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Croquet Rules & Regulations

Rules & Regulations for playing the Game of Croquet.

Croquet Rules Guide and the Simplified Croquet regulations

It's a tranquil summers Croquet day afternoon ready for playing croquet with the official croquet rules and regulations, the flames on the pre croquet  barbeque are dying down and the fruit punch is freshly poured. You've gathered your friends and family in the garden and opened up your new Jaques Croquet set ready for its first ever game of croquet played with the rules for this new croquet set. The scene is set, but does anyone actually know how to play Croquet? what are the croquet rules? what are the croquet regulations? Every Jaques Croquet set includes a comprehensive copy of the Croquet rules and croquet regulations, but here is a condensed version of the croquet rules and regulations to get you started playing croquet with croquet rules:


1. Prepare the croquet court for the first game of croquet - played with the official croquet rules.

Croquet is best played outside on freshly mown grass. The court should be as close to 35 x 28 yards as possible, although for non-competitive play dimensions can always be adjusted according to the space available. Croquet rules require the court area to be marked out with stakes at each corner and/or string along the boundary edges. Six hoops should be inserted facing north/south to roughly 12 inches above ground level as per diagram 1 opposite. The wicket or "peg" is placed in the centre of the court.


2. Croquet Equipment - what croquet Equipment is needed to play croquet with the correct Rules.

For a game of two to four players, four colored balls are needed; for a six-player game six balls are required (each team must use a different color). Each player takes a mallet ensuring only to use the striking end of the head (not the side) when playing a shot.


3. Croquet Game objectives- when played with Croquet Rules by Jaques.

Each player (or 'striker') takes it in turn to move through the course passing through each of the hoops in the correct sequence. Play starts at the South-West corner of the court (referring to the boundary facing the first hoop and having nothing to do with real magnetic orientation) and progresses through the hoops in a as per diagram 2 opposite, initially moving clockwise before returning back around the course in an anti-clockwise direction and finishing at the centre wicket. Clips colored to match the balls can be placed on the hoops or wicket to indicate the next shot for each ball.


4. Beginning a game of croquet

For play consisting of two players a coin is flipped and the winner chooses a pair of balls (either black and blue or red and yellow). Using the mallets to strike the balls the player with the blue ball plays first and the next three turns are taken by playing the red, black and yellow balls in order. Once all four balls are in play subsequent turns require each player to choose just one of their two balls to play. The chosen ball is then played throughout that turn with the other of the player's balls remaining dormant (termed the "partner ball"). For games of four or six players in a game, each player is allocated a ball and each player can only play with their allocated ball. So for each turn, the player wielding the mallet is determined by the partnership's decision as to which ball will be played. The game is identical to singles play in all other respects. Each player is entitled to only one shot per turn unless the player's ball either passes in the correct direction through the next hoop (termed "running the hoop"), or the player's ball strikes another ball (called a "roquet"). In the event of a striker 'running the hoop' the player is entitled to take one extra shot.


5. Croquet the basics for playing croquet with Jaques croquet rules and regulations.

When a striker achieves a 'roquet', however, the player is entitled to two extra strikes. In this situation the first extra strike is a special kind of shot called a 'croquet' (the second shot is a normal strike). To take a 'croquet' a player must pick up the ball and place it directly next to the ball it came into contact with so that the balls are touching. The player then strikes their ball in such a way that both balls move - ideally in a way that is advantageous for the player and disadvantageous for their opponent. Alternatively, if the roqueted ball was the 'partner ball' then the aim would be to move both balls into an advantageous position. A player can knock another ball through a hoop or onto the peg and if the hoop or peg is the next target for that ball, it counts. Worth noting here is that when playing a 'croquet' shot neither of the balls can cross the court boundaries and a ball may only 'croquet' each of the other three balls once in between each hoop (after a hoop has been run the player may 'roquet' all three balls again). Additionally, if a ball touches more than one ball during a stroke, only the first ball hit is deemed to have been 'roqueted'. A turn therefore can consist of strikes that often result in additional strokes and 'croquets' and this allows a player to continue a turn indefinitely so that players often run several hoops in one turn (such a run is referred to as a 'break').


6. Croquet Rules and regulations - Penalties and exceptions.

A turn ends when a player has made all the strokes to which he is entitled or if he/she makes any of the following faults: - A turn ends if any ball other than the players chosen ball for that turn is struck. In this event all balls must be moved back to their original positions prior to the strike - A turn ends if the player double hits the ball during a single strike. In this event all balls must be moved back to their original positions prior to the strike - A turn ends after a 'croquet' if either ball rolls out of the court. - A turn ends after a 'croquet' if the 'croqueted' ball doesn't move. In this event all balls must be moved back to their original positions prior to the strike


A ball is out of court if any part of the ball crosses or lies over any part of the boundary line. Any ball that runs out of court must be placed on the yard line nearest to the point that the ball crossed the boundary before the next stroke.


7. Finishing a game of croquet - if you play with the correct croquet rules and regulations.

Once a ball has gone through the final hoop, the ball becomes a 'rover'. The game is won when both a player's balls have 'pegged out' and been removed from the court. A full, comprehensive copy of the rules of Croquet is included with every Jaques Croquet set or is available individually in two versions (simplified or official) from the Jaques online store. Please click here for further details.


American Association Croquet - the croquet rules and regulations fro playing american croquet.

In the US a modified game of croquet is played with slightly differen croquet rules terms. The croquet court is the same size at 105 feet by 84 feet, but "hoops" are called "wickets" and a wicket is "passed" instead of "run".

The game does not have baulk lines, instead balls are placed in front of the first wicket prior to their first strike, the distance from the wicket being the length of "a mallet's head". Unlike International croquet, turns are taken in sequence - blue, red, black then yellow - throughout the entire game.

The game is more complex due to the "alive and dead" rule. As in the International (Association rules) game, a roqueted ball cannot be roqueted again until the player's ball has passed through its next wicket. However, unlike the International game, balls do not become available to be roqueted again at the start of a new turn. A player's ball is considered to be "alive" on another ball while the other ball is available to be roqueted and "dead" once that ball has been roqueted until such time as the player's ball passes through it's next wicket. Since it's difficult to keep track of which balls are alive or dead to each of the other balls, a special "deadness board" is maintained upon which the state of each ball against the others is shown.


American Garden Croquet rules and regulations - the Rules for garden Croquet and croquet games in America

This is a popular family game played in the USA and Canada. The field is about 100 x 50 feet but smaller sizes are fine and often the boundaries are dictated to more by the size and shape of the garden than convention! Nine wickets and two stakes are used. The "finishing stake" is placed at the midpoint of the South boundary six feet in. Two wickets are placed north of this stake one at 6 feet towards the centre, the other a further six feet towards the centre. Sixteen further feet northwards two wickets are placed, each six feet in from either side. 16 more feet finds the central wicket placed in the exact centre of the lawn. The remaining four wickets are placed as in a mirror image of the southern half of the lawn and the "turning stake" completes the layout six feet from the Northerly border.

Play starts with a player placing the ball, a mallet's length in front of the finishing stake so that the first shot is normally to stroke the ball through the first two wickets. The game is in two halves - first a ball travels northwards through 7 wickets and hits the "turning stake". Then the ball travels southwards through 7 wickets and finishes by hitting the finishing stake. The order of the wickets in the first half is as follows - the two Southerly wickets, the South-West wicket, the Centre wicket, the North-West wicket, and finally, the two wickets in front of the turning stake. The ball returns through the two Northerly wickets, the North East wicket, the centre wicket, the South East wicket and the two Southerly wickets.

The rules are similar to the American game but without "alive or dead" rule. The returning stake counts like a wicket in most respects so that once the returning stake is hit, all three other balls can be roqueted again.

After a roquet is made, a player has two extra shots but the first of these is either a croquet or a normal shot at the player's discretion.

When a croquet ball passes through two croquet set game wickets (whilst played with the correct croquet rules and regulations) or passes through a croquet wicket and then hits the returning stake in one stroke, two continuation strokes are allowed. However, additional strokes are still not cumulative so, for instance, if a ball roquets another directly from a croquet or having passed through a wicket, then only the croquet and the continuation stroke from the roquet are available.

The final difference is that during a croquet, a player is allowed to put their foot on the their own ball so that it stays where it is while the croqueted ball is sent shooting out of play.