Rules of The 1990 Pétanque League




As adopted at the EGM of March 6th 2013


Rule Changes as adopted at AGM 2015 are in red italics 


1.          NAME OF LEAGUE


1.1          The name of the league shall be "THE 1990 PÉTANQUE LEAGUE", with the inclusion of a sponsor’s name if appropriate.



2.1               The guiding principles that led to the formation of this league were dissatisfaction with “petty and pedantic rules” and wanting the game to be played for fun.  Over the years these principles have been gradually eroded and whilst we should all aim to play for enjoyment and company, the rules have to cater for both serious and fun teams to exist together.  This 2013 update of the rules intends to allow that. 

                Most teams will never be affected by either the rules and penalties included here and additionally, everyone is reminded that the captains can agree almost any variation of the playing rules on the night.  In the event that something that cannot be agreed then the following will take precedence.




3.1               To be by its own committee consisting of one representative only from each member team.

3.2               At each Annual General Meeting [AGM] six members shall be elected to the Executive posts of:- Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Fixture Secretary and Competition Secretary. They shall form the Executive Committee. Additionally, two non-executive posts of auditors shall be elected.

3.3               The Executive may co-opt a member in the event of a resignation.  A maximum of one additional member from an individual team may be allowed onto the Executive (either by election or co-option), but will not have voting rights.

3.4               As all member teams have a member on the committee, the term “Committee” in these rules shall refer to both Executive and Committee unless otherwise specified.

3.5               Amendments to the rules of the league can only be approved at an Annual General Meeting (AGM), or Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).  The League Secretary must receive motions for inclusion at the GM at least 14 days before the GM and will be circulated or published on the web-site for 7 days before the General Meeting.

3.5.1 General meetings of The League shall be open to the registered players of all teams. Voting at such meetings is limited to one vote per team.

3.6               An Extra-ordinary General Meeting may be called by a majority of the committee, or at the request of two or more teams.

3.7               A minimum of 28 days notice of an EGM shall be given to all teams.  This shall be done primarily via the web-site but an email to captains may be used in addition.

3.8               An AGM will be held at the Trophy Presentation Evening after the end of the season each year or at a time decided by a General Meeting.

3.9               Registration night will normally be held on the first Wednesday in March each year.




4.1               Shall administer the league in accordance with these rules on behalf of the member teams.

4.2               Shall submit a report to the AGM including all rulings and decisions it has made since the last General Meeting, subject only to confidential details.

4.3               Committee meetings to generally take place once a month at the venues listed on the diary page in The 1990 Pétanque League Annual Fixture & Rule Booklet. Meetings to commence at 8.00 p.m.  A quorum to consist of five members, three of which must be Executive officers. The decisions of the committee shall be final.

4.4               The Executive Officers may call an Executive Officers Meeting (EOM) when two Executive officers agree it would be to the detriment of ‘The 1990 Pétanque League' to delay any matter until the next scheduled committee meeting.  A quorum to consist of all executive officers.  The decision of the Executive Officers shall be final

4.5               The committee shall endeavour to maintain a web-site containing information decided by a General Meeting but to include:

a)    These rules

b)    Fixtures

c)    League tables

d)    Cup, plate and competition details

e)    Diary

f)     Contact details for the Executive Officers

g)    General information for members




5.1               The league shall consist of a 'Premier' and any other divisions to be made up as per Rule 5.3

5.2               Promotion and relegation will be run on a Two-up, Two-Down basis, though the committee shall have the power to vary this depending on teams entering or dropping out of particular divisions.

5.3               Each division of the league shall be made up of a minimum of five teams. Eight teams to be the norm if practicable.

5.4               In divisions of 7 or 8 teams, each team will play its opponents twice, home and away. (ie 12 or 14 matches)

5.5               In divisions of 5 or 6 teams, each team will play its opponents three times, home, away and pot luck  (ie 12 or 15 matches)

5.6               The official final date of the season shall defined by the Fixture List.

5.7               There will be "Team Knockout Cup and Plate" competitions involving all teams in the league regardless of division.  The Rules of these competitions are provided under Rule 9.

5.8               There will be "Singles", "Pairs", "Mixed Pairs", and "Triples" competitions.  Those interested are to enter on the sheet provided.  The entrance fee shall be decided by the Committee - currently £2.00 per person per competition.  The deadline for entries is normally the 18th May 2012.  Dates and venues to be decided by number of entries received.  The rules of this competition are provided under Rule 10


6.          ELIGIBILTY


6.1               Any team wishing to join the league shall apply to register with the League Secretary before or at the Annual General Meeting OR at a meeting designated for registration.  The 1990 Pétanque League or its Executive Any team wishing to join the league shall apply to register with the League Secretary before or at the Annual Officers reserve the right to refuse any application for registration.

6.2               There will be an annual team membership fee, decided at the AGM (currently £42.00 per team.  ALL TEAMS SHALL KEEP A LIST OF PLAYING MEMBERS.  A sheet is provided in The 1990 Pétanque League Annual Fixture & Rule Booklet.

6.3               All members are required to read these rules and abide by them.  These rules shall be included in the 'The 1990 Pétanque League Annual Fixture & Rule Booklet', a copy of which will be distributed to each team contact prior to the start of the current season and/or displayed on the web site.  It is prudent for each team captain to photocopy/print the rules pages and the fixture list, so that they may be distributed to all team members.

6.4               The Captain of a team shall be deemed the contact for that team and shall furnish the league with his/her address (including postcode) and telephone number.  If this is impracticable then the captain may delegate another person from their team, with their permission, to be the contact.

6.5               The name, address and telephone number of the proprietor of the establishment from which a team plays may not be utilised as the team contact, unless he/she is a regular member of that team, and is prepared to be the contact for that team only.

6.6               The name, address and telephone number of the establishment from which each team play shall be supplied to the league for use as an 'emergency' or 'last minute' contact only.

6.7               If any team change venues and there is a split in the membership, then the majority of members will retain their league and division status.

6.8               Any dispute or clarification on these points must be referred back to the committee.


7.          GENERAL RULES




7.1               Each team will consist of TWO TRIPLES who will play their opponent’s two triples.  Each match to consist of four legs. The winner of each leg will be the first triple to 13 points.
Secretary's note - When a team has only FIVE players it is hoped that they will be allowed to play TWO players, using three boule each. HOWEVER IT IS THE OPPOSING CAPTAIN’S DECISION, and if he or she so chooses it remains his or her right to ask you to play with TWO boule each. Five boule is often a good compromise in this situation. No player shall play 3 consecutive boule for his/her team.

7.2               Recognised members of any other Wednesday league shall not take part in any Summer League, Cup, Plate, Singles etc game organised by "The 1990 Pétanque League". PENALTY for violation of this: - match to be voided and points awarded to the opposition as per Rule XX

7.3               The league will run on a points basis; teams being awarded one league point per leg won in each match. If the league points are level at the end of the season, match points scored, both for and against in all matches will be taken into account. If still level the committee will arrange a play off on a neutral track.

7.4               All league matches will take place on Wednesday nights on the dates designated in the fixture list, but may be played in advance of the designated date with the prior agreement of both captains.

7.5               Starting time for matches to be 7:30 p.m. unless both team captains as per have previously agreed some other starting time.

7.6               Any first half legs not commenced by 8:00 p.m. shall be forfeited by the offending triple 7 – 13

7.7               A leg may be commenced with two players with a third player able to join in at the start of any new end throughout the leg. SECRETARY'S NOTE: the minimum number of players in a team is four.

7.8               Matches may only be postponed with the prior agreement of the Fixture Secretary/ Executive Member. Under exceptional circumstances, match night incidents such as lightning, serious accident, flooded piste etc. may cause a postponement but such reasons may not be accepted and Rules 7.11 or 7.12 may be implemented.
Secretary's Guidance - team members' holidays are not exceptional circumstances, the attendance of a whole team at a funeral is.

7.9               Teams shall not be allowed to have more than one requested postponement outstanding at any one time.

7.10            The Fixtures Secretary shall decide the date of any match postponed under Rule 7.8.  Where possible this will be on a 'free' cup night.

7.11            Matches not played because of a failure of a team to turn up shall be scored Minus 2 points to the team causing the match not to be played, and Plus 4 points to the 'innocent' team. No match points shall be awarded.

7.12            Subject to Rule 7.11, any game not played by the final date will render the fixture void (0-0) and cannot be claimed in any other form or score.

7.13            'Claimed' or ‘arranged’ results inevitably disadvantage other teams not involved in the match and are explicitly banned. The committee may choose (or be requested) to examine all the circumstances behind such suspected matches and shall have the discretion to come to any decision it feels appropriate - including confirming the result, ordering it to re-played, voiding the match or docking points.

7.14      All results must be submitted as outlined in The Fixtures and Information Booklet given to each team captain at Captains’ Meeting Night.


7.15            BOTH Team Captains will record on the cards provided the FULL NAMES of players, and the POINTS SCORED in each leg for each and every match played whether a LEAGUE or CUP/PLATE MATCH.  Each captain will have his card COUNTERSIGNED by the opposing Captain.
Secretary's Note: The Fixtures Secretary will keep a complete set of result cards for each team so that disputes can be easily investigated. Your co-operation is essential to the smooth running of the league.  A regular league table should now be available. Please also note that the cards for competitions other than league or cup/plate have different addresses, please ensure that you use the correct ones for each purpose.

7.16            Penalty for deliberate wrong information on a result card shall be the loss of points gained in that match.  Any repeat offence shall be dealt with by the Committee with no maximum penalty.




8.1               Raking of the piste (both before the match and between legs) shall be entirely at the discretion of the home team.

8.2               Before the start of play the captains will agree the following:

a)    Extent of boundaries

b)    Minimum distance of coche from any boundary or obstacle (normally 0.5m)

c)     Whether s boule has to be wholly over any boundary, or merely touching it, to be declared dead,

d)    Whether the ‘centre-ing’ of the jack/coche is allowed if it meets b) above.

e)     Note – a, b, and c would normally be at the discretion of the ‘home’ captain.

8.3               All matches are to be played under the International Rules of Pétanque as with the exception of :-


Article 2 - There is no restriction on the quality of Boule i.e. 'Leisure' boule may be used though players are advised to obtain recognised competition boule.

Article 3 - There is no restriction on jacks, though any used should be acceptable to both captains.
Article 4.  There is no requirement for Licenses.

Article 5 - The size of piste is to be as large as possible under local conditions. Each Home Team is to mark the EXACT boundaries with a rope between pistes before the commencement of each match.

Article 6 - The coche is to be an acceptable distance from any boundary or obstacle, agreed by BOTH teams prior to the commencement of play. 

 Articles 9, 12 and 13 - In the event of the coche leaving the playing area then the end is 'dead'.  Boule 'in hand' do not count and play is restarted from the opposite end not the original end.

Article 18 – Captains shall agree before the match commences whether a boule has to entirely cross (or merely touch any boundary) to be designated “dead”.

Rule 32.    Timing and commencement of play is to be as per RULE 7 of The 1990 Pétanque League rules.

Rule 35.    In the event of inclement weather conditions play may be temporarily suspended by agreement of both captains.

Code of Behaviour for Players.  See Rule 14 of The 1990 Pétanque League



9.1 Matches will be played to the Playing Rules of 1990 League. Each match shall consist of 4 triples.
If a match finishes at level at two legs all, then the points difference will be taken to decide the winner.
If it is still a draw at that stage, a deciding end[ or ends if a dead end] will be played in the last game to finish. The team winning that end will be deemed match winner

9.2 A cup or plate match cannot be postponed beyond the designated date. It may be re-arranged to be played at a date prior to the designated date.

 a) The captain of the team being asked to re-arrange is contacted and confirms the re-arrangement.

 b) Results to be submitted as 7.14

9.3 All rounds will normally take place on Wednesday nights on the dates designated in the fixtures list.

9.4 Any team not arriving to play in a Cup or Plate fixture will be eliminated from the competition.

9.5 Any team not arriving for a Cup or Plate Final will be eliminated from the competition in the following season.

 9.7               The committee shall decide the venue for the finals.

9.8 A team shall be deemed a sole entity and any recognised member who plays for one team in a Cup or Plate match shall be ineligible to play for another team in that season’s competitions.

Penalty for violation—Match will be awarded to the team innocent of the violation.




10.1            Singles, Doubles Mixed Doubles and Triples competitions will be administered by the Competition Organiser.

10.2            The match shall be played to The 1990 Pétanque League General Playing rules.

10.3            These matches cannot be postponed beyond the designated final date without specific approval from the organiser. 

The matches may be played on any day and at any time convenient to both teams by prior mutual agreement.  PENALTY for not adhering to Rule 10.3 (i.e. match played after the final date) - both teams will be eliminated from that competition.

10.4            Two result cards (one from each team) are to be received by the Competition Organiser 72 hours following the date of the match. These cards are to be annotated with the re-arranged date (if applicable) and the designated last date. PENALTY for not adhering to this (i.e. cards not received within 72 hours) - both teams will be eliminated from that competition.

10.5            All matches to be the best of three legs

10.6            NO SUBSTITUTION of a registered player or players of a Single, Doubles, Mixed Doubles or Triples entry is allowed. PENALTY for violation of this: - The offending team will be eliminated from that competition.

10.7            Any player or team not arriving to play in a Single, Doubles, Mixed Doubles or Triples fixture will be eliminated from that competition.

10.8            Any team not arriving for a Single, Doubles, Mixed Doubles or Triples final will be eliminated from that competition the following season.

10.9            The committee shall decide the venue and date for the finals.

10.10        The CONTACT for the league team shall be considered the CONTACT for any players entering the single, doubles, mixed doubles or triples competitions from their team unless otherwise stated on the competition entry form. This CONTACT IS RESPONSIBLE for making prior alternative arrangements with the Competition Organiser and his or her team members for any period he or she may be away (for holidays etc.) and also when he or she will be unable to receive or inform his or her players of any relevant competition round draws.   Failure to comply could mean their players being eliminated from the competitions due to them not being aware of the relevant round draws.

10.11        All entrants to the competitions must provide a contact telephone numbers in order that competitors can arrange matches.




11.1            In each division there is a trophy for the winning team that is held by that team for the following season. There will also be a smaller replica of the winner’s trophy that will be permanently retained by the winning team.  In addition there will be medals or other mementoes for the six team members.  The runners up in each division will receive medals or other mementoes for the six team members. A returnable trophy, winners replica trophy and six medals or mementoes will also be provided for the winners of the "Knockout Cup" competition and the runners up get six medals or other mementoes.

11.2            In addition a returnable cup, a smaller replica and six medals or mementoes will be presented to the winners of the "Plate" competition and the runners up get six medals or other mementoes.

11.3            Winners and runners up in the "Singles", "Pairs", Mixed Pairs and "Triples" competitions will receive mementoes with the winners holding the returnable trophy for the following season.

11.4            It is the responsibility of the team to collect any trophies and/or mementoes due to them.

11.5            Trophies and/or mementoes will be presented at the presentation night to be organised much closer to the end of the season than previously. The presentation night will be on a Saturday and at a new venue.  Any trophies not collected on presentation night will be forfeit and will be recycled for subsequent seasons or disposed of as the committee deems fit.


12.      PENALTIES


12.1            If any team breaks any of the rules that carry a fixed penalty, the committee shall decide fault.  No alteration of the penalty shall be made.

12.2            If any team breaks any of the rules that carry no fixed penalty, the committee shall decide on (1) fault and (2) any penalty.




13.1            In the event of a team or individual player having a grievance against another team, or has evidence of rule breaking, this must be notified to the League Secretary.  Such notifications shall be dealt with at the discretion of the committee.

13.2            Any specific complaint, grievance and/or appeal may be heard, and decided upon, by the executive officers in the event of:-
a) A quorum not being attained at a particular Committee Meeting.
b) It is agreed by all executive officers that it would be to the detriment of the 'The 1990 Pétanque League' to delay a hearing until the next designated committee meeting.




14.1        During all games the players are expected:

a)    to observe reasonable dress standards.

b)    to refrain from using foul or abusive language to other players, officials and spectators.

c)     to accept without argument the decisions of the Organising Committee or Umpire/s of the day.

d)    to refrain from drinking alcohol to excess for the duration of the match or competition.

e)     to ensure that no containers, glass or other items (e.g. Boule bags), are on the terrain during play.

f)     to play and abide by the rules of the game as per The 1990 Pétanque League Rules or as instructed by the Organising Committee or Umpire/s of the day.

g)    to ensure that supporters and/or family or friends do not encroach on to the terrain or allow any pets (dogs etc.) to do so during play.


14.2                 Any player reported to the committee, who is found to be in breach of the Code of Behaviour for Players by the committee, will be considered to be guilty of improper behaviour and will be liable to such penalties the committee may deem fit.  These penalties may range from a warning to expulsion from the league dependent on the severity and repetition of the offence


Rule Changes as adopted at EGM 10/01/2017

Changes EGM 10/01/2017
Structure of League
5.1  & 5.2 No change
5.3 Each division of the League shall be made up of a minimum of seven and op to a maximum of ten teams. Eight teams to be the standard where practicable.
5.4 In all divisions each team will play its opponents twice, home and away. The playing season will be extended, if necessary, to accommodate rule 5.3
5.5 Original removed and replaced as   ...The official start and final dates of the season shall be defined by the fixture list.
5.6 Original 5.7 becomes 5.6
5.8 Removed
Changes EGM  5/04/2017
General Playing Rules  
8.3 All matches are to be played under the International Rules of Petanque with the exception of :-
Article 7    A team may have up to three attempts to complete a valid throw of the coche. If they are not successful the opposing team will attempt the throws likewise. In any case the team that threw the coche first must play the first boule.