2020 rules – new distance constraints when placing the circle and the jack

[updated 2021-04-19]
[For other posts about the 2020 rules and changes to the rules, see THIS.]
The FIPJP rules have changed. With the 2020 version of the rules comes an almost completely different set of constraints on how far the circle or the thrown jack must be from obstacles, dead-ball lines, and jacks and circles in neighboring lanes. The new rules are in Article 7.

With respect to circles or jacks in neighboring games:

  • The placed circle or jack must be at least 1.5 meters from any other active circle or jack.

With respect to obstacles:

  • The circle must be at least 1 meter from any obstacle.
  • The jack must be at least 50 cm from any obstacle. (This was reduced from the old requirement of 1 meter.)

With respect to end lines:

  • The jack must be at least 50cm from any end line. (This was reduced from the old requirement of 1 meter.)

With respect to side guide lines and dead-ball lines:

  • There is no required minimum distance between the circle and a side line.
  • There is no required minimum distance between the jack and a side line, even if it is a dead-ball line. (This constraint was abolished.) As long as the jack is touching the ground of the assigned lane, it can be touching a side line, and even slightly extending over it. A thrown jack is not like a hit jack, which can be resting on dead ground but straddling the dead-ball line and still be good. (See THIS.)

Here’s another way to remember the new minimum distance requirements. Click to view larger image.petanque_2020_distance_rules
For both the circle and the jack, there are two “orbits”, or required minimum distances: an outer orbit and an inner orbit.

  • For both the circle and the jack, the outer orbit is at 1.5 meters. It’s for another circle or jack.
  • For the circle, the inner orbit is at 1m. It’s for throwing obstacles.
  • For the jack, the inner orbit is at 0.5m. It’s for pointing obstacles. Physical objects and the end line of a lane are both pointing obstacles.

For the circle… the team that places the circle must put it in a location that meets all of the distance requirements for the circle. If they drop the circle onto the ground around the jack’s former location, and they see (for example) that the circle is too close to an obstacle, then they must move the circle until it is 1m away from the obstacle before throwing the jack.

For the jack… the team that throws the jack must throw the jack to a location that meets all of the distance requirements for the jack. If they throw the jack, and they see (for example) that it is too close to an obstacle, then they have failed to throw the jack to a valid location— they must give the jack to the opponents. Then the opponents must place the jack (by hand) in a location. that meets all of these requirements.

Worst-case scenarios under the new rules

Options for throwing the jack are most limited on a 3-meter-wide lane with active jacks in neighboring games kissing the boundary strings on both sides. The full width of the lane is available only if you throw the jack to 6-7 meters. There is no place on the lane where you can throw the jack to 8.5 meters. (In this diagram, pink areas show the “landing strip” for the jack— areas where a player may throw or place the jack.)

Perhaps the very worst scenario is this one. The neighboring jacks are offset from each other, so that there is virtually no place where the landing strip extends the full width of the lane.

4 thoughts on “2020 rules – new distance constraints when placing the circle and the jack

  1. (a) In the new rules, is it compulsory for the jack to be marked?

    (b) In Article 6, the team that throws an invalid Jack should move the jack away. But here’s a problem with the expression ‘second team’. The “second team” — is he a opponent? That is to say– The opponent gets yellow card if he puts the jack in an invalid location?

    • Hi Mani,
      (a) Yes, the jack MUST be marked when it is placed, and whenever it is hit and moved.

      (b) Yes, in Article 6 the “second team” is the opponent. (The people who write the FIPJP rules should be more careful about using consistent terminology!) So YES — if the opponent puts the jack down in an invalid place, the opponent gets a yellow card. The opponents must then also go back and put the jack down in a place that is valid.

      See also this
      https://petanquerules.wordpress.com/2020/12/25/2020-rules-changes/

  2. Can the jack be thrown from one lane to another where adjoining lanes (side by side) are not separated by dead ball lines?

    We have 15 adjoining lanes with a dead ball line surrounding the whole 15. The lines separating the lanes are not designated as dead ball lines. In other words— Should the jack be thrown only within the designated lane (other constraints accepted) regardless of the lines around the terrain are designated dead ball or not?

    • The jack must be thrown on the designated lane, regardless of whether the side lines are dead-ball lines (as they are in time-limited games) or merely guidelines (as they normally are). So there are no circumstances under which the jack can be thrown onto an adjoining lane. Thanks for writing your question so clearly! 🙂

      I’m happy to be able to answer your question.
      Just for future reference there is also a Facebook Petanque Q&A page:
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/PETANQUE.QA/

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