2020 rules – new rules about placing the circle and the jack

revised 2021-05-30
[For other posts about the 2020 rules and changes to the rules, see THIS.]
The FIPJP rules have changed. Article 7 of the 2020 version of the rules makes dramatic changes to the rules about where the circle and the jack can be thrown or placed. Basically, the new rules specify minimum required distances from three things— boundaries, other games, and obstacles.

Boundaries
Previously, the rules defining the landing strip were quite complex. Now there is only one simple rule. The jack can be thrown or placed anywhere on the assigned lane, except within 50cm of an end (short side) of the lane.

There is no longer any requirement that a jack must be a minimum distance from a side line or a dead-ball line. As long as the jack is touching the ground of the assigned lane, it is valid. It can touch a side line, and even extend over it, and still be valid. (A thrown jack is not like a hit jack, which can be resting on ground outside the dead-ball line and still be good.)


 

Other games
The rule now is simple. The circle and jack must be at least 1.5 meters from any other active circle or jack.

Obstacles
Formerly, the circle and the jack had to be at least 1 meter from any obstacle. The distance for the jack was reduced to 50cm, so now the minimum distance from an obstacle is different for the circle and the jack.

  • The circle must be at least 1 meter from any obstacle.
  • The jack must be at least 50cm from any obstacle.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: there are 4 simple rules.

  1. The jack can be thrown or placed anywhere on the assigned lane, except within 50cm of an end of the lane.
  2. The circle and jack must be at least 1.5 meters from any other active circle or jack.
  3. The circle must be at least 1 meter from any obstacle.
  4. The jack must be at least 50cm from any obstacle.

Worst-case scenarios under the new rules
The new requirement that the jack must be at least 1.5 meters from any other active circle or jack, has raised concerns that it would create problems, especially when playing on a narrow 3-meter-wide lane.

One worst-case scenario occurs 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.)

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.

Obviously, such situations will be extremely rare. But they are possible.

4 thoughts on “2020 rules – new rules about 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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