In team play, the standard practice is for the team’s pointer to throw first and for the team’s shooter to throw last. Teams like to hold back their shooters — to keep them in reserve, so they will be available in case of an emergency.
This strategy works well, but it can be frustrating for pointers.
A few years ago we were playing a visiting team that had an exceptionally strong shooter. This gentleman, whose name was Van, had been a championship-level shooter as a young man in Vietnam.
I was pointing well. But no matter how well I pointed, Van would play next and shoot away my beautifully pointed boule. Finally, I expressed my frustration to a friend.
“Don’t feel bad,” he said. “The fact that Van is always being called in to shoot your boules means that you’re doing your job.”
“Your job as a pointer is to point so well that you force the opposing shooter to shoot you. Basically, your job is to disarm the opposing team of its shooter. By pointing well, you’re doing just what you’re supposed to be doing.”