Rules of Croquet
Once called “crooky”, croquet is a leisure sport invented by the Irish in the 1830's and was eventually brought over to England where the sport would gain popularity among the wealthy class. After World War II, the rules of croquet changed slightly to make the game more marketable for a wider audience. These rules are the same ones used today.
How to play Croquet
Croquet is a simply constructed game where the player must hit their balls through a series of six hoops in the correct order. The player can then win the game by “pegging out”, or striking the final obstacle which is a wooden peg located in the center of the playing field.
Each player will strike their balls with a wooden mallet, similar to the ones used in polo. Other than the mallet, there isn’t much else equipment used during a game. Players can wear golf cleats if they desire -- this may help with traction on the natural grass.
Rules of Croquet
- Croquet can be played with singles or doubles. Regardless, one team (or player) will strike the black and blue balls, while the other will strike the red and yellow balls.
- Croquet lawns range in size, but they aren’t much larger than 40 meters squared. The balls used in croquet are slightly larger than ones used in billiards, and they weigh about a pound. Mallets used in croquet range from 24 inches to 40 inches long.
- The metal hoops used in croquet are less 4 inches apart, and only about one foot tall.
- Players can take however many turns it takes to get their balls through the hoops. However, once a hoop is made, that player can continue their turn -- much like eight ball.
- Striking a ball out of bounds plays similar to golf’s drop rule. In this instance the player’s ball will be placed in bounds as close to the boundary as possible.
- If you accidentally strike another player’s ball, this shot must be replayed.
- A game is played up to 14 points. This equals the point total of hitting the balls through the correct hoops and then pegging out. There are no ties in croquet.
There isn’t much athleticism involved with croquet, which contributes to its accessibility for a wide range of players. Although croquet associations have tried to distance themselves from the stereotypes of the sport only being open to the wealthy, these are the type of crowds typically drawn to the sport.
Written by: Devin Pickell