Croquet Rules

How To Play Croquet | Croquet Rules Explained (Best Guide 2023)

Nothing is more soothing than playing the croquet on a sunny day. This is probably the most original English game in history that can be traced back to the great Renaissance era.

Initially, back in the 13th century, French peasants used to play a similar game with the name “jeu de mail.” Then it rose to fame in the 17th century when British people started playing it on a daily basis. 

Probably it is one of the easiest games to play for a common man. In the United States, it is often known as “wickets.” Ironically, croquet was removed from the Olympics due to a lack of participants after the 1900 Paris Olympics.

But now, with multiple leagues and clubs, it is being played at the association level in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. The World Croquet Federation has a decided set of rules and regulations for the game.

So, if you want to know about its rules, we got you covered. In this article, we will guide you in detail about the official rules of garden croquet. So you can play and enjoy the game effortlessly.

Basic Croquet Rules

Whether you are playing 6 wickets or 9 wickets, the basic rules of the game remain the same. Here’re the essential rules that players are bound to follow:

  • A toss determines which player or team will play first.
  • Once the hoops are placed, you can’t adjust them during the game.
  • Players cannot push or put their foot on the ball.
  • All players can only take one turn unless the bonus points are awarded.
  • If you hit another player’s ball, you get 2 bonus points.
  • Extra shots are not incremental. 
  • Every ball must clearly pass from each wicket.

Once the ball touches both stakes, you can remove it from the field. There is also an ethical code of conduct that you need to follow, as you cannot push or hit your opponent during the game.

How To Play Croquet?

Before you start the game, you need to set up the field with stakes and hoops in a particular way. The starting stake is placed before the first two wickets, while the other stake is placed after the last two wickets. Here’re some rules to follow:

  • Players take turns and can only play with their mallet and ball.
  • Mostly, the order of the game is marked on the stake from top to bottom.
  • Each player has only one shot per turn.
  • If they hit another player’s ball or score the wicket legally, they are awarded bonus shots.
  • All players are bound to secure wickets and hit the stakes to finish the game in a total of 14 shots.
  • The player who touches both stakes first wins the game.

In team games, all team members must complete the croquet course to win the game. 

Croquet Equipment

It is a garden game that you can also play in your backyard. To play it, you need certain equipment, often dubbed as a “croquet set.” A set usually consists of the following:

  • Six Mallets
  • Six Balls
  • Six or Nine Wickets
  • Two Stakes

In professional matches, nine wickets are used. But in some garden croquet clubs, six wickets or hoops are preferred. The mallets are made of wood with a 9.5” sturdy head. 

The length of the croquet mallets can vary depending on the player’s grip. But in professional games, the mallets should be between 25 to 40 inches in length and cannot exceed over 3.5 pounds in weight.

All six mallets and balls differ in color. They are orange, parrot, blue, red, yellow, and violet in color. Each croquet ball has a diameter of 3 ⅝ inches and a 16-ounce weight.

The wickets, a.k.a. hoops, are made of metal and are 3 ¾ inches wide and 12 inches long. The width is only slightly wider than the balls. They are laid in a certain configuration in the field.

Croquet Field Dimensions

The official courts are 100 ft (30.48 m) long and 50 ft wide (15.24 m). But the length and width can be adjusted depending on the available space size. The rule of thumb is to adjust wickets after every 6 feet. So keeping that in mind, you can also consider a 54 ft (16.45 m) long field.

The field should have normal grass. You can also play it on the sand or a flat surface, but then you may deal with low friction will affect the pace of your game.

Croquet Players

It can be played between two, four, or six players. You can also play croquet in team form. If you prefer to play it in teams, then both teams should consist of an equal number of players.

In six ball game, a maximum of 6 players can play. But in the quads match, you must add two more balls before increasing the number of players. Officially, the croquet players are called “the strikers.”

Individual games usually last up to 60 minutes. While six players game is typically 120 minutes long.

Croquet Poison Rules

The poison method game is usually played in US league matches. If the ball passes through all the wickets but hasn’t touched the finishing stake, it is considered a poison ball. 

  • Players don’t earn bonus points by hitting the poison ball with the opponents.
  • If the opponent’s ball hit it, the poison ball is removed from the field, and vice versa. 

Usually, the poison ball rule is not adapted in beginner’s matches. For dummies, either regular 6 or 9 hoops game is played.

Rules Of Croquet FAQs

Yes, it is similar to golf. The aim of both sports is to hit the ball with mallets to reach a particular target.

Each set consists of mallets, six balls, nine wickets, and two stakes. The number of mallets in a set may vary depending on the price.

No, it is not an Olympic sport. It was only played once in the 1900 summer Olympics but later dropped out due to a lack of players.

There is a total of nine wickets in the professional croquet sets. In the garden croquet, only six wickets are used.

Croquet wickets are 6 feet apart from each other. The rule of thumb is that you can adjust the distance depending on the available field size.

The basic croquet rules state that players must take turns to play. Each player is assigned a mallet and a ball, and they can only play with them. During the game, you cannot change the position of the wickets or put your foot on the ball. 

Wrapping It Up!

Croquet is a historical game that is mainly popular as a backyard game in the US. It closely resembles golf. The aim of the game is to pass balls from six or nine wickets and touch both stakes.

The croquet setup and rules can be adjusted depending on the available space. But in general, the wickets must be at least 6 feet away from each other.

It can be played individually or in teams. The player who conquers both stakes in 14 shots first wins the game. In every game, bonus shots are awarded, but they are not cumulative.

We hope that this article helps you to understand the rules of the croquet game swiftly and effortlessly. Well, in the meantime, be happy and keep on fighting for your dreams!

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