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Principles and Overview of Croquet Handicapping

Croquet has a handicapping system that allows players of different abilities to play competitively with an approximately even chance of winning. To achieve this, the weaker player is given extra turns by the stronger player.

The weaker player may choose to play one or more of their extra turns at the end of their regular turn. In Golf Croquet (GC) a turn is a single stroke and an extra turn is called just that, an "Extra Stroke". In Association Croquet (AC) a turn can be a number of strokes in a break and an extra turn is called a "Bisque". AC also has "Half-Bisques" which have limitations on their use.

The number of Extra Strokes/Bisques that the weaker player gets to use for each game is calculated by the difference between the handicaps of the player and their opponent.

All players should have a handicap based on their ability, a low number indicates a strong player and a high number indicates a weaker player. Zero and negative handicaps indicate very strong players.

Linked pages for both AC and GC deal with the following handicapping matters and more:

  • Setting an initial handicap
  • The Automatic Handicapping System (AHS)
  • Handicap cards
  • Managing handicaps (including Club, Federation and CA Handicappers powers and duties)
  • Playing on smaller courts
  • The relationship between handicaps for AC and GC.
  • Short Croquet (SC)
  • One Ball

For further details of the guidelines and procedures of the two systems see