Match Rules of the
Central Herts Pétanque League

The League shall abide by the Official Rules of Pétanque as modified and adopted by Pétanque England, subject to the modifications and additions set out below.

Any dispute regarding the interpretation of these rules must be referred to the League Organiser.

String boundaries are to be taken as the limits of the area in which a game is to be played. Any contact of a boule or cochonnet with such a string renders it out of play. Local modification to this rule may be mutually agreed by both teams prior to play starting.

Deep grit, gravel or sand on the terrains:
This is not envisaged in the Official Rules and should be removed where possible. However, where it exist, two local rules may be applied by the Home team who should explain them before play starts:
a) Rings made from hose-pipe (etc) or circular mats may be used instead of a drawn circle. The diameter of any ring or mat should be between 350mm and 500mm.

b) The surface of the piste may not be raked or otherwise flattened between ends, nevertheless, the 'last hole' may be filled at any time during the game, as permitted in the Official Rules.

c) A cochonnet must be a minimum of ½ metre from the sides of the piste boundary when initially thrown.

In the case that the cochonnet is not thrown to a valid location, the player has two further opportunities to throw a legal shot. If, after these attempts, the player has still failed to throw a legal shot, the cochonnet should be passed to the opposite team to throw. Note that the first ball following the successful cochonnet throw will still be thrown by the player from the initial team. Note that by prior agreement, captains may opt to play local rules, such as "kicking the cochonnet in" or the official Petanque England rules.

The League fixture list will be drawn up on a weekly basis for the season. Matches must be played during the specified week (the week being from the Monday to the Sunday).

All teams will play each other on a Home and Away basis.

Matches will normally be played on Monday evenings. The Home team shall be responsible for convening the match. If matches are convened on any other day it shall be by mutual agreement, preference being given to the choice of the Home team. Once agreed, 48 hours notice of cancellation or re-arrangement must be given or the match forfeited by the team responsible.

Any team unable to fulfil the above conditions shall forfeit the match, losing all games and winning no points. See section below on claimed games. Should a real emergency occur, this rule may be waived by reference to the League Organiser within three days of the occurence and the match re- convened to suit the 'innocent' team.

Variations to the league structure and inclusion/exclusion of bank holiday weeks will be discussed from year to year at the AGM as appropriate.

NOTE:                                     It must be adventageous, and certainly in the spirit of the game, to play a match with fewer than 6 players, rather than forfeit the match. Any points scored, and any games won are better than losing the lot! And, being a fun league, at least those that turn up will get a 'League' game while others can be played for fun.

Each match will consist of 5 games:-
2 Games of triples,    each player to throw only TWO   boules.
3 Games of doubles, each player to throw only THREE boules.
NOTE:                                                                           The number of boules each player may throw applies even if a team has to play with players short.

Where possible, the triples games should be played first. All games are to be played to THIRTEEN points.

Each Team at a Match shall have a maximum of TWELVE players, each playing a maximum of ONE game of doubles and ONE game of triples.

Matches may be played using unofficial boules provided that they are commercially available metallic or alloy boules ('DOG'). All players are strongly advised to use Authorised Match Boules.

Both teams should be at the match venue by 19,45 hrs. and the match must commence at 20,00 hrs regardless of absent players. Players arriving late may join the game on completion of the end in play.

In the event that a team does not arrive by 20,30 hrs the defaulting team loses the match.

Any team finding that it will be late arriving for a fixture should phone their opponents to warn them of this fact.

Note: In the event of late arrival, then EPA Rules will apply.

The times given above are to be adhere to wherever possible.

At times a team may know that they cannot make this start time. In which case they should phone their opponents in good time to warn them of their late arrival.

A game should not be delayed if a player is expected to arrive shortly. The game should be started without him/her as mentioned above (Rule 5).

Failure to give warning of late arrival, or persistant late arrival, should be reported to the Divisional Organiser. He/she, together with the Committee, will take such measures as they deem fit.

NOTE: This is a friendly League. The standard of punctuality demanded is that of simple courtesy!

Both teams MUST have:-
d) two suitable measuring devices (1 per game in progress)
e) a list of their registered players.
-- in addition, the Home team should have available:-
a) a copy of these Rules
b) a copy of the Official Rules
c) sufficient score boards

-- and if they are to be used (see Rule 1):
d) adequate rings or mats
e) adequate rakes
Team players and supporters should refrain from using foul or abusive language on the terrain.

Players should not smoke on the pistes. (The Home Team should supply adequate ashtrays around the terrain).

8.1 The Home team must explain any local rules regarding boundaries (see Rule 1), trees, etc.

8.2 The Home team must provide a Match Form to record all details of the match.

8.3 The names of the sets of players to represent each team in the triples games must be entered on the Match Form before play commences.

8.4 The names of the sets of players to represent each team in the doubles games should be entered on the Match Form but not necessarily before the start of the triples games.

--- Play can then commence.

The scores will be recorded on the Match Form to show:-
a/ The points scored by each team in each game
b/ The number of games won by the Home team.
c/ The total number of points scored by Home team.
d/ The total number of points scored by Away team.


The WINNING team will ensure that these THREE numbers are sent by e-mail to the Divisional Organiser prior to the Monday following the week in which the match was played.

The Match Form should be kept by the Home team for scrutiny should a dispute arise.

Should a game be claimed, it will be treated as having been won by the 'innocent' team 3-0, 45-0.

If any team fails to meet the requirement of Rule 9 on more than TWO occasions during the season, the League Organiser may deduct one from the number of matches recorded as won during the season without change to their total games or points scores.

League positions will be determined by the number of matches won.

Where two or more Teams have won the same number of matches, their relative positions shall be determined by the number of games won.

If any positions are still indeterminate, they shall be determined by the total 'points differences' of those Teams.

If the team captains agree that force majeure prevents the completion of a match, it shall be reconvened at a mutually agreed time or date.

If the match is reconvened later on the same day, all scores stand and unfinished games continue where they left off.

If the match is reconvened at a later date the scores for finished games will stand but unfinished games will be restarted using the original players where possible.

Arbitration in any one game may be delegated to a player not involved in that game. The delegated player must be treated as if he/she were the Umpire and his/her decision accepted as final.

Note that the Official Rules stipulate:-
a) that both teams in any game must have suitable measuring equipment (feet must not be used).

b) that the team who threw the previous boule is responsible for measuring to establish who holds point, their opponents having the right to check the measurement. When measuring the distance between competing boules and the cochonnet it should be done from edge to edge. In the event that this is not possible, appropriate 'gentle' measures may be taken to reveal the edge of the cochonnet.

c) that arbitration can be requested at any stage in a game.

d) the positions of boules and cochonnet can be measured (or re-measured) at any stage of the game.

Being a Fun League, players do not need the Umpires permission to leave the terrain, --- simply ask your opponents permission.

Version 2.1, issued 2 April 99
Version 2.2, issued 5 March 01
Version 2.3, issued 24 March 03
Version 2.4, issued April 05 (corrected 11 May 05)
Version 3, issued 21 April 2018
Version 4, issued 31 March 2019
Version 4.1, issued 13 June 2022 (correction of a typo)