Croquet is played with a mallet and wooden or plastic balls. The balls pass through the hoops, also known as wickets. It is played on a grass court. To spend your summer afternoons, playing croquet is a class sport. It grooms your mental and physical skills. You can enjoy it in your backyard with family, friends, or even kids. You will be needing 6 iron hoops in the backyard to play this game.
Croquet is a household game played in numerous ways. From the social game, it is played on the international champion level. This sport was introduced by England and Ireland in the 1830s. In the later 19th century, it became a time pass for the upper classes. It is said that croquet is the reason behind the introduction of snooker.
Basic Rules of Croquet
To learn croquet, you must learn the basic rules to play it right
- The four balls colored blue, red, black, and yellow are to be played in order. On the center peg, the colors are painted to act as a reminder.
- To facilitate the play, the balls, peg, and hoop cannot be moved.
- The player taking his turn is called a striker. Each player is having only one strike.
- In singles, one player plays black and blue balls. The other player plays red and yellow.
- In doubles, each player is having their ball. The blue ball partners with black and red with yellow.
Like other sports, to start the game, a coin is tossed. The winner takes the strike and hits the blue ball first.
- The order in which the balls should be hit is blue, red, black, and yellow.
- The player starts the game in the court closest to hoop 4 that is one yard from the corner. If you succeed to pass it through the hoop, you hit it further from where it lies.
- Hoop 1 is the first hoop to be run.
- If a player runs hoop 1, the other player will run hoop 2, and so on.
- The first player who runs the 7 hoops, wins the game.
- You run a hoop when the ball projects beyond the side of the hoop. It might take more than one turn to run a hoop.
- If another ball than striker’s ball hits through the hoop, the hoop is counted for the peeled ball.
- When it is your turn, you have to play it. You cannot pass it.
- To hit the ball, you will be using a mallet. The head of the mallet hits the ball to run the hoop. You cannot use another part of the mallet to strike the ball. If you touched the ball accidentally, it is counted as a strike.
- If you hit another ball with your mallet, it is counted as a foul.
Just like other games, croquet is having fouls that you can avoid to perform better and to win the game.
- If you hit your ball twice, it is known as double-tap. It is a foul.
- Also, you cannot force the ball through the hoop. You have to hit the ball instead of dragging it.
- As you know, no points are given on foul even if the ball runs the hoop. Your opponent gets an opportunity to return the balls where they were or to take his turn from where the balls were last time.
- If it is your turn, you cannot touch other balls or let them touch you. If it happens, you will lose the next turn. Hence, watch out for the moving balls and try not to trip over a ball. The opponent player will have an opportunity to return the ball from where it was or to leave the ball when it comes to rest.
- If you play the wrong ball, the opponent will have a chance to replace the balls or leave them where they are. For example, if you play the wrong ball such as yellow, the opponent will have a chance to continue with the blue or black ball.
- The ball that went out of the court is placed from where it went off.
- If the ball goes halfway to the next hoop after a strike, it can be declared offside.
When the hoop is scored, the striker gets a continuation stroke. When the striker hits another ball, the striker makes a roquet on the ball.
The continue strokes are not cumulative when a striker:
- Scores a hoop and makes a roquet in the same stroke, the players should immediately take croquet.
- Makes a roquet in a croquet stroke, the player will immediately take croquet.
- Scores a hoop for his striker’s ball, the striker plays one continuation stroke.
- Scores two hoops for the partner striker in one stroke, the player gets one continuation stroke.
The three common types of croquet grips are comfortable and natural.
The upper hand of the player grips the shaft with the knuckles pointing forward. To support the back of the shaft, grip it with the other hand at a lower level with the thumb down. The space between the hands should be according to your comfort. It is recommended to keep them close.
Grip the top of the shaft with thumbs uppermost and knuckles in front. This grip style is used for the big backswing and the hands are nearly close to one another.
One palm is on the side of the shaft and the other is on the back. This style of grip is lower than the other styles.
To make it interesting to play in the backyard, the World Croquet Foundation has made some alterations in the rules. Also, it has made it a bit tough so that you can enjoy the complex game at home.
When a coin is tossed, the winning team decides which team will start the game and the other team gets to choose the balls. The basic rules for playing a game of garden croquet are as follows:
- Each player will have one chance to hit the ball. Two shots will be awarded when a player earns an extra shot. To earn an extra shot, you must run a hoop or hit any of the other three balls.
- In the first four turns, the players will be bringing all of the four balls into the play. After the four turns, the players will be having a choice to play any of the colored balls.
- You cannot collect extra shots and use them later. If you have earned an extra shot, you play it.
- If the ball goes out of the court, there is no penalty.
- The balls are to be hit with the face of the mallet.
- The game ends when the ball hits the peg. Then it is removed from the play.
To play this fun game at home, you can memorize these easy rules rather than playing with complex rules that are also difficult to memorize.
Croquet Guide – A Complex Rule Game
Depending on the backyard size, you can play 6 wicket or 9 wicket games of croquet with your family, friends, and kids. Instead of using the complex rules of championship, you can use the basic garden croquet rules to make it easier for you and others. While playing croquet, it feels like you are playing snooker or golf.
To play croquet in your backyard, you need a mallet, hoops, and colored balls of wood or plastic. It is a fun summer indoor game.