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:
- When placing the circle or the jack, the placed circle or jack must be at least 1.5 meters from any jack or circle in a game on a neighboring terrain.
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.
With respect to dead-ball lines:
- The jack must be at least 50cm from any end dead-ball line.
When throwing the jack, note that:
- There is no requirement for a minimum distance between the jack and a side dead-ball line. This constraint was abolished.
- Mike Pegg says that “The jack can be thrown up to the side line, but not on or over it.” This means that a thrown jack is not like a hit jack, which can straddle a dead-ball line and still be good.
- The minimum distance between a thrown jack and a pointing obstacle has been reduced from 1 meter to 50 cm.
To help me remember these new rules, I diagrammed the “landing strip” for the jack (the area where a player is permitted to place the jack) and I did the same for the circle.
The landing strip for the circle
The area where you are allowed to place the circle is shown in pink. Note the areas cut out of the landing strip by constraints from a jack, from another circle, and from a throwing obstacle (a tree). I’ve shown the circle in the neighboring lane as located just across the end dead-ball line— this seems to me the most likely scenario for that particular constraint. (The diagram is drawn to scale; the lane is 4 meters wide.)
The landing strip for the jack
The area where you are allowed to throw or place the jack is shown in pink. Note the areas cut out of the landing strip by constraints from another jack, from end dead-ball lines, from another circle, and from a pointing obstacle (a tree). Note that the minimum distance between a thrown jack and a pointing obstacle (such as a tree) has been reduced from 1 meter to 50 cm. (The diagram is drawn to scale; the lane is 4 meters wide.)
The worst-case scenario for throwing the jack
With these new rules in place, assuming competition conditions (no obstacles), when are your options for throwing the jack most limited? It is in a time-limited game on a 3-meter-wide terrain with the circle 10 meters from the far dead-ball line. The full width of the terrain is available only if you throw the jack to 6-7 meters. There is no place on the terrain where you can throw the jack to 8.5 meters. (The diagram is drawn to scale; the lane is 3 meters wide.)
This one gets my vote for the worst-case scenario. The problematic jacks aren’t opposite each other. The size of the largest contiguous area is smaller than in the previous diagram and there is virtually no place where the full width of the terrain is available.
UPDATES TO THE ORIGINAL POST
[2020-12-28] An error in the English translation of Article 7.3 was discovered, and then correctd. The post is now based on the French version of the rules.]
[2020-12-29] Fixed a mistake in the diagrams. 1.5m distances were being shown as only 1.25m.
[2020-12-29] Added two diagrams of the worst-case scenario.