Association Croquet – A Summary of the Rules

Association Croquet is a game played between two teams of two balls, Blue and Black versus Red and Yellow. In a 4-player game, one player is always red, one player always Yellow and so forth; in a 2-player game, one player plays both the balls for their team. The two teams alternate turns; at the start of a turn, the team should decide which of their two balls is to play and play with that ball for the entirety of the turn. Each ball must run a set course, as shown in the diagram at the end of this page, going through each hoop twice in a specific order and direction and then hitting the peg. The team which first completes this course with both its balls wins the game.

Croquet Lawn

A ball runs a hoop point when it passes right through a hoop in the correct order in the correct direction in one or more strokes. The point is scored whether the ball is struck directly by the player or by another ball. Clips coloured to match the balls are placed on the hoops or peg to indicate the next hoop for each ball. The clips are placed on the crown of a hoop for the first six hoops and on the side of the hoop for the last six.

The sides take alternate turns. In the first four turns the four balls are played in turn from one of the starting lines (‘baulk lines’) at each end of the court. There is no strict order of playing the balls. Once the four balls are on the court a side chooses which of its two balls it shall play in each turn.

A turn consists initially of one stroke only, but extra strokes can be earned in two ways:

If the player’s ball runs a hoop, he is entitled to another stroke.

If the player’s ball hits another ball (‘makes a roquet’), he places his own ball in contact with the other ball and then strikes his ball so that the other ball moves or shakes (‘takes croquet’). After this the player is entitled to one further stroke.

At the start of any turn, a ball may roquet and take croquet from each other ball on the lawn once, regardless of having done so on previous turns. Every time your ball runs a hoop or starts a new turn, this is reset and you may roquet each ball again. Thus, by a combination of taking croquet and running hoops, a series of points can be scored in a turn (‘making a break’). A turn ends when the player has made all the strokes to which he is entitled, or if they send their ball or the croqueted ball off court when taking croquet, or if they makes a fault as defined in the Laws. A turn does not necessarily end if a ball is sent off court in any stroke other than when taking croquet. You may not store up more than one extra stroke at any one time.

At the end of each stroke any ball which has been sent off court is placed a yard inside the boundary (‘on the yard-line’) nearest to where it went off, and any ball lying between the boundary and the yard-line, except the player’s own ball, is also replaced on the yard-line. When a ball has scored its last hoop point (‘becomes a rover’) it can score the peg point either by the player hitting it onto the peg or by being hit onto the peg by another rover ball. The ball is thus ‘pegged-out’ and removed from the court.