There are four major problems with the FIPJP rules.
(1) The FIPJP rules are a mixture of different kinds of rules.
The FIPJP rules are a messy mixture of the rules of the game (like the rules of chess), administrative rules for running competitions (“Before the start of a competition, each player must present his membership card”) and guidelines for umpires (“No claim can be accepted [by an umpire] regarding boules or jack whose positions have not been marked”). The FIPJP rules are more like competition rules than rules of the game of petanque. This wouldn’t be a major problem if it were possible easily to disentangle the different kinds of rules. But it is not.
(2) The FIPJP rules are designed for umpired competitions.
The FIPJP rules assume competition conditions and the presence of an umpire. For some rules there is no way to interpret or apply the rule without an umpire. (The definition of “visible from the circle” is “visible to an umpire standing in the circle”.) This is a problem because every day, around the world, in petanque clubs and groups large and small, most games are played without an umpire.
(3) The FIPJP rules are extremely badly written.
It is impossible, at least here, to list the many, many ways that the rules are badly written. Many rules are ambiguous, vague, or simply incomprehensible. Important rules are missing. Some rules, under some circumstance, are grossly unfair.
These problems could be mitigated by a robust body of case law of interpretations, but no such body exists. There is no mechanism for communicating interpretations between umpires, or between umpires and players. Interpretations differ from umpire to umpire, and from national federation to national federation.
(4) These problems are unacknowledged and hidden.
What makes these problems so serious for the FIPJP is that they are not recognized or acknowledged. As long as the FIPJP does not recognize that there are problems with the rules, the FIPJP will not fix them.
What makes these problems so serious for players is that the problems are hidden so well. Players who read the rules naively assume that the rules are a well-written document, created by an experienced, highly-competent international organization that is over 50 years old and has hundreds of thousands of members around the world. When they have difficulty interpreting and applying the rules, players look elsewhere for the cause, and hardly ever question the quality of the rules themselves.