Moving the ring

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    The circle placement need only allow sufficient distance for a valid throw. So if the circle is placed around the jack and 6+ meters are available for the throw, perhaps only 7 meters, then the placement is adequate and the team throwing the jack, say Team A, may throw from that position. However, if Team A is not comfortable with such a short distance, it has the option to step back the circle to allow up to 11 meters, but no more than 11 meters.

    “the player may step back, in line with the previous end’s play, without exceeding the maximum distance authorized for the throwing of the jack. This opportunity is offered only if the jack cannot be thrown to the maximum distance in any other direction.” [underlining added]

    Team A cannot choose a preferred direction for the 11 meter maximum, but must accept “any other direction” in which the throw may be made to 11 meters, perhaps to the farthest corner. In other words, if 11 meters is available in any direction, Team A may not step the circle back any farther than that.

    Team A is in charge of this initial placement of the circle. All the options, including the option to step back the circle, belong to Team A. Team B has no role in the initial placement of the circle, except that it may object if Team A steps the circle back more than the “maximum distance,” and may if necessary complain to the umpire. I should add that although I have watched dozens of YT videos of professional matches, I have never seen a team dispute another team’s stepping back of the circle.

    Of course, if Team A insists on attempting a valid throw of the jack with only a little over 6 meters available, and fails to throw a valid jack, Team B may then place the jack. And in placing the jack, Team B would then have the option to step back the circle, but to no more than the maximum distance.

    I asked Mike Pegg whether, in placing the jack, Team B would be allowed to place it in the opposite direction selected by Team A for its invalid throw. His answer was “yes, if they have enough room.”

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