Rules of Crouquet
The court is a flat grassed area of measuring 35 by 28 yards laid out according to the following diagram. Smaller courts can be used.
The Object of the Game
The game is a race around the circuit of hoops in the order and directions shown in the diagram above. The Blue and Black balls play against the Red and Yellow balls. The first side to get both of their balls through the 12 hoops in order and hit the peg is the winner. Once a ball has completed the circuit and hit the peg (is pegged out) it is removed from the game.
The players play alternate turns. A player can start their turn by striking either of their balls but must thereafter strike only that ball (the striker’s ball) during that turn. A turn consists of a single stroke, after which the turn ends, unless in that stroke
- the striker’s ball scores its next hoop in which case it earns a continuation stroke, or
- hits another ball (makes a roquet) whereupon it gains a croquet stroke then a continuation stroke.
When the striker’s ball has been through the last hoop it is known as a rover. It can then score a peg point by striking the peg (pegging out) and be removed from the game. It may also cause another rover to be pegged out.
The striker’s ball scores a hoop point for itself by entering a hoop from the correct direction and passing sufficiently through the hoop so that no part of the ball protrudes from the side of the hoop it entered by (runs a hoop). This may occur in one or more turns. On running the hoop the striker gets an extra stroke – a continuation stroke.
If the striker’s ball causes another ball to run that ball’s hoop, that other ball is said to be peeled through the hoop and it gains a point. You do not gain a continuation stroke for peeling a ball. The owner of the ball which is peeled gets the hoop point.
The score is the sum of the number of hoops and peg points each side has obtained.
If the striker’s ball hits another ball the striker gets two extra strokes. The first extra stroke is the croquet stroke and is played by picking up the striker’s ball and placing it in contact with the ball it has struck, the roqueted ball. The striker takes croquet (see below) from the roqueted ball which then becomes known as the croqueted ball. Following the croquet stroke, the striker has a continuation stroke on their own ball.
At the start of each turn, the striker’s ball may roquet each of the other three balls once. However, every time the striker’s ball scores its next hoop point it may roquet each of the other three balls again. The striker can roquet balls, run its next hoop and roquet the balls again, etc., in one turn so making a break.
A ball can roquet another ball directly or after being scattered off a hoop, peg or another ball which it has already roqueted. If at the start of a turn the striker’s ball is in contact with another ball and the player chooses to play with that ball, a roquet is taken to have been made and you must take croquet immediately. Should the striker’s ball dislodge a ball it has already roqueted, the balls remain where they come to rest unless the striker’s ball subsequently hits a ball it may roquet.
If a player completely runs their hoop and roquets a ball lying completely outside the jaws of the hoop then this is taken to be hoop run then roquet. Croquet must then be taken. A ball which has made a roquet is still in the game and can cause other balls to be moved and potentially peeled. Once it has made a roquet the striker’s ball may not score hoop points for itself in the same stroke, but may move other balls.
The Croquet Stroke
In the croquet stroke, the striker strikes their own ball when it is contacted with the roqueted ball. The roqueted ball must move or shake in the stroke. If it does not move it is a fault and the turn ends. After a fault, the balls are either replaced as for the croquet stroke or left where they ended up at the opponent’s option. The turn also ends if either ball in the croquet stroke leaves the lawn.
If the croqueted ball is sent off the court after it is pegged out or if the striker’s ball roquets another ball, or runs its hoop before leaving the court, then the turn continues without penalty.
The Continuation Stroke
This is an ordinary stroke following the croquet stroke or hoop run in which, for example, a further roquet may be made or a point may be scored. Continuation strokes cannot be accumulated; for example, if you run your hoop and make a roquet in the same stroke you must take croquet immediately.
The Start of a Game
The game starts with the toss of a coin. The winner of the toss decides whether they will take the choice of lead, i.e. which side plays first or second, or which pair of balls (Blue & Black or Red & Yellow) they will play with. If they take the choice of balls the adversary has the choice of who plays first and vice versa.
At the start of a game, the player entitled to play first plays either of their balls into the court from any point on either baulk-line (see diagram). At the end of that turn, their adversary does likewise. In the third and fourth turns, the remaining two balls are similarly played into the game.
As soon as a ball is played on to the court it can immediately score points and make roquets. Once all four balls have been played on to the court the striker can start any subsequent turn with either of their balls.
At the end of each stroke any ball in the yard-line area other than the striker’s ball, which is played from where it lies, is brought back onto the yard-line nearest to its position. If at the end of a turn the striker’s ball lies within the yard-line it is brought back onto the yard-line. Any ball which has left the lawn is brought back onto the yard-line unless it is the striker’s ball due to take croquet.
A ball goes off the court as soon as any part of it crosses a straight edge raised vertically from the inside of the boundary. If a ball cannot be exactly replaced on the yard-line because of the presence of other yard-line balls, it is replaced on the yard-line in contact with those balls.