Basic Playing Techniques

Holding The Ball

Whether pointing or shooting, the ball is best held in the palm of the hand facing the ground. This method can create a lot of backspin to the ball.

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Ground conditions

When throwing the ball, it is very important to examine the ground condition before you step into the circle. Most experienced players try to determine an appropriate landing spot for their ball, and visualise the actual path that the latter will take in an attempt to get it as close as possible to the jack.

Backspin on the ball may be necessary to achieve this. Depending on ground condition, you determine if you want to point in a standing position or in a squat position. You may also consider if the condition is appropriate or best suited for rolling the ball, or throwing a low-lob or a high lob. One must look out for uneven terrain, stones and tree roots and know how to counter them. A ball in front of the jack is much better than balls that are behind. This acts as your defense and the possibility of a mistake by your opponents to knock your ball closer in their attempt to point. If the opponent's ball is in front or too close to the jack, it is best to get your shooter to clear away that ball before you point.

Position of the feet in the throwing circle

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Pointing in a standing position

In a standing position, you must ensure that you are comfortable with your balance. It is recommended that you keep the foot that is on the same side as your throwing hand slightly in front of the other foot. Also determine the landing spot before you release the ball. You must also ensure that you do not lift your foot completely off the ground. It is commonly known as a foot fault and in competition you could be penalized by the Umpire.

To counter balance the throwing arm, you may hold another ball with the non throwing arm or to swing it in the opposite direction or holding it out to the side.

One must not leave the circle before the ball lands.

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Pointing in a squat position

This position is particularly suitable when you have to point short distance of 6 to 8 metres. In this position, you can actually judge the ground better and determine the point of landing of your ball. Balance plays a big part in this position as some players may find it more difficult to squat. Avoid this position if the jack is too far away and if the ground is uneven. It is unusual to shoot from this position but on the other hand, you may want to push your own ball nearer to the jack or want to move the jack behind towards your ball(s).

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Pointing in a half squat position

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Similar to the standing position but with knees bent and body position bent slightly forward. For some players it can provide a certain amount of accuracy higher than in other positions.

The High Lob (La Plombee)

This pointing technique requires a lot of practice. It is probably the most difficult throw to be executed, while very effective if the path to the jack is obstructed by your opponent's ball(s). Feet are spaced apart in order to obatin a good balance. Hold the ball with your hand by the side of your body, and determine the spot where you want to drop the ball (landing spot). Then you must be able to throw the ball to a substantial height in order for it to drop down practically to the vertical. A lot of backspin is required to stop the ball from rolling upon impact. Good judgment is required to drop the ball on a predetermined spot. This method is very effective on uneven rough ground, soft ground and grass.

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Shooting (Le Tir)

Normally shooting is best done in a standing position. For good balance, it is essential to keep the foot on the side of the throwing hand slightly in front of the other foot. There are different types of shooting. One is to shoot by throwing your ball a few feet in front of the opponent's ball in order that it may slide and hit it. The other is what the French call "Tir Au Fer" which is to shoot straight and cleanly at the opponent's ball. The ultimate shot, a "carreau" so called, is when your ball pratically replaces the opponent's ball on a shot.

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