Skip to main content
Official Address United States Croquet Association
700 Florida Mango Road
West Palm Beach, Florida 33406
Contact P | (561) 478-0760
F | (561) 686-5507
E | membership@uscroquet.com
Add Me To Your Mailing List
Shopping Cart
cancel
HomeAmerican Rules
Background Image URL //s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressClubFiles/962311/graphics/RedBall_421501019.jpeg

Rules of American Croquet


The Official Rules of the United States Croquet Association, Revised 2006 is also available for as a PDF file. It is large (over 1 MB), so please be patient when you click the link. You may need to get Adobe Reader to open it.

You may also want to review the USCA Rules Committee's rulings.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

SIX WICKET CROQUET


Part 1. Object of the Game and Starting


Part 2. The Turn


Part 3. Mallet Use


Part 4. Scoring a Wicket


Part 5. Balls In and Out of the Game


Part 6. Shots


Part 7. Dead Ball


Part 8. Out of Bounds


Part 9. Blocking and Wiring


Part 10. Rover and Finishing the Game


Part 11. Errors in Play


Part 12. Claims and Penalties


Part 13. Tournament Play and Timed Games


Part 14. Double Banking


Part 15. Handicap Play


Part 16. Shortened Games


Part 17. Experimental Rules


HANDICAP POINT SYSTEM


GLOSSARY

RULES CHANGES IN THE 2006 EDITION


The Six Wicket Croquet rules include a number of significant, but non-substantive, changes such as reducing redundancies, reordering of some material, improvements in wording and style consistency, inclusion of the individual rules in the table of contents, and a new numbering system for the rules. The handicap point system description has been updated to the latest version wherein every sanctioned game involves the gain and loss of at least one tracking point. More substantive changes are given below; numbers in square brackets are the corresponding rule numbers in the previous edition.

  1. 1.3d Order of Play and Starting Area [3]: Starting with an opponent’s ball is specified as a wrong ball fault.
  2. 3.2a Striking Period and Shot [12a]: The beginning of the striking period is more fully defined.
  3. 6.2 Roquet Shots [27]: Following a roquet, the striker ball remains in play and is ball in hand at the conclusion of the shot.
  4. 9.1 Responsible for Position [27b(3), 40b-c]: A single new rule defines responsibility for a ball’s position.
  5. 9.2 Blocking Wicket [20]: Blocks, and responsibility for them, are more clearly defined. All blocks must be announced.
  6. 11.6 Misplaced Balls [50, 51]: Failing to take croquet is added to the misplacement list, and the list is made non-exhaustive. Faults and the limit of claims are detailed.
  7. [54d]: The rule requiring freezing of the deadness board following a dead-ball fault is eliminated.
  8. 13.4 Resetting Equipment [new rule]: Improperly set equipment may be reset. If a ball becomes stuck in an improperly tight wicket, the shot may be replayed.
  9. 13.9a Time-Outs [60a]: Three time-outs are allowed at any point during the game.
  10. 13.11a Last Turn [62a]: Tournament rules may specify that the final ball in last turn not play past the point when the side has won.
  11. 15.1a(2) Bisques [69a(2)]: A continuation shot is not required before taking a continuation bisque
  12. 15.5 Base Method Handicap Play [new rule]: An alternative method of calculating bisques by subtracting a fixed number from handicaps is allowed.
  13. 16.1 Fourteen Point Game [new rule]: A 14-point game is allowed.
  14. 17.1 Immediately in the Game [experimental]: The “Multiple Last Turns” experimental rule is eliminated. A new experimental rule puts balls fully in the game immediately.

OFFICIAL RULINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS


The USCA Rules Committee may, from time to time, issue official rulings and interpretations to clarify and correct the rules where necessary. Any such official rulings and interpretations will be presented in blue color blocks directly after the rules in question, to distinguish them from the official rules.

AN OUTLINE OF THE GAME


How Play is Made


Play is made by striking a ball with a mallet. The player so playing is called the striker, and the ball that is struck, the striker ball. The striker may never hit an adversary ball with the mallet. By striking the striker ball, the striker may cause it, or any other ball it hits to move and/or to score a point.

The Turn


The players play each turn in the order of blue, red, black, and yellow. A player is initially entitled to one shot in a turn, after which the turn ends unless the striker ball has scored a wicket point or hit another ball. When a wicket is scored, the striker is entitled to play one additional or continuation shot. When another ball (whether opponent’s or partner’s) is hit by the striker ball, the striker is said to have made a “roquet” on that ball and the striker ball is entitled to two extra shots and becomes “dead” on that ball.

The first of these two shots is known as the “croquet” shot, and is made after placing the striker ball in contact with the roqueted ball. The second shot is the continuation shot.

If, in the croquet shot, the croqueted ball is sent off the court or the striker ball is sent off the court without first having made another roquet, the turn ends.

During a turn, each ball the striker ball is “alive” on may be roqueted once, and the striker ball may make another roquet on each ball provided that since last roqueted, the striker ball has scored a wicket point for itself and has thus cleared itself of its “deadness.” Thus, by a series of shots, roquets, croquets, and continuation shots (after a croquet shot or scoring a wicket), it is possible to make many points during one turn. Such a series is known as “making a break.”

Strategy


Along with the objective of scoring the 26 points first, each side should employ offensive or defensive moves that restrict the progress of the opponents.

The primary offensive tactic is to use as many balls (both partner’s and opponent’s) as possible to set up what is called a “break,” then score as many wicket points in one turn as possible. By skillful placement of two or three other balls at forward wickets, a player can make all twelve wickets in one “all round break” during the turn. This optimum feat in croquet is the equivalent of a grand slam home run or no hitter in baseball.

Defensive tactics include separating the opponent’s balls, thus forcing long shots to roquet other balls, or knocking the opponent out of position to make its next wicket (particularly when that ball is dead on its partner’s ball). An opponent who is dead on two or three balls and can be kept that way has lost considerable advantage.

Defensive strategy frequently involves one side’s balls joining at the boundary line away from their opponents (to avoid providing them an opportunity to develop a break for their side). This move often baffles spectators, since it appears no one is attempting to make wickets. It is often the case of discretion being the better part of valor. All tactical decisions involve weighing the risk of each move (in terms of each player’s ability) against the reward if the move succeeds. To many, this is the essential challenge of croquet.

CROQUET CUSTOMS AND COURT ETIQUETTE


The following customs and court etiquette, while not warranting specific penalties, should be considered as helpful to the conduct and enjoyment of the game of croquet for everyone and as important as the numbered rules of play. Should a conflict exist with the numbered rules, the numbered rules shall prevail. Remember, croquet is a sport and as such should be enjoyed by all players as a sport played by gracious losers and winners.

Sportsmanship


USCA croquet is a game that should be played with good sportsmanship as the foremost attitude of how a player approaches the game. The paragraphs of this section help describe some of the ways which players should play the game and conduct themselves while playing the game. If a specific incident is not covered in the rules, then the spirit of good sportsmanship should be considered in addressing the situation. Players should strive to play by the rules of the game and not try to circumvent the ethics and the morality of the rules of the game.

Dress Code


Croquet players customarily wear all white apparel on court. In all USCA titled events, such apparel is expected. The tournament director must approve any exceptions.

Courtesy to Players


Courtesy should be extended to one’s opponent(s) as well as to one’s playing partner at all times. Players should respect each other’s playing abilities and opinions, and treat an opponent or partner in the same fashion that they would expect to be treated themselves. The striker must plan and play shots throughout a game with reasonable dispatch.

Presence on Court


In the interest of good sportsmanship, players should avoid any behavior that distracts a striker attempting a shot. This conduct applies to the opponent, and in a double-banked game to the players in the other game, especially when stepping onto the court to start a turn. Only the striker shall be on the court; all other players shall remain outside the boundaries, except in doubles when a partner may come on the court momentarily to indicate a spot or help place a ball for a croquet shot. However, the partner must leave the court immediately after the task is finished. Players should not be in the striker’s line of sight, cross through the line of aim, or make noises or sudden movements that break the striker’s concentration.

This conduct is even more important during double banked games so that interference with the other game is avoided. See Part 14 for further information concerning double-banked games.

Interference with a Shot


A player must not interfere with any ball while a shot is in progress. All balls are in play until the shot is over and must be allowed to completely cross the boundary or come to a complete stop before being touched by any player or equipment. The only exception to this situation occurs when a roquet is made and the roqueted ball is clearly not going to affect any other ball or go out of bounds. In this case, the striker ball may be stopped and given to the striker so that the croquet shot may be taken.

A player must not interfere with the boundary string during a shot. A player may move, stand on, or have a partner stand on the string so that the striking of the striker ball is not interfered with. The four corner flags should be at least 4 inches outside the boundary string and may be temporarily removed so as not to interfere with the striker’s stance or swing.

Spectators


Players should avoid listening to any audible comments from spectators about the game. A player may ask a spectator a question about a point of fact only if the opponent has given consent.

A player should not take advantage of any previously unnoticed error or omission to which his attention is drawn by the comments or attitude of the spectators.

Spectators should avoid distracting or having conversations with deadness boardkeepers or shot clock keepers. Boardkeepers and clock keepers are an important part of the game and concentration on their task is important to the integrity of the game. Their concentration is especially important in the last minutes of a game as the pressures of the game in progress can be greatly intensified. If spectators see any errors (i.e., out of turn, clip placement, etc.), they may bring it to the attention of an official. Care should be taken that doing so does not constitute giving advice to a player.

Advice


No player is entitled to advice from anyone other than one’s partner when playing doubles. It must be a matter of conscience how a player acts after receiving unsolicited information or advice. Warning a player who is about to run a wrong wicket or play the wrong ball constitutes advice.

Replacing Balls and Placing Clips


All players should ensure that all balls are, as required, correctly:
  1. placed in bounds where they went out of bounds,
  2. on the nine inch line, and
  3. replaced after a fault.
It is the responsibility of each player when scoring a point for any ball to remove the clip immediately and at the end of the turn to place all clips moved on the correct wicket.

Calling Faults


The rules provide that a fault or misplay shall be called by any player as soon as it is observed (rule 12.1). This includes the striker calling any fault committed, regardless of adverse consequences to the striker’s game. During a game, the players are the referees unless a third party (preferably a currently certified referee) is called to watch a questionable shot, and therefore have an obligation to the game and the opponent to call any faults that they commit.

Questionable Shot


If a striker is about to attempt a shot of which either the legality is in doubt, or the result may not be clearly apparent (i.e., a possible fault, when aiming at a ball in or near a wicket, or a long stakeout), the striker should call a referee to watch the shot. If the striker does not call the referee, the opponent may request the referee watch the shot. (See rule 13.6 for appeals).

When Players’ Opinions Differ


When players’ opinions differ about ball replacement after a ball has been moved, the player who caused the ball to move replaces the ball but defers to the opponent as to the exact position. When the question is whether a roquet was made on a ball, or whether the roqueted ball moved on the croquet shot, the opponent defers to the opinion of the striker. If there are any reliable witnesses, the players may consult them in order to resolve the differences, but only if both teams agree to do so.

Referees


Players should avoid verbal confrontations with each other by expressing their legitimate concerns to the referee.

The USCA has a program to certify players as referees and a certified referee should be called to watch questionable shots or to resolve disputes over the rules (see Part 13). A referee is called by raising the mallet above the head or, if necessary by calling out “referee.”.

If an opponent believes a striker is making repeated faults such as “pushing” or “double tapping” or failing to move the roqueted ball in a croquet shot, the referee may be summoned to watch subsequent shots (rule 13.2b).

Whatever the rules provide, it is a matter of conscience how a player uses the referee. It is not good sportsmanship to harass an opponent’s concentration with an unnecessary call for the referee to watch a shot.

A striker should call a referee to watch the stake to confirm a rover’s attempt to hit the stake if the distance of the shot requires a referee.

Conclusion of the Game


The winner of a game is responsible for removing the balls and clips (but not before the final score is agreed upon) from the court at the end of the game. This should be done expeditiously especially during a double banked game. When double banking, players should get off the court quickly so as not to interfere with the other game. All players should shake hands with the opponents and thank the time and boardkeepers.

Detrimental Behavior


Courtesy and good sportsmanship are expected of all players and officials at all times. Players are under an obligation to avoid acts that may be considered detrimental to the game of croquet. For example, players should not:
  • swear at a player, official or spectator,
  • use obscene, abusive or insulting language or gestures, or
  • throw a mallet or hit a ball in protest or anger.
Any spectator or player who abuses an official or player, or interferes with the game will be warned and directed by the Tournament Director to desist. If the abuse or interference continues, the person may be directed to leave the tournament area. In a case of flagrant abuse, the directive to leave may be given without a warning. Any such instance should be reported to the USCA Grievance Committee.

THE STANDARD COURT


The standard court is a rectangle, measuring 35 by 28 yards (105 by 84 feet). Its boundaries shall be marked clearly, the inside edge of the definitive border being the actual boundary. Nylon string (#18) stapled or otherwise affixed to the ground is recommended for use as the boundary lines.

Court References


The four corners of the court are known respectively as Corners 1, 2, 3, and 4. The four boundaries are known as South, West, North, and East boundaries - regardless of the orientation of the court (figure 1).

The Standard Setting


The stake shall be set in the center of the court. The wickets shall be set parallel to the North and South boundaries, the centers of the two inner wickets, 21 feet to the north and south of the stake, the centers of the four outer wickets, 21 feet from their adjacent boundaries. This is the preferred court size and should be the official setting for major tournaments.

Modified Court Size and Setting


Should the area be too small to accommodate a standard court, a modified court may be laid out in accordance with the above by using a smaller modified length unit and by maintaining the same proportions of five units long by four units wide For example, units of ten feet could be used to set the court dimensions. Thus 40 feet wide by 50 feet long with the stake in the middle at the intersection of the two diagonals is a possible setup. The corner wickets are 1 unit (10 feet) from their adjacent boundaries. The center wickets are 1 unit (10 feet) in each direction from the stake. Local conditions may require other layouts, but the size above is generally considered the minimum for this game.

EQUIPMENT


The Wickets


The wickets shall be of round iron, 5/8-inch diameter and of uniform thickness. They shall be 12 inches in height above the ground, measured from the ground to the top of the crown of the wicket, vertical and firmly fixed.

The crown shall be straight and at right angles to the uprights. The distance between the inside of the uprights for normal play shall not be less than 3 11/16, nor more than 4, inches apart; for tournament play, not more than 3¾ inches; and for National Championship play 1/16 inch greater than the diameter of a ball in use on that court, with a maximum upward tolerance of 1/32 inch. All wickets on any court should be of the same dimensions.

The wickets shall be painted white, the crown of the first wicket colored blue and that of the last wicket, which is known as the rover wicket, red.

The Stake


The stake has a uniform diameter of 1½ inches and a height of 18 inches above the ground and may be made of any suitable material. It shall be vertical, solid, and firmly fixed in the ground. It shall be white with blue, red, black, and yellow bands descending in that order from the top. The first 6 inches above the ground shall be white. There may be a detachable extension on top of the stake. It shall be about ½ inch in diameter and 6 inches in length. It is designed to hold clips and shall be detachable from the top of the base.

The Balls


Croquet balls shall be colored respectively blue, red, black, and yellow. Balls to be used in USCA Titled National, Regional, Sectional, District, or State events shall have been approved by the World Croquet Federation. The size of these balls shall be 3 5/8 inches in diameter with a milled surface and of even weight, not less than 15¾ ounces, nor more than 16¼ ounces. For these USCA titled events, all balls shall, when dropped from a height of 60 inches onto a 2-inch steel plate imbedded in concrete, rebound to a height of not less than 30 inches nor more than 45 inches. All balls within a set must not vary in rebound by more than three inches. Faulty or damaged balls may be changed during play. For all USCA sanctioned events, the manufacturer and model of the balls to be used should be included in the entry forms distributed to players prior to the event.

The Mallet


The head of the mallet shall be of wood or any other material, provided that the player shall gain no advantage over wood. Metal may be used for weighting or strengthening. The two end faces shall be parallel, perpendicular to the bottom, and must have identical playing characteristics and not have a playing advantage over a head made entirely of wood. There may be a beveled edge that shall not be considered as part of the face.

COURT ACCESSORIES


The following accessories should be supplied for guidance, convenience, and decoration. The accessories do not form part of the setting of the court. Accordingly, any such accessories impeding a striker may be temporarily removed.

Clips


There is one clip for each ball: blue, red, black, and yellow. The function of the clips is to indicate the state of the game on the court. The clip corresponding with that ball shall distinguish the next wicket or the stake in order for every ball at the beginning of every turn.

Deadness Board



Deadness Board
In the example above, blue is dead on red, red is dead on yellow and blue, black is dead on blue, and yellow is dead on blue and black.
In order to aid the contestants (and spectators) in identifying balls which have deadness, a board approximately 2’ high x 3’ wide is used with the four ball colors permanently affixed in proper sequence vertically on the left side and 12 colored squares (three each of the four ball colors) painted or affixed to the background with white squares which can be moved to expose or reveal the background colored squares. These colored squares are arranged in horizontal rows next to the vertical column on the left side of the board. The horizontal rows are laid out in the same order as the four colors descending on the vertical column. The white squares can be moved so as to cover or uncover the colored squares to show a ball’s deadness.

Clocks


Games may be played with time limits (normally an hour ten minutes to two hours); a “game clock” is used to measure this. A “shot clock” may be used to limit a player’s time to shoot to 45 seconds.

Corner Flags


Flags colored blue, red, black, and yellow shall be placed in corners l, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. The flags shall be mounted on staffs about one foot high. The staffs shall be at least 4 inches from the boundary. These are used primarily as an aid in judging distances and are not essential to the game. Boundary string should not be attached to the staff of the corner flag; it should be attached in the corner separately.

Check Fences


A check fence high enough to arrest the progress of balls may be placed around the outside of the court at least one yard outside the boundary.

PART 1. OBJECT OF THE GAME AND STARTING


1.1 Start



  1. The game is played between two (2) sides. One side plays blue and black while the other side plays red and yellow.
    1. Singles is played with one (1) player on each side, (i.e. one plays blue and black, the other plays red and yellow).
    2. Doubles is played with two (2) players on each side, (i.e. each player plays one ball throughout the game).
  2. The object of the game is for a side to make each ball on the side score the 12 wicket points and the stake point, a total of 26 points, before the opponent. See figure 1 for the order and direction the wickets must be scored.
  3. A coin toss determines the playing order. The side winning the toss has the choice of playing first and third with blue and black or second and fourth with red and yellow.

1.2 Clips


Figure 2: Clip Placement
  1. At the beginning of the game the four colored clips are placed on the crown of the #1 wicket. When a ball scores a wicket, the striker shall remove the appropriate clip and, at the end of the turn, place it upon the next wicket or stake to be scored by that ball. When the stake is scored, the clip is removed from the court. The first six wickets are distinguished by placing the clip on the crown of the wicket, the last six by placing it on one of the uprights (figure 2). A rover ball’s clip is placed on the top of the stake.
  2. Any player, referee, or assigned official must call attention to a misplaced clip as soon as it is observed. The clip shall then be properly placed to prevent incorrect information as defined in rule 11.7.
  3. Clips and other court accessories such as corner flags and deadness boards may be temporarily removed when they impede the striker’s shot.

1.3 Order of Play and Starting Area

  1. Play shall begin with the blue ball followed by red, black, and yellow (the order of colors descending on the center stake) and that shall be the proper order of play until the game ends or a ball stakes out, in which case the remaining balls continue in the proper order of play (e.g. if yellow stakes out, the order becomes blue, red, black, blue, red, black, etc.).

  2. Figure 3: The Starting Area
  3. Refer to figure 3: Each ball shall begin play from anywhere in a starting area which is three feet south of the #1 wicket, parallel to the south boundary, 16¼ inches wide, and is equally divided by a line that passes through the center of the wicket.
  4. If a ball cannot be placed in the starting area due to the presence of other balls, it shall be placed up to nine inches east or west of the starting area.
  5. If the striker places an opponent’s ball in the starting area and strikes it, the striker has played the wrong ball (rule 11.2) and the striker’s turn ends. In addition, the opponent’s ball played in error is removed from the court, all other balls are replaced in the positions they were at the beginning of the turn and the striker shall place the correct ball anywhere in the starting area.

PART 2. THE TURN


2.1 The Turn

  1. Each player is entitled to one shot at the start of a turn, after which the turn ends unless the striker ball earns an additional shot(s) by:
    1. scoring a wicket (rule 6.1), or
    2. roqueting another ball (rule 6.2).
  2. A player’s turn begins when the previous player’s turn ends. The player’s turn ends when:
    1. the shot clock expires,
    2. a shot is completed with no croquet or continuation shot earned,
    3. a fault is committed, or
    4. the player intended to strike the ball but missed it entirely.
  3. A player may pass a turn or shot. To pass, a player shall declare audibly to the opponent the color of the ball playing and the intention to pass. Once the announcement has been made, the turn has finished and may not be replayed. A player who passes out of turn has played out of turn.

2.2 Court Damage

  1. Players may pick up or move any loose impediments from the court surface. Some examples include worm casts, leaves, nuts, twigs, and similar material. Players may not pull out or press down anything growing on the court surface.
  2. The striker may not move any ball because of an inequity on the court surface unless the inequity constitutes special damage. Some examples of special damage include old wicket holes, irrigation heads, in need of repair or improperly repaired divots or scars, and worn out areas on the corner spots or between the uprights of a wicket. The normal hazards of an indifferent court do not constitute special damage.
  3. With the consent of the opponent and/or official, special damage may be repaired or balls may be moved no more than is necessary to avoid the special damage or boundary restrictions but never to the advantage of the striker. When any ball is moved, the striker must also move any other ball likely to be affected by the next stroke so as to maintain their relative positions, provided that such a ball is not in a critical position. After the shot, all balls moved to avoid playing on damaged areas should be moved back the same relative distance before the next shot unless they were moved as a result of the shot.

2.3 Aiming Aids

  1. In singles, a striker may not place an outside aid (i.e., a coin or leaf) inside or outside of the court to assist in aiming.
  2. In doubles, a player may indicate a spot (i.e., by foot, mallet, or a finger) for the partner to shoot at, but must remove the aid before the shot is taken.

2.4 Cleaning Ball


A striker may mark and lift a ball to wipe it clean at any time during the striker’s turn, and shall advise the opponent before doing so.

PART 3. MALLET USE


3.1 Mallet Use

  1. A striker shall strike the ball with either striking face of the mallet. If the striker strikes the ball with the adjacent edge, beveled edge or corner of the striking face, it shall not be deemed a fault unless the striker’s swing is hampered (rule 11.5a(1)). If a fault does occur the penalty is end of turn and replace balls (rule 12.2a).
  2. A player may not change mallets during a turn except in the case of damage affecting its use.

3.2 Striking Period and Shot

  1. The “striking period” begins when a striker starts the backswing, with intent to strike the ball, and ends at the conclusion of the follow through. When the striker repeatedly swings or casts the mallet over the ball, the backswing starts when the mallet head has passed the ball on the final backswing the striker intends to make before striking the ball. If the striker deliberately interrupts the swing after the striking period has begun, and before the mallet reaches the ball or a fault is committed, the striker has not made a shot and may begin the striking period again.
  2. A “shot” (stroke) begins when the striker’s mallet contacts the ball and ends when all balls set in motion by the striker have stopped rolling or have crossed a boundary.

PART 4. SCORING A WICKET


4.1 Scoring a Wicket



Figure 4. Scoring a Wicket
A has not started to score the wicket.
B has started to score the wicket.
C has not scored the wicket.
D has scored the wicket.
A wicket is scored as shown in figure 4.
  1. The front of a wicket as a ball about to score the wicket in the proper order and direction approaches it shall be called the “playing side” of the wicket and the opposite side shall be called the “non-playing side.”
  2. A ball scores a wicket point when it passes through a wicket in the proper order and direction (figure 1) and comes to rest clear of the plane of the playing side unless the ball had made a legal roquet (rule 6.2) prior to making the wicket.
  3. A ball about to score a wicket begins to score the wicket when it breaks the plane of the non-playing side of the wicket. It completes the scoring of the wicket if it comes to rest clear of the playing side.

4.2 Clearing Deadness by Running a Wicket


When a ball (not a rover ball) scores a wicket, it is cleared of all deadness and is “alive” on all other balls that have scored the #1 wicket. If a rover ball is dead on two or three balls it may run any wicket in any direction to clear deadness and earn a continuation shot but will maintain last deadness on the last ball it hit (rule 10.3).

4.3 Ball at Rest

  1. If a ball “at rest” moves, the ball is replaced and any effect after the movement is invalid.
  2. A ball is at rest if it appears to be motionless and:
    1. its position has been agreed upon by the striker and the opponent,
    2. its position has been adjudicated by an official,
    3. the striker has taken a stance for the next shot, or
    4. the striker has indicated the turn has ended.

4.4 Beginning the Wicket

  1. If a ball is on the non-playing side of its wicket, it may be played through the wicket for position on the playing side, providing it comes to rest clear of the plane of the non-playing side before being played back through the wicket to score a point (figure 4).
  2. A striker may take croquet (rule 6.4) from a ball in a wicket. If the striker ball is in position to score the wicket on the croquet shot, the striker may do so, if no part of the striker ball is breaking the plane of the non-playing side of the wicket when the striker ball is placed in contact with the ball in the wicket.

4.5 Dead on Ball in Wicket


A striker ball that is dead (rule 7.1) on a ball encroaching into the striker’s wicket, shall not hit that ball at any time when scoring the wicket. The penalty is end of turn and replace balls (rule 12.2a). The striker may perform a jump shot to score a blocked wicket or stake but must not hit the blocking ball at any time during the shot (except after hitting the stake when staking out).

4.6 Dead on Ball Beyond Wicket


A striker ball that is dead on a ball lying beyond, not encroaching into, the striker’s wicket may hit that ball while attempting to score the wicket, but must score the wicket on that shot in order to receive a continuation shot (rule 6.1). If the striker ball does hit the dead ball but fails to score the wicket, it is the end of the turn and the balls are replaced. (rule 12.2a)

4.7 Wicket in the Wrong Direction


A ball passing through a wicket in the wrong direction shall not receive credit for that wicket or receive a continuation shot. A rover ball that has 2 or 3 ball deadness can earn a continuation shot by going through any wicket in any direction (rule 10.3).

PART 5. BALLS IN AND OUT OF THE GAME


5.1 Balls In and Out of the Game


A ball that has not scored the #1 wicket is known as a ball “not in the game.” A ball that has scored the #1 wicket is known as a ball “in the game.”

5.2 Deadness Between Balls In and Out of the Game


A striker ball not in the game is considered dead on all balls in the game. A striker ball in the game is considered dead on all balls not in the game. However, a striker ball that is in the game cannot be blocked (rule 9.2) or wired (rule 9.3) by a ball that is not in the game.

5.3 Ball Not In the Game

  1. A striker ball not in the game shall have only one shot per turn, unless it scores the #1 wicket and earns a continuation shot under rule 6.1a.
  2. A striker ball not in the game may hit any other ball that is not in the game, but no roquet is made. If the other ball is peeled through the #1 wicket that ball is then in the game but is not entitled to a continuation shot.

5.4 Lifting Balls In and Out of the Game

  1. The striker of a ball not in the game may have any ball in the game lifted before the shot is played.
  2. The striker of a ball in the game may have any ball not in the game lifted before the shot is played.
  3. Any ball lifted is replaced at the end of that shot. If the marked space has become occupied by another ball(s), the interfering ball(s) is lifted, the original lifted ball is replaced and the ball(s) that had occupied the space shall be placed on the ground up to nine inches in any direction the striker chooses from the replaced ball, but not in contact with any ball.
  4. Exceptions:
    1. If a roqueted ball occupies the marked space, the original lifted ball is not replaced until after the croquet shot.
    2. If the striker ball occupies the marked space and the striker has a continuation shot remaining, the lifted ball is not replaced until after that shot.
  5. Nothing in this rule should be interpreted as preventing a “Cannon shot.”

5.5 Scoring Wicket and Hitting a Ball Not In the Game


A striker ball that scores a wicket and in the same shot hits a ball that has not made the #1 wicket, is entitled to a continuation shot, unless the turn ends because of a fault or any ball goes out of bounds. The other ball remains where it lies, or may be lifted as in rule 5.4.

PART 6. SHOTS


6.1 Continuation Shots

  1. The striker has a continuation shot when:
    1. the striker ball scores a wicket point, or
    2. after a croquet shot,
    unless the turn ends because of a fault or any ball goes out of bounds.

  2. When a ball other than the striker ball is caused to score a wicket point, no continuation shot is earned.
  3. Continuation shots are not cumulative. If a striker ball:
    1. scores a wicket and then hits another ball in the same shot, the striker earns a continuation shot for scoring the wicket and has not roqueted the ball hit;
    2. makes a roquet during a croquet shot, the striker ball is ball in hand (rule 6.2) and takes croquet (rule 6.4);
    3. scores a wicket during a croquet shot, the striker ball earns a single continuation shot as a result of scoring the wicket; or
    4. scores two wickets in the same shot, the striker ball earns a continuation shot for only the last wicket.

6.2 Roquet Shots

  1. If a striker ball hits another ball on which it is alive, either directly or after glancing off a wicket or stake, it has roqueted that ball (exception: rule 6.3). The striker becomes “ball in hand” at the conclusion of the shot and shall take croquet (rule 6.4), except that the striker shall not be entitled to take croquet if:
    1. the striker commits a fault (rules 11.2-11.5),
    2. the roqueted ball goes out of bounds or causes another ball to go out of bounds, or
    3. the striker ball and the roqueted ball have not yet scored the #1 wicket.
  2. The striker ball remains a ball in play until the conclusion of a roquet shot, or until it goes out of bounds. After a roquet occurs, the striker ball may cause any other ball to move, either by a direct hit, with no penalty for hitting a dead ball, or a cannon. The striker becomes responsible for the other ball’s position. A ball that is hit or cannoned by the striker ball after a roquet:
    1. is not considered to have been roqueted,
    2. retains its new position,
    3. is placed in bounds, without penalty to the striker, if it goes out of bounds or is within nine inches of the boundary (see rule 8.3), and
    4. is credited with any wicket or stake points that it scored during the shot.
  3. If the striker ball roquets two balls simultaneously, the striker shall choose the ball that is deemed to have been roqueted. The other ball is deemed to have been hit by the striker ball after the roquet.
  4. After the striker ball makes a roquet, it cannot subsequently in the same shot score for itself the stake or a wicket, other than the #1 wicket.
  5. If, at the beginning of a turn, the striker ball is in contact with another ball, it is not ball in hand and may roquet or shoot away from the other ball. If the striker ball is alive on the other ball and chooses to shoot away, no deadness is incurred, and any movement of the object ball will be considered incidental. If the striker ball is dead on the other ball, it must shoot away or rule 11.3 (hitting a dead ball) applies. There is an exception if the striker is trying to score a wicket and the ball it is dead on is lying beyond (not encroaching) the wicket (rule 4.6). In this case the striker may shoot into the dead ball without error if the wicket is made without any other fault occurring.
  6. If the striker roquets a ball out of bounds or the roqueted ball causes another ball to go out of bounds, the turn ends and the striker incurs no deadness, with balls replaced in bounds as required by rule 8.3.

6.3 Wicket and Roquet

  1. If a striker ball scores a wicket and in the same shot hits any ball lying beyond the non-playing side of the wicket (not intruding into the jaws), it is not a roquet. The striker earns a continuation shot for scoring the wicket, unless the striker committed a fault or any ball went out of bounds (rule 6.1a(1)).
  2. If a striker ball attempts to score a wicket and fails, and during the same shot hits a ball the striker ball is alive on, the ball has been roqueted and the striker shall take croquet from it.

6.4 Croquet Shots

  1. To take croquet, the striker ball shall be placed on the ground in contact at any point with the roqueted ball, but not in contact with any other ball.
  2. Before a croquet shot, the striker may touch or steady the roqueted ball and may further apply such pressure by hand or foot, but not by mallet, as is reasonably necessary to make it hold its position.
  3. Before a croquet shot the striker shall not move any ball but his own intentionally, however if another ball is moved unintentionally the striker shall replace the ball without penalty.
  4. In the croquet shot, the striker must shoot into the croqueted ball. The croqueted ball must visibly move or shake. Failure to move the croqueted ball is a fault, the balls are replaced and it is end of turn (rule 12.2a).
  5. If, during a croquet shot, the striker ball hits a ball it is alive on, it is a roquet (rule 6.2) and the striker must take croquet from the roqueted ball.
  6. After the croquet shot, the striker is entitled to a continuation shot unless:
    1. the striker’s turn ends because of a fault (rules 11.2-11.5), or
    2. the striker has made a roquet in the croquet shot and is required to take croquet from the roqueted ball.
  7. The striker may not place a foot or hand on the striker ball to play the croquet shot.

6.5 Ball in Hand

  1. Any player may handle any ball that is replaceable after contact, or may return any striker ball, which has just made a roquet, to that striker without penalty
  2. In doubles, a player may place a ball for a partner’s croquet shot to save time.

PART 7. DEAD BALL


7.1 Deadness


When the striker earns the croquet shot, the striker ball becomes “dead” on the roqueted ball and may not roquet it again until the striker ball scores its next wicket or is cleared of deadness under rule 7.3 (1-back) or 9.2 (blocking).

7.2 Ball Cannoned


Any ball struck by a roqueted or croqueted ball or by a ball hit by the striker ball after a roquet shall be given credit for wicket or stake points it scores in the shot and no additional deadness shall be incurred.

7.3 Special Relief from Deadness

  1. As each ball of both sides scores its 1-back wicket, the opposing side has the option of clearing the deadness from one of its balls. The side eligible for this relief, if it chooses the option, shall declare to the opponent which ball it is clearing before playing the first shot of its next turn or no relief shall be given; however, the declaration need not be made prior to that time.

    Exception: If a striker has taken ball in hand (moved the ball) after claiming a wire, the striker cannot then clear the striker ball of deadness under the 1-back rule; however, the partner ball may be cleared of deadness.
  2. If a striker causes an opponent’s ball to score the 1-back wicket, the striker shall have the option of clearing either ball of the striker’s side after the shot ends. The striker must exercise the option:
    1. before the next shot of the turn, or
    2. before the first shot of the sides next turn, if the shot ends the turn with the 1 back wicket scored for the opponent.
    If the score occurs in the roquet shot, the striker ball may be cleared; however, it shall be placed in contact with the roqueted ball, the croquet shot shall be taken, and the striker ball shall be considered dead on the croqueted ball. If the score occurs in the croquet shot, the striker ball may be cleared of all deadness and the continuation shot taken as if the striker had just scored a wicket.
  3. When both balls of a side have deadness and the side declares which ball is to be cleared of deadness after an opponent scores the 1-back wicket, the first color declared by the side shall be the one cleared and may not subsequently be changed.

PART 8. OUT OF BOUNDS


8.1 Ball Out of Bounds



FIGURE 5
Ball In and Out of Bounds
The turn ends at the conclusion of a shot in which any ball goes out of bounds, except for:
  1. a striker ball that goes out of bounds after a roquet, or
  2. a ball that the striker ball hits directly or cannons after roqueting another ball (rule 6.2b).

8.2 Out of Bounds Defined


A ball is out of bounds (figure 5) when its vertical axis crosses the boundary line (more than halfway over). It shall be placed nine inches directly in from where it went out of bounds, or, if in a corner, nine inches from both boundaries. If placement of the ball is restricted by the presence of another ball, refer to rule 8.3. Any ball moved accidentally while placing a ball in bounds shall be replaced without penalty.

8.3 Ball Replacement



FIGURE 6. Balls Out of Bounds
ABOVE: The striker, Yellow, has ended the turn and is responsible for the position of Red, Black, and Blue. BELOW: Blue, Black, and Red own their new positions. Due to the presence of Black, Yellow cannot be placed directly in from the boundary line and therefore may be placed up to nine inches from Black, as indicated by the several positions of the Yellow ball, but not in contact with Black or any other ball.
NOTE: Yellow may not be placed on the other side of Blue because it would be farther than nine inches from Black.
As shown in figure 6:
  1. After each shot, any ball that:
    1. goes out of bounds,
    2. stops less than nine inches inside the boundary line, or
    3. is replaced less than nine inches inside the boundary line after a fault,
    shall be placed nine inches in from the boundary line.

    Exceptions:

    1. If the striker ball stops less than nine inches inside the boundary line and has a continuation shot remaining, the shot is played from that position.
    2. After a roquet, if the striker ball goes out of bounds or stops inside the nine inch line, the striker ball is ball in hand. (rule 6.2a).
  2. If, due to the presence of another ball, a ball cannot be placed directly in from where it went out of bounds or stopped, it shall be placed nine inches in from the line and up to nine inches in either direction the striker chooses from the other ball, but not in contact with any ball.
  3. If two or more balls are sent out of bounds, or come to rest less than nine inches from the boundary, the striker shall have the option to place any ball in bounds first, with the other ball(s) measured in bounds afterwards.
  4. A ball that occupies a boundary position and is not moved by another ball (except a ball in hand) retains that position. Any ball that comes to rest nine inches or more from the boundary shall retain that position. If another ball cannot be measured in because of the ball, it shall be measured in as provided in rule 8.3b.

8.4 Opponent Replacing Ball


An opponent may place the striker ball or any other ball required to be placed in bounds only if the opponent has the consent of the striker.

PART 9. BLOCKING AND WIRING


9.1 Responsible for Position


A side becomes responsible for the position of any ball that the side plays, passes (waives), or causes to move or shake, either directly or indirectly, as a result of playing a ball, including balls replaced after a fault.

Exceptions:A side is not responsible for the position of a ball that is replaced after accidental movement (such as being hit with the foot or mallet after the striking period) or invalid play (rules 11.1, 11.6, 11.7), unless the side was responsible for the position of that ball before the accidental movement or the invalid play.

9.2 Blocking Wicket



Figure 7. Blocking Ball Examples
The striker ball, Yellow, is dead on all other balls
ABOVE: Yellow is not blocked by any other ball.
BELOW: Yellow is blocked by each of the other balls.
As illustrated by figure 7:
  1. A striker is blocked (stymied) from scoring a wicket if:
    1. at the beginning of the striker’s turn, any part of one or more balls on which the striker is dead intrudes in the direct path the striker ball would take in attempting a possible shot to score the wicket, or would hamper the striker’s normal backswing in an attempt to make a possible shot to score the wicket (“Possible shot” means a shot that is not a jump shot and that the referee believes would have any chance of scoring the wicket if the intruding balls that the striker is dead on, and the intruding balls that the striker is wired from and is not responsible for, were removed.); and
    2. the opponent created the block by:
      1. becoming responsible for the striker ball’s position, and thereafter the striker’s side did not become responsible for any blocking ball, or
      2. becoming responsible for all blocking balls, and thereafter the striker’s side did not become responsible for the striker ball’s position.
  2. A side may block with any ball. All blocks must be called before the first stroke of the turn. If a block occurs on two consecutive turns of the same ball, the striker may clean the blocked ball of deadness on all blocking balls.

9.3 Wired Ball



FIGURE 8. Wired Ball — Examples

Ball A is not wired from black; it can hit the farthest point on the right side of black with its left side.

Ball B is not wired from black. A test ball T has been placed to assist in making the call.

Ball C is not wired from black. A second test ball t has been placed to assist in making the call.

Ball D is wired from Black; it cannot hit the farthest point of the right side of Black with its left side.

Test balls may be used to confirm a wire by sighting along the sides of the strikers ball and the test balls toward the target ball.

* Stake: This principle also applies to a wicket, or a ball the striker is dead on.
A ball is wired from another ball if (figure 8):
  1. a wicket, the stake, or another ball on which the striker is dead blocks the clear path required for either side of the striker ball to hit any part of another ball upon which it is alive;
  2. a wicket, the stake, or another ball, on which the striker is dead, hampers the striker’s normal backswing of the mallet prior to impact with the striker ball

    (The swing is hampered if striker cannot strike the ball freely toward any part of a live ball when striking the center of the ball with any part of the face of the mallet. The mere interference of a wicket, stake, or another ball, with the stance of the striker is not wiring.);

    or
  3. any part of the striker ball lies within a wicket.

9.4 Wiring Lift

  1. If, at the beginning of a turn, the striker ball is wired from all balls it is alive on and the opponent is responsible for the striker’s position (rule 9.1), the striker may lift the striker ball, place it in contact with any ball on which it is alive, and take croquet. A striker who is dead on all balls may not take a lift.
  2. In a time limit game (rule 13.7), the striker shall have 45 seconds to play the croquet shot after lifting the striker ball.

PART 10. ROVER AND FINISHING THE GAME


10.1 Rover


A ball that scores the rover wicket has scored its 12 wicket points and becomes a rover ball.

10.2 Stake Out

  1. To stake out a rover ball, the striker ball must be a rover ball.
    1. A striker ball stakes out when the ball hits the stake, except after a roquet when it is ball in hand on the roqueted ball.
    2. A striker may stake out another rover ball with a roquet, croquet, or cannon shot, except, a striker ball cannot become a rover and stake out another rover ball on the same shot.
  2. A rover ball that has staked out or been staked out of the game shall be removed from the game, provided no fault occurred. The staked out ball is removed from the court immediately and no longer has a turn. Play continues in order without the staked out ball.
  3. Any ball except the striker ball, hit by the rover ball after the rover ball hit the stake shall be replaced.
  4. A striker ball that scores the rover wicket and hits the stake on the same shot has staked out of the game.
  5. If a striker’s rover ball roquets another rover ball into the stake, the roqueted ball is considered to have been staked out and is removed from play. The striker becomes dead on the roqueted ball, and then receives two shots; the first shot (replacing the croquet shot) is taken from a position nine inches in any direction from the stake.

10.3 Rover Deadness

  1. A rover may roquet each ball, on which it is alive, only once per turn.
  2. A rover ball that is dead on at least two (2) balls clears itself or is cleared of its deadness by:
    1. shooting through any wicket in either direction (earning a continuation shot), or
    2. being roqueted, croqueted, or cannoned through any wicket in either direction.
    If a rover ball does not complete running the wicket, it can, on a subsequent shot, continue through in the same direction to clear its deadness.

  3. A rover remains temporarily dead (last dead) on the last ball roqueted prior to clearing deadness. When the rover ball roquets another ball, on which it is alive, the last deadness is removed.
  4. A rover ball that passes through a wicket to clear deadness and in the same shot hits the ball on which it is last dead, incurs no penalty and, unless any ball is driven out of bounds, both balls remain where they lie with the rover ball entitled to a continuation shot.
  5. When an opponent scores the 1-back wicket, a rover ball may be cleared of its deadness but is not cleared of last deadness. When an opponent scores 1-back, a rover ball may be cleared of deadness on 1, 2 or 3 balls, but may not be cleared of last deadness (i.e., if a rover ball is dead on only one ball, it may be cleared of deadness, but shall remain temporarily dead on it as if “last dead”).
  6. A striker’s rover ball that passes through a wicket to clear deadness and hits the stake on the same shot, has staked out of the game.

10.4 Winning


A game is won by the side that scores the 24 wicket points and stakes out both balls, thereby scoring a total of 26 points before the opponent, or in a time limit game, scores the most points.

PART 11. ERRORS IN PLAY


11.1 Out of Turn Play

  1. A player has played out of turn if:
    1. in singles, a player plays the partner ball to start a turn (e.g., a striker plays blue when it is black to play),
    2. in doubles, a player plays when it is the partner’s or the opponent’s turn (e.g., the player of blue plays blue when it is black to play), or
    3. in singles or doubles, a player plays any ball during the partner’s or opponent’s turn (e.g., the player of blue plays black while red is in it’s turn).
  2. If either side plays out of turn, play is stopped as soon as the error is discovered by any player or official, and all balls affected shall be replaced to where they were at the beginning of the out-of-turn play. No penalty is assessed, no deadness is incurred, no points are scored, and the correct ball resumes play.
  3. Subject to rule 11.1d, if both sides play out of turn consecutively. Play is stopped as soon as the error is discovered by any player or official, and all balls affected shall be replaced to where they were when the first side played out of turn. No penalty is assessed, no deadness is incurred, no points are scored, and the correct ball resumes play.
  4. If it is discovered by any player or official that three (3) or more out-of-turn plays have occurred consecutively, play is stopped at the time of discovery. All balls affected by the last out-of-turn play shall be replaced to where they were at the beginning of the turn in which the error was discovered. No penalty is assessed, no deadness is incurred, no points are scored, and the correct ball resumes play; however, any points scored, deadness, or faults incurred before the turn in which the error was discovered shall be valid.
Examples:
  1. It is red’s turn, but yellow plays, then black plays. At this time the error is discovered. All balls are replaced; there is no penalty, no deadness incurred, and no points scored. The CORRECT ball (red) plays. Rule 11.1c applies, as there were two consecutive out-of-turn plays by yellow and black.
  2. It is red’s turn, but yellow plays, black plays, red plays, and blue plays. At this time the error is discovered. All balls affected by blue’s play are returned to their positions at the beginning of blue’s out-of-turn play, and the CORRECT ball (black) plays. Rule 11.1d applies, as there were three or more consecutive out-of-turn plays; all play before blue is deemed valid.
  3. It is red’s turn, but yellow plays, blue plays, and red plays. At this time, yellow’s out-of-turn play is discovered. In this case, no balls are replaced, and red continues its turn. Rule 12.1 (Limit of Claims) applies; although Yellow played out of turn, the error was condoned because it was not called before the first shot of the opponent’s next turn. Red is now the CORRECT ball in sequence.

11.2 Wrong Ball Faults

  1. The striker has committed a wrong ball fault if:
    1. in singles, the striker plays an opponent ball to start a turn,
    2. in doubles, the striker plays a partner ball or an opponent ball to start a turn, or
    3. in singles or doubles, the striker plays an opponent or partner ball during a turn.
  2. If a wrong ball fault occurs, the turn ends and all balls are replaced to where they were when the shot began (rule 12.2a).
  3. A player can commit a wrong ball fault only when it is that player’s turn. Striking any ball when it is another player’s turn to play is an out-of-turn error (rule 11.1a(3)).

11.3 Dead Ball Faults

  1. The striker has committed a dead ball fault if the striker ball hits a ball it is dead on, except that:
    1. after a roquet, the striker ball may hit any ball without penalty,
    2. during a croquet shot, the striker ball may hit the croqueted ball more than once, and
    3. while scoring its wicket, the striker ball may hit a dead ball lying beyond the wicket (but it is a fault if the wicket is not scored).
  2. The striker has committed a dead ball fault if a rover ball hits any ball more than once during the rover ball’s turn, unless the second hit occurs because the rover ball runs a wicket to clear deadness and in the same shot hits a ball lying beyond the wicket.
  3. If a dead ball fault occurs, the turn ends and all balls are replaced to where they were when the shot began (rule 12.2a), except that if a dead ball fault occurs in a croquet shot, only the striker ball and any stationary ball hit by the striker ball are replaced, while any other balls, including any moving dead ball hit by the striker ball, remain where they came to rest and receive credit for any points scored (rule 12.2c).

11.4 Interference with a Ball

  1. If the striker interferes with a ball in any way during a shot, the striker has committed an interference fault. The turn ends and all balls affected by the shot are replaced (rule 12.2a).
  2. If the opponent or an outside agency interferes with a ball during a shot, the ball shall be replaced in its probable finishing position. If the final position cannot be reasonably determined, the shot shall be replayed. In the event there is a dispute over the placement of a ball after interference or whether a shot should be replayed, a referee shall decide.

  3. (An outside agency is anything not connected with the court. Examples include the players or equipment from another game, spectators, court accessories when not properly placed, balls not in play, animals, or other stray objects, but do not include any loose impediments on the court surface or the weather.)

11.5 Mallet Faults

  1. It is a fault if during the striking period the striker:
    1. hits a hampered shot with the beveled edge or corner of the mallet striking face (The shot is hampered if the striker’s swing is interfered with by a wicket, stake, or other ball which inhibits a normal backswing or the striker ball is close enough to a wicket, stake, or other ball to be a possible “Crush,” “Double Tap” or “Push.”);
    2. touches the head of the mallet with a hand;
    3. touches another ball with a foot or the mallet;
    4. rests the shaft of the mallet, a hand, or an arm on the ground;
    5. rests the shaft of the mallet, a hand, or an arm against any part of the legs or feet or against a wicket or stake;
    6. “pushes” the striker ball by maintaining contact between the mallet and the ball for an appreciable period of time, or causes the mallet to accelerate while still in contact with the ball;
    7. “double taps” the striker ball by hitting the ball twice in the same shot or maintaining contact between the mallet and the ball after the ball has hit another ball, except that no fault can be committed under this rule if the cause of the second hit is the result of a roquet, hitting another ball lying beyond the wicket in a wicket shot, or a stake out;
    8. strikes the ball so as to cause it to touch an upright or, unless the striker ball stakes out in the shot, the stake while still in contact with the mallet (a “Crush” shot);
    9. fails to strike the ball in a direction away from an upright or, unless the striker ball stakes out in the shot, stake when the ball is lying in contact with the upright or stake (a “Crush” shot) (A “Crush” shot cannot be transferred to the striker ball from a second ball lying against an upright or the stake.);
    10. causes, or attempts to cause, the mallet to strike the ball by kicking or hitting the mallet with a foot, hand, or another mallet;
    11. causes a wicket or stake to move a ball at rest by hitting the wicket or stake with the mallet;
    12. places a foot or hand on the striker ball during a croquet shot to hold it in place;
    13. fails to cause the croqueted ball to move or shake on the croquet stroke;
    14. fails to shoot into the croqueted ball on the croquet shot; or
    15. fails to have the striker ball in contact with the croqueted ball at the beginning of a croquet shot.
  2. When a fault is committed during the striking period the turn ends and all balls are replaced (rule 12.2a).

11.6 Misplaced Balls

  1. If a player or official observes that a shot is to be played with any relevant ball misplaced, play shall be stopped and the misplaced ball(s) corrected.
  2. If a player or official discovers (within the applicable limit of claims) that a shot has occurred with any ball relevant to the shot misplaced, play shall be stopped, all balls, clips, and deadness shall be corrected to the point immediately prior to the shot, and the player resumes play without penalty.
  3. Misplacement of the striker ball includes:
    1. failing to take croquet when entitled to,
    2. taking croquet when not entitled to,
    3. taking croquet from a wrong ball,
    4. lifting to an incorrect position, or
    5. lifting a wrong ball after a roquet.
  4. Misplacement of a ball does not include:
    1. taking or preparing to take croquet with the striker ball placed next to, but not in contact with, the roqueted ball (rule 11.5a(15)),
    2. moving the roqueted ball after placing the striker ball for the croquet shot, or
    3. continued play after a fault not called by a player or by a referee.
  5. If a striker plays a shot:
    1. when the striker ball is misplaced, it must be called before the first shot of the opponent’s next turn, otherwise, the shot is condoned; or
    2. when another ball relevant to the shot is misplaced, it must be called before the next shot of the striker’s turn, otherwise, the shot is condoned.
  6. If any ball relevant to a shot is misplaced and the striker commits a fault (rules 11.2-11.5), the shot is retaken without penalty.

11.7 Incorrect Information


If a striker plays any shot or shots as the result of any incorrect information concerning the state of the game supplied by the opponent or an official, the striker shall have the right to replay. If the right to replay any shot or shots is not claimed before the first shot of the opponent’s turn, the right to replay the shot or shots shall be forfeited. This shall apply to the deadness board and the placement of clips, provided the opponent or an official had confirmed the incorrect information verbally to the striker beforehand.

PART 12. CLAIMS AND PENALTIES


12.1 Limit of Claims


A fault or misplay shall be called by a striker or an opponent as soon as it is discovered. If a fault is not called before the first shot of the opponent’s next turn, the fault shall be condoned.

12.2 Penalties


The following penalties shall apply as noted in the preceding rules:
  1. All balls are replaced to where they were when the shot began, and the turn ends.
  2. All balls remain where they stopped at the end of the shot, and the turn ends. Balls shall then be placed in bounds if required under rule 8.3.
  3. The striker ball and any stationary dead ball hit by the striker ball are replaced, while any other balls, including any moving dead ball hit by the striker ball, remain where they came to rest and receive credit for any points scored. Balls shall then be placed in bounds if required under rule 8.3.

PART 13. TOURNAMENT PLAY AND TIMED GAMES


13.1 Tournament Director


Each tournament shall have a tournament director who shall:
  1. administer, interpret, and enforce the rules of the game,
  2. appoint a committee to assist and provide referees and other officials as may be required,
  3. arrange the draw,
  4. assign handicaps to players who do not have official USCA handicaps,
  5. choose the method of allocating bisques,
  6. schedule matches and assign courts,
  7. direct all aspects of the competition, including the disposition of any appeal not resolved by a referee, and
  8. deal with any infringement of the rules for which no penalty is prescribed or any situation that does not appear to be covered by these rules in a manner which the director feels meets the justice of the case.

13.2 Referee’s Role

  1. The role of the referee is to:
    1. resolve disputes between players by interpreting the rules in the rulebook and by making rulings on matters of fact (If a situation does not appear to be covered in the rules, the dispute shall be decided in the best judgment of the referee.), and
    2. observe and judge any questionable shot, when called upon by the striker or opponent.
  2. If a player feels an opponent has committed mallet faults such as pushing, double tapping, or not moving the croqueted ball on the croquet shot, the player may summon the referee to observe subsequent shots.
  3. A player may appeal a referee’s interpretation of the rules but may not appeal a referee’s ruling on a matter of fact (rule 13.6c).
  4. A referee may appoint individuals to serve as umpires. An umpire’s powers are confined to deciding:
    1. whether a ball hits another ball,
    2. whether a ball is moved or shaken on the croquet shot, and
    3. whether a rover ball hits the stake.

13.3 Intervention

  1. It is the responsibility of the players to monitor the progress of a game, and the referee shall not intervene unless asked by the players, except that the referee should, when it is observed:
    1. correct improper clip placement,
    2. correct the misplacement of balls,
    3. make time announcements,
    4. forestall an unearned continuation shot after a striker runs a wrong wicket,
    5. correct the deadness board,
    6. forestall any out of turn play, and
    7. forestall a striker mistakenly striking a ball in the other game (rule 14.2a).
  2. If an official does not forestall an unearned continuation shot following the running of a wrong wicket, play shall be stopped as soon as the error is discovered and affected balls shall be replaced to where they were when the unearned continuation shot was taken. No out of turn error is called, no credit for wicket points is given, all deadness the striker had prior to the unearned continuation shot remains, and the next ball in sequence then plays. The tournament director, however, has discretionary power to let the game proceed with no corrections other than placing the incorrect clip back on the skipped wicket.
  3. The tournament director may appoint officials, including boardkeepers and timekeepers, to intervene in all the same instances in which referees may intervene (rule 13.3a). These officials are not required to be certified USCA referees but should possess the confidence to carry out these duties.

13.4 Resetting Equipment

  1. Any player may request that improperly set equipment used for their game be reset. If all the players on the court are in agreement they may reset the equipment themselves. In the event that there is not agreement among the players, any player may ask an official to make the changes. If the official believes resetting is unwarranted, the request may be denied. A denial may be appealed to the tournament director. The tournament director has final say as to whether the equipment is reset.
  2. In the event that the striker ball has stuck in the wicket, the striker shall be allowed to retake the shot after the wicket has been reset. Either player may straighten the boundary line string when needed except during the course of a shot. No equipment may be reset during a game while a question of a wire exists in any game being played on the court and resetting the equipment might affect the possible wire.

13.5 Referee Not Available

  1. In the absence of an appointed referee, players shall act as their own joint referees, but there is an obligation on the opponent to monitor the game, and if the opponent fails to do so, the striker is, during such period, the sole referee.
  2. If a player fails to request that a striker call a referee to observe a questionable shot before it is taken, the player may appeal only for a dispute over rules interpretation but not the facts of the shot (rule 13.6).
  3. If a player does have a referee observe a questionable shot before it is taken, but does not agree with the ruling of the referee, the player may appeal to the tournament director only for a dispute over rules interpretation and not the facts of the shot (rule 13.6).
  4. In doubles, all players share the rights and duties of a referee, with the striker being the final arbiter.

13.6 Appeals

  1. If a player fails to request that a striker call a referee to observe a questionable shot before it is taken, and a fault does occur, the player shall call the fault as required in rule 12.1 but may not appeal to the tournament director any ruling by the striker (who is the referee) on that shot.
  2. If a player does have a referee observe a questionable shot before it is taken, but does not agree with the ruling of the referee, the player may appeal to the tournament director only as provided in rule 13.6d.
  3. If, during the course of a tournament, there is a dispute over a matter of fact related to the striking of a ball or the movement of a ball on the court, the referee’s decision is final and may not be appealed to the tournament director.
  4. If the dispute is over an interpretation of the rules, a player may appeal to the tournament director, who shall make the final decision. When a dispute over a rules interpretation is appealed to the tournament director and the tournament director was a witness and knows the solution, the players shall be informed that the matter will be resolved on that basis. If the disputed event was not observed, the decision may be based on the players’ arguments and, at the referee’s or tournament director’s discretion, accounts by others. If doubt persists, a compromise decision may involve adjusting clips, directing where balls shall be placed, requiring players to replay the disputed play, or by starting the game over.

13.7 Time Limits


Game and shot time limits may be set by a tournament committee before the start of the first tournament game. These time limits may be increased or decreased by the committee at the conclusion of each full round (e.g., first, quarter, or semifinal rounds) as overall time and weather conditions dictate.

13.8 Shot and Game Clocks

  1. In a time limit game the striker shall have a maximum of 45 seconds to strike the striker ball following the completion of the previous shot. A shot ends when all balls set in motion by the striker have stopped rolling or have crossed a boundary (rule 3.2b). If the striker does not strike the ball before 45 seconds is called, the striker is considered to have played the turn. The timekeeper shall audibly announce when 15 seconds remain on the shot clock and shall call “time” if 15 seconds elapses following such an announcement and the striker has not struck the striker ball.
  2. The game clock continues when a shot ends. The game clock shall be stopped only during official (referee) time-outs, player time-outs, for delays caused by double banked games (as stated in a tournament’s guidelines), and as stated in rule 13.8c.
  3. Until the last fifteen minutes of a game, the timekeeper shall not start the 45-second shot clock for the next shot until all balls out of bounds are brought in bounds. During the last fifteen minutes, when a shot ends with ball(s) out of bounds, the timekeeper shall start the shot clock for the next shot immediately, however the striker may request that both the game clock and the shot clock be stopped until all balls are brought in bounds.
  4. When a tournament official stops play at any time during a game to delay or postpone completion of a game due to inclement weather, court conditions, or darkness, the game clock shall be stopped until play resumes. If necessary, at the discretion of the official, time that elapsed before the game clock was stopped may be added to the game clock.

13.9 Time-Outs

  1. Each side is allotted three one-minute player time-outs which may be used at any time during the game.
  2. A side may call for a player time-out only during that side’s turn, but a time-out may not be called during a shot. In the case of a roquet, a time-out may not be called as long as the roqueted ball or any other ball, including the striker ball, is in motion on the court.
  3. The game and shot clocks are stopped during player time-outs. A side’s time-out is over, and the game and shot clocks are resumed:
    1. when one minute has expired,
    2. the side calls “time in,” or
    3. when the striker makes an intentional shot.
  4. The timekeeper shall announce when 15 seconds remain in the time-out and call “time in” when the time-out is over.

13.10 Match Time

  1. The timekeeper should announce when fifteen minutes remain in the game, and again when one minute remains, and declare “match time” when that minute has elapsed.
  2. Players may, at any time, ask the timekeeper how much time is remaining in the game.

13.11 Last Turn

  1. When match time is called each remaining ball shall have one “last turn” in rotation. If the tournament’s guidelines so provide, when the side playing the final ball in the rotation of last turn is ahead during that ball’s turn, play shall stop and the match shall be declared over. For the sole purpose of determining whether a ball is the first ball in last turn, it shall be ruled as follows.
    1. If the striker has struck the ball when match time expires, the striker is not the first ball in last turn unless there are shots remaining in the turn.
    2. If the striker has not struck the ball or passed the turn before match time expires, the striker is the first ball in last turn.
  2. After match time has been called and all balls in the game have played their last turn, the side scoring the most wicket and stake points is declared the winner. If the score is tied after all balls have played their last turn, play shall continue in full rounds, starting with the ball that started last turn, until the tie is broken or both balls of one side stake out.

13.12 Missing Player

  1. In doubles tournaments, where one player is absent at the beginning of play, that player’s partner must place the absent player’s ball in the starting area and may then, and on any subsequent turn, either pass the turn or wait for the shot time limit to expire.
  2. In singles tournaments, when one player is absent at the beginning of play, the referee shall place the absent player’s balls in the starting area and allow the shot time to expire then, and on any subsequent turn.

PART 14. DOUBLE BANKING


Rules in this part are intended to apply to the special circumstances of playing two games simultaneously on one court.

14.1 Marking Balls

  1. All players shall carry ball markers to be used when marking the position of any ball that needs to be lifted, as in rule 14.1b. In doubles play the striker’s partner should be prepared at any time to mark balls in either game.
  2. A ball may be marked and lifted, with the consent of the players of that ball’s game, when it is felt to be interfering with the other game on court.
  3. A lifted ball shall be replaced as soon as it no longer interferes with the play for which it was lifted.
  4. A ball in a critical position (i.e., in or near a wicket, wired positions, and some positions on or near the nine inch line) shall not be lifted, but shall be allowed to play while the other game takes a double banking time-out (as allowed for in the tournament’s guidelines), provided the delay will not be excessive.

14.2 Interference Between Games

  1. The referee shall forestall a striker mistakenly striking a ball in the other game. If a striker does mistakenly strike, roquet, or take croquet from a ball in the other game, the balls shall be replaced and the striker shall replay.
  2. If a ball in motion collides with a player in another game, or a ball at rest in another game, the ball in the other game shall be replaced and the ball that was in motion shall be placed in its probable finishing position. If the finishing position cannot be reasonably determined, the shot shall be replayed. In the event there is a dispute over the placement of a ball after interference or whether a shot should be replayed, a referee shall decide.
  3. If a ball in motion from one game collides with a ball in motion from another, the balls shall be replaced in their probable finishing positions. If the final position of one or both cannot be reasonably determined, the shot or shots shall be replayed. In the event there is a dispute over the placement of a ball after interference or whether a shot should be replayed, a referee shall decide.

14.3 Court Etiquette

  1. Only the striker shall be on the court; all other players shall remain outside the boundaries, except in doubles when a partner may come on the court momentarily to indicate a spot or help place a ball for a croquet shot; however, the partner must leave the court immediately after the task is finished.
  2. When two players are making a play for the same wicket, the first player to the wicket has right-of-way. A player should yield to another who is playing a break.

14.4 Interference Time-Outs

  1. Only players may call time-out for interference (as allowed for in a tournament’s guidelines). Either the players or the timekeeper shall call “time in” as soon as the interference is over.
  2. Improper use of interference time-outs shall be brought to the attention of the tournament director.
  3. All announcements shall clearly designate a reference to the proper game (e.g., solids, stripes, or second colors) and court number (e.g., court 1, 2, etc.), but shall not include any reference to which side’s turn it is, or the name of the player.

PART 15. HANDICAP PLAY


15.1 Bisques

  1. Bisques are extra shots given to players. A bisque may be used in either of two ways:
    1. A “replay bisque” is a replayed shot. The striker must announce the intention to use a replay bisque before picking up the ball and must be able to accurately restore the state of the game before taking the replayed shot. When using a replay bisque, the striker does not have to attempt the same shot.
    2. A “continuation bisque” is an additional shot played from where the striker ball stopped after a shot. If a continuation bisque is to be used, the striker must announce the intention before beginning the extra turn.
  2. Bisques may be taken at any time, and may be used consecutively except that:
    1. a replay bisque may be taken only for the preceding shot, and
    2. a continuation bisque may not be taken if, in the preceding shot, a fault occurred or a ball was sent out of bounds resulting in end of turn.
  3. When a replay bisque is taken, all deadness is first restored to what existed at the beginning of the shot that is to be replayed. Then, as the new shot is played, and in all other bisque play, deadness develops in the standard way.
  4. If the striker replays a shot or plays an unearned continuation shot without indicating the intention to take a bisque, the striker has played out of turn (rule 11.1), all balls affected are replaced, and the next turn begins.
  5. When the striker indicates the intention to take a bisque, a new shot clock shall begin.

15.2 Half Bisques


A “half bisque” is a replay bisque or a continuation bisque after which no wicket or stake point can be earned during that turn. A striker must announce the intention to take a half bisque before picking up or striking the ball, and may use one half bisque per game. A full bisque cannot be divided into two half bisques. (See rules 15.3 and 15.4.)

15.3 Doubles

  1. In doubles matches, a team handicap is determined by averaging the partners’ handicaps. For example, a 2 and a 4 have a team handicap of 3; a 5 and a 7 have a team handicap of 6. The side with the higher team handicap receives the number of bisques equivalent to the difference in team handicaps. In the example above, the difference would be 3 bisques (6 minus 3). If the difference between the average handicaps results in a ¼ bisque, this is rounded up to the next ½ or whole number (for example, 2¼ bisques become 2½ bisques and 2¾ bisques becomes 3 bisques).
  2. Unless the tournament regulations provide otherwise, only the higher handicap player in the team receiving bisques may use them.
  3. If both players on the bisque-receiving side have the same handicap, or if the tournament notification and entry form so provide, rule 15.3b does not apply and either player of a side may use the side’s bisques. For example, a side made up of two players with handicap 5 receiving three bisques may opt to have one player use all three bisques, or to have one player use two bisques and the other player one bisque, at their discretion during the game. A side need not declare in advance how it chooses to allocate its bisques.

15.4 Singles

  1. The two opponents will play to the net difference in handicaps and where the handicaps are the same no bisques will be given. Where the handicaps differ, the lower handicap plays at zero and the higher handicap player receives the difference between the handicaps. For example, player A has a handicap of 2, player B has a handicap of 4; therefore, player A plays at zero and player B plays at 2.
  2. In singles matches, a player may use the bisque quota between both balls.

15.5 Base Method Handicap Play

  1. If the tournament notification and entry form so provide, a base method for allocating bisques may be used as an alternative for the difference method described in rules 15.3a and 15.4a. A base number is subtracted from each side’s handicap (or in doubles, the team handicap (rule 15.3a) and each side receives the resulting number of bisques. For example, if the team or player handicaps are 8 and 11, a base of 3 would give the first team 5 bisques and the second team 8 bisques.
  2. Only one method, base or difference, may be used for all handicap play in a tournament flight. If the base method is chosen, the same base must be used for all matches within a flight, and the base must not exceed the lowest player handicap (singles) or team handicap (doubles) in that flight.

PART 16. SHORTENED GAMES


16.1 Fourteen Point Game


The standard game of 26 points may be modified to a 14 point game. The game is played by the same rules as a 26 point game with the following exceptions:
  1. Each ball scores only 6 wicket points and the stake point.
  2. The sixth wicket is run in its normal direction, away from the stake.
  3. A ball that has scored the sixth wicket becomes a rover ball.
  4. A side becomes eligible for the special relief from deadness set forth in rule 7.3 when each ball of the opposing side scores the fourth wicket.
  5. In handicap games played in a tournament, the tournament director may, at the beginning of the tournament, halve the number of each player’s bisques (rounding up to the nearest half or whole bisque if necessary).

PART 17. EXPERIMENTAL RULES


The following rules are experimental and are set forth here to permit testing by USCA players. Subsequent to a 12 month trial period, one or more of these rules (or some modification of them based on player input) may be considered for adoption as official rules of the USCA at such time as the USCA Rules Committee and the USCA Management Committee have sufficient data on their impact on the game to make a decision as to their appropriateness.

Until such rules are officially adopted and published as official rules in a supplement or future edition of the USCA Rulebook, they may be used in USCA sanctioned events if written notice of the intention to use one or more of these rules is given on all player notification and entry forms prior to a tournament.

Players are actively encouraged to experiment with these rules in non-tournament play and provide the USCA Rules Committee with their comments and experiences.

17.1 Immediately in the Game


The game begins by each ball, in turn, beginning with blue, being placed within the starting area. As soon as a ball is placed within the starting area, it is in the game and live on all other balls which have already been placed in the starting area. In using this Experimental Rule, players should assume that all other references in the rulebook to balls “in the game” or balls “not in the game” be considered deleted.

HANDICAP POINT SYSTEM


Handicaps are based on a point system. Players competing in sanctioned singles events will score points (plus or minus) based upon the results of each individual match. When a player accumulates a plus or minus of 28 points total, a handicap change should occur. Plus points indicate a lowering of handicap; minus points indicate an increase in handicap. To be eligible for a handicap change, players must play in at least one USCA sanctioned singles event per year. If they do not, their handicap will be listed as inactive. If inactivity continues for another year, they will be raised one handicap level. For a handicap to be lowered a player must defeat a player of lower handicap at least once during the tracking period. The tracking period is the period from 0-28 points.

The following information also apply:
  1. Handicaps from 20 to 5 change by whole numbers; below 5 handicaps change by half numbers. Each number or half-number change requires 28 tracking points.
  2. Handicaps may never be changed during a tournament, only at the conclusion of a tournament. If at the end of a tournament a player has more than 28 points, his or her handicap will be lowered and the additional tracking points will be divided in half and awarded to the player.
  3. If a person wins a flight, his or her final tracking points for that tournament cannot be minus. A zero will be entered.
Level Play-Plus Points (handicap lowered)
A. Higher handicap player defeats lower handicap player:
1) 2 or more handicaps lower (6 defeats 4) +8
2) 1-1/2 handicaps lower (5 defeats 3-1/2) +7
3) 1 handicap lower (6 defeats 5) +6
4) 1/2 handicap lower (1/2 defeats 0) +5
B.Defeat player of equal handicap (6 defeats 6) +4
C.Defeat player of higher handicap:
1) 1/2 handicap higher (0 defeats 1/2) +3
2) 1 handicap higher (5 defeats 6) +2
3) 1-1/2 to 2 handicap (0 defeats 1-1/2 or 2) +1
4) more than 2 handicaps higher (0 defeats 2-1/2) +0
Level Play-Minus Points (handicap increase)
D. Lose to player more than 2 handicaps lower (4-1/2 loses to 2) -0
E. Lose to player of 1/2 to 2 lower handicap (4 loses to 2) -1
F. Lose to player of equal handicap (6 loses to 6) -4
F. Lose to player of higher handicap (6 loses to 7) -4
Handicap (Bisque) Play-Plus Points
G. Handicap difference is less than 5 (4 defeats 0) +2
H. Handicap difference is 5 or more (6 defeats 0) +1
Handicap (Bisque) Play-Minus Points
I. Handicap difference is less than 5 (4 loses to 0) -2
J. Handicap difference is 5 or more (6 loses 0) -1

GLOSSARY OF CROQUET TERMS


ALIVE - able to roquet one or more balls. A ball becomes alive on all balls when it scores a wicket and may roquet and take croquet from each ball one time between each wicket point.

ALL-AROUND BREAK - a player scores all the wickets in a single turn.

ALTERNATING DOUBLES - see WATERFORD DOUBLES.

APPROACH SHOT (also POSITION SHOT) - a shot intended to place the ball in position to score a wicket.

BALL-IN-HAND - any ball that has to be moved, and is therefore lifted and replaced or given a fresh position on the court in accordance with the rules, e.g.:
  1. a ball that has made a roquet,
  2. a ball off the court or less than 9 inches from the boundary,
  3. a wired ball that has been lifted,
  4. a ball that has to be re-positioned after a fault or irregularity,
  5. a ball that is wired and has claimed the right to be lifted.
BISQUE - a replayed shot or an additional shot given to a player. Bisques are determined by a player’s handicap and serve the purpose of equalizing a game between players of different levels of ability. See CONTINUATION BISQUE and REPLAY BISQUE.

BISQUE PLAY - see HANDICAP PLAY.

BLOCK (also STYMIE) - when a ball, on which the striker is dead, intrudes in the direct path the striker ball would take to score its wicket.

BLOCK PLAY (also ROUND ROBIN) - a tournament format in which players are assigned to blocks and play one game against each, or most, of the other players in their block. Some form of playoffs to determine the top finishing positions usually follows a round robin.

BREAK - a series of wickets scored by a player in one turn using one other ball (two-ball break), two other balls (three-ball break) or with all balls in play (four-ball break).

BREAK DOWN - when a break or turn ends because no continuation or croquet shot is earned or a fault occurs.

BYE - a position on a tournament ladder where the player is without an opponent. The player then advances to the next round without playing.

CANNON SHOT - when the striker ball drives one ball into another ball, on a roquet or croquet shot.

CAROM SHOT - when the striker ball glances off a wicket, stake, or other ball before hitting a ball.

CHERNOBYL - a defensive opening in which a ball is held back and usually sets in front of wicket #1 to clear on a later turn. More specifically, the Chernobyl Gambit is an opening play where one ball (usually yellow) sets at wicket #1 and the partner ball (red) shoots out on court north of there, offering a tice to the opponent or a ball to play off when the other clears its first hoop.

CLEAN - see CLEAR.

CLEAR (also CLEAN) - to become “alive” by running or scoring a wicket, or be relieved of deadness under the 1-back rule.

CLIPS - colored clips, one for each ball, which are placed on wickets to show which ball is going for which wicket and in what direction; clips on top indicate the first six wickets, clips on the side indicate the second six wickets.

COLD BALL - see SPENT BALL.

CONDONE - failure of a player to claim a fault within the limit of claims.

CONTINUATION BISQUE - in handicap play a shot taken as an additional shot from where the striker ball stopped.

CONTINUATION SHOT - a shot earned by scoring a wicket or the shot taken after a croquet shot.

CORNER FLAGS - flags or other devices that mark the corners of a croquet court.

CORNER SHOT - shooting the striker ball into a corner of the court.

CREATE A LEAVE (also GROOM THE COURT) - the process of placing balls during a turn so as to leave the partner ball a good playing opportunity and the opponent a bad one.

CROQUET ASSOCIATION, THE - British croquet governing body founded as the All England Croquet Club.

CROQUET ASSOCIATION, THE UNITED STATES - American croquet governing body founded in New York in 1976.

CROQUET OUT - see ROUT.

CROQUET SHOT - the first of two shots earned by the striker for making a roquet.

CROQUETED BALL - what the roqueted ball becomes when the striker takes the croquet shot.

CROSS WIRE - positioning the opponent’s balls on opposite sides of a wicket or the stake, thus preventing them from hitting each other.

CRUSH SHOT - a fault committed when, during the striking period, the striker’s mallet is in contact with the striker ball at the same time the ball is in contact with a wicket or the stake and the striker is not swinging the mallet in a direction away from the wicket or stake. Also referred to as a “three-in-one” (mallet, ball, wicket) fault.

CUT RUSH - when a striker roquets a ball off-center to make it, the “rushed ball,” travel at a desired angle to a pre-selected position.

DANGER BALL (also HOT BALL) - the opponent’s next ball to play.

DEADNESS - what a ball has after it roquets another ball. It becomes “dead” on that ball and cannot roquet it again until it scores a wicket to become “alive” or becomes “alive” on it after clearing under the 1-back rule.

DEADNESS BOARD - an adjustable device, with colors to match the balls, designed to help players and spectators keep track of deadness.

DOUBLE BANK - two separate games on the same court at the same time. Striped balls (blue, red, black and yellow) with white stripes, or second colored balls (green, pink, brown and white), are used in the second game.

DOUBLE ELIMINATION - a tournament format in which a player must lose twice to be eliminated.

DOUBLE TAP - a fault that is committed when, during the striking period, the striker’s mallet hits the striker ball twice.

DOUBLE - two balls at rest close enough together that the target area for the striker ball is, in effect, doubled.

DRAW (also PULL or THROW) - on a croquet stroke, the tendency (because of friction) of the croqueted ball to deviate slightly toward the direction of momentum rather than the direction of actual aim. Draw can be a critical factor in precision shots such as stake-outs, peels, and loading pioneer.

DRIVE SHOT - a croquet shot in which the mallet causes the striker ball to travel about one-quarter to one-third the distance of the croqueted ball.

ELIMINATION LADDER - tournament or play-off charts with single, double, or triple elimination layouts.

FAULT - a rules violation subject to penalty.

FOOT (HAND) SHOT- when the striker places a foot or hand on the striker ball to hold it in place during the striking period of the croquet shot. Not permitted under USCA six-wicket rules.

FORESTALL - to intervene to prevent a player from taking a shot when not entitled to, or from playing out of turn.

GAME CLOCK - the clock used to monitor the time left in a game.

GROOM THE COURT - see CREATE A LEAVE.

HAMPERED - when a wicket, stake, or other ball interferes with a player’s normal swing.

HANDICAP - a number that represents a player’s playing ability relative to all other players assigned a handicap in the same system.

HANDICAP PLAY (also BISQUE PLAY) - a form of competition in which handicap-based bisques are used to equalize play between players of differing ability.

HOOP (see WICKET) - the international term for wicket (“wickets” are used in cricket).

HOT BALL - see DANGER BALL

IN THE JAWS - when a ball at rest is breaking the plane of a wicket.

INNINGS - a term denoting control of the game by one side as a result of having the balls positioned so that the side can make an easy roquet and the opponent cannot.

IRISH PEEL - a croquet stroke in which both balls are sent through a wicket.

JOIN UP - a ball plays to a spot near its partner ball.

JUMP SHOT - a shot in which the ball is struck so that it leaves the ground, jumping over a ball, wicket, or stake.

LAY A BREAK - to position balls at wickets so they can be used by the partner to run a break.

LEAVE - the positions of balls at rest after a player has groomed the court and the turn has ended.

LEVEL PLAY - the form of competition with players competing on equal terms and bisques are not used.

LIFT - to lift a ball that has become a ball in hand. Sometimes the ball is not actually lifted but is trundled along with the mallet.

LIMIT OF CLAIMS - the time during which a fault may be called.

OUT OF BOUNDS - when a ball’s vertical axis has crossed the boundary line.

PASS (also WAIVE) - to pass up a turn. The player is then responsible for the ball’s position.

PEEL - when the striker ball causes another ball, either partner or opponent, to score its wicket. Named for Walter H. Peel, founder of the Croquet Association, who was partial to the play.

PEG - see STAKE.

PEG OUT - see STAKE OUT.

PENULTIMATE - the next-to-last wicket.

PIONEER BALL - in a three-ball or four-ball break, a ball that is positioned at the wicket following the one a player is attempting to score.

PIVOT BALL - in a four-ball break, a ball that is usually positioned near the middle of the court and is roqueted before going to the pioneer ball.

POSITION SHOT - see APPROACH SHOT.

PULL - see DRAW.

PUSH - when the striker maintains contact between the mallet and the ball for an appreciable time or accelerates the mallet head while still in contact with the ball.

QUESTIONABLE SHOT - a play of doubtful legality or one that has a large possibility of being a fault. A referee should watch any questionable shot.

REFEREE - a person certified by the USCA to observe questionable shots and resolve disputes between players.

REPLAY BISQUE - in handicap play a shot that is replayed.

ROLL SHOTS -
  1. HALF-ROLL, TWO-THIRDS ROLL and THREE-QUARTER ROLL SHOTS - croquet shots during which the striker ball travels about that fraction of the distance of the croqueted ball.
  2. FULL-ROLL SHOTS - croquet shots during which the striker ball travels about the same distance as the croqueted ball.
  3. PASS-ROLL SHOTS - croquet shots during which the striker ball travels farther than the croqueted ball.
ROQUET - a shot in which the striker ball hits a ball it is “alive on.”

ROTATION - the order in which each ball is played as reflected in the descending colors on the center stake: blue, red, black, and yellow.

ROUND ROBIN - see BLOCK PLAY.

ROUT - a play where the striker’s partner ball is sent out of bounds next to the opponent’s spent ball, thus setting the partner ball with an easy roquet. Technically, a rout (an acronym of “rushing out”) is played on the rush or roquet stroke, and striker remains alive on the routed ball. However, the attack is usually played on the croquet stroke; this is a “croquet out,” but it is still frequently called a rout. The same play can be accomplished by sending the opponent’s spent ball to partner.

ROVER - a ball that has scored all twelve wickets, but has not yet hit the stake. The twelfth wicket is also called the rover wicket.

RUSH - a roquet in which the striker attempts to send the roqueted ball to a pre-selected position.

RUSH LINE - a line extending from a ball about to be rushed, to its intended target spot. A player imagines the rush line to assist in determining the point on which to roquet the ball.

SCORE A WICKET - to pass through a wicket in the proper order and direction so that when the ball comes to rest it has cleared the plane of the playing side of the wicket.

SCRAMBLED DOUBLES - see WATERFORD DOUBLES.

SCRATCH PLAYER - a player with a zero handicap.

SHOT (also STROKE) - it begins when the striker’s mallet contacts the ball and ends when all balls set in motion by the striker have stopped rolling or have crossed a boundary.

SHOT CLOCK - the clock used during a game to measure the striker’s allowed 45 seconds to play each shot.

SIGHT LINE - a line set lengthwise on top of the mallet head to aid a player in aiming the direction of the stroke.

SPENT BALL (also COLD BALL) - the opponent’s ball that has just played and does not represent an immediate threat during the opponent’s next turn.

SPLIT SHOT - a croquet shot that sends the striker ball and the croqueted ball in different directions.

STAKE (also PEG) - the center stake in a six-wicket game.

STAKE OUT (also PEG OUT) - when a rover ball hits the stake or is made to hit the stake by another rover ball.

STALK - to line up a shot by approaching the ball from several feet behind, walking up along the direction of aim. Most players consider stalking essential to improved accuracy.

STOP SHOT - a croquet shot where the striker ball travels about one fifth, or less, the distance of the croqueted ball.

STRIKER - the player whose turn it is to play, or is playing, or, in a few rules, the player whose turn has just ended.

STRIKING PERIOD - it begins at the start of the backswing, with intent to strike the ball, and ends at the conclusion of the follow through.

STROKE - see SHOT.

STYMIE - see BLOCK.

TAKE-OFF - a croquet shot, in which the striker ball makes the croqueted ball move at almost a right angle to the striker ball. A thin take-off moves the croqueted ball very little, from a few inches to just shaking it, while a thick take-off can make the croqueted ball move much farther.

THROW - see DRAW.

TICE - positioning a ball where the opponent is tempted (enticed) to shoot at it, usually with great risk to the opponent.

TIME LIMIT - for a game in USCA tournament play, usually one and one-half hours, but may vary depending on the number of courts and entrants; for an individual shot, forty-five seconds.

TRIPLE PEEL - an all-around break in which another ball is peeled through the last three wickets it is required to make and then pegged out.

TURN - it starts when the previous player’s turn ends. The player’s turn ends when the player commits a fault or fails to earn a croquet or continuation shot.

WAIVE - see PASS.

WATERFORD DOUBLES (also ALTERNATING DOUBLES or SCRAMBLED DOUBLES) - an increasingly popular block-play format in which doubles players are assigned a new partner each game. The final positions are usually determined by each player’s win-loss record.

WICKET (also HOOP) - a device through which croquet balls pass to score points. It is a straight-sided form with a flat or curved top, twelve inches in height above the ground and usually made of iron.

WIRED BALL - a ball obstructed from another ball, on which it is alive, by a wicket, stake, or ball on which it is dead.