The Rules of Croquet

The Rules of Croquet

As soon as the sun starts shining here at our luxury hotel near Brecon, you will find us dusting off our mallets and hoops and setting up a game of croquet. Take a jug of Pimm’s from the bar and head down to the lawn. 

We love this fun and competitive game however many people don’t know the rules, so here is a simplified version of the rules of garden croquet according to the World Croquet Federation

The Kit

Four mallets, four balls, six hoops and a peg.

The Lawn

A croquet lawn should ideally be 17.5m x 14m with the peg in the center and hoops laid out as shown. If your garden is smaller, simply scale this down.

The Aim

Two sides compete to get their balls (either red and yellow or blue and black) to the peg by hitting them through the hoops with their mallets in the order shown, right.

The Scoring

Each hoop ‘run’ or passed through scores one point, as does hitting the final peg; so the winner will be the first side to score 14 (one point per hoop and peg per ball).

How to Play

The sides toss a coin. The winner of the toss can choose whether they wish to play first or second. The loser of the toss chooses which pair of balls they want (red/ yellow or blue/black). There is no significant advantage in whether you play first or second.

Play starts a metre in front of the first hoop and either ball can be played. The other side then plays a ball from the starting point.

All four balls must be played into the game in the first four turns. For example, if red plays first then the next turn is by black or blue. If blue is chosen then the third turn of the game must be played with the yellow ball. The fourth turn of the game must be played with the black ball.

At the beginning of each turn you can choose to play either of your side’s balls. You are allowed to gain extra shots from the very start of play. If you hit your ball so that it hits one of the other three balls you earn two extra shots.

The first of these extra shots must be taken in contact with the ball that has been hit. To do that you pick up your ball and place it anywhere around the ball that has been hit. When you play the shot you strike only your striker’s ball but both balls can move. This shot enables you to position both balls depending on what type of shot you play.

The second extra shot (continuation shot) is then played from where your striker’s ball lies. After scoring a hoop you can then start to earn extra shots again by hitting any of the other three balls.

In order for your side to win, you have to score six hoop points for each ball and then hit the peg with both balls. This is usually done in the same turn during a croquet stroke and the continuation stroke. You can also win by hitting the peg with each ball in two separate turns.

You can read the full rules at croquet.org.uk.

Ready to play this cunning and entertaining game? The lovely gardens and lawns at our beautiful South Wales hotel truly are the perfect place to play this wonderful game. Book direct for our best rate or give us a call on 01874 730 371 for more information.