Charlesgate Pétanque

A site for players of the French game pétanque in the Boston area.

Charlesgate Boulodrome Ground Rules

Out of bounds

A boule or cochonnet is only considered out of bounds if the entire boule is beyond the boundary string when viewed from directly above. If the cochonnet is knocked out of bounds during a round, the round is ended with no points awarded, unless one team has boules left and the other does not. In that case, the team with boules left gets 1 point per boule that they have not yet thrown.

Note that no matter how far a cochonnet may get knocked from the throwing circle during a round, the round continues unless the cochonnet has gone out of bounds.

If the first team’s first thrown boule goes out of bounds, the other team takes their first turn (rather than the first team throwing again). If this boule also goes out of bounds, the teams continue alternating until a boule is thrown that stays in play.

Circle location

At the start of the first game, the location of the circle can be chosen anywhere within the boundary string by the team throwing first. After this, the circle is placed around the cochonnet location at the end of the prior round, unless this location would not allow a legal cochonnet toss of 10 meters (in which case the circle is placed at the closest location that does allow a legal 10-meter toss).

Illegal cochonnet toss

The cochonnet must be tossed to a distance of 6-10 meters and must be at least 1 meter from the boundary string. If the toss does not meet these requirements, the opposing team may either place the cochonnet within the proper range (at a location of their choosing) or ask the first team to re-toss the cochonnet.

Boules equally distant from cochonnet

When a team throws a boule that stops at exactly the same distance from the cochonnet as the opponent’s closest boule, that team continues throwing unless they are out of boules. When counting points at the end of a round, if two boules from opposing teams are equidistant from the cochonnet, no point is given for either boule.

Accidental disruption of cochonnet or boules

If (for example) a person, dog, or bird walks by and moves a boule or cochonnet accidentally, it is to be replaced to its original location as best as can be done. If a thrown boule hits a person or dog before it stops moving, that boule is rethrown after any disrupted boules are moved back to their location prior to the errant throw, unless the boule has rolled more than 1 meter from the cochonnet before contact with the person/dog (in which case it is left where it lies). If a non-thrown boule is moving (due to collision with the thrown boule or other disrupted boules) and makes contact with someone more than 1 meter from the cochonnet, it is left where it lies.

Playing out of turn

If a player throws a boule when it is not their team’s turn, the opposing team can either accept the result of the throw or call for the thrown boule to be retracted and any disrupted boules moved back to their original positions.

Removing debris and filling holes

Because we are located in the heart of a major city, there is often debris on the terrain. Therefore, we allow (in fact, we encourage) removal of debris or filling of holes or ruts during a round with the exception of debris or holes within 1 meter of the cochonnet (in which case both teams should agree before any debris is moved).