The WCF Rules of Golf Croquet (5th Edition, July 2018)
The 4th edition has been superseded.
With Rulings, Variations and Commentary by the Croquet Association.
The rules contained herein are the WCF Golf Croquet Rules 2013 Edition, which are Copyright © the World Croquet Federation (WCF).
Additional Rulings and Commentary have been written by the CA Golf Croquet Rules Committee. These are Copyright © The Croquet Association.
From time to time, the WCF or CA GC Rules Committee issue Official Rulings, which clarify some rules from practical experience.
Previous editions published in 2000, 2005 and 2008.
1. Outline of the game
2. The court
5. The start
6. The turn
7. Scoring a point
10. Offside balls
11. Playing a wrong ball
Wrong Ball diagrammatic summary
12. Non-striking faults
13. Striking faults
The Laws for Association and Rules for Golf Croquet are made by international committees - the International Laws Committee for AC and the World Croquet Federation's GC Rules Committee for GC. The CA is one of four members of the International Laws Committee, and one of six on the WCF Golf Croquet Rules Committee - so we have an influential voice in both.
It has taken many decades for the AC laws to settle into their current stable form. It is no surprise that GC rules, which only first appeared in their current form 14 years ago, are still subject to greater change.
You will know that, while Golf Croquet is based on a fairly simple concept, some rules quickly become very complex in some situations - like the Wrong Ball rule. There has been a strong desire to "fix" the Wrong Ball rule - although not much agreement on how best to do that. Since the 3rd Edition was published in 2008, it had accumulated a large number of Official Rulings and Commentary, including some CA-specific clarifications, to help deal with the known defects.
The WCF GCRC has been working for the past few years on a new edition with a number of aims:
- Clarifying the rules so most of the Official Rulings are no longer needed
- Fixing the known problems, such as the Wrong Ball rule
- Simplifying the rules and using standard text for aspects common to AC and GC (e.g. the specification of courts, mallets and balls).
In this new edition, good progress has been made on the first of these, and some on the third. But only limited progress has been made on tackling the really difficult problems, as no agreement could be reached between the various countries represented on the committee. Nonetheless, the 4th Edition has been overwhelming approved by WCF Member Associations, including the CA.
The good news is that the new 4th Edition means very few actual changes for the players. It is primarily a tidied-up version of the 3rd Edition laws, with many of the Official Rulings integrated into the rules. This shortens and simplifies many rules. The Wrong Ball rule is simplified somewhat, but needs further work.
The CA's GC Rules Committee has produced this version suitable for domestic play in the CA Domain, as well as in other countries whose national associations choose to adopt it. Existing CA Rulings and CA Commentary that were still relevant have been carried over to the new edition, and a few new areas of CA-specific guidance have also been provided. These rules are intended for use in competitive play and may be varied for use in social or coaching situations. For the first time, we have included a diagrammatic summary of the Wrong Ball rule, in colour, to help players navigate this complex rule.
This booklet contains Rules, Rulings, Commentary and one Variation. The Rulings clarify how the Rules apply in specific situations, and the Commentaries provide further narrative to explain the Rules. The CA Rulings and Commentaries have been added to clarify and explain how to apply the Rules within England and other countries who choose to adopt this booklet. The Variation covers the one case of a Rule that will not be applied to domestic play within the Domain.
CA GC Rules Committee
The Rules of Golf Croquet
1. Outline of the Game
(a) The game is played by striking a ball with a mallet. It is played as either doubles with four players or singles with two players. In doubles one side of two players plays with blue and black balls (or green and brown) and the other side with red and yellow (or pink and white), each player playing only one colour. In singles each player plays both balls of the side.
Commentary on Rule 1(a): The game may also be played socially with two players on one side each playing one ball throughout and one player on the other side playing both balls. Doubles rules apply to both sides.
(b) The object of the game is for each side to cause either ball of its side to run hoops in a specified order. A point is scored for the side whose ball first runs the hoop in order in accordance with Rule 7.
(c) A match is a contest for the best of 1, 3 or 5 games of 7, 13 or 19 points. Each game ends as soon as one side (the winner) has scored a majority of the points to be played. Alternative endings which may be used include playing to a 2-point advantage or using a time limit. If the players leave the court or start another game having agreed which side has won, then the game has ended with the agreed result. A match ends as soon as one side has won the majority of games to be played in the match.
Commentary on Rule 1(c): (i) Two game matches may also be played, which end in a 2-0 or 1-1 score.
(ii) When playing to a 2-point advantage, depending on the game played, if the first player to 4, 7 or 10 points is not 2 points ahead play continues, normally for a maximum of six more hoops or until one player has a 2-point advantage, whichever comes first.
(iii) If time limits are being used, play may stop on the call of time, or after one more turn for each ball, or after the next hoop is scored, or some other variation, but which method is to be used is to be clearly stated before play commences. The outcome of a stroke played before time is called is valid play. Whichever method of stopping play is used, the management may allow play to continue for one hoop if the scores are tied when play is stopped.
CA Ruling on Rule 1(c): Unless otherwise stated before play begins, the expiry of time limits in GC games will follow the CA Tournament Regulation T4(b) - reproduced in this booklet as Appendix A.
(d) The hoops are contested as shown in Diagram 1. In a 7-point game the first 6 hoops are played and the 7th point is scored by contesting hoop 1 again. In a 13-point game the first 12 hoops are played and the 13th point is scored by contesting hoop 3 again. In a 19-point game the first 12 hoops are played, then hoops 3, 4, 1, 2, 11 and 12 are played again as hoops 13 to 18 respectively. The 19th point is scored by contesting hoop 3 again.
(e) The balls are played in the sequence blue, red, black and yellow. If the alternative colours are being used the sequence is green, pink, brown and white. After whichever ball was last played, the next ball in the appropriate sequence is known as the striker's ball, and the owner of that ball is the striker.
Commentary on Rule 1(e): This rule sets the sequence in which the balls are to be played. See Rule 11 for what happens when the sequence is broken and how a new sequence is established.
(f) Either side may score only the hoop that is the current hoop in order. When that hoop has been scored by any ball, either side may score only the next hoop in order. No points are scored for hoops that are run out of order except when the players have left the court agreeing the game has ended. Should it be discovered before the end of the game that one or more hoops have been competed for by both sides and run out of order then play stops, the last correctly scored hoop is identified and play continues after a toss. The winner of the toss plays first with either ball, while the loser decides which penalty spot D or E on Diagram 3 all four balls are to be played from.
(g) When a hoop is scored and all balls have stopped moving the balls are played from the position they then occupy, except for any ball that has been directed to be played from a penalty spot.
CA Ruling on Rule 1(g): This rule is to be interpreted as if the following were added to the end of the sentence: "or for any ball which left the court during the last turn - see Rule 6(g)."
(h) Two games may be played simultaneously on the same court, normally using alternative coloured balls or striped balls. If this is done all players are to be aware of the other game and are to try to avoid any conflicts. The position of balls from the other game may be marked with permission from the participants of that game. Interference between balls in different games is dealt with by Rule 9.
Commentary on Rule 1(h): If other colours are to be used, the order of play should be stated before play commences. Where two games on the same court are approaching the same area of the court precedence may be given to the game that started first or to the game arriving in the area first, although due consideration should be given to the game least likely to delay play. Ideally, time limits would not normally be used where two games are played simultaneously on the same court.
CA Ruling on Rule 1(h): If a time-limit is applied when two games are played simultaneously on the same court, the timer must be stopped if play is held up waiting for the other game.
Diagram 1: The Standard Court
2. The Court
(a) The Standard Court
(1) The standard court is a rectangle measuring 28 by 35 yards (25.6 by 32 metres). See Diagram 1. Its boundary must be clearly marked, the inner edge of the marking being the actual boundary.
(2) The corners are known as I, II, III, and IV and the boundaries are known as the north, south, east and west boundaries regardless of the actual orientation of the court.
(3) The peg is set in the centre of the court. There are six hoops which are set parallel to the north and south boundaries; the centres of the two inner hoops are 7 yards (6.4 metres) to the north and south of the peg; the centres of the four outer hoops are 7 yards (6.4 metres) from the adjacent boundaries.
(b) Variations to the Standard Court
(1) The length and width of the court are each subject to a tolerance of +/- 6 inches (152 mm). Where more than one boundary marking is visible and it is not obvious which one should be used, the most recent defines the true boundary or, if that cannot be determined, the innermost defines the true boundary. The actual boundary at any point is the straight line which best fits the inner edge of the boundary marking in the vicinity of that point.
(2) Each hoop and the peg may be displaced up to 18 inches (457 mm) from its standard position provided that the lines joining the centres of hoops 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 remain visually parallel to the east and west boundaries, and that the peg lies on the lines joining the centres of hoops 1 and 3, 2 and 4, and 5 and 6.
(3) If it is discovered that a game is being played with a hoop or the peg missing or seriously misplaced, the item should be correctly placed, and play should continue from that point with all previous legal play condoned.
(4) If the available area is too small for a standard court, a smaller court may be laid out by retaining the court proportions of five length units by four length units but using a length unit shorter than the standard 7 yards (6.4 metres). The appropriate governing body may approve other proportions and dimensions.
(a) The Peg
(1) The peg is a rigid cylinder with a height above the ground of 18 inches (457 mm) and a uniform diameter of 1½ inches (38 mm). The tolerance for the height is +/-1 inch (25 mm). The tolerance for the diameter is +/- ¼ inch (6 mm). The peg must be vertical, firmly fixed, and white to a height of at least 6 inches (152 mm) above the ground. It may have blue, red, black and yellow, and/or green, pink and brown, bands descending in that order from the top.
(2) Any time a peg is observed to not be upright it shall be made to be upright under the supervision of a referee or both sides, except when a ball is in contact with the peg, or would be brought in contact by the act of straightening in which cases the peg is not to be straightened until the ball has been played away.
(1) Each hoop is made of solid metal and consists of two uprights connected by a crown. The crown must be straight and at right angles to the uprights. A hoop must be 12 inches (305 mm) in height above the ground measured to the top of the crown and must be vertical and firmly fixed. The tolerance for the height is + ½ inch / - 1 inch (+ 13 mm / - 25 mm). The uprights and the crown must have a uniform diameter above the ground of between 5/8 inch (16 mm) and 3/4 inch (19 mm), with a tolerance of 1/16 inch (1.5 mm), although minor deviations at the top and bottom are permitted. Alternatively, the crown of the hoop may be of square cross-section with sides of between 5/8 inch (16 mm) and 3/4 inch (19 mm), with a tolerance of 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) and with rounded edges. The inner surfaces of the uprights must be approximately parallel and not less than 3 ¾ inches (95 mm) or more than 4 inches (102 mm) apart. However in tournament and match play, the organising body responsible for the competition may specify the distance between the uprights. Alternatively, it may specify the gap between a ball and the inner surface of one upright when the ball is half way through the hoop and is touching the other upright. Each hoop on a court must have the same width within a tolerance of 1/32 inch (0.8 mm).
(2) The hoops may be left unpainted or coloured white and, in addition, the crown of the first hoop may be coloured blue and that of the 5th hoop and/or the final hoop may be coloured red.
(3) Any hoop that is observed to be loose or misaligned shall be made correct under the supervision of a referee or both sides, except when a ball is in contact with the hoop, or would be brought in contact by the act of straightening; in which cases the hoop is not to be straightened until the ball has been played away.
(c) the Balls
(1) There are four balls, coloured blue, black, red and yellow respectively. Alternative colours, namely green, brown, pink and white, and other sets of colours or distinguishing marks are permitted. A ball must be 3 5/8 inches (92 mm) in diameter with a tolerance of +/- 1/32 inch (0.8 mm) and must weigh 16 ounces (453 g) with a tolerance of +/- ¼ ounce (7 g). However in tournament and match play, the organising body responsible for the competition may specify additional requirements.
(2) The owner of a ball may, with permission from a referee or an opponent, lift the ball between strokes in order to wipe it, avoid interference or exchange it when it is faulty or damaged. Before removal, the position of the ball must be marked accurately.
Commentary on Rule 3(c)(2): See also Rules 9(j) and 12(a).
(1) A mallet consists of a head with a shaft firmly connected to its mid-point and at right angles to it for at least the bottom 12 inches (305 mm), so that they function as one unit during play.
(2) A grip of any material may be attached to the shaft, but neither it nor the shaft shall be moulded with an impression of any part of the player's hands.
(3) The head must be rigid. It must have essentially identical playing characteristics regardless of which end is used to strike the ball. The parts of the ends which are flat are known as the end faces, which must be parallel and identical, though fine grooves and minor deviations are permitted. Both the end faces and their edges must be of a shape and material unlikely to damage the balls.
(4) No mirrors, pointers or other devices intended to assist the aiming or playing of a stroke may be attached to any part of the mallet. However, the shaft need not be straight and the head may bear sighting lines.
(5) A disabled player may use a mallet with an appropriately modified shaft or artificial aids providing that no advantage is gained thereby compared to a player without that disability using a conventional mallet.
(6) A mallet may not be exchanged for another during a game, unless it suffers accidental damage which significantly affects its use or it becomes unavailable. A damaged mallet may only be used if the striker gains no advantage thereby. The playing characteristics of a mallet may never be changed during a game, except to restore its initial state following a change to it. If the head is detachable from the shaft, neither may be exchanged except as provided in this rule.
The following accessories may be supplied for guidance, convenience and decoration. Any accessory impeding a player may be removed temporarily.
(a) Corner flags coloured blue, red, black and yellow may be placed in corners I, II, III and IV respectively. They are to be mounted on posts about 12 inches (305 mm) high, either up to 12 inches (305 mm) outside the court, or touching the boundary but not intruding into the court.
(b) A check fence high enough to arrest the progress of balls may be placed around the boundary and about 1 1/2 yards (1.4 metres) outside it.
(c) White pegs, sufficiently prominent to be seen across the court, may be placed on or up to 12 inches (305 mm) outside the boundary to mark the ends of the halfway lines.
Commentary on Rule 4(c): A painted or other mark should be made on the ground where the pegs are placed to enable them to be accurately replaced after temporary removal.
(d) Two sets of clips may be provided to record the scoring of hoops. One set is to be blue or black and the other red or yellow (or other colours if alternative balls are used). The appropriate colour clip may be attached to a hoop by the side scoring that hoop.
(e) Where alternative colours are used regularly, a post displaying their colour sequence may be located just off the court.
5. The Start
(a) The side which wins the toss plays first with the blue ball or the equivalent alternative colour.
(b) All balls are initially played from a position on the court within a yard (914 mm) of corner IV.
Commentary on Rule 5(b): Local rules may allow for a variation in the starting area to reduce wear on corner IV. However such a variation should not be normal in tournament play. One such variation is to start on the East boundary within 3 yards of corner IV.
(c) When a match consists of more than one game, the players retain the same balls and the loser starts the next game with either ball of the side.
(d) Where a competition calls for more than one round of matches the winning of the toss may alternate between rounds.
(e) A game starts when a player strikes or attempts to strike a ball with the intention of starting the game.
Commentary on Rule 5(e): If the first player to play has an air-swing, the game has started for timing purposes and any non-striking fault occurring in the air-swing would apply.
(f) Balls are outside agencies until they are played into the game in accordance with this rule. If it is noticed that a wrong ball has been played before all four balls have been played into the game, Rule 11 does not apply and the game reverts to its state after the last turn played correctly in sequence.
(g) If the striker commits a non-striking fault before the ball is played in one of the first four turns of the game the ball remains an outside agency until it is played from the starting area in a later turn.
(h) If the striker commits a striking fault in one of the first four turns of the game, the ball has been played into the game irrespective of whether the opponent chooses to leave it where it stopped or to have it replaced in the position it occupied before the fault was committed.
6. The Turn
(a) Each turn consists of a single stroke and its consequences, ending when all balls moved in the turn have stopped moving or have left the court. A stroke is played when the striker strikes the striker's ball with a mallet. The accidental touching of a ball with the mallet by the striker while preparing to play a stroke counts as a stroke (or a fault). If a player while attempting to play a stroke makes contact with another ball before hitting the striker's ball, the first contact is a non-striking fault, not the playing of a wrong ball.
Commentary on Rule 6(a): (i) A turn starts when the striker strikes the striker's ball and ends when the balls have come to rest or left the court. The next turn starts when the next striker strikes that striker's ball. Between the two turns there is a brief period while the new striker takes up position or while the players make decisions about balls off the court, off-side or that had been involved in a fault. This period is not part of either turn.
(ii) While the striker is preparing to play a stroke, touching the striker's ball with the face of the mallet is a stroke, touching the striker's ball with another part of the mallet is a striking fault, while touching another ball is a non-striking fault.
(b) A player may not deem a stroke to have been played.
(c) An attempt to strike a ball which fails to touch it (an "air-swing") is not a stroke or a fault and, unless a non-striking fault is committed, the player is still the striker.
(d) As a result of a stroke the striker's ball may run a hoop in order and score a point, or points if two hoops are run in order, or may cause other balls to move and score a point or points.
(e) When two sides play simultaneously or nearly simultaneously, so that two balls are in motion at the same time, the striker is deemed to have played first irrespective of the actual order in which the two strokes were played and the other side commits a non-striking fault. If the commission of the fault affects the outcome of the striker's play, the striker may choose to have all balls affected by the fault replaced in the positions they occupied before the strokes were played and to replay the turn. If the striker's ball runs a hoop in order or causes another ball so to do after being affected by the fault, the striker may choose to waive the fault and score the point and, in that case, the other side does not lose its next turn.
(f) When both players of a side play simultaneously or nearly simultaneously so that two balls are in motion at the same time the striker's play stands and the partner has committed a non-striking fault. No replay is permitted.
(g) A ball leaves the court and becomes an outside agency if more than half of it crosses the boundary. It remains an outside agency until it is next played. Unless it is directed to be moved as an offside ball it is played from the point where it crossed the boundary. A player may request that a ball off the court be placed on the boundary, or that the position be marked, before any turn. The referee or in the absence of a referee the ball's owner is to determine the spot where the ball is placed.
Commentary on Rule 6(g): The exact position of a ball placed on the boundary will be important if a player is seeking to block its line of play or wishes to know if it will become off-side if the hoop is made. In such cases the player is entitled to ask for the placement before playing. A ball that has been placed on the boundary and is moved before it is played, is returned and played from the place where it left the court, except when it becomes offside and is directed to be moved.
CA Commentary on Rule 6(g): The Rule allows a player to request that the ball be placed on the boundary to denote the exact position it left the court. If a ball so placed might affect the outcome of a subsequent stroke, it may be marked then temporarily lifted while the stroke is played.
(h) If a ball cannot be placed on the boundary because of the presence of another ball on the court, it is to be placed after the other ball has been played. However, if the ball to be placed will be played before the other ball, it is placed on the boundary in contact with the other ball as near as possible to where it would otherwise be placed.
Commentary on Rule 6(h): The unusual situation described here covers the case of a ball rushing another ball off the court and either remaining just on the court itself or leaving the court at the same spot. If the rushing ball is still on the court and interferes with the placement, the ball off the court is placed in contact with it and played from that contact position. If both balls leave the court in the same spot, the second one to play is placed after the first ball has been played.
(i) If a ball placed on the boundary obstructs the playing of another ball, it is temporarily removed.
Commentary on Rule 6(i): A ball that has left the court is an outside agency until it is played. As an outside agency it is to be moved if it may interfere with the playing of a stroke.
(j) If a ball moves after its position has been agreed, it is to be returned to the agreed position. The position of the ball is agreed if the next player has played or if the position of the ball has been ruled on by a referee or the players.
7. Scoring a Point
(a) A ball scores a point by passing through the correct hoop in the order and direction shown in Diagram 1. This is known as running a hoop. If a ball first enters its hoop in order in the direction opposite to that shown in Diagram 1, it cannot score the point for itself in the same turn. If it has so entered, it cannot score the point in a subsequent turn unless it stops in a position in which it has not started to run the hoop.
Diagram 2: Running a Hoop
(b) Running a hoop is illustrated in Diagram 2. The ball starts to run a hoop as soon as the front of the ball breaks the plane of the non-playing side of the hoop. It completes the running if it stops clear of the plane of the playing side.
(c) A ball may run a hoop in one or more turns.
Commentary on Rule 7(c): If a ball enters a hoop in order from the playing side but stops in the hoop, and in a later turn a fault is committed that allows the ball to be replaced in the hoop, then the ball can complete the running of the hoop from that position.
(d) If a stroke causes more than one ball to run the hoop, the ball nearest the hoop before the stroke scores the point.
(e) Both sides are responsible for keeping the score, the striker (or referee) announcing it after each point is scored.
Commentary on Rule 7(e): The usual format for announcing the score is to first call the score of the side which has just scored and then the other side's score.
(f) If a ball jams in a hoop in contact with both uprights, the hoop is to be adjusted, or, if the ball is too large, it is to be replaced. The player who played the turn in which the ball became jammed then chooses to replace any balls moved and replay the turn or to have the balls left as they finished with the ball in the hoop.
CA Ruling on Rule 7(f): The words "it is to be replaced" are to be interpreted as if they read "it is to be exchanged for one of the correct size". If the last player chooses not to replay the turn, the ball which jammed or its replacement should be placed half-way through the hoop.
(a) In doubles play, players may advise their partners and assist in the playing of a stroke by indicating the direction in which the mallet should be swung. However, when the stroke is actually played, the partner is to stand well clear of the striker or any position which might assist the striker in gauging the strength or direction of the stroke.
(b) If asked, a player is to tell an opponent the score, which hoop is next in order, which ball was played last, or how any ball over the halfway line reached its position.
(c) If a player acts on incorrect information given by the opponent and it is discovered before the player plays the same ball again, the player shall have the choice of a replay or allowing the play to stand, including any points scored in order.
(d) A player may not give tactical advice to the opposing side. If such advice is given then Rule 14(a)(2) applies. Players on the opposing side may choose to act on the advice or to ignore it.
(e) While advice, other than encouragement, should not be given from off the court, a player is entitled to act on such advice.
Commentary on Rule 8(e): Management, rather than players and referees, should seek to prevent off-court advice. Local Rules, with management permission, may allow advice from off the court.
CA Ruling on Rule 8(e): This rule is to be interpreted as though "off the court" includes other players on the same court but involved in a separate game. A player is not to solicit advice from anyone except their partner in doubles.
(a) Loose impediments on the court may be removed. Examples include worm casts, twigs, leaves, nuts, refuse and similar material.
(b) The striker is entitled to relief from damage on the court, which is not a normal feature of that particular court nor is a consequence of ball damage, if in the opinion of both players or of a referee it affects play. The damage is to be repaired if possible. If this is impractical the balls may be moved so as to give the striker no advantage. A ball so moved but not affected by the stroke is to be replaced after the turn has ended.
Commentary on Rule 9(b): Holes that result from patchy grass cover should be thought of as normal features, whereas holes formed by weed repair or mallet damage are not normal features. Holes or runs in the lawn caused by repeated ball movement, particularly in hoops, should be treated as normal features of an indifferent court. A sprinkler head hole is an outside agency.
(c) Where a fixed obstacle outside the court interferes with a striker's swing or where the ground levels outside the boundary prevent the striker from adopting a level stance, the striker, with the consent of the opponent or referee, may move the ball to a point on the line connecting the point where the ball lies and the striker's intended target. The ball may be moved only the minimum distance to avoid the obstruction or uneven ground. If other balls lie within a yard (914 mm) of the original position of the striker's ball and are likely to interfere with the passage of the striker's ball, they are to be moved an equal distance into the court, parallel to the line of play, before the stroke is played, so that their relative positions remain the same. If such balls are not disturbed by the stroke, they are to be replaced after the turn has ended.
Commentary on Rule 9(c): Where a boundary is close to a fence line or similar obstruction it is acceptable to move the boundary and corner hoops towards the centre line by 18 inches or more if that will make room for players to swing unimpeded.
(d) An outside agency is any agency unconnected with the game. Examples include animals, spectators, a referee other than the players, the players or equipment from another game, accessories, a ball off the court or a ball directed to be played from a penalty spot and other stray objects. Neither loose impediments nor weather are outside agencies.
(e) If an outside agency or weather moves a stationary ball, it is to be replaced before the next stroke.
(f) If an outside agency interferes with a moving ball during a turn while the outcome of the stroke is still in doubt, any balls moved by the stroke are to be replaced and the stroke is to be replayed. If the outcome of the stroke is not in doubt, the ball that suffered interference is to be placed where it would otherwise have stopped.
Commentary on Rule 9(f): The outcome of a stroke that suffers interference is in doubt if there was a reasonable chance that the ball would have finished in a critical position (hoop running or blocking position), would have cleared a ball from a critical position or would have run a hoop. If there is little chance of one of these happening then the outcome is not in doubt, even though the exact finishing position would be unknown.
(g) If an outside agency, other than a scoring clip attached to a hoop, is in place before a stroke is played, and the outside agency is hit by a moving ball, then Rule 9(f) does not apply. The opponent has the choice of leaving the moving ball where it stopped or of placing it where the opponent felt it would have stopped if there had been no interference. In particular no replay is permitted.
(h) When attempting to run a hoop if the ball makes contact with a scoring clip that is attached to the hoop the ball remains where it comes to rest, there is no replay and no hoop point is scored.
(i) After suffering interference a moving ball may not cause a stationary ball to move. Any ball so moved is to be replaced.
(j) A player may lift a ball, with or without permission, in order to prevent it being struck by an outside agency.
(k) No point may be scored for any ball through interference.
10. Offside Balls
Diagram 3: Halfway Line and Halfway Points
(a) Between a hoop just scored and the next hoop in order there is a line called the halfway line. The halfway lines for each hoop are shown in Diagram 3. A-F is the line halfway between the centre lines of hoops 1 and 2, and hoops 5 and 6. C-H is the line halfway between the centre lines of hoops 5 and 6, and hoops 3 and 4. B-G is the line through the centres of hoops 5 and 6. D-E is the line through the peg that is perpendicular to the East and West boundaries. They apply as follows:
|When the next hoop in order is||The Halfway Line is|
|7 & 17||A-F|
|3, 9 & 15||B-G|
|5 & 11||C-H|
7th hoop in a 7-point game
(b) At the end of a turn in which a hoop point was scored, any ball, all of which is resting beyond the halfway line for the next hoop in order is an offside ball unless it reached its position as a result of:
(1) the stroke just played; or
(2) a stroke, wrong ball play or fault played or committed by an opponent, however this exemption does not apply to a ball whose owner misses a turn in that position because of a non-striking fault; or
(3) contact with an opponent's ball, however this exemption does not result from a ball played away from an opponent's ball with which it was in contact, unless it moves that ball in the stroke; or
(4) being directed to a penalty spot.
Commentary on Rule 10(b): Unless it can be clearly seen that all of a ball is over a halfway line, the ball should be ruled as not over the halfway line.
(c)(1) Before their next stroke is played, the opponent of the owner of an offside ball is entitled to direct that the offside ball is next to be played from either penalty spot D or E in Diagram 3 as chosen by the opponent. A ball that is directed to be played from a penalty spot is an outside agency until it is played. If the offside ball is not so directed it remains a ball in play.
Commentary on Rule 10(c)(1): An offside ball only becomes an outside agency if it is directed to be played from a penalty spot. Once it has been directed to be moved it may be left where it is, sent towards the penalty spot or placed on the spot. However as an outside agency it is to be moved, at any player's request, to avoid interference with play. A ball so directed remains an outside agency until it is played from the directed penalty spot.
CA Commentary on Rule 10(c)(1): The following should be considered added to the end of the Commentary on this rule: "; similarly, it cannot become offside again until played from the directed penalty spot."
(2) If the owner of an offside ball plays before the opponent has given a direction under Rule 10(c)(1) and before the opponent has played, the opponent may require the stroke to be replayed after Rule 10(c)(1) is applied. Before the stroke is replayed any balls moved by the first stroke are replaced. A player required to replay a ball under this Rule is no longer entitled to rule on an opponent's offside ball at the same hoop. Reference to play by the owner of an offside ball in this rule includes play by the partner in a doubles game and play of either of the owner's balls in a singles game.
CA Ruling on Law 10(c)(2): This rule is to be interpreted as if playing before the opponent has given a direction includes playing without acknowledging or acting on a direction given. A player should ensure that any directions under 10(c)(1) are given clearly, making allowances for any known hearing difficulty of their opponent(s).
11. Playing a Wrong Ball
CA Commentary on Rule 11: This rule does not apply in the following cases:
- First three turns of the game - see Rule 5(f)
- Accidental contact with another ball - see Rule 6(a)
- Simultaneous play - see Rules 6(e) and (f)
- Playing before the previous turn ends - see Rule 13(a)(14)
(a) If any player believes that a wrong ball may have been played, play should be stopped while the correct next play is discovered using this rule.
CA Ruling on Rule 11: This rule is to be interpreted as if an additional sub-rule was inserted immediately before 11(b):
"If, when play is stopped, it is discovered that the same side has played the last two or more turns (but not as a consequence of a non-striking fault by the opponent), then a wrong ball has been played. No points are scored in any turn after either a correct ball or the opponent played. The opponent of the player of the wrong ball may choose to have the balls replaced where they were before any of those turns or left where they stopped and to restart the sequence with either ball of their side. Otherwise sub-rules (b) to (g) apply."
(b) If in the last turn the striker, identified by Rule 1(e), has played any ball other than the striker's ball, then a wrong ball has been played and
(1) if the ball belongs to the striker, no points are scored for any ball, the ball and any other ball moved are replaced, and unless Rule 13 would have applied, the correct ball is played; or
(2) if the ball does not belong to the striker, no points are scored for any ball and the opponent(s) may choose to have the balls replaced or left where they stopped and to restart the sequence with either ball of their side.
(c) If in the last turn the striker's partner has played, then a wrong ball has been played, and
(1) if the ball belongs to the striker's partner, no points are scored for any ball, the ball and any other ball moved are replaced and, unless Rule 13 would have applied, the correct ball is played, or
(2) if the ball does not belong to the striker's partner, no points are scored for any ball and the opponents may choose to have the balls replaced or left where they stopped and to restart the sequence with either ball of their side.
(d) If in the last turn any other player has played, then a wrong ball has been played. No points are scored for any ball and the opponent of the player of the wrong ball may choose to have the balls replaced or left where they stopped and to restart the sequence with either ball of their side.
(e) If, when play is stopped, it is discovered that the last player had played a ball which belongs to them but that the previous stroke was played by the opponent with a ball that did not belong to their side, then the last stroke condones the previous error and all points scored in these strokes are valid, subject to Rule 13. Play then continues by the opponent playing the ball that follows in sequence from the ball played last.
CA Ruling on Rule 11(e): This rule is to be interpreted as if the first sentence read:
"Provided when play is stopped, it is discovered the last player had played a ball which belongs to that last player, it condones without penalty for either side a previous stroke that was played by an opponent with a ball not belonging to the opponent(s). Subject to Rule 13, the last turn is deemed to be valid and any points scored in either turn are valid."
(f) If one or more wrong balls have been played but play is not stopped immediately then all points scored are counted for the owner of the relevant balls and play continues until the game ends or a wrong ball play is identified. Only the wrong ball play discovered immediately before play is stopped is dealt with, using Rule 11(b), (c), or (d) as appropriate.
(g) If a sequence of wrong ball plays is followed by a ball played in sequence, all of the play is condoned, and play is to continue in sequence.
(h) A player or referee should forestall a player if the player is about to play a stroke to which Rule 11(b)(1) or Rule 11(c)(1) would apply, but in no other circumstances.
12. Non-Striking Faults
(a) A non-striking fault is committed if a moving ball touches any part of a player, or the player`s mallet, clothing or personal property, or a player touches, moves or shakes a stationary ball, with any part of the body, clothes or mallet either directly or by hitting a hoop or the peg, except when:
(1) the striker touches the striker`s ball with the mallet when playing a stroke; or
(2) a player touches a ball in accordance with these Rules or marks or cleans it with the permission of the opponent or referee; or
(3) a player plays a wrong ball; or
(4) the ball is an outside agency.
Commentary on Rule 12(a)(1): If while attempting to play a stroke the striker touches another ball with the mallet, body or clothes, before hitting the striker's ball, the non-striking fault coming first cancels the stroke. In effect the striker has not had a turn. See also Rule 12(c)(4). Any balls moved in this play, whether directly from the touch on another ball or from the resulting hit on the striker's ball, are subject to the
opponent's choice under Rule 12(c)(1). As the striker's attempt to play the turn is cancelled the same player is still the striker. The turn the striker loses under Rule 12(c)(4) is the turn the striker has attempted to play. The owner of the next ball in sequence becomes the striker. There is no further penalty. This is addressed again in the commentary on Rule 13(a)(12)&(13).
(b) A non-striking fault is also committed if a player causes damage to the court that, before it is repaired, is capable of affecting a subsequent stroke played over the damaged area, except when the striker is playing a stroke.
Commentary on Rule 12(b): This includes damage in an air-swing, or any careless use of mallet, feet or other equipment. Damage that breaks or dents the surface, so that a ball rolled gently over the damage may change direction, would be a fault. Damage that scuffs the surface but would not cause a ball to change direction is not a fault, nor is damage outside the boundary of the court. A referee or a player should immediately repair such damage, although the assessment is made before the damage is repaired.
(c) Action after a non-striking fault:
(1) If a non-striking fault affects one or more stationary balls, the opponent chooses whether to leave them where they stop or to have them all replaced where they were before the fault was committed.
(2) If a non-striking fault affects a moving ball, the opponent chooses whether to leave the ball and any other balls moved because of the fault where they stop, or to have the moving ball placed where it would have stopped, and the other balls moved, replaced where they were before the fault was committed. However, if the outcome of the stroke was in doubt when a non-striking fault committed by the striker's opponent occurred, the stroke is to be played again.
Commentary on Rule 12(c)(2): (i) The option to replace any balls moved after a non-striking fault applies only to balls moved because of the fault.
(ii) The outcome of a stroke affected by a non-striking fault is in doubt if there was a reasonable chance that the ball would have finished in a critical position (hoop running or blocking position), would have cleared a ball from a critical position or would have run a hoop. If there is little chance of one of these happening then the outcome is not in doubt, even though the exact finishing position would be unknown.
(3) No points may be scored by any ball by a non-striking fault.
(4) The side that commits the non-striking fault loses its next turn. Should a non-striking fault be committed by the striker's side, before the striker's turn is played, then the turn lost is the current turn.
CA Ruling on Rule 12(c)(4): The rule is to be interpreted as if the following sentence were appended to the end of the Rule:
"When a side loses its next turn, it is deemed to have been played with the ball of the side which would have followed the ball played immediately before the turn to be lost. If the side would have been entitled to play either ball of the side under Rule 11, it must nominate which ball is deemed to have been played."
(5) If a non-striking fault is committed but play is not stopped before the opponent has played a stroke there is no remedy, and play continues as if the fault had not been committed.
Commentary on Rule 12 (c)(5): This rule says there is no remedy if play is not stopped after a non-striking fault and before the opponent plays. But Rule 12(c)(3) does not permit a hoop to be scored by such an action. It is unlikely that a non-striking fault that was not noticed immediately would cause a ball to run the hoop in order. However, if this did happen and was noticed when the ball's owner came to play it, Rule 12(c)(5) says there is no remedy so the offender does not miss a turn, and Rule 6(j) says the ball is to be moved back to its agreed position (not through the hoop).
13. Striking Faults
(a) A striking fault can only be committed from the time the striker's ball is struck by the mallet until the striker leaves the stance under control. It is a fault if, in striking, the striker:
(1) touches the head of the mallet with a hand;
(2) rests the shaft of the mallet or a hand or arm on the ground or an outside agency;
(3) rests the shaft of the mallet or a hand or arm directly connected with the stroke against any part of the legs or feet;
(4) causes the mallet to strike the striker's ball by kicking, hitting, dropping or throwing the mallet;
(5) strikes the striker's ball with any part of the mallet other than an end face, either (i) deliberately; or (ii) accidentally in a stroke which requires special care because of the proximity of a hoop or the peg or another ball;
(6) "double taps" the striker's ball by striking it more than once in the same stroke or allows the striker's ball to retouch the mallet;
(7) causes the striker's ball to touch a hoop or the peg while still in contact with the mallet;
(8) causes the striker's ball, while still in contact with the mallet, to touch another ball, unless the balls were in contact before the stroke;
(9) strikes the striker's ball when it lies in contact with a hoop upright or the peg otherwise than in a direction away therefrom;
(10) moves or shakes a ball at rest by hitting a hoop or peg with the mallet or any part of the body or clothes;
(11) maintains contact with the striker's ball by pushing or pulling the ball with the mallet;
(12) touches a ball other than the striker's ball with the mallet;
(13) touches a ball with any part of the body or clothes;
(14) plays before the previous turn ends;
(15) plays any stroke in which the mallet causes damage to the court that, before it is repaired, is capable of affecting a subsequent turn played over the damaged area.
Commentary on Rule 13(a): The striking period ends when the striker 'leaves the stance under control'. This is a matter for the referee to decide and is intended to penalise a striker who plays a stroke in such a way that a ball is likely to rebound onto the mallet or clothing and, to avoid this, jumps out of the way and lands or falls on yet another ball. There are three cases where the striker is not under control:
1 jumping to avoid a moving ball
2 playing in an off balance position and falling out of the stance;
3 disturbing a ball he was trying to avoid when leaving a stance restricted (or changed) because of the presence of another ball.
Providing the striker's body leaves the stance under control the striking period can be considered to end when the striker begins to withdraw the mallet after the stroke. If the mallet touches another ball or causes one to move by touching a hoop while being withdrawn in control such a touch is a non-striking fault, and the stroke stands. However, if the mallet touches a ball or causes one to move by hitting a hoop, while the striker is leaving the stance without control, a striking fault is committed (Rule 13(a)(10) or (12)) and the hoop would not count.
CA Ruling on Rules 13(a)(1) to (3): A fault is not committed under these sub-rules if the touching or resting occurs after striker has completed the swing in which the stroke was played.
Commentary on Rule 13(a)(4): Although a striking fault can occur only after the striker's ball is struck, and the actions covered by this rule occur before then, it is when the ball is struck as a result of one of these actions that it becomes such a fault.
Commentary on Rule 13(a)(6): A "double tap" is likely to occur if a gentle shot is played with excessive follow through, or if a hard shot is played along the line of two balls close together. In the latter case if the two balls are less than 5cm apart a hard shot is likely to cause a "double tap", even if played as a stun shot. Played with follow through a "double tap" may occur even if the balls are 15 cm or more apart. The excessive distance travelled by the striker's ball will indicate this. Playing at an angle to the line of centres will reduce the likelihood of a "double tap".
CA Commentary on Rules 13(a)(6) and (8): See Appendix B for further guidance to players and referees on double taps.
Commentary on Rules 13(a)(12) & (13): Note that if the striker's mallet or body touches another ball before hitting the striker's ball a non-striking fault is committed. If the mallet or body touches another ball after hitting the striker's ball but before leaving the stance a striking fault is committed. Under these rules both have the same consequences, so the distinction in this case is no longer important, except for Rules 16(f) and (g). If the contact occurs after the striker has left their stance then the stroke is valid, any points made are scored, but a non-striking fault has subsequently occurred.
Commentary on Rule 13(a)(15): See the comment on Rule 12(b), but note that for this damage to be a striking fault it must be caused by the mallet. Damage caused by a ball is not a striking fault.
(b) Action after a striking fault:
(1) If the fault is noticed before the opponent has played a stroke the opponent chooses whether the balls remain where they stop after the fault or are replaced in the positions they occupied before the fault was committed. In either case no point is scored for any ball.
(2) Otherwise there is no remedy, and play continues as if the fault had not been committed.
(3) If a player commits a non-striking fault on a ball that is still moving after a striking fault has been committed by the other side, any balls moved are to be replaced where they were before the striking fault was committed and the side that committed the non-striking fault loses its next turn.
Commentary on Rule 13(b)(3): When a player commits a striking fault and then, while one of the balls is still moving, it hits an opponent a non-striking fault has also occurred. As both sides are entitled to direct where the balls are to be played from, this rule resolves the conflict. However, should a player commit a striking fault and then the same player or the partner commit a non-striking fault on a ball still moving, Rules 12(c) and 13(b)(1) cover both faults without contradiction.
(a) Players are responsible for maintaining good standards of behaviour towards other players, equipment, courts and spectators. Examples of unacceptable behaviour for which players may be penalised include, but are not limited to, cases where a player:
(1) leaves the vicinity of the court during a match without permission from the opponent, referee or the manager.
(2) offers tactical advice to an opponent during a match.
(3) physically abuses their mallet or other equipment
(4) disturbs other players during the match by talking, making noises, standing or moving in front of the striker, except as permitted or required by the rules.
(5) argues aggressively or continuously with or is aggressive towards another player.
(6) fails to accept a decision of a referee on a matter of fact or shows lack of respect for a referee.
(7) knowingly or repeatedly plays the partner ball.
CA Ruling on Rule 14(a)(7): The underlying principle extends to the deliberate or repeated playing of an opponent's ball, or to playing two or more turns in succession, or pretending to play a stroke so as to induce the opponent(s) to play two or more turns in succession.
(8) wastes time. Players are to play with reasonable dispatch. The striker is to play within 1 minute of the last turn ending, except where the game is held up while a ball is retrieved or a referee called.
Commentary on Rule 14(a)(8): (i) A player may request that a referee, spectator, (or in the absence of these) a player, be appointed to time turns for all players. This "time-keeper" may be later dismissed during the game by mutual consent of the players.
(ii) This rule does not give players permission to wait for 1 minute before playing. Rather it is intended to prevent excessive deliberation before playing.
CA Ruling on Rule 14(a)(8): The 1 minute period in which to play the next stroke is to be regarded as guidance for players, or for a Referee In Charge supervising a match as a consequence of previous alleged slow play. Any activity, other than deliberating, which can reasonably be regarded as essential or integral to the game and player, and which is carried out with due dispatch, should not be included in the one minute time limit. It is not the intention that the time taken for each turn shall be routinely monitored, only that a means exists for exceptionally slow play to be dealt with.
(9) plays after the opponent has clearly asked that play is stopped to enable an action to be investigated or a ball to be placed.
(10) places a mark or marker to assist the striker in gauging the strength or direction of a stroke.
(11) except with the permission of an opponent or referee, attempts to perform a physical test to determine whether a point has been scored or may be scored.
(12) provides wrong information to an opponent when asked in accordance with Rule 8(b).
(13) attempts to repair lawn damage that may indicate a fault, before it is ruled on by a referee or opponent.
(14) smokes or drinks alcohol during a game.
CA Variation of Rule 14(a)(14): This rule does not apply. However if they see fit, clubs may impose restrictions on smoking, drinking, use of mobile phones etc. and should clearly display them.
(15) acts in such a manner that may bring the game into disrepute.
(b) When a referee is in charge of a match and a player behaves in any unacceptable way the referee is to warn the player not to do so again. If, during the same match, the offending side repeats the behaviour or another unacceptable behaviour, the referee is to stop the match and the next player on the offending side loses their turn. After a further occurrence of unacceptable behaviour in the same match, by the same side, the referee is to stop the match and award it to the opposing side. In this case the score in the match in progress is recorded as the winning total (4, 7 or 10) to the winner and the score already recorded by the loser when the game is stopped. Any subsequent games in the match are won to zero.
(c) In the absence of a referee the players are responsible for monitoring behaviour during a match. If a player behaves in any unacceptable way the opponent is to draw attention to the behaviour, and issue a warning not to do so again. If the players are unable to agree that the player has behaved unacceptably the game should be stopped until a referee has ruled on the situation. The referee may rule that the next player on the offending side loses their next turn, and may rule that any repetition of that or another unacceptable behaviour will result in loss of the match.
Commentary on Rule 14(c): This rule places a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the players involved. Where possible any disagreement should be resolved amicably, otherwise a referee should be called.
(a) The players in all matches are responsible for the fair and correct application of these Rules. A referee may be placed in charge of a match, or may be called on to assist, or may in specific instances intervene to ensure the match proceeds according to these Rules. The presence or absence of a referee does not change the obligation on a player to follow fair and correct play. Players are to warn the other side before playing strokes that may produce a fault or that are forceful. In the absence of a referee, if there is a difference of opinion on a matter of fact, the opinion of the player with the best view is to be preferred, but if two views are equal, the striker's opinion prevails.
(b) Regulations governing the appointment, powers and duties of referees are contained in the WCF Refereeing Regulations. Where a referee is not available the players are joint referees for the match.
[CA editor's note: this rule has been distilled from the WCF text to cover purely the necessary rules for handicap play. Details of the CA's automatic handicap system can be found on the CA website www.croquet.org.uk under Golf Croquet->Handicapping.]
(a) Handicap games may be played to allow players of different abilities to compete so that they will have more equal chances of success. Rules 1 to 15 above apply except as indicated in this Rule. Each player is allotted a handicap according to ability.
(b) In singles the weaker player is allowed a number of extra turns. The number of extra turns received, for 7-point, 13-point and 19-point games, is shown in the table on the CA website.
(c) In doubles extra turns are given to a player, not a side. The number given by the lower-handicapped player in one side to the lower-handicapped player in the other side is shown in the table on the CA website. The same procedure applies to the higher-handicapped players in each side.
(d) No point may be scored for the striker's side in an extra turn.
(e) An extra turn may only be played by a striker at the end of that striker's turn and is to be played with the same ball. A striker may play an extra turn at any stage in the game, and, if receiving more than one, may play extra turns in succession.
(f) At the end of a turn a striker intending to take an extra turn is to give a clear indication of the intention and stop the opponent from playing. When a striker decides to play an extra turn after committing a striking fault, Rule 13(b)(1) does not apply and the balls are replaced in the positions they occupied before the fault was committed. A striker who is entitled to play an extra turn and indicates an intention to do so may revoke that decision at any time before playing the stroke, unless the balls have been replaced after a striking fault. The striker's intention not to play an extra turn shall be indicated clearly. A striker who has indicated that an extra turn will not be played is not permitted to change that decision.
CA Ruling on Rule 16(f): The rule states that a striker should give an indication of their intention to take an extra turn "at the end of their turn". When the striker has any unused extra turns, this requirement is to be interpreted as having the following addition:
"When considering whether or not to take an extra turn, a player shall clearly indicate that this is what they are doing and stop the opponent from playing. The opponent may also ask the player if they are considering whether or not to take an extra turn."
CA Commentary on Rule 16(f): Both players have a responsibility to ensure the smooth operation of the extra turn system. Before deciding whether to take an extra turn, it is unacceptable behaviour for a player to wait deliberately to see what stroke their opponent intends to play. Equally, the opponent behaves unacceptably if they deliberately attempt to play before the player has had time to think.
(g) An extra turn may not be taken in place of a turn missed because of a non-striking fault or the playing of a wrong ball. If such an extra turn is played and play is stopped before the opponent plays then any balls moved are replaced, the opponent then plays and the right to the extra turn is restored to the owner. However, if such an extra turn is played, and the opponent then plays before play is stopped, the extra turn stands as valid play.
(h) The administration of the handicap system is the responsibility of each National Croquet Association.
--- end of 4th Edition Rules ---
Appendix A: Time Limits
Unless published otherwise before the start of a tournament, the following regulations will apply to any tournament in the CA programme - these are extracted from the CA Tournament Regulations available in full on the CA website. In exceptional circumstances such as loss of lawn availability due to adverse weather, the manager may vary these regulations to ensure the tournament is completed.
T4 Golf Croquet
- a. PERMITTED TIME LIMITS.
- BEFORE A GAME. The Manager may impose a time limit of not less than 45 minutes for a 13-point game, or 50 minutes if double-banked:
- on all games in an event, provided that such a time limit is advertised in advance or announced at the tournament before the start of the event, in which case, subject to Regulation M2(c)(3), it may not be removed; or
- on each game in any round of an event.
- DURING A GAME. If no time limit has been imposed under (a)(1) above, the Manager may impose a time limit of not less than a further 15 minutes on any game that has been in progress for at least 45 minutes (50 minutes with double-banking).
- OTHER FORMS OF PLAY. The time limits that may be imposed under (a)(1) above for other forms of play are as follows.
- For matches that are best of three games, cumulative limits of 50, 90 and 120 minutes for the first, second and third game respectively; time taken to complete a game after time has expired is deducted from that available for subsequent ones. If a match consists of more than three games, the time limits shall be extended by 30 minutes for each additional game. These are known as standard time limits and, unless otherwise advertised, are also the minimum time limits that may be applied.
- For 19-point games, the minimum time limits specified in (a)(1) and (a)(2) above will be 60 minutes or 70 minutes if double banked.
- BEFORE A GAME. The Manager may impose a time limit of not less than 45 minutes for a 13-point game, or 50 minutes if double-banked:
b. EXPIRY OF TIME LIMIT.
(1) When the time allowed expires, play shall continue for an extension period of eight further strokes. After this extension period, the winner shall be the side which has scored the most points.
(2) If at the end of the extension period, the scores are level and no announcement has been made before the start of the event that a tied outcome is acceptable, play then continues and the side for which the next point is scored shall be the winner (any points scored subsequently in the stroke are ignored).
(3) In handicap games, after the time limit has expired, an extra turn may not be played during the extension period allowed under b(1) above. After the extension period, if the scores remain level and play continues under b(2) above, an unused extra turn may again be played at any time.
(4) For the sole purpose of determining whether the striker's turn ends before or after time is called, it is deemed that the striker's turn ends and the adversary's turn begins as soon as the striker's ball is struck.
Appendix B: Double Tap Guidance for Players and Referees
Rule 13(a)(6) provides that a fault is committed in a double tap. High speed photography has shown if two balls are close together (up to 4mm) before a stroke is played along the line of their centres, an actual double tap is unlikely because the mallet and striker's ball will probably still be in contact when the first ball hits the second ball. It is impossible for a referee to detect reliably a double tap in such situations.
Accordingly, Rule 13(a)(8) resolves this problem by making it a fault if the mallet is in contact with a ball that is in contact with another ball (unless the two balls started in contact). All strokes involving a mallet being driven into balls 4mm or less apart will constitute a fault under either of these sub-rules.
For separations above 4mm, where contact is made along the line of centres, a double tap will have occurred if the ratio of front ball travel to back ball travel does not exceed 8:1, measured from the point of contact.
Playing the stroke at an angle, causing the balls to separate in a split, will reduce the likelihood of a double tap.
Appendix C: Changes From the 3rd Edition
Notes From the WCF GC Rules Committee
These Rules are intended for use in all WCF sponsored competitions. They were also designed to be used by all National Croquet Associations where Golf Croquet is played. However it is recognised that special conditions will apply in some countries and clubs due to weather, terrain and different traditions. Such conditions may well be most appropriately dealt with by using local variations in the rules.
There are minor wording changes in Rule 1, but note:
- 1(a) The commonly used alternative colours are now mentioned.
- 1(c) now includes when a match ends.
- The commentary on 1(c) allows for 2 game matches, which is not the same as a double round robin.
- For games played to a 2 point advantage, the commentary suggests that the game stops after a further 6 hoops or when a 2 point advantage is reached. If after the 6 hoops the game is tied management may choose to break the tie.
- The use and application of time limits are a management choice. The Rule and commentary are deliberately non-prescriptive.
- 1(d) In the 7 point game the last (7th) hoop is now made by running hoop 1 again. This makes the play to the last hoop similar to that in the 13 and 19 point games in that players turn back to the left for the last hoop.
- 1(f) has been expanded to cover what happens if both players have been competing for the wrong hoops and at least one wrong hoop has been run.
- 1(g) clarifies something already well understood.
- The first sentence of the commentary of 1(h) covers the situation where other coloured or marked balls are used in place of the normal or alternative colours.
Rule 2 has been expanded in consultation with the ILC to use the same wording as applies in Association Croquet, where a common rule is appropriate, as the two games are played on the same courts in many places. Apart from introducing tolerances for court layout, there are no significant changes here.
Rule 3 The Rule has been expanded in consultation with the ILC to use the same wording as applies in Association Croquet, where a common rule is appropriate, as the two games are played on the same courts in many places. Modifications include:
- 3(a) introduces tolerances, permission to straighten a leaning peg and the addition of alternative colours on the peg.
- 3(b) introduces tolerances and permission to straighten a leaning hoop. It also allows for the square topped hoops as used in Egypt.
- 3(c) leaves the final detailed specification of balls to the tournament management.
- 3(d) adds detail to mallet specification, but makes no significant changes.
Rule 4 has no significant changes. A suggestion is made in the commentary, and approval for alternative colours on the peg has been removed to Rule 3(a).
Rule 5 (a) now allows for alternative coloured balls being used at the start.
- In a best of 3 or 5 match, Rule 5(c) requires the loser of the previous game to start the next game.
- In events played as a double or triple round robin among the same players Rule 5(d) allows the manager to choose to alternate the winning of the toss or to have a fresh toss in each round.
- 5(e) defines when the game starts.
Rule 6 Ruling 6.1 has been added to Rule 6(a).
The old Rulings 9.1 and 9.2 have been included in this rule as 6(e) & (f). Otherwise only clarifying changes have been made.
In Rule 7 a commentary has been added to allow a ball replaced in a hoop after a fault to score from that position.
Rule 8 Ruling 8.1 which offered protection against incorrect information supplied by an opponent has been added as Rule 8(c).
Two new rules dealing with advice from an opponent or spectator have been added. Rule 14(a)(2) deals with an opponent giving advice, and the Management should deal with spectators giving advice, but in both cases the players being advised should not be penalised when they still had the chance to recognise a change in play themselves. Rules 8(d) & (e) cover this.
Rule 9 A slightly modified old Ruling 9.3 is incorporated as Rule 9(g).
- Ruling 9.4 was felt to be giving too much advice to the striker, but a modified form appears as 9(h).
- Rule 9(j) now allows an emergency lift of a ball to avoid a wayward ball without incurring a non-striking fault.
Rule 10 Defining of the halfway lines has been moved from the diagram to Rule 10(a). This includes defining the halfway line for hoop 7 in a 7 point game.
- To avoid delay, a commentary has been added to Rule 10(b) making it easier to judge whether a ball is off side or not.
- The three old Rulings 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3 have been added to the Rules 10(b)(2), 10(b)(3) and 10(c)(2) respectively.
Rule 11 Rule 1(e) defines which ball is to be played in any turn and who is the striker. When something else happens Rule 11 now looks at what to do if (b) the striker has not played the striker's ball, (c) the striker's partner in doubles has played, or (d) anyone else has played. These cases cover all situations when the first wrong ball played is noticed. If more than one wrong ball is played before play is stopped then (e) deals with the case where a player has played an opponent's ball and the next player plays before it was noticed; (f) deals with the case where a ball is played in correct sequence after out of sequence play; and (g) deals with a series of wrong ball plays terminated by a wrong ball being noticed or the game ending. A major concern here has been our inability to agree on a method that would prevent 'gifted' hoops in all cases, without conferring the 'gifted hoop' to the other side.
Rule 12 A minor change to Rule 12(b) has clarified the intent of the rule.
Rule 13 There have been some contradictory ideas about the time when a striking fault may occur ends. We have adopted here in the commentary to Rule 13 the same approach as that used in Association Croquet, which has the advantage of clarity. Also 13(a)(10) has been returned to the list of faults.
Rule 14 New wording for Rule 14 (a) makes it clearer that the list of unacceptable behaviours is not exhaustive.
- Rule 14(a)(8) introduces a time limit of 1 minute between strokes, with flexibility allowed for hold-ups in play. The emphasis is still on not wasting time.
- Rule 14(a)(13) is intended to penalise players who try to hide lawn damage they have produced.
- Rule 14(a)(14) reintroduces the restriction against smoking and drinking alcohol during a game.
- Rule 14(b), which deals with this Rule when there is a referee present has been expanded to cover any unacceptable behaviour for a first or subsequent offence.
- Rule 14(c), which deals with the very common situation of there being no referee present on the court, seeks to find amicable agreement between the players, calling on a referee only if agreement cannot be found. Common courtesy and sense should prevail and is ultimately in the hands of the management, if the players cannot resolve any issues.
Rule 15 has been reduced because we now have an approved WCF Refereeing Regulation, and so we did not feel it necessary to repeat the issues here.
The major change in Rule 16 is in the allocation of extra turns in Handicap Doubles matches. The change has been trialled for 3 years in New Zealand and for a shorter time in Australia (CA Ed: but will not be adopted in England. Instead, an abbreviated Rule 16 is included and details covering the working of the CA's Automatic Handicap System may be found on the CA website www.croquet.org.uk under Golf Croquet->Handicapping).
References are to Rule (not page) numbers and to Appendices. Occasionally, reference is made to Rulings or Commentary, which can be found adjacent to the associated Rule.
Accessories: 4, 9(d)
Accidental touching: 6(a), 11
Advice: 8, 14(a)(2)
Air-swing: 6(c), Commentary 5(e), Commentary 12(b)
agreement of position: 6(j)
alternative: 1(e), 1(h), 3(c)(1)
colour: 1(a), 3(c)(1)
jamming in hoop: 7(f)
off court: 6(g-i)
owner: 1(e), 5, 11
Bisque - see Handicaps, extra turns
actual boundary: 2(a), 2(b)(1)
ball crossing boundary: 6(g)
markings, multiple: 2(b)(1)
names: 2(a)(2), Diagram 1
Clip, scoring: 4(d)
Corner: 2(a)(2), Diagram 1
Court: 2(a), 2(b)
ball leaving: 6(g)
Damage to court: 9(b), 12(b), 13(a)(15)
Disabled player: 3(b)(5)
Doubles: 1(a), 8(a), 16(c)
Double banking: 1(h), 9(d)
precedence: Commentary 1(h)
time limit: Appendix A
Extra turn: 16(b), 16(c)
after non-striking fault: 16(g)
after playing wrong ball: 16(g)
indication to take extra turn: 16(f)
point in extra turn: 16(d)
when may be taken: 16(e)
Fault: 12, 13
Flag, corner: 4(a)
Halfway line: 10
peg or mark: 4(c)
ball jamming: 7(f)
order: 1(d), Diagram 1
run out of order: 1(f)
running: 7, 1(f), 6(d)
scoring: 7, 1(f), 6(d)
setting: 2(a)(3), 3(b)(1)
resetting or straightening: 3(b)(3)
Information: 8(b), 8(c) Interference: 9
fixed obstacle: 9(c)
loose impediment: 9(a)
outside agency: 9(e-g)
scoring clip: 9(h)
special damage: 9(b)
best of 1, 3, 5…: 1(c)
start of game: 5(c)
Non-striking fault: 12
damage to court: 12(b)
first 4 turns: 5(g)
Off court, ball: 6(g)
Offside ball: 10
direction by opponent: 10(c)
halfway line, location: 10(a), Diagram 3
penalty spot: 10(c)(1)
at start of game: 5(f), 5(g)
ball leaving court: 6(g)
Penalty spot: 10(c)(1)
Placement of ball off court: 6(g), 6(h), 6(i)
Point, scoring: 7
Running a hoop - see Hoop, scoring
keeping score: 7(e)
Sequence: 1(e), 11
Simultaneous play: 6(e), 6(f)
Start of game: 5
Striker's ball: 1(e)
Striking fault: 13
faults, list of: 13(a)
first 4 turns: 5(h)
striking period: Commentary 13(a)
consequences: 6(a), 6(d)
Time limit: Appendix A
double banking, and: CA Ruling 1(h)
expiry of time: Commentary 1(c), Appendix A
on turn: 14(a)(8)
start of timing: 5(e)
Toss: 5(a), 5(d)
start and end: Commentary 6(a)
Unacceptable behaviour: 14
Wiping ball 3(c)(2)
Wrong ball: 11
consecutive turns by same side: CA Ruling 11
exceptions to Rule 11: CA Commentary 11
first 3 turns of game: 5(f)
forestalling, when to: 11(h)