next mene. In the next mene, if Bob would normally play two boules, he will be allowed to play only one.
In a competition, in theory, if Bob has no unplayed boules in the last mene of the game— in the first mene of the next game in the competition the number of boules that Bob will be allowed to play will be reduced by one. Note however that the decision about whether or not to disqualify a boule, and the way to do it, is left completely to the discretion of the individual umpire. That means that different umpires, under different circumstances, may apply the rule in different ways.
Excluding a player
An umpire also has the option of excluding a player from the rest of the game. The procedures for excluding a player are similar to the procedures for disqualifying a boule.
The umpire may exclude a specific player from the rest of the game, or may penalize a team by reducing the number of its players that may play during the remainder of the game. Note that if one of a team’s players is excluded, his place cannot be filled with the team’s alternate/substitute player. The team must soldier on with a reduced number of players and boules.