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The Rules of Croquet

The version of croquet we will be using is called Special Event Golf Croquet (SEGC). It is an easy to learn, fast paced, and highly competitive form of croquet. There are four balls in the game (Blue, Red, Black, and Yellow played in that order) along with 12 wickets to score in the correct sequence (see court diagram below). The sides are Blue and Black against Red and Yellow. There may be anyqhere from one to four players on each side - each side playing two balls against the other side playing two balls. Here is an example of how teams of four players will play the two balls on their side: Marion plays blue, John plays Black, Cathy plays Blue, Bob plays Black, Marion plays Blue, John plays Black, Cathy plays Blue, Bob plays Black, etc. There are more examples below showing how each side will share its two balls.

There is one stroke in a turn with no bonus strokes at all. If a side wishes to pass (waive its turn) it may. IMPORTANT POINT - GC isn't like backyard croquet where you get additional shots for hitting a ball or making a wicket. YOU GET ONE SHOT PER TURN.

The object of the game is to score more wicket points than the opponent (one point per wicket scored). The side which scores the most points within the time limit wins the game. If the score is tied when the time expires, the result is posted as a tie. If teams have the same amount of wins, the tie breaker will determining finishing positions will be first Net Point (the difference between the number of points a team scores and the number their opponent scores in that game). If a side is still tied in Wins and Net Points, Gross Points will be factored in (the total number of points the team scores in the tournament).

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Starting the Game

The balls are placed in the starting area (please see diagram below) and the order of play is Blue, Red, Black, and Yellow, always playing in that order. If one player is on a side they play both balls. When two players are on a side, one will play one color of the side and the partner playing the other color (Bob playing Blue and Mary playing Black throughout the game). If there are three players on a team: Bob, John, and Mary playing Blue and Black- Bob will play Blue, John will play Black, Mary will play Blue, Bob will play Black, John will play Blue, Mary will play Black, etc. If there are four players on a side: Bob, John, Mary, and Alice- Bob will play Blue, John will play Black, Mary will play Blue, Alice will play Black, etc.


Croquet DiagramEach wicket is scored by only one ball which wins the point for its side. Once a wicket is scored,all balls are for the next wicket in order. IMPORTANT POINT - all balls don't score the contested wicket- only one ball needs to score it. Wickets must be scored in order of the course. A ball has scored a wicket if it clears the side of the wicket it has entered it from (the playing side of the wicket). Please see the diagram to the right.

A ball which has entered the wicket from the reverse side and does not break the plane of the non playing side of the wicket may in the next turn score the point. If however it is sticking out on the non playing side, it can't score the wicket on its next turn.

A player may proceed towards the next wicket before the contested wicket is scored however it is advisable to stay in competition for that wicket unless you have no recourse (conceding the wicket). If a player does not advance, they must wait to score that wicket until the contested wicket is scored.

There is no formal boundary however balls going onto other courts must be brought back to the periphery of your court.

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If a player plays out of sequence and it is noticed before the opponent plays, that player may play the proper ball without penalty but must replace the ball that played out of sequence and any other balls affected in the shot. Care must be taken to use just the striking face of the mallet head, NOT THE SIDE OF THE HEAD. Also, one should not multiple tap, push, or shepherd their ball with the mallet. It should be a distinct hit. Failure to adhere to this may result in end of turn and balls replaced or left where they came to rest at the discretion of the offending player's opponent.

Basic Tactics/Strategy

Try to get at least one of your side's balls in position to make the wicket and prevent the opponents from scoring first. This can be done by hitting your opponent's ball(s) far away (called clearing) or by blocking the opponent's ball(s) from hitting your side's ball out of position.