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Jumping jacks, what happens when a petanque jack moves?

Jumping  jacks.

The art of winning a game of Petanque is to always make the best of a bad position. The game is full of moments were the game can twist and turn. Good luck or bad luck can fall upon you at every moment.

One of the most common problems in a game is movement of the jack. When shooting a boule the jack is usually in close proximity. One of the reasons for shooting! This is a time when anything can happen. The shooting boule is coming into the head at speed causing boule, gravel or jack to be pushed out of the head. If the jack is hit it may not go out of play. It can move two or three meters from the head. Chances are it will move away from the circle leaving a lot of boule between the circle and the jack. If there are still boule to play they will be thrown with extreme caution and care. The crowded head is now right in the way of any boule played towards the jack. This really is make or break of a game. Crashing into the boule left two to three meters from the jack will not help your situation. The length is best walked out so it is clear in your mind. The landing spot for your point must also focused upon. A lob over the pack is possibly the most productive shot or spinning your boule in from the side. This is totally dependent on the terrain and of course the boule left for each team to play. This is a shot best practised away from a game situation. It may only happen once a competition but the longer you play on the day as you reach the semi’s and finals there tends to be more shooting and more jack movements.

Practice session.

If you do not have spare boule to use take three or four half house bricks and place them in a circle approximately one metre in diameter. This circle should be approx. 7 meter’s from the throwing circle. Place the jack two metres behind the circle of bricks and practice pointing to the jack. The bricks represent the old head after a jack movement. With practice you should be able to miss the bricks but point close to the jack. It is a shot you will only use a couple of times during the competition but one day this practice will reap rewards. Try different permutations to try to represent changing situations. Later in the tactics sessions we can look at knocking in the boule from the old head to score more points. This will mean you will need to know who’s boule are whose. A shot may lead to a big head but remember the boule you are shooting may have to pass the jack. Very embarrassing if you put the oppositions boule onto the jack by shooting it. Anyway that is for another time.

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