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Golf Croquet - The Game and How it is Played



This popular format is a sociable game enjoyed by a large proportion of our membership. All players are on the lawn at the same time, with all four balls contesting the same hoop; when any player scores the first hoop, everyone moves on to contest the next hoop, and so on. Golf Croquet is less complicated than Association Croquet, and can be picked up and played by beginners very rapidly but also provides a tactical challenge to more advanced players. 

Below is a brief written overview of the format but the you may care to view the 5 minute introductory video made by the Toronto Croquet Club.   or Basingstoke's Introductory video

Outline of the Game

1. The sides are Blue and Black against Red and Yellow. Doubles or Singles can be played, in Singles the player plays both balls of his side in alternative turns. In Doubles each player plays one ball only.

2. Play progresses in strict colour order: Blue, Red, Black, Yellow (the order of colours on the peg), then back to Blue again.


3. Each turn consists of one stroke only. There are never any extra strokes for running hoops or hitting other balls.

4. The court settings and equipment are the same as for Association croquet, except that the yardline and corner pegs are not used. If used, each side will carry six clips of their own colour, which are put on the hoops to mark who scored each one as the game progresses.

5. The game starts from a position within one yard of corner 4.

6. All players try in successive turns to run hoop 1. As soon as any player on either side completes the running of hoop 1, he scores that hoop point for his side, and all players move on to hoop 2, and so on around the court. Thus each hoop is scored only once, for one side or the other. The side to have scored the hoop may mark this by putting one of their coloured clips on the crown of the hoop.

7. The hoops are run in the same order and in the same direction as Association croquet. However, if the points are level after running the 12th hoop, then the game is decided by the first player to then run hoop 3. The peg plays no part in Golf Croquet, other than as an obstacle and a reminder of colour order.

8. The game ends as soon as one side has scored seven points.


The Turn

1. A turn consists of a single stroke. A stroke is played when the striker hits any ball with his mallet and causes it to move, or commits a fault.

2. When all balls have stopped, any ball which has left the court is placed on the boundary where it went off. (Note: this is different from association croquet, where the balls are replaced one yard in from the boundary). If, when the boundary ball comes to be played, there is insufficient space outside of the boundary to allow the striker to play his stroke freely, then the ball may be moved in from the boundary by the minimum amount necessary to allow an unhampered stroke.

3. If at any time a boundary ball obstructs the playing of another ball, the boundary ball may be temporarily removed. If the replacing of a ball on the boundary is prevented by the presence of another ball which will be played first, then the ball is replaced after the obstructing ball has been played. Otherwise the obstructing ball is temporarily removed until the ball is played.

4. A ball may be jumped through a hoop and this is often used when an opponent's ball is 'jawsed' i.e. in the hoop but not yet clear of it.  However, the lawn surface must not be damaged.


Hoop Point

1. A ball scores a hoop point by passing through its next hoop in the order and direction shown in the diagram. This is also known as running a hoop.

2. A ball begins to run a hoop when any part of it first emerges from the back of the hoop and finishes doing so when the whole of it finally enters the front of the hoop, provided that it does not come back past this point later in the stroke.

3. A ball may take more than one stroke or turn to run a hoop.

4. If a ball other than the striker's ball is knocked through the next hoop in order, then that hoop is scored for the ball which is so 'peeled'. If more than one ball completes the running of the same hoop in the same stroke, then the peeled ball and not the striker's ball is deemed to have scored the point, irrespective of the actual order of the running. If more than one ball is peeled in the stroke, then the ball which was closest to the hoop at the start of the stroke is deemed to have scored the point.

5. If a ball runs two hoops in the same stroke, then both hoop points are scored.


Playing for the Next Hoop

1. Players may take positions towards the hoop beyond the one being contested if desired, but not more than halfway. Immediately after the hoop in order is scored any ball resting beyond the halfway line between the hoop just run and the next hoop in order is placed on one of the two penalty spots chosen by the adversary of the ball's owner

2. The penalty spots are the half-way points on each of the two longest boundaries. Balls may not be required to be moved if they reached their position as a result of:

(a) hitting an adversary ball, or

(b) an adversary's stroke, or

(c) scoring the previous hoop, either by being struck through the hoop, peeled through the hoop, or peeling another ball through the hoop, or

(d) being struck by its partner ball which scores a point in the same stroke.


If this brief summary has whetted your appetite for more information have a look at the Croquet Association website or contact us.

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