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Avoiding controversy on the terrain

22 March 2017 05:38

Written by: Chris Holden


There was controversy in a recent league game as the deciding point at 12-12 was contested by both parties. Some said it was divine intervention, others a fortunate gust of wind. But EPA Umpire Mike Pegg clarified that, despite protestations, everything had been carried out according to the rules - just make sure you're up-to-speed with them and make sure you don't get caught out....

It's 12-12 and the final end of the game.

All the boules have been thrown and both players are contesting that they have won the end (and consequently the game). It might be a top-of-the table league clash or a knock-out semi-final with the chance to win yet another bottle of cheap plonk on offer in the final.... everything is riding on this decision. Yet both players are- understandably - claiming the win. What do you do?

Of course, it's easily resolved - just measure the boules and the player with the one closest to the jack wins.

You get down to measure the boules, extend the tape from boule to jack and as you do, a gust of wind blows the jack towards your opponents boule. Surely some mistake?! What now? The end is over, the result is in contention and nobody wants to give up the chance of progressing through to the final for that bottle of £4 rose wine (from Sainsburys, not Lidl so it must be a good one).

Well, that's where we need to clarify a few things. Firstly, the end isn't over. Until both teams/players have agreed the score, the end hasn't concluded. And if the end hasn't concluded, the boules are still in play. And if the boules are still in play, so is the jack. And if the jack moves.... well, you just measure from its new position (irrespective of who "lost" and who "won" because of it).

Now at any time you may mark the jack (and any boules that may be subject to being disturbed by outside influences) and if it's moved by anything but a boule, you can replace it. But if the jack  hasn't been marked, then play continues from where the jack ends up - whether it's moved by a gust of wind, kicked by a passing dog or picked up by a passing seagull and dropped into the sea (although let's be honest, if the last things happens, we'd be tempted to call it a dead end).

So if you're about to measure your boule(s) to decide the winner of an end, make sure you mark the jack - just in case......

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1 Comment
  • Alan Issler

    09 April 2017 09:30

    Yes fair enough. I remember a club doubles game a few years ago where my partner and I were doing well against a 'good' team. I threw the jack, threw my boule and at the same time a dog ran across the terrain and moved the jack so my first boule was nowhere near on. The jack was not marked and of course the rule is as stated in the article. Whilst acknowledging the rule I suggested we restart the end in terms of being sporting but one of the opposing double team insisted it was tough but the rule was the rule. the jack had not been marked. Fair enough I guess and worth remembering...I never forgot!

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