Local Rules – Lay Park

Classic City Petanque Club has long had a set of Local Rules for our “home courts” at Lay Park. This is quite common for petanque clubs. Our latest revision (adopted 08-13-2021) is below:

CCPC Lay Park Local Rules

Classic City Petanque Club play is conducted under the FPUSA Official Rules and the FPUSA Code of Behavior. In addition, the following Local Rules govern play at the Lay Park petanque courts.

1. Approved Boules: Any metal pétanque boules, including “leisure” boules, may be used, as long as they are within 70.5 to 80 mm in diameter.

2. String Boundaries are now used to mark the playing surface. All FPUSA rules regarding string boundaries as dead boule lines now apply.

3. Dead Boule Line: A string boundary is a dead-boule line, whether play is timed or untimed.

4. Stepping Back the Circle: From time to time, with the agreement of both teams, the circle may be stepped back more than the normal 10.5-meter maximum to allow more of the court surface to be used and avoid chewed up sections.

5. Boule Thrown out of Turn: A boule thrown out of turn will be treated as a ‘boule thrown contrary to the rules’ under Article 24 of the FPUSA Official Rules.

6. Unplayed Boules: Unplayed boules should not be parked where players might accidentally step on them. You may (1) hold them while playing from the circle; (2) drop them beside the circle before stepping into the circle to play, then pick them up immediately after playing; or (3) park them in a group next to the boundary timbers behind the circle.

Competition Management (organized competitions):

FPUSA Tournament Rules shall be followed except in the cases where both the Tournament Director and FPUSA agree to a modification or waiver.   Any deviation from current FPUSA Tournament Rules shall be clearly communicated to the participants prior to the start of the competition.

FPUSA Tournament Regulations

Player Etiquette 

Maintaining reasonable player etiquette enables everyone to throw his or her best while having an enjoyable social experience.   In addition, practicing proper etiquette generally adds to the impression that you “know what you are doing”.

Here are a few things that seasoned players expect – some are rules, and some are just proper etiquette.   Most of petanque etiquette is basic common sense in the spirit of allowing your opponent a fair chance and not slowing down the game unnecessarily. 

  • Wait your turn – when Team A is “in possession” of the terrain – the opposing team is not allowed near the jack at any time during Team A’s strategy session or until they declare the point. Once the point has been agreed upon Team A immediately exits the playing area to a valid observation area.   The opposing team may measure to confirm the point.  Team A refers to the team whose turn it is to throw the boule – they have “possession of the terrain and circle”.
  • Please give the team measuring at least 2 meters clearance until they announce the results of their measurement.
  • Quiet, please.  Match opponents and spectators should cease speaking the moment a player steps up to the service line.  No opposing player should EVER speak to the player in the circle.
  • Don’t distract the thrower. Only the player currently throwing should be near the circle.  In reality, everything of interest happens near the jack.
  1. Players on both teams should stand at least 2 meters to either side of the jack and beyond the jack.  (Technically, the team members of the player in the circle may stand anywhere they want.)
  2. Players with ambulatory limitations may stand or sit behind and to the side of the circle.
  3. Note that while it is legal to stand behind the circle – at least 2 meters away – that position makes no sense and you look silly standing there. 
  4. Keep competitive banter and trash talk to a minimum! A bit of verbal give-and-take is a part of every sport – especially when friends get together to play. However, even well-intentioned teasing can compromise a player’s concentration.
  5. Pétanque is a deliberate and measured sport. A player has 60 seconds to throw and should use that minute wisely:

Teammates may huddle to discuss strategy, determine who should throw next, and walk the line between the circle and the jack to examine contours, rocks, and potential divots.  Opposing players are never to be on playing surface while the other team is discussing strategy.

  • Boules are a trip hazard. You should always have your unplayed boules in your hands except when you are in the circle.  It is permissible to place your boules beside the circle if you prefer not to hold them while you are throwing.  Players unable to hold all their boules in hand should place them in a tight group (boules touching) at least 1 meter behind the circle before the end beginsIt is considered quite rude to have to leave the circle to go hunt for your next boule.
  • Boules that are out-of-bounds should be removed immediately and placed in a safe location well outside the terrain.  Any player from either team may remove a boule played out of bounds – in fact, it is to the opposition team’s advantage to be certain that dead boules are removed.   Courtesy would demand that a member of the team who threw the dead boule remove it but, there is no rule requiring or restricting who may move a dead boule.
  • Never, with your hands nor your feet, pick-up or move another player’s boule! Never move any boules until both teams have agreed upon the point allocation. (This is a FPUSA rule. You will lose that boule/point if you pick it up prematurely). Exceptions: For measurement purposes, a boule may be moved, using appropriate methods, by the umpire or owner of the boule.  
  • Bring the circle but don’t move the jack!   The last player to throw must collect the circle and bring it to the jack.   Be sure to smooth out any marks that were made for the circle when you pick it up.   The jack belongs to the team that just won the end.   The “losing” side should never touch the jack.
  • Place the circle over the jack AFTER the points have been allocated and the other players have removed their own boules.  The circle for the next end should always be placed where the jack lies from the previous end except in the following circumstances:
    • The circle would be too close to a tripping hazard.  
    • If there is less than 7 meters distance to the boundary, the circle MUST be moved STRAIGHT BACK to a position that allows for AT LEAST 7 meters.   (7=6+1:  6 meters minimum distance + 1 meter from the boundary)
    • The circle MAY be moved (STRAIGHT BACK) to allow for UP TO 11 meters.   (11=10+1:  10 meters maximum + 1 meter from the boundary)
    • In all cases, if you move the circle, it should be in alignment with the location of the previous jack as closely as possible.   It is never permissible to move the circle “sideways” except to allow for our local rule about the wooden court dividers.
  • Measuring: Every team should have its own measuring tools.