Croquet Rules That You Must Know to Play the Game Right

Bill Taylor
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Croquet Rules for Equipment and Accessories

The rules in croquet are relatively simple. The original rules were written in the 1860s, with a few slight changes in the late 1800s. Since then, the rules have stayed almost the same.

Knowing the rules will let you know when the game has been played right and when the game has been played wrong. Some people might think the rules are complicated, but they are really quite straightforward.

The game merchandise usually comes in three shapes. Those are the mallet, balls, and hoops. Each of these has specific rules on how and when they can be used. The mallet has a handle and a head at one end. Its head is called the nut and the whole of the mallet is called the head. The mallet is used to hit the ball and it is used to help knock down the hoops.

The game balls are made from a special kind of material called croquet ball.

The hoops are not the standard kind of hoops, but rather marked hoops that are guidelines for the balls.

Also, many different kinds of items can be used in play. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Wires
  • The stakes for the opponent
  • The frames for the hoops
  • The jack that is used in the game
  • The ball


Well-made wickets are critical to playing the game well. Most players prefer hickory because of its hardness and resilience. Wickets come in a variety of styles but the most common are those, about 8 feet tall, that fold up for storage.

Some really expensive sets come with wickets that are made of polished hardwood and feature pawl locking. You can also buy wickets separately and vary the experience of your game.

For the more creative, you can just find lumber and make them yourself.

Before buying a set, examine your space to see how big of a wicket you’ll need (the taller the wicket, the longer your croquet lawn will be). Do the same to determine how much storage space you’ll need.

The most used croquet set might be in for a rough ride! Update to a new, sturdy set of croquet equipment.

If the set is used, the wickets are our main concern. Make sure they are made of good quality wood, not flimsy plastic. Wood will last much longer, and provide more control over the direction of the ball, especially when you're beginning to learn how to play croquet.


The original croquet rules don’t mention if it is permissible for a ball without hitting at least one wicket to roll over the end of the croquet course. Traditionally, a roquet is counted on any ball that is hit by another ball yet that ball does not strike a wicket. However, most croquet tournaments use a three-wicket rule, which means a ball must hit three wickets to be eligible for roquets.


Mallets come in various shapes and sizes with the two common variations being matte or rubber on one end and metal or plastic on the other end. The metal end is weighted larger than the ball and is considered the striking end. The rubber end is used for striking the ball from the ground.

When you are ready to start a game of croquet, you must know how to properly place your mallet. Find the center of the court and place your mallet in a backward "V" shape.


Croquet, the lawn game, plays a great hit with families, friends, neighbors, and relatives.

The word croquet stems from an Old French word that means "hitting the mark" or just "hitting". It is a game where players implement a wooden mallet on a small ball and drive it through difficult terrains.

The game can be played either indoors or outdoors depending on what you prefer. Generally, it is played outdoors on a lawn where long turf is present but the game can be played on a floor instead.

There is no formal wardrobe guideline. It is more on the player to decide what attire and shoes to put on. Also, the most common way to play the game is to use hoops made of thick wood. However, these hoops are optional and the game can be played without them.

Once croquet sets are bought, you will be required to pay stakes for croquet. These stakes can be applied to rules that differ with each set of croquet. There is also a set of rules that are common to most croquet sets.

To play the game, it is recommended that you place a stake to indicate the position each player must stand and another stake to indicate the position where players will hit the ball.

It is necessary that you use safety goggles to prevent eye injury.

Other Accessories

Rules for the croquet are simple and straightforward, but the game is often tailored to the participants. This can lead to disputes over the rules or to differences in how the game is played. To ensure that there are no problems when you play this lawn game, you may consider making up rules at the beginning of the match. This way, everyone knows the general guidelines and can adjust or change the rule as you play. You can also create basic guidelines for games that will follow.

One of the essential croquet rules is that everyone must have a mallet. Croquet mallets are simple wooden sticks that are padded with leather. However, if you are playing with others who do not own croquet mallets, they can use a knife or other stick that does not require justification. Another rule is that if you are playing double ball croquet, all balls need to pass through the hoops before a ball hits the ground. In traditional croquet, you can choose which ball to shoot through the hoop first.

Croquet Rules Concerning Courts

The game of croquet is played on a large grassy field, with 8 evenly spaced arches erected at each end of the field. The spaces between the arches, through which a ball must be hit, are called "hoops". An even number of players (anywhere from 2 to 8), take turns "rallying croquet balls" at a series of stationary balls, referred to as the "wickets", using a wooden mallet, until hitting the ball through one hoop and touching the stake.

The game is played with wooden balls, which are heavier at the ends and hollow in the center. A ball hit through a hoop has to hit the stake before it lands. Sometimes, the ball goes through two hoops, if it doesn't hit the stake in the right spot, it is re-routed through whichever hoop belongs to it.

Croquet Rules about Stakes in the Game

Croquet rules about stakes and hoops apply differently to the partners during a player's serve.

Partners to the left and the right side player can make wickets in their half of the playing field, and a ball hit in the wrong direction will be redrawn by the opponents.

Rules for Gameplay

The rules of Croquet are very easy and very interesting. The game is not just loved by adults but also by children. Everyone can enjoy this game, even if they are beginners.

Croquet sees two sets of players facing off against one another with the aim of getting a ball into the other team's goal. Each set of players is tasked with using a mallet to hit a ball along the lawn, trying to get it past the other team and into one of the goals bouncing off of the pegs set up at each end of the lawn.

The winner depends on who is the first team to get all their balls over the line and in the hole.

The game gets interesting when the rules are followed strictly. One of the main rules in this game is that one of the balls is a ball that rolls. This one isn't struck by a mallet. The idea is to get your team's ball to go across the field and into the goals at the far end. The next rule that you need to remember is the idea that you must hit your ball first before you can strike your opponent's ball. The rule also relates to your opponent; you can strike his ball after his ball has been struck by a mallet.

Extra Shots

Extra shots are shots when a player’s ball is particularly close to one of the game’s hoops. When this happens, you can use an extra shot to get your ball into the hoop.

When you take an extra shot, you get the product of both your skill level and the number of hoops you’re trying to get your ball in.

For instance, if you’re fairly skilled but you’re trying to get your ball in three hoops, you get a multiplier of three for your skill level.

Rover Ball Rules

Rule Variations by Game

Croquet was invented in the mid-1800s, when the lower classes engaged in wager matches for high stakes. The game has changed little since then, but the rules have varied from place to place.

In 1870, a standard set of rules was established by The Croquet Association, who held the first international croquet congress. Their definition has been adopted by the English Golf Croquet Association.

The game of croquet is primarily played in sporting clubs, private estates, backyards, and parks. In recent years, numerous new versions of this game have been created. These forms of croquet are more recreational in nature; they include buttonball, disc golf, cornhole croquet, horseshoes, paintball croquet, and wicket croquet.

The croquet court itself is 45m long by 7m wide, and surrounded by lawns. Players must wear flat-soled shoes that do not have a heel height of more than 4cm.

Nine-Wicket Croquet

Known as the traditional game, nine-wicket croquet is said to have originated in the North of England around 1830. It is a popular tournament game that is largely played outside but can be played indoors as well. In croquet, the players score points by hitting the balls through the wickets. The game is played across a rectangular-shaped lawn, where a roughly V-shaped area called the 'bole', and a centrally located peg or peg 'jack' is drawn.

There are two main divisions of this game, namely singles and doubles. Singles is the more popular version that has strict rules. The speciality of this game is that the players can't move the ball individually or out of order. All players must first hit their ball from the first wicket to the third wicket and then the second ball from the third wicket to the fourth and so on. Doubles croquet is a less disciplined version wherein each player is allowed to play their ball on their turn or on the previous player's turn.

To start the game, a player strikes the white ball with a mallet to play the red ball. The first player follows by striking the red ball with the mallet and moves the ball through the first wicket. In the same way, the other players strike their balls for each wicket until the ball reaches the ninth wicket.

Golf Croquet Rules

Foot Golf Croquet is a sport that is a cross between Croquet and Golf. It is played on a defined court with hoops and pits, using a similar mallet and ball combination as Croquet. However, instead of the balls going through hoops, they are knocked in from a teeing area.

A set of Croquet rules are used for Foot Golf Croquet, where the players play from one end of the court to the other, alternating who plays the first shot. You start with one ball; if you get it through the hoop a further ball is added. If you hit a ball through a hoop that is already lined, the current ball is lost and removed. The third ball is added, and a hoop is removed.


Croquet Mallet: A smaller head is used for Foot Golf Croquet. The head must have a soft comfortable grip. The mallet must be the right size to control and being able to swing it firmly – not too long or heavy to wield.

Foot Golf Croquet Ball: These are a bit heavier than golf balls and are resilient enough not to bounce on the hard court surface. They also do not spin as much when hitting the hoops or the poles.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, if you are still having trouble with knowing the rules for croquet, there is one thing that you need to know. You must learn to follow the rules of the game. These rules are made in order to make sure that nobody gets hurt, and you need to respect that. You will have a real great time at the end of the day, so just try your best to know the entirety of the rules. You will be truly happy once you win the game, so everything should really be that easy!

In the end, the only thing left to say is that your life will be much better when you know the croquet rules and what must be done in order to win.