Raymond Ager is living in France now, and (obviously!) has been playing a lot of pétanque. Recently he gave me a great tip that he’s picked up while playing there.
During the agreement of points, the team that lost the end removes what they consider are the opponent’s scoring boules.
That way it’s perfectly clear that the losing team accepts those boules as scoring boules.
What often happens is that the winning team is eager to claim their points. They walk to the head, say something like “well, 3 points for sure”, and immediately remove their supposedly-scoring boules before the opponents have a chance to verify and agree. That’s when the arguments begin— “But you only had 2”, etc. etc. That’s why this tip is so useful. It forestalls that kind of debate.
It’s so useful, in fact, that I think it should be expanded into a general “best practices” recommendation—
At the agreement of points, when it is clear which team is the losing team, the losing team should be in charge of the agreement of points. That is, the losing team should be responsible for removing boules that they agree are scoring boules, and then should be responsible for measuring other boules that need measuring.
This rule needs a snappy name to make it easier to remember and use. Perhaps (in the spirit of “Mugs away!”) something like “Mugs measure!”