Getting an umpire’s license

In the USA, umpires are classified this way.

      Grade 0 - international
      Grade 1 - national
      Grade 2 - regional
      Grade 3 - club

In New Zealand, umpires are classified this way.

      Grade 1 - Club Umpire
      Grade 2 - Regional Umpire
      Grade 3 - National Umpire
      Grade 4 - Confederation Umpire (FIPJP exam) 
      Grade 5 - International Umpire (FIPJP exam)

The international umpires comprise the Umpires Committee of the FIPJP, the committee in charge of writing and modifying the official FIPJP rules of play.

Mike Pegg, of the English Petanque Association, is the only international umpire who is a native speaker of English.

Licenses for club, regional, and national umpires are granted by national federations. Typical requirements are that you must have been a national federation member for a certain number of years, have been nominated by your local club, and have passed some sort of examination. Each country has its own procedures, so you need to consult your country’s national federation for information on its procedures. That would mean consulting the FPUSA in the United States, the FFPJP in France, and so on. In Canada, it probably means Fédération de Pétanque du Québec. You might be interested in this post about seeking an FPUSA umpire’s license.

The FIPJP grants international umpire licenses — at most two licenses per year from each national federation. Candidates must be 60 years of age or younger.

It seems that European players must be licensed by the CEP (Confédération Européenne de Pétanque) before seeking an international umpire’s license from the FIPJP. Mike Pegg, an international umpire based in the UK, has a Facebook page called “Ask the Umpire”. On April 22, 2013 he put up this post.


The CEP (European) Board are putting into place an exam leading to a diploma for umpires. This is to bring us (the CEP) in line with the FIPJP plans for umpires.

The first of the exams, which will be held every other year, will take place this year (2013) at the European Championship for Men in Rome.

It will be necessary for a candidate to take and pass the CEP exam before they can move on to take the International (FIPJP) exam.

The FIPJP have an age limit of 60 years and a maximum number of 2 candidates per year per national federation.

The CEP will have the same max number but the max age will be 50 years.

For more information, see

There are a number of useful resources (although some are 5 or more years old) available via links on the New Zeland Petanque web site. You may find the following especially useful.

How to license your docs

If you post documents on the Web, this is for you. I’m going to tell you how to give your document a Creative Commons license.

The Creative Commons web site is

I (and others) have written and posted documents about petanque on the Web. We love petanque and want to share information about it with everybody. We love it if somebody puts a link to our web site on his web site, or copies one of our documents onto his web site, or even copies one of our documents and customizes it to fit his own needs.  But of course, while we’re happy to share, we don’t especially want our work to be stolen. We want our original work to be acknowledged.

For a lot of us, electronic publishing is an adventure into new and unknown territory. But although we may not know it, this territory was explored and settled long ago. Procedures and standards for electronic publishing have been evolving for more than 20 years. Today they are mature and widely recognized.

Nowadays, a standard tool for sharing an electronic document is a Creative Commons license. Creative Commons (CC) is an organization whose purpose is to help people share electronic documents on the Web. It does this by providing a selection of standard licenses that an author can use to tell downloaders what they are (and are not) permitted (and required) to do with a document that they’ve downloaded. Each type of license specifies a set of permissions and requirements. An author chooses the license that contains exactly the specifications that he wants.

The Creative Commons web site is It explains what CC is all about, and it provides an easy-to-use license-choosing tool to help you choose the right license for your document. The license-chooser asks you a few simple questions and then generates text for the kind of license you want. You copy that text into your document (or put it on your Web page), and you’re done. It’s as easy as that.

Recently, as a demo for a friend, I went thru the license-chooser, responding to each question. When I had finished, the license chooser chose this license.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

And it generated this text that could be copied into my document.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

One thing that this particular license —the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License — allows, is for someone to make a copy of the document, modify it (including translating it into a foreign language), and re-publish it…. provided that

  • he credits the original source — that is to say, me.
  • he licenses what he creates with the same CC license that I used. This means that he can’t charge other people money for something that he got from me for free.

For this demo the license-chooser generated a license that met MY needs. But of course when you do it for a document of your own, you may make different choices and end up with a different CC license.

If you’d like to see a document with a CC license, see my Notes on the Rules of Petanque.

The bottom line

If you have a document that you want to share via the Web, add a CC license to it.   It will make everybody’s life just a little bit easier.