2016 rules – Article 35’s new rule about exceeding the 1-minute rule

Revised 2022-05-20

When the FIPJP released a new version of the rules in December 2016, umpires and players discovered that two sentences (marked [a] and [b], below) had been inserted into Article 35.

For non-observation of the rules of the game the players incur the following penalties:
1) A warning, which is indicated officially by the showing by the umpire of a yellow card to the player at fault.
[a] However, a yellow card for exceeding the time limit is imposed on all the players of the offending team. [b] 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.
 

These two sentences caused an immense amount of confusion among players and umpires. In response, there were a number of attempts to clarify the two new sentences. Strangely enough, these attempts usually tried to relieve the confusion by introducing new, unfamiliar, and undefined terminology. On “Ask the Umpire”, Mike Pegg responded to questions with talk of “team” infractions, “team” penalties, and “team” yellow cards. The French National Umpires Committee issued memo in which it tried to alleviate the confusion with talk of “collective” infractions, “collective” penalties, and “collective” yellow cards.

These efforts were completely misguided. In petanque, there are no “collective” offenses or “team” penalties. There are only individual offenses and penalties. Article 35, for example, begins by saying that a warning is indicated “by the umpire showing a yellow card to the player at fault.” Before 2016, when the two new sentences were added—

  • If a player lingered too long in the circle and violated the 1-minute rule, that player would have been the player at fault, and would have been given a warning (yellow card).
     
  • If all three members of a team spent too much time discussing strategy together, each of the three players would have been at fault, and each would receive his own, individual warning (yellow card). Three yellow cards, total.

What the new sentences in Article 35 did was to add a new rule. (Note that this new rule is triggered only by a team’s first infraction of the 1-minute rule.)

  • The first time that any member of a team violates the 1-minute rule, the umpire will give an individual penalty to the player at fault. IN ADDITION the umpire will give an individual penalty to each of his team-mates, regardless of whether or not those team-mates were at fault in creating the violation.

Basically the new rule in Article 35 is this—

  • The first time that any player of a team violates the 1-minute rule, the umpire must penalize all members of the team— guilty and innocent alike.

As I’ve said, there is no such thing as a “team penalty” or a “collective penalty”.
The expressions “team penalty” and “collective penalty” are what philosopher Gilbert Ryle called “systematically misleading expressions”. There is no such thing as a “team penalty” or a “collective penalty” in the sense of a penalty given to the entire team as a whole as opposed to individual players. There are only individual penalties. When people use the expressions “team penalty” and “collective penalty” they are referring to situations in which an umpire awards an individual penalty to each of the players on the team.

When the new rule appeared, it provoked many questions about what effect it would have on the vague tradition of penalty escalation— the idea that repeated offenses should be punished with increasingly severe penalties. The unwritten rule-of-thumb for umpires is— First offense gets a warning; second offense gets a disqualified boule. So when the new rule was published, the question that was on the minds of many players was— What effects does the new rule have on the ways that penalties are escalated?

The answer is— None. Nada. Zip. All of the traditional rules of penalty escalation still operate the same way as they always have. The first time that a player exceeds the time limit, the umpire gives each member of his team a yellow card; EXCEPT THAT the umpire gives an orange card to each player that already has a yellow card (for any offense); EXCEPT THAT the umpire gives a red card to any player that already has an orange card. Thereafter, if a player breaks a rule, the umpire gives him a yellow card; EXCEPT THAT if the player already has a yellow card, the umpire gives him an orange card; etc. etc.

In January 2017, the French National Umpires Committee released a memo that confirmed that the traditional rules of petanque escalation remain unchanged. (You can find the CNA’s memo HERE.) The memo lists several case descriptions and provides the approved decision in each case.

=======================================================
The following examples are for a team composed of three players A, B and C.
The term “individual infraction” means any infraction of the rules other than an infraction of the time-limit rule.

Case 1
No player has received a warning for any infraction of the rules.
Player A exceeds the time limit.
DECISION
The umpire gives a warning to each player: A, B, and C.

Case 2
The team has exceeded the time limit once, and each player has received a warning.
Player A commits an individual infraction.
DECISION
The umpire disqualifies one of player A’s boules.

Case 3
The team has exceeded the time limit once, and each player has received a warning.
Player A exceeds the time.
DECISION
The umpire disqualifies one of player A’s boules.

Case 4
Player C commits an infraction of a rule other than the time-limit rule.
Player B exceeds the time.
DECISION
The umpire gives a warning to players A and B.
The umpire disqualifies one of player C’s boules.

Case 5
Player A commits an individual infraction.
Player B commits an individual infraction.
Player C exceeds the time.
DECISION
The umpire disqualifies one of player A’s boules.
The umpire disqualifies one of player B’s boules.
The umpire gives a warning to player C.

Case 6
Player A commits an individual infraction.
Player B commits an individual infraction.
Player C commits an individual infraction.
Player A exceeds the time.
DECISION
The umpire disqualifies one of player A’s boules.
The umpire disqualifies one of player B’s boules.
The umpire disqualifies one of player C’s boules.
=======================================================
Case 7
Each of the players has been given a warning for exceeding the time limit.
The team exceeds the time limit for a second time, by conferring among themselves as a group for more than a minute.
DECISION
The umpire disqualifies one of the team’s boules.
=======================================================

Actually, there are only 6 cases on the CNA’s list— Case 7 is my own addition. It is remarkable that Case 7 is not on the CNA’s list, because it is the most controversial case of all.

In Case 7, all three players are what the CNA calls “direct authors” of the second infraction— each player personally participates in the act that breaks the rule. In my opinion, in Case 7 an umpire who honestly tries to follow the letter of the law will disqualify one boule for each of the offending players— three boules in total.

But that might seem like a “team penalty” for a second infraction of the 1-minute rule, something that Article 35 definitely does not support. (“There is no such thing as a collective orange card. An orange card can be given only to the direct author of an infraction.”) So an umpire won’t do that; he will disqualify just one of the team’s boules (see international umpire Mike Pegg’s ruling HERE). At this point, players will of course ask: “Which boule does the umpire disqualify?” For the answer to that question, see our post on What does it mean to “disqualify a boule”?

Three players exceeding the time limit as they discuss what to do next


Article 35 – CNA guidelines on exceeding the time limit

Article 35 of the 2016 revision of the FIPJP rules contains a new rule for “collective” penalties for exceeding the time limit for throwing the jack.

A warning for exceeding the time limit is imposed on all the players of the offending team. If one of these players has already been given a warning, 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.

At the end of January 2017 The CNA (Commission Nationale d’Arbitrage, the French National Umpires Committee) issued a memo attempting to clarify the rule.

Our archived copy of the memo can be found HERE.
It can also be found on the web HERE.
My English translation can be found HERE (docx) or HERE (pdf).

Decisions of the FIPJP National Umpires Committee
28 and 29 January 2017 in Marseille

Article 35
Different cases concerning exceeding the time (during the course of a single game) Assume a triples game with a team composed of players A, B and C.

CASE 1
No player has a yellow card.
Player A exceeds the allowed time.
► There is a collective yellow card (one for Player A, one for player B and one for player C).

CASE 2
After [the team has received] a collective yellow card,
► For the player who breaks the rules (whatever the infraction) the next boule played or about to be played is disqualified, and the disqualification is indicated by an orange card.

CASE 3
After a collective yellow card,
player B exceeds the time, so this is a second collective infraction.
► In this specific case, the offending player (B) has a boule disqualified and receives an orange card. But his partners do not receive an orange card and they do not have any boules disqualified because there is no such thing as a collective orange card.

CASE 4
Only player C has received a yellow card for an infraction other than exceeding the time (e.g. encroaching on the circle, sweeping, etc.)
and player B exceeds the time.
► A and B receive a yellow card and
C has a boule disqualified, but he does not receive an orange card (he is not the one who committed this new infraction). (Note that an orange card can be given only to the direct author of an infraction.)

CASE 5
Player A and player B have each received an individual yellow card for an infraction other than exceeding the time.
and player C exceeds the time.
► Players A and B each have a boule disqualified, but they do not receive an orange card.
(Note that an orange card can be given only to the direct author of an infraction.)
Player C receives a yellow card.

CASE 6
Players A, B and C have each received a yellow card for individual infractions,
and the time-limit is exceeded.
► Three boules are disqualified (one per player) and the player who exceeded the time-limit receives an orange card.

SUMMARY
– Always make sure you know who made the infraction.
– Know which players of the team have already been penalized during the game.
– Distinguish between a collective infraction (time exceeded) and an individual infraction.
– Remember that there is no collective orange card.