NDL Rules

NDL - Rules


Club Team: An aggregate of at least 6 players from a club or organisation formed to play three simultaneous doubles games.

Sub-team: A pair of players from a Club Team formed to play a doubles game.


A club or organisation may enter more than one Club Team into the league.

Each Club Team shall appoint a Captain who will be the contact point for all communications and whose name, address, and telephone number shall be provided to the Fixture Secretary.

If the Captain is unable to attend a match then he/she shall nominate a deputy for that fixture.

Captains will be responsible for agreeing the scores and the final match result.

The Home Captain shall forward the result of the match, detailed on the official Result Form to the Fixture Secretary within 3 days of the match being played.

A Club Team shall consist of three doubles sub-teams. Each doubles shall play against all three of the opposing doubles in the following order (home team letters first):

Round one – A v A, B v B, C v C


Round two – A v B, B v C, C v A


Round three – A v C, B v A, C v B


The total number of games per league match will be 9. The maximum number of players allowed for each team per match is 18.

Except as hereinafter provided all Games shall be played to 13 Points and all Matches shall be played to EPA (English Petanque Association) Rules with the exception that (a) non-Licence holders and (b) leisure boules are permitted (c) and other issues as agreed at the NDL meeting held on 29 th January 2018.

Provided that all Games shall be subject to a Time Limit of 50 minutes. If an End is in progress when Time is called it will be played out and the Points score at the close of that End will be declared to be the result of the Game provided that the scores are not level; if they are level one further End shall be played to determine the Game result; if that End shall be declared Void in accordance with EPA Rules it shall be replayed.

Each away sub-team shall play on the same piste throughout the match.

Teams are permitted to use substitutes during a match although they can only be introduced between games.

In any match the use of substitutes shall not result in a player (or players) playing against the same opponents more than once.

All matches shall be played within the period specified on the fixtures list, and the home team shall be responsible for making contact and arranging the date and time for the fixture.

Cancellation of a pre-arranged fixture must be made with at least 24 hours notice.

Failure to do so will result in the non-cancelling club team being awarded a 6 points win (and the cancelling club team’s result being recorded correspondingly as 0).

If a pre-arranged fixture is cancelled with the required notice, the Team Captains shall rearrange the fixture at the earliest possible date. If this date is outside the fixture date window, the prior approval of the Fixture Secretary is required.

In the event of Club Teams being unable to arrange a fixture satisfactorily, either captain may appeal to the Fixture Secretary for a ruling on when the match is to be played. The Fixture Secretary’s decision shall be final.

If a Club Team fails to attend in entirety a pre-arranged fixture, then the match shall be recorded as a 6-0 victory for the attending club team (i.e. as under rule 12).

If a Club Team attends with a deficit of players, but can provide one or two sub-teams, these teams may play their three games. However the non-attending sub-teams lose all their games scoring 7-13 and will not receive any point for their games.

If a match has to be abandoned during play, the match score shall be decided by the number of completed games at that point.

Should a dispute arise during a match which cannot be resolved between the two captains, the matter will be referred to the Fixture Secretary who will make a decision, in consultation with an umpire if necessary. The Fixture Secretary’s decision shall be final.

If a team withdraws from the league during the season, and has not yet played each of their scheduled opponents at least once, then all their results shall be considered void. If they have played each scheduled opponent at least once, then the result of the first match against each opponent (whether home or away) shall stand, while the second match against each opponent (whether or not it has yet been played) shall be recorded as a 6-0 victory for their opponents as under rule 12.

Once a player has played for a particular Club Team in one season, he/she may not play for any other Club Team in the same season.

A Club Team may enter the league during the season, but only if sufficient time remains in that season for the team to play against every other Club Team in their division at least once. The decision to allow another entry must rest with the Fixture Secretary.

League Positions will be decided by:

One point per game won plus four points for the overall winner will be awarded in each match and team positions will be decided as follows:

  1. By Points Won then if equal,
  2. By points difference.

First adopted at the meeting of the Committee held on Wednesday, 24 February 1993 at the Hampshire Arms, Crondall.

Modified February 1996, February 1997, Feb 1999, Feb 2000, Mar 2004, Feb 2010, Jan 2018 & Feb 2019.

                                              Rules adopted at the 2018 AGM

  1. Open Terrain. In the absence of strings not being in place an open terrain situation would apply so that were possible teams may play diagonally on the piste. Normal PE/SCPA rules apply when strings mark the piste.
  1. The jack would still be in play if it were knocked into an adjacent terrain. Play would pause until the jack becomes playable. If it interfered with the adjacent game it would be marked and removed until play could commence.
  2. Borders. A 50cm space from any border will apply for position of the playing circle.
  1. Thrown Jack. When thrown the jack is in play as long as it is within the 6 to 10 metre distance and at least 50cm from any side or top border.
  1. Timed Games. All games will be timed to a maximum of 50 minutes.
  2. Un-Played Boule. If measuring to see which boule is nearest to the jack during a game, no un-played boule are to be placed anywhere in the playing area. If the player doing the measuring has any un-played boule in his hand these should be passed to another player to hold or placed behind the playing circle.

                                                        Rules adopted at the 2019 AGM

  1. New End. A new End begins when the last boule thrown of the previous end comes to a halt. i.e. if the bell should go whilst an end is still being measured or the boules are being recovered there is still another end to play.
  1. The Clock does not stop. With the absence of strings, if a cochonnet interferes with an adjacent game the team that has played the most boules will continue.The teams that are delayed will lose time from their match – the clock will not stop whilst they are unable to play.
  1. Dates for fixtures. It is suggested that the home captain offers 3 dates for the away team to play the match. Responses should be timely & unless the captain is away for a lengthy period, 3 weeks is the maximum time to come back & respond. If there is no communication in that time the Fixture Secretary should be informed. It would be hoped that captains will then compromise on fixture dates.
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