How to play Boules

Official Rules for the sport of Pétanque (Boules)


Article 6 | Start of play and rules regarding the circle

The players must draw lots (toss a coin) to decide which team will be the first to throw the jack.

Any member of the team winning the draw chooses the starting point and traces or places a circle on the ground. However, a drawn circle may not measure less than 35cm or more than 50cm in diameter and be of a size that the feet of each player can fit entirely inside it.

The circle must be drawn more than one metre from any obstacle and at least two metres from another throwing circle in use.

The team winning the toss or the previous end will have one attempt to throw a valid jack. If this jack is not valid it is handed to the opponent who may place it at any valid position on the designated terrain.

The team that is going to throw the jack must erase all throwing circles near the one it is
going to use. The interior of the circle can be completely cleared of grit/pebbles etc. during the end but must be put back in good order when the end is over.


Article 7 | Valid distances for the thrown jack

For the thrown jack to be valid, the following conditions apply:

That the distance separating it from the internal edge of the circle must be 6 metres minimum and 10 metres maximum for Juniors and Seniors.


Article 14 | Rules to apply if the jack is dead

If, during an end, the jack is dead, one of three cases can apply:

1) Both teams have boules to play, the end is void and the jack is thrown by the team that scored the points in the previous end or who won the toss.

2) Only one team has boules left to play, this team scores as many points as boules that remain to be played.

3) The two teams have no more boules in hand, the end is void and the jack is thrown by the team that scored the points in the previous end or who won the toss.



Download the full version of the Official Rules here

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