Umpiring News

New Umpires

5 March 2016

David Corley (Manawatu) and Dave Gatchell (Horowhenua) werre presented with their Club Umpire certificates at the PNZ AGM in Manawatu.

Both completed their Club Umpire training and assessment at a Training clinic run by National Umpire Trevor Neilson late last year.

Broken Cochonnet

1 December 2013

Broken cochonnet

On the first day of the Regional Doubles a cochonnet was hit by a boule and broke into three pieces.

What should happen next?

In the actual game, the end was annulled.

APSPC Umpire, John Degueldre has advised that: After the cochonet was broken the end should have been continued after replacing the largest part of the broken one by a new one of the same size. (A in the diagram). See Article 10a - Changing of jack or boule, part 2.

The largest part is taken into consideration means that it is the largest part of the broken cochonet (or boule) that will be replaced by a new one.

Synthetic Cochonnets

24 January 2013

Currently, there are only 2 synthetic cochonnets approved by FIPJP. They are made by OBUT and VMS.

The approved cochonnet must have the name of the manufacturer written on it.

Any synthetic cochonnet without one of these brand (OBUT or VMS) written on them in relief are not allowed in official competition.

John Degueldre
PNZ Director of Umpiring

Boule(s) played out of turn


A matter which has been controversial for a few years.

It is time to clarify the situation once and for all. But before that, I would like to say that such a situation should never occur. When a boule is played out of turn it is because the players play "lazy petanque" and estimate from the circle that their boule doesn't hold the point. In most cases, from the circle, it is impossible to have a fair idea which boule holds the point.

Experienced players know how important it is to have the 'boule advantage' and to keep it, that is, one or several more boules to play than the opponent. That is why they will never make such a guess and will walk towards the jack to assess the situation from various angles. If they have any doubt they will measure to make sure that they don't play another boule if they hold the point.


Boules played out of turn are not considered as an infringement to the rules but indeed as a mistake. Players making such a mistake penalise themselves by reducing or losing the 'boule advantage'. In conclusion, players do not incur any penalty, and boule(s) are valid and stay in place. But it is still the player or team not holding the point that must play the next boule.

John Degueldre
PNZ Director Of Umpiring
APSPC Umpire

Decision of the NZ Umpires Commission

26 March 2011

This message to inform you that the NZ Umpires commission has decided the use of coloured cards for the application of the article 34. The use of these cards will become official from the first of April 2011 for all pétanque competition in New Zealand.

Note: as the FIPJP hasn't adopted the concept yet, these cards can't be used in New Zealand during International competition.

Please find attached details for the use of these cards and also guidelines for time limited games.

John Degueldre
PNZ Director of Umpiring

Umpiring News

13 January 2011

Gwen Hill has advised that Steve Frampton, Jack Gazzard, Bob McCarthy, Ralph Priddle and Bryan Wells have all been confirmed as Regional level Umpires following the training course and practical examinations run by National Umpire, Christine Talor.

Anyone interested in becoming an Umpire, or just sitting the written examination to test your knowledge of the rules, should contact Gwen Hill.

Rule changes


The FIPJP approved some rule changes at its meeting in Izmir (Turkey) in October 2010. They have been ratified by the PNZ Board and take effect from 1 January 2011.

The changes have been made to the rules which are documented on this website

John Degueldre
PNZ Director Of Umpiring
APSPC Umpire

New WPA Umpires

27 October 2009

A belated Congratulations to Nyra Bentley (Horowhenua), Peter Blake (Kapiti), Terry Dawson (Kapiti), Steve Frampton (Manawatu) and Jack Gazzard (Kaptiti) who all successfully passed their PNZ Level 1 Umpiring exams.

New Pétanque Rules

24 February 2009


I am sending this to all Clubs, and to all people I have listed as PNZ Umpires.

The FIPJP approved some Rule changes at its meeting in Dakar last November. I have now received the official English version of the amended Rules, and they have been ratified by the PNZ National Council.

The new Rules will take effect here in NZ from 1st March 2009.

The new rules are attached (pdf 72kB). Places where changes have been made are denoted by blue colour text. Note that sometimes this does not mean that the paragraph with the blue text has been changed, but that a previous paragraph has been deleted. Confusing I know, but this is the only version that I have received.

The new Rules will be available on the [PNZ] website shortly, and we will also be doing them in booklet form.

Some of the changes are administrative only e.g. licences no longer have to have the player's signature.

The main changes "on the piste" are:

Article 3 - diameter of jacks (must now be 30mm ± 1mm, cf previously allowed 25mm - 35mm)

Article 5 - change to distance of solid barriers from playing area, and definition of dead ball lines (see attached diagram (pdf 113kB) of the new Marked Terrain)

Games can be played to time limits; subsequent change to article 9 & 18 re jack/boule out of bounds during a time limited game

Article 6 - prefabricated circles (can only be used if supplied by the tournament organisers)

Article 10 - filling in holes ? can now fill in any hole, not just one made by last boule thrown ? but still only one hole

Article 20 - clarification that only one minute is allowed to throw jack and this covers all 3 throws if necessary.

Regarding the allowing of time-limited games, this is apparently because of the wide use of the Swiss system across Central and Eastern Europe.

There has also been some debate on using this system for the World Championships. This system requires all games to be completed before starting the next round of a competition. To achieve this and to keep control over the time taken up, most organisers run the qualifying rounds to a set time e.g. 1½ hours per game. As there was nothing in the Rules allowing timed games, it was decided to modify the rules to include this possibility.

Clubs - please bring this to attention of your members.

Umpires - please familiarise yourselves with the new rules.

Do contact me with any queries and I'll do my best to answer them.

Barbara Whittington
Pétanque NZ

Umpires' Meeting

19 December 2008

This just to say thank you for all the umpiring you have all done since we set our group up and would like to suggest the possibility of holding a meeting early in the new year. How about the Saturday evening after the first day of the Kapiti Petanque Open - on the 17th January? Am thinking that most of you would be either playing or possibly umpiring there (although Kapiti have not as yet asked for umpires) and it would just be to talk through any problems you might have or things you think we could do or do better than we have. It would most likely be a very short meeting.

Will be in touch early in the new year again when you can let me know if you think this date a good idea.

Meantime have a wonderful Christmas and may you all have a great year in 2009 Pétanqueing.


National Director of Umpiring

13 November 2008

Andy Gilbert has stepped down as National Director of Umpiring.

Rule Interpretations

16 October 2008

Rule interpretations received back from Andy Gilbert and Barbara Whittington in response to questions raised at the Umpires' Workshop held on 10 August.

National Director of Umpiring

22 September 2008

PNZ is pleased to announce the reappointment of Andy Gilbert as National Director of Umpiring, and the appointment of Christine Taylor of Christchurch as Assistant Director.

WPA Umpires' Workshop

10 August 2008

Notes from the Workshop held at the Kapiti Pétanqiue Club.

Present: Claire Bradburn (Silverstream), Gwen Hill (Kapiti), Jan McHardy (Kapiti), Tony Mudgway (Wanganui East), Michael Rocks (Khandallah), Bryan Wells (Horowhenua), Barbara Whittington (Park Avenue) - morning session only.

Apologies: Mryna Lane (Masterton), Graeme Morris (Masterton), Ralph Priddle (Masterton), Glen Selbie (Wanganui East).

In the morning session, National Umpire Barbara Whittington led a question and answer session on the Rules and interpretations. Several questions and situations necessitate further research so Barbara will send out a response.Barbara advised that she is in discussion with a potential National Director of Umpiring.

In the afternoon, the discussion was on what we would like to see happen in the Wellington region.

WPA Umpires' Workshop

23 July 2008

A workshop for all qualified (and prospective) Umpires is to be held at the Kapiti Pétanque club on Sunday 10 August. The workshop is from 10:00 am to 3:00pm. BYO lunch.

To register for the workshop, please contact Gwen Hill (gwenhill (at), or 04-902-3633).

National Director Stepping Down

11 March 2008

Hi everyone

Owing to business commitments I will be stepping down from the umpiring directors role at the AGM. I will still remain as a national umpire but in a lesser capacity. I hope to do something in the training / mentoring role for umpires, but that will be in the purview of the incoming director.

My Thanks go to all the umpires who have stood in tourneys this year. Between us we have made the role of the umpire more tenable and more acceptable in the eyes of tournament participants.

My own preference for the new director is that s/he is a qualified umpire and some of you out there may consider putting your name forward.

My thanks again for your support during the year and we?ll meet again on the piste.

Andy Gilbert
Director of Umpiring.

PNZ Regional Umpires

8 August 2007

Claire Bradburn (Silverstream), Keith Dixon (Papanui), Gwen Hill (Kapiti), Myrna Lane (Masterton), Graeme Morris (Masterton), Michael Rocks (Khandallah), Glen Selbie (Wanganui East), Chris Taylor (Papanui), Robert Wilson (HBLT) are to be accredited as Regional Umpires following the training sessions at Khandallah and Levin.

Barbara Whittington

PNZ Regional Umpiring Course

28 July 2007

Participants in the Wellington region PNZ Umpires Training course

The participants in the first Wellington region PNZ Umpires Training course held at the Khandallah Pétanque Club.

(l-r): Tony Mudgeway (Wanganui East), Michael Rocks (Khandallah), Robert Wilson (HBLT), Gwen Hill (Kapiti), Jan McHardy (Kapiti), Barbara Whittington (Park Avenue, Examiner), Claire Bradburn (Silverstream), Graeme Morris (Masterton), Myrna Lane (Masterton), Glen Selbie (Wanganui East), Chris Taylor (Papanui), Keith Dixon (Papanui)

A letter from the National Director of Umpiring

5 March 2007

Good morning to all Players who have expressed an interest in taking on an umpire role in our Sport and thanks for being patient with the process.

Hopefully by now you will have received an email from Neil explaining that I have taken on the role of getting the Umpires association up and running. To be fair I am continuing the groundwork that Neil has done and a lot of thanks must go to Neil for driving the show this far.

To keep you all in the loop please be advised that you will all receive the initial Umpires grading test before the end of this month. I would ask you to take the test only when the new rules are posted on the PNZ website. The new rule amendments come into force on the 30 March 2007 in time for the national triples competition.

The grading test is an open book exam. That means you can answer the questions with a copy of the rules and a players handbook alongside you. In order to impose some restrictions, please limit your self to 2 hours to answer the questions and then post them back to me for grading.

How the gradings will work

There are 4 grades of Umpire

For New Zealand Purposes the attainment of a grade indicates you are qualified to be the senior official at a tournament of the level of your grading and well qualified to assist a more senior umpire at the next graded level above.

To achieve the grading the following marks must be earned in the grading test

Achieving the above marks gives you the grade of probationer umpire and indicates you have a good basic understanding of the rules of Petanque.

To attain the full ranking of Club or Regional umpire you are then required to assist in the umpiring of two tournaments and receive an acceptable report from the tournament director or senior umpire (if present).

New Zealand is in the developmental stages regarding umpiring and the above system is designed to fast track the placement of umpires across New Zealand who are available to assist the three National Umpires at Nationally ranked tournaments.

Hopefully a number of candidates will then take the next step which is to make the grade of National umpire.

What is the role of the umpire?

In reality, in nine times out of ten when the umpire is called on to the terrain it is only to make a measurement. The reality of the situation on the terrain is that the players only want a neutral person to make the decision on a 50/50 situation.

In the tenth instance the umpire is called on to make (usually) a fairly simple adjudication on the application of the rules.

The role of the umpire is not arduous. A positive, decisive and friendly attitude is a must and most players will accept your decision without a quibble.

The measuring techniques and equipment will all be explained to those candidates who wish to make the grade.

At the conclusion of each tournament at which you have officiated or assisted at you are expected to fill in a brief report form which is filed at PNZ. This allows us to monitor trends of tournament organisation, individual player who step outside the rules repeatedly etc.

I have been a umpire for nearly 3 years and the more I take on the role of umpire, the more I enjoy the job. I enjoy the relationship with players. I enjoy the fact that I am helping the sport develop and mature. I look forward to the time when there are more umpires available which will allow me to perhaps play a few more tournaments.

Essentially I enjoy the role of umpire and its role in the sport and I sincerely hope that a number of you can also get the same satisfaction and make the step up to national grade umpires.

There is a two day course which is being compiled to train umpires who wish to go to the level of National Umpire ranking. Any umpire can attend the course which should be ready to run by mid July.

It's never too early to dig out a copy of the rules and start revising for the test. Be open about your aspirations and tell your playing partners what you are up to. It may encourage them to give it a go. If you have a study buddy it makes the learning a hang of a lot easier for those of us whose schooldays involved the presence of ink monitors etc.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don?t hesitate to contact me.Your success and enthusiasm in the role of umpire is vital to the development and maturity of Petanque in New Zealand.

Good luck with the revision

Andy Gilbert
Director of Umpiring

Umpire Candidates new Driver

3 March 2007

Hi All,
I am pleased to be able to inform you that Andy Gilbert has taken up the position of PNZ Director of Umpiring. Andy is known to most of you as a qualified arbitre and he will take over the running of this project. This corrects the anomaly of having an unqualified person like myself involved and I can now step down and join the rest of you as an apprentice.

Regards, Neil