League Rules

Current updated 2017

Chairman - Robert Morton

07718 159 354

2 Snowfield View, Wirksworth, Derbyshire. DE4 4BJ

Secretary - Chris Goldsmith

07866 606 472

10 Beaulieu Way, Swanwick, Derbyshire. DE55 1DR

Rules of Play

Originated in May 1992

Amendments; (March 1993 A), (March 1994 B), (March 1995 C), (March 1996 D), (March 1997 E), (February 1999 F), (February 2000 G), (February 2001 H), (November 2009 J), (November 2011 K), (November 2012 L), (November 2013 M), (November 2014 N), (November 2016 O)


The league has been formed to promote friendship and companionship between players and spectators through playing boules; the nature of the game is such that although skill is needed to play, a slice of luck is also elemental to the winning of a game; thus the playing is just as important as the winning.

These rules have been drawn up by a consensus of founder members to reflect the attitude expressed above; the rules should be used to guide, not to legislate.

*L To ensure all teams are involved in decision making, attendance and then registration in the league will be conditional on attendance by at least one member from each team to the A.G.M.


Sides shall consist of 6 *B to 12 *B players, each side shall have an A team and a B team, so any one player can play a minimum of one game but a maximum of two games; sides arriving at a game short of the minimum of 6 players will be obliged to give up the boules that the missing player would have thrown.

A team will comprise three players from a side.

*D, *F Once a player has represented a side on three occasions, that player may not play for any other side from the same or any other *F pub *D, in that season *J

*F Any team not completing its league fixtures will have all of its playing record expunged from that division, with automatic relegation. *M Teams dropping out of the League before half way through the season will have their entire record expunged, as if they had not started the season. Teams dropping out in the second half will have just their playing record expunged giving them nil points and relegation. Any team in the bottom division *J not completing its fixtures will be required to apply for re-election to the league.

*O If a team moves en masse from one pub to another either because of a new landlord, the pub closing or any other reason, as long as they are essentially the same team then they will maintain their current league position. However, if a team splits and some players stay at the original venue and some move to a new pub then this will be treated as a new team and will start in the bottom league.


A game shall be concluded by the first team reaching 11 points, by scoring 1 point for each of its boules closer to the cochonet (or jack), than their opponents, after all boules have been thrown at an end. Each team member has two boules each to throw at each end, thus a maximum of 12 boules will be thrown at any one end. Alternate ends will be thrown from until the first side to reach 11 points wins the game.

A game shall be started by tossing a coin to decide which team starts: whichever team does not start chooses the end to commence play from. On throwing the first boule, the team throwing second will continue to throw boules until they land closer to the cochonet than the opposing team, who will then throw until they land closer. When one team has depleted their boules, the opposing team may elect to leave the end as it lies or throw their remaining boules.

There is no set order of play within a team; players can elect to throw both their boules consecutively, when further away or when only that team has boules left, or to intersperse their throws with a team member or members.

During play, if the cochonet is knocked out of the playing area, the end is void and is replayed. Any boules running out or being knocked out of the playing area do not count, no matter how close to the cochonet. Winning boules shall be determined by measurement when necessary, *C when the measurements are equal, the end is replayed. *C

*E If a boule is thrown outside the playing area, and subsequently lands back in the playing area by bouncing or rolling, it shall be deemed to count so long as it complies with the *K distance rules 6.5. All boules on the pitch count towards the score of an end, as long as they have been thrown in accordance with the rules. *E

Games will total 4 in number by home team A playing away team A, home team B playing away team B, then team B versus away team A, and finally, home team A versus away team B. *B League points will be allocated on the basis of the numbers of legs won, 4-0,3-1 or 2-2. *B

*G In the event of two teams being equal on points, their respective positions within the league shall be determined by firstly counting the number of wins, if equal the number of draws, if still equal the ratio of boules scored divided by boules against. *G


Games will be played on a Sunday evening, starting as near to *L 6.00pm as possible.

In the event of rain, sides shall decide between the opposing captains J whether to travel, whether to play, and whether to curtail play when running out of time.

Games not started *D due to bad weather will be re-arranged, if not possible, *D they will be void, 1 point to each side. Games that have to be curtailed through bad light, bad weather or any other reason should be completed as soon after the original fixture as can be agreed by the Captains. *N If the match was abandoned part way through a game, on resumption this game will start from 0-0, with the completed games as they were.

The two sides shall if necessary reach any agreement through their respective captains.

In the event of teams re-arranging a weather spoilt fixture or being unable to play the fixture for any other agreed reason, the match secretary shall be informed of the postponement and of the revised playing date.

*O When a game is postponed by agreement between the Captains, the Captain agreeing to the postponement should offer the postponing Captain three alternative dates to play the postponed match within two weeks of the original fixture. The postponing Captain must accept one of these dates and the match played. If the Captains cannot agree then they must BOTH attend the next Committee meeting and the Committee will decide a date, otherwise the result of the game will be void or otherwise decided by the Committee.

In any event, a side not able to play a fixture must let the opposite side know by 3.00 p.m. latest on the day of the game.

Postponed Games *F In addition to the rules above:

  1. Dates of games will not be altered unless both captains agree prior to the event.
  2. The Committee will be notified of any postponed fixture.
  3. If captains do not agree on a postponement, the Committee or a quorum (two members from clubs other than those affected) will decide if a postponement is to be allowed.
  4. Bad weather provisions are as already stated under rule 4.3.
  5. If a team does not turn up to the venue, the Committee will be notified, and the two captains involved will attend the next Committee meeting where a decision will be made by the Committee based on representations from the captains(s) present.
  6. A team offending any of the above points will be deducted one *H point, the other team will be awarded three *H points. This is not automatic, the Committee will adjudicate.
  7. No games will be claimed.

*F The last Sunday of the season will be the last date on which matches can be played which will be decided at the previous years A.G.M. Any matches played after this date will be null and void. The result of any such match will be notified by first post after the game has taken place.


Boules is played on a length of minimum 6 metres and maximum 10 metres, thus a pitch ideally should be 15 metres long and 3 metres wide, to allow some scope for variety and movement of the cochonet.

The surface should be fairly level, comprising of loose gravel or stone on a solid base *O. The playing area must be defined by boards or tape, the physical definition of the pitch should be fixed prior to a game, no conjectured or undefined edges are allowed. *J

The Cochonnet (or Jack)

The cochonnet will be a lighter and smaller ball than the boules used in play, the coloured wooden Obut type is found to be suitable, teams shall agree which type of cochonet to use prior to play.

Whichever player has elected to go first in an end choses where to place the *J league provided mat (replacement mats are available from the Chairman or Secretary) from which all players must throw their boules for that end.

A different throwing position for the *J mat can be used for each end.

When throwing the boule, *J both feet must be on the mat, *D subject to physical disabilities.

If the cochonnet is thrown and lands within 500mm (20”), approximately, of the edge of the pitch, it can be moved inwards to be sufficiently clear of the side of the pitch; *K The cochonnet should be thrown no further than 10 meters (30ft) and no less than 6 metres (20ft), if it thrown outside of these limits it should be returned to the setter and thrown again, if it is not successfully thrown after 3 attempts the set goes to the opposing team. Once it has been set satisfactorily the original setting team throw the first boule. If it is infringing the distance rules at the side of the court (500mm 20ins) it can be moved in by hand, but on length it must be re-thrown. *B If the cochonnet is moved during play, it shall remain in its new position, unless it has been knocked off the pitch. *B


The ultimate consideration is that of fair play.

*A When a player is throwing nothing shall be done by the opposition to distract the player.

Once an end has started, players from both teams should keep away from the thrown boule, as any disturbance of those boules by a player touching or causing the arrangement of boules or the ground around the boules to be changed will lead to the opposing team being awarded the end 4-0, or more if that is the score prior to interference, *O after he has thrown a player should not walk in a straight line between the mat and the cochonnet but should try to walk in a path that will not interfere with the general lie of the end.

However, players may closely inspect the lie and guide a team member to a throw, *O but in reviewing the end the players should avoid disturbing the gravel around the cochonnet. (bearing in mind the penalty for disturbing the lie in rule 7.3 above). A They must not however stand over the end whilst a team member or opponent is throwing.

Boules can be thrown or rolled by any style the player chooses, as long as both feet are on the *J mat.

*B Measurement of distances for boules from the cochonet shall be carried out by a person or persons agreed by the captain; boules shall not be removed from an end until both captains have agreed their score.

Boules removed by mistake prior to completion of an end shall be treated as 7.3


The result of each game shall be notified to the match secretary either on the night of the game by email or a Facebook post or on the morning following, *E but certainly by posting the result postcard to the Secretary on the day of the match *E; this is to allow the local press to feature the league before their deadlines expire.

*E The winning captain will be responsible for posting the result, in the event of a draw the home team captain will be responsible. *E

Publicity for our hosts is a fair return for the use of their premises.

Suggested ammendments to be considered at the next comittee meeting (June 14th 2022)

  • Both team captains take an image of the scorecard on completion.
  • The home team captain is responsible for adding the result to ddbl.co.uk

Please send any suggestions to results@ddbl.co.uk