Etiquette and Customs
The following etiquette and customs apply in Tournaments but also at most other times. Some of these are more relevant in AC games than GC but a high percentage apply to both codes.
- Dress properly. Always wear flat soled shoes. Wear white or light coloured clothing, as appropriate, certainly in tournaments, and usually at weekends and for Club competitions, weather permitting.
- Before the game. By convention, the player with the lowest handicap tosses up, and is also responsible for setting up any bisques.
- In play. Wait until your opponent's turn has ended before moving onto the court - AC. See Law 51 for further details. In GC games particularly try to avoid the hoop area to minimise wear unless you are taking a shot.
- Play as quickly as possible. Try to decide before your opponent has finished his turn what you are going to do next to avoid wasting time. In doubles matches, do not carry out unnecessarily long discussions with your partner when it is your side's turn to play.
- Call a Referee By raising your mallet vertically (with the head uppermost) if you are about to make a stroke where there is a possibility that a fault may be committed. If no independent Referee is available, then ask your opponent to watch. If you are aiming to hit a ball in the jaws of a hoop, have someone watch it to ensure that contact is made.
- Do not accept advice (or offer it), but query any point of law, if uncertain. The only person allowed to give advice to you during a game is your partner in a doubles match.
- Do not distract your opponent by walking about, talking loudly, catching his eye, etc. Do not stand directly behind him watching him shoot, or directly in front of him on the line of aim.
- Be sensitive to your opponent during matches with respect to conversation. Some players do not welcome remarks during a game. For the same reason, do not talk to any other out-players, unless they clearly welcome a chat.
- While out of play and off the court, be aware of other games taking place. Stand still if you are in the line of play on another court, or near a player about to make a shot.
- Be sure that you know Part 4 of the Laws: Players as joint Referees; Questionable strokes Testing the position of the ball; Players' opinions differ; Interruption of stroke; Presence on court; Replace balls on yard line with back to court; Testing for lifts; Advice and aids.
- After play. The winner normally clears the balls from the court, removes the clips from the hoops, and carries the bisques back to the Club house.
- On arrival. Report to the Manager, and confirm your handicap.
- Be punctual. Allow yourself time to change, so that you can be on the court, ready to play, at the required time. Always be clear about the time that you are needed for your next game.
- Carry a watch or timer (for time-limited games) and markers to mark balls (in double-banked games).
- Find out from the Manager what arrangements have been made for players to take meals. Do not take a meal without confirming with the Manager that you will not be required for the time that the meal will take place.
- After the game. Report your result to the Manager immediately so that he can put on other games and plan ahead.
- Obtain the Manager's permission to leave the ground before doing so and, if appropriate, confirm with him what time you are required the following day.
- The Manager's decision is final on all matters concerning the scheduling of matches. Give him all the help that you can. Please note that the Manager has powers of disqualification.
- Do not walk across the line of aim of the other game.
- Ask the other game if you can mark and lift any of their balls that may be at risk from your play. Always err on the cautious side before you strike your ball, even if you are playing well nothing is more annoying to the other game than having to try to guess where a critical ball was.
- Always let the other game through if a break is being played.
- Always keep an eye out to ensure that you do not impede the other game.
- If you do mark and lift a ball, make certain that the player in play in the other game realises that you have done so, particularly if their out-player has started a new turn.
- Do not leave your mallet lying inside the yard line while you retrieve a ball that has gone off the court.
- Read the Guide to conduct in double-banked games issued by the Croquet Association (Appendix 2 of the Laws) - before you play.