Friday, October 02, 2009

Article 19 Ignored for the Fun of It

Thursday's game posed an interesting situation, but not one without an appropriate response via the official rules.

In Detroit, we play on semi-bordered courts, the sides are flagstones or a cement boundary and there are flagstones at the extent of either end.

Typically, after a shot is made, the boule will fly to the end of the gravel and if permitted to reach the end flagstones it will roll for another 200 feet. So we are in the habit of stopping the boule with our feet near the edge, but leaving the boule on the gravel.

Article-19 "Interference with Boules" states (in a nutshell) that if a boule is stopped/diverted purposely immediately disqualifies the player along with his/her team for the game in progress.

Well, in a tournament situation, yes, I'd say let the boule fly off the piste without disruption... But let's say it were an accidental stoppage of the boule. Then depending on who is doing the stopping there are consequences. If the throwing team's team member stopped the boule by accident, that boule is deemed void (and should be removed from the court). If a boule is accidently stopped by a member of the opposing team, can (on decision of the thrower) be re-played or left where it was stopped.

Of course, in our typical weekday playing, we hardly ever mark the boule positions, so there aren't any alternatives for when a boule that is hit is subsequently stopped/diverted by a player - but if the boule positions were marked (this is sometimes done in tournaments) - then the opponent of the thrower can leave the struck boule where it was stopped or it can be repositioned anywhere in a line from where it was originally to the place it ended up.

Lots of rules - yes... but clear rules end arguments.

SO, why do I mention this at all? Because at the time, we were sitting on 12 points (and a possible 13th (the stopped boule)) But for the sake of our leisure game, and to allow for more rounds, we discounted the 13th point. Truth be told, our opponents were at 6 points at the time and I never thought they'd gain the upper hand. They did! With a 12/13 conclusion!

Sometimes for the sake of having fun, the strict interpretation of a rule (during leisure play) can be dismissed.

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