Tuesday, 18 Jun 2024

Croquet Rules

Croquet, often regarded as the quintessential English game, is played internationally and has a rich history dating back to the 1600s. In this article, we will explore the rules of croquet, focusing on the Official Rules of Garden Croquet as per the World Croquet Federation.

Object of the Game

The objective of croquet is to skillfully maneuver your balls across the lawn, passing through six hoops in the correct order and direction. The ultimate goal is to “peg out” by hitting the central peg.

Players & Equipment

Croquet can be played in singles or doubles format, with each side using two different colored balls. The standard size for croquet balls is 3⅝ inches in diameter and weighing one pound. Additionally, each player requires a wooden mallet to strike the balls. There are no strict regulations regarding the mallet’s specifications, although they typically weigh between 2.5 to 3.5 pounds and have a length of 24 to 40 inches.

The Playing Area

While the official lawn dimensions for competitive play are 17.5m by 14m, casual players can enjoy the game on any relatively smooth grass area. At croquet clubs, where the grass is shorter, the standard lawn size can be larger. The important aspect is to maintain the proportional layout of the lawn.

The Hoops

The hoops, made of metal for competitive play, should be 12 inches high and 3¾ inches wide. They are arranged in a specific configuration, with numbers one and two on the left side, three and four on the right side, and five and six in the middle, positioned slightly closer to the central peg.

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In garden croquet, a derivative of association croquet, players score one point for successfully passing each ball through a hoop. An additional point is earned for hitting the peg with each ball, making a maximum of 14 points.

Winning the Game

To win the game, a player or team must score 14 points first. This achievement involves successfully passing both balls through all six hoops and subsequently pegging each ball out.

Rules of Croquet

Here are some important rules to keep in mind during a game of croquet:

  • A coin toss determines the starting player, while the loser chooses which balls to use.
  • Each player takes turns and is allowed one shot, with the opportunity for extra shots if specific conditions are met.
  • The first four turns are dedicated to bringing all four balls into play, after which the player can choose which ball to play with.
  • To earn extra shots, players must either pass through a hoop or hit one of the other three balls.
  • When hitting another ball, the subsequent shot must be played in contact with the roqueted ball. The original ball can be placed anywhere in contact with the roqueted ball.
  • Extra shots are not cumulative and can only be earned once from each ball until the next hoop is scored.
  • If a ball goes off the lawn or lies within a meter of the edge, it is moved one meter inside the lawn without penalty.
  • To score a hoop, the entire ball must have passed through the hoop, with no part of it visible on the original side.
  • Only the face of the mallet should be used to strike the ball, without moving the other balls, hoops, or peg.
  • Once a ball hits the peg, it is removed from play.
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These rules provide a foundation for enjoying a game of croquet and creating a fair and engaging competition. Familiarize yourself with the rules, gather your friends, and embrace the delightful experience of this classic game!


Q: How long has croquet been played?
A: Croquet has a rich history, with evidence suggesting similar games were played as early as the 1600s. The first registered rules for croquet were recorded in 1856.

Q: What are the standard dimensions of a croquet lawn?
A: The official lawn dimensions for competitive play are 17.5m by 14m. However, for casual play, any relatively smooth grass area that maintains similar proportions will suffice.

Q: How many points are required to win a game of croquet?
A: To win, a player or team must score 14 points first. This involves passing both balls through all six hoops and pegging each ball out.

Q: Can extra shots be earned in croquet?
A: Yes, players can earn extra shots by running a hoop or hitting one of the other three balls. Running a hoop earns one extra shot, while hitting another ball earns two extra shots.

Q: What happens when a ball goes off the lawn?
A: If a ball is struck off the lawn or lies within a meter of the edge, it is moved to a meter inside the lawn without penalty.


In this article, we have explored the rules of croquet, a game deeply rooted in English tradition. From understanding the objective of the game and the equipment required to the intricacies of scoring and gameplay, we have provided a comprehensive overview for both beginners and seasoned players. Remember to familiarize yourself with the rules, gather your friends, and enjoy the delights of croquet on a sunny day. So, pick up your mallet, aim for the hoops, and experience the joy of this classic English pastime.

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