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The Laws of Golf Croquet (2nd Edition, 2005 - Superseded 2008)

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The Laws of Golf Croquet (2nd Edition, 2005)

Please note that this is superseded by the 2008 publication of the Laws of Golf Croquet 3rd Edition

Status of the New Laws

Following the recommendation by the Golf Croquet Laws Committee (GCLC), the Croquet Association Council have ratified these laws at their March 2005 meeting for use during the 2005 season in England and thereafter until they are changed by further approval by Council.

Following the introduction of a new set of laws there are always bound to be clarifications required on the interpretation of some wording. These clarifications are issued in the form of rulings which are included in the commentaries at the end of these laws. A schedule of the rulings is provided in the introduction to the commentaries. The latest ruling is dated 11 April.

Bill Arliss
Chairman, Golf Croquet Laws Committee

The Laws of Golf Croquet 2005

1. Outline of the Game
2. The Standard Court
3. Equipment
4. Accessories
5. The Start
6. The Turn
7. Scoring a Point
8. Advice
9. Interference
10. Playing the Wrong Ball
11. The Half Way Law
12. Non-striking Faults
13. Striking Faults
14. Etiquette
15. Referees
16. Handicap Play

General Introduction

In the Croquet Association (CA), our procedural rules dictate that the way in which Golf Croquet is played within the Domain of the CA shall be governed by a set of Laws which are drafted by a Golf Croquet Laws Committee and approved by the Council of the CA. However, since 2001, a working committee under the umbrella of the World Croquet Federation (WCF) has been reviewing what the WCF describe as the Rules of Golf Croquet for use in international play. This committee comprised representatives nominated by the governing bodies for croquet in Australia, Egypt, England, New Zealand and the United States plus a further representative for all other governing bodies. Through our representative on the WCF Rules Committee we have been able to have the views of our own CG Laws Committee considered and many of them have been accepted.

Naturally the CA's wish has been that the Rules produced by the WCF can be adopted without change as the Laws of Golf Croquet for use in English play. I am pleased to say that we have succeeded to a very large extent in this aim and the only major differences are now in the law (law 10) dealing with playing the wrong ball (this includes playing 'Out of Sequence') and in the laws on behaviour and referees. The whole process was carried out within a very tight timescale and was driven by the need to get a set of laws available for the northern hemisphere's 2005 season. The WCF Rules were published on 26th January 2005. Since then the CA Golf Croquet Laws Committee has found a problem with Rules 6 and 10. We have added a further sub law to Law 10 and modified Law 6 both of which changes were considered essential. The whole text of our new laws is still the same as that of the WCF Rules but with these two modifications (and a few minor differences in wording) all of which are explained in an accompanying commentary. The only other difference is the inclusion of the CA's normal practices for Etiquette and Refereeing both of which are generally agreed to be matters for national associations to decide for themselves.

Much of the wording of our Laws is now changed from that used in the CA's 2000 Laws and in the temporary changes made in 2003 and 2004; however the substance of most of the laws is still very much the same. A guiding principle in drafting the Laws has been the need to keep the wording simple yet clear. Some changes which were considered have been left for further consideration when the Laws are next revised.

While most of the changes are designed to clarify the intentions of the rules, some changes have introduced new ideas. Careful reading of all the rules is advised. The main changes in the way the game is played are listed here. Commentaries on some of the laws are published in this book to help the player understand the intention of the law. The commentaries also identify significant changes in the intent of the laws and any differences from the WCF Rules where they exist. Where additional clauses have been added in the CA Laws, this is clearly identified. The significant changes in intent are as follows:

1. There is a new definition of "striker" in Law 1(f) which makes playing a wrong ball a non-striking fault. This is dealt with in the new Law 10, Playing a Wrong Ball, which has replaced the old law of Playing out of Sequence. Law 10 deals with how play continues whether play is forestalled before or after the opponent plays but puts a limit of four strokes out of sequence after which no penalties are invoked. Consequential amendments have been made to other rules.
2. Laws 12 and 13 have been changed to make the action after a fault the same for both striking and non-striking faults.
3. Any significant damage to the court with a mallet is now a fault, even if the stroke was accidental and was not played in a manner likely to cause damage. Law 13(a)(14).
4. Law 11, the Half Way Law, replaces Law 12, Playing for the Next Hoop. It has been completely rewritten and introduces the concept of an "offside ball". It should be noted that there is now no obligation on any player to declare his ball as an offside ball and no player may request an opponent move his ball to a penalty point once he has played a stroke after that in which the previous hoop point was scored.

As with any drafting of laws, your Laws Committee have tried to think of all possible situations that may occur during a game of Golf Croquet but it is certain that some unforeseen situations will occur during our season. To deal with problems in a quick and efficient manner, we would ask players involved in queries to contact the GC Laws committee as soon as possible letting us know the circumstances under which the problem arose and our committee will issue an appropriate ruling. The best method of contact on any GC Laws matter would be by email to This automatically circulates to all members of the laws committee. We will provide a suitable ruling for each submission and if we think appropriate add a further section to the commentary which will be posted on the CA web site. For those without email, please use my contact details as given in The Croquet Gazette.

Enjoy your Golf Croquet.

Bill Arliss

Chairman, Golf Croquet Laws Committee

Law 1 - Outline of the Game

(NOTE. The cross references to C.1.4 etc implies that further clarification of the law will be found in the commentaries printed at the end of these laws.)

(a) The game 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 and the other side with red and yellow, each player playing only one colour. In singles each player plays both balls of their side.

(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 Law 7. The winner is the side which scores more points.

(c) A match is a contest for the best of either 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.

(d) The hoops are contested as shown in Diagram 1. In a 7 point game the first 7 hoops are played. In a 13 point game the first 12 hoops are played and the final 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 final point is scored by contesting hoop 3 again.

(e) There are four balls usually coloured blue, red, black and yellow. They are always played in that sequence. Thus if yellow is played in one stroke, blue will be played in the following stroke.

(f) The game is played by striking a ball with a mallet. The next ball to be played in sequence is known as the striker's ball, and the owner of that ball is the striker. The striker shall not strike a partner ball or an opponent's ball (see Law 10). [See C3.1]

(g) All the balls are always for the same hoop. When that hoop point has been scored by any ball, all balls are then for the next hoop in order.

(h) If a player or the referee believes that an error has been committed, they shall immediately announce the fact so that the matter may be investigated. By so doing, they are said to forestall play. [See C3.2]

(i) A time limit may be imposed on a game if it is necessary for purposes of lawn management. The procedures for applying such limits shall be as defined in the Tournament Regulations and dependent on the defined circumstances may allow a game to result in a tie. [See C2.1]

(j) Two games may be played simultaneously on the same court, normally using alternative coloured balls or striped balls. If this is done all players should be aware of the other game and try to avoid any conflicts. 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 Law 9.

Law 2 - The Standard Court

The court is a rectangle, measuring 35 by 28 yards (32 by 25.6 metres). Its boundaries shall be marked clearly, the inner edge of the definitive border being the actual boundary. Diagram 1 shows the setting. The corners are known as corners I, II, III, and IV and the boundaries as south, west, north and east, regardless of the actual orientation of the court. The peg is set in the centre of the court. The hoops 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 and the centres of the four outer hoops are 7 yards (6.4 metres) from the adjacent boundaries.

(b) If there is insufficient space for a full size court a smaller court may be laid out. Where possible, its dimensions should be kept in the same proportions as the standard court.

(c) For various reasons it may be desirable to vary the court layout slightly. If this is done the peg shall remain on the line between hoops 5 and 6.

court layout

Law 3 - Equipment

(a) The hoop uprights shall be of round metal of uniform diameter of 5/8 inch (16 mm) above the ground. The hoops shall be 12 inches (305 mm) in height above the ground measured to the top of the crown, vertical and firmly fixed (but see Law 3(e)). The crown shall be round or square in section and shall be straight and at right angles to the uprights, whose inner surfaces shall be approximately parallel and not less than 311/16 inches (93.7 mm) or more than 4 inches (101.4 mm) apart. The gap between the uprights of all hoops on a court shall be the same to a tolerance of nominal width plus or minus 1/32 inch (0.8mm), and the gaps on all hoops at a height of 113/16 inches (46 mm) above the level of the court shall be at least 1/32 inch (0.8 mm) greater than the largest diameter of the balls in use on that court. The hoops shall be white, with the crown of the first hoop blue. The crown of the last hoop may be red.

(b) The peg shall have a uniform diameter of 1½ inches (38 mm) and a height of 18 inches (457 mm) above ground. It shall be vertical and firmly fixed in the ground. It shall be white to a height of 6 inches (150 mm) above the ground with blue, red, black and yellow bands descending in that order from the top.

(c) The four balls are usually coloured blue, red, black and yellow, but alternative colours or striped balls are permitted. Balls shall be 35/8 inches (92 mm) plus or minus 1/32 inch (0.8 mm) in diameter, with a weight of 16 ounces (454 grams), plus or minus 1/4 ounce (7 grams). Balls shall be approved by the country of play or, in the case of WCF events, by the WCF. Faulty or damaged balls may be changed at any time during a game. Where several courts are in use the balls shall be used in matched sets.

(d) The head of a mallet may be of any material provided the player gains no playing advantage over wood. The end-faces shall be parallel and shall have identical playing characteristics. Bevelled edges are not part of the end-faces. A mallet shall not be changed during a game, unless it has suffered damage affecting its use in the game, and if so changed may not be used again in that game.

(e) The dimensions given in Law 3(a), (b), and (c) may vary slightly. However, the top of the crown of a hoop shall be not more than 12 inches (305mm) and not less than 11 inches (280 mm) from the ground.

Law 4 - Accessories

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 shall 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 1½ 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.

(d) Two sets of clips may be provided to record the scoring of hoops. One set is to be red or yellow and the other blue or black (or other colours if alternative balls are used). The appropriate colour clip may be placed on a hoop by the side scoring that hoop.

(e) Sequence post. Where alternative colours are used regularly, a post displaying their colour sequence may be located just off the court, or the peg may be modified to show all colours.

Law 5 - The Start

(a) The side which wins the toss may choose to play blue and black or red and yellow. Subject to Law 5(c), blue is played first.

(b) Unless stipulated in local rules for club play, all balls are initially played from a position on the court within a yard (914 mm) of corner IV. [See C 2.2]

(c) When a match consists of more than one game, the players retain the same balls and the loser starts the next game with the loser's next ball in sequence.

Law 6 - The Turn

(a) Each turn consists of a single stroke. A stroke is played when a player strikes a ball in order to play a turn. The accidental touching of a ball with the mallet by the striker while preparing to play a stroke is a stroke (or a fault) and the turn ends. [See C2.3}

(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 the player remains entitled to play, unless a non-striking fault is committed.

(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.[See C2.4]

(e) When the balls have stopped, each ball off the court is placed so that its centre is on the boundary where it left the court. A ball is off the court if more than half the ball crosses the boundary. With agreement of both players or the referee, a ball that left the court need not be placed immediately on the boundary but may be left off the court until its turn. Once permission is given, the referee, or if no referee is present the ball's owner, determines the exact point where it left the court.

(f) If a ball cannot be placed accurately on the boundary because of the presence of another ball, it shall 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. [See C2.5, C3.3]

(g) If a ball placed on the boundary obstructs the playing of another ball, it is temporarily removed.

(h) If a ball moves apparently of its own accord after its position has been agreed, it shall 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.[See C2.6]

Law 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 stroke. If it has so entered, it cannot score the point in a subsequent stroke unless it stops in a position in which it has not started to run the hoop (see Law 7(b)).

(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.

(d) If the striker's ball causes another ball to run the hoop being contested, that other ball is said to be peeled and scores the point, even if the striker's ball also runs the hoop in the same stroke. If more than one ball is peeled in a stroke, the ball nearest the hoop before the stroke scores the point.

hoop running

(1) Ball has not started to run hoop
(2) Ball has started to run hoop
(3) Ball has not completed running the hoop
(4) Ball has completed running the hoop

Law 8 - Advice

(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 shall 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 shall tell an opponent the score, which hoop is next in order, which ball shall play, how any ball over the halfway line reached its position, and whether a ball has been replaced on court after crossing the boundary or on a penalty spot.

Law 9 - Interference

(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 a hole on the court if in the opinion of both players or a referee it affects play. The hole shall be repaired if possible. If this is impractical the ball may be moved so as to give the striker no advantage. No relief shall be given from an imperfection in the surface which is a normal feature of that particular court.

(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 lay 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 shall be moved an equal distance into the court, parallel to the line of play, before the stroke is taken, so that their relative positions remain the same. If such balls are not disturbed by the striker's ball, they shall be replaced immediately.

(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, a ball off the court 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 replaced immediately.

(f) If an outside agency interferes with a moving ball during a stroke and materially affects the outcome of the stroke, any balls moved by the stroke shall be replaced and the stroke shall be replayed. If the outcome of the stroke is not materially affected, the referee shall place the ball that suffered interference where it would otherwise have stopped.

(g) After interference a moving ball cannot cause a stationary ball to move or score a point and any such ball shall be replaced.

Law 10 - Playing the Wrong Ball

[See C3.4]
(a) Subject to Law 10(b), if the striker first strikes any ball other than the striker's ball or any player other than the striker strikes any ball as though it were that player's turn, a non-striking fault is committed and Law 12(c) applies. The opponent then chooses with which ball of its side it will restart play.[See C2.7]

(b) Subject to Law 10(c), if a wrong ball is played but play is not forestalled before the opponent has played a stroke, there is no remedy and any points scored for any ball are scored for the owner of the ball. If the opponent played the stroke with a ball they are permitted to play under Law 1(a), play continues in the sequence established by the last ball played, otherwise Law 10(a) applies.

(c) If play is forestalled after the last four turns have been played by alternate sides, each by a player with a ball they are permitted to play under Law 1(a) but none played in the correct sequence according to Law 1(e), there is no remedy, any points scored for any ball are scored for the owner of the ball, and play continues in the sequence thereby established by the last ball played. [See C2.8]

Law 11 - The Half Way Law

[See C 3.5]

(a) At the end of a turn in which a hoop point was scored, any ball which is resting beyond the halfway line between the hoop scored and the next hoop in order (see Law 11(c)) is an offside ball unless it reached its position as a result of:

(1) the stroke just played; or
(2) an opponent's stroke; or
(3) contact with an opponent's ball; or
(4) being moved to a penalty spot.


(1) Before the next stroke is played, the opponent of the owner of an offside ball is entitled to direct that the offside ball shall next be played either from where it lies or from either penalty spot D or E in Diagram 3 as chosen by the opponent. Subject to Law 11(b)(3), any ball directed to be played from a penalty spot shall be placed there immediately in accordance with Laws 6(f) and (g).

(2) If the owner of an offside ball plays before the opponent has given a direction under Law 11(b)(1) and before the opponent has played, the opponent may forestall play and require the stroke to be replayed after Law 11(b)(1) is applied. Before the stroke is replayed any balls moved in the stroke in error are replaced. A player required to replay a ball under this Law, is no longer entitled to rule on an opponent's offside ball at the same hoop.

(3) For convenience, the players or the referee may agree that an offside ball, which has been directed to be played from a penalty spot, may be allowed to remain where it lies as an outside agency (see Law9(d)) until it is played.

(c) Referring to Diagram 3, the halfway lines are as follows:

half way

Law 12 - Non Striking Faults

(a) Subject to Law 12(b), a non-striking fault is committed at any time if a player touches or is touched by any ball, whether stationary or in motion, or 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.

(b) A non-striking fault is not committed if:

(1) the striker first touches the striker's ball with the mallet when playing a stroke,
(2) any player touches a ball when moving it in accordance with these Laws or when marking or cleaning it with the permission of the opponent or referee.

(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 all the balls 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 where they stop, or to have the moving ball placed where it would have stopped and all other balls moved replaced where they were before the fault was committed. However, if the outcome of the stroke was in doubt when the non-striking fault occurred, the stroke shall be played again.

(3) Subject to Law 12(c)(5), 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 side entitled to play, then the turn lost is the current turn.

(5) If a non-striking fault is committed but play is not forestalled before the opponent has played a stroke there is no remedy, any points scored for any ball are scored for the owner of the ball, and play continues as if the fault had not been committed.

(6) For the purposes of Law 11(a), the offending side is responsible for the position of both its balls and any others affected by the non-striking fault, whether replaced or not. [See C2.9]

Law 13 - Striking Faults

(a) A striking fault may only be committed from the time the striker's ball is struck by the mallet until the striker leaves their 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) plays before any ball moved in the previous stroke stops or before all balls are replaced on the court, unless directed by the referee or with the prior agreement of the opponent;

(5) causes the mallet to strike the striker's ball by kicking, hitting, dropping or throwing the mallet;

(6) strikes the striker's ball with any part of the mallet other than an end-face (see Law 3(d)), 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;

(7) maintains contact between the mallet and the striker's ball for an appreciable period when the striker's ball is not in contact with any other ball or after the striker's ball has hit another ball;

(8) "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;

(9) strikes the striker's ball so as to cause it to touch a hoop upright or the peg when in contact with the mallet;

(10) strikes the striker's ball when it lies in contact with a hoop upright or the peg otherwise than in a direction away therefrom;

(11) touches a ball other than the striker's ball with the mallet;

(12) touches any ball with any part of the body or clothes;

(13) deliberately causes the striker's ball to hit a ball on a penalty spot or that was replaced after going off the court;

(14) plays any stroke in which the mallet causes damage to the court that is capable of affecting a subsequent stroke played over the damaged area. [See C3.7.1]

(b) Action after a striking fault

(1) Subject to Law 13(b)(2) and Law 16(f), the opponent chooses whether the balls remain where they stop after the stroke or are replaced in the positions they occupied before the fault was committed. In either case no point is scored for any ball and the turn ends.

(2) If a striking fault is committed but play is not forestalled before the opponent has played a stroke there is no remedy, any points scored for any ball are scored for the owner of the ball, and play continues as if the fault had not been committed.

Law 14 - Etiquette

[See C2.10]
To ensure games of Golf Croquet are played in a fair and harmonious manner, certain actions as specified below are deemed as breaches of acceptable behaviour. Should a referee be placed in charge of a game, such breaches of behaviour shall be dealt with by the referee in charge in accordance with the Tournament Regulations in force for that particular game. This may result in disqualification after warnings for repeated acts of misbehaviour.

Where the players are their own referees, either player may request the Tournament Referee or Manager to provide a referee in charge if the player considers his opponent is repeatedly trying to gain advantage by acts of misbehaviour.

The following shall be regarded as breaches of acceptable behaviour:

(a) Interrupts the striker by standing or moving in front of the striker as he makes his stroke.

(b) Interrupts the striker by word or other action as they are about to take their turn

(c) Mallet abuse

(d) Fails to play with reasonable despatch. A delay of more than one minute between strokes shall be considered unacceptable irrespective of the situation of play.

(e) As a non striker, regularly takes position on the lawn such that their presence is likely to result in a non striking fault from contact with a ball in play.

(f) Giving advice to any player other than a partner in a game of doubles or acting on advice from anyone other than a partner in a doubles game.

(g) The breaching of any other specific requirements for a tournament as defined by the tournament regulations such as lateness or the taking of long breaks during a multi-game match

Law 15 - Referees

[See C2.11]
The duties of a referee are to ensure that the game is played in accordance with the stipulated laws as defined in this publication. The powers and duties of a referee will vary according to method of appointment. These laws recognise four types of refereeing which are defined as defined below:

A player may appeal against a referee's interpretation of the laws but may not appeal against a referee's ruling on a matter of fact. Appeals shall be made to the Tournament Referee.

In the absence of a referee the players are joint referees. Players are not to gain an advantage by neglecting their duties as joint referees. Both sides are responsible for keeping the score, the striker announcing it after each point is scored. 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. If two views are equal, the striker's opinion prevails.

(1) Referee in Charge

A Referee in Charge is a referee who is appointed by the Referee of the Tournament to take full charge of a game of Golf Croquet. Such a referee shall act as the manager of the game and shall supervise all aspects of the game from taking the toss, starting actual play, maintaining the score, ensuring the game is played in accordance with published laws. He shall also ensure that the published Regulations for a particular tournament are fully complied with. The Referee in Charge has the power and the duty to give all necessary warnings to players who infringe the laws and regulations and may in the ultimate disqualify a player for severe and continual infringements. He is required to give explanation of the laws to players on request but may not give advice to any player that is likely to assist the player in any way.

Normally a Referee in Charge will be appointed before a match commences but may be appointed at a later stage in the game if in the opinion of the Tournament Referee such an appointment is advisable.

A Referee in Charge will always take position on the lawn in such a position that he/she does not interfere with play or distract the players but is suitably placed to verify the scoring of a hoop point at all times.

(2) Referee on Call

A referee who is summoned by a player to witness an event before it has occurred. While present, the referee is to perform the duties listed in Law 15(a) above. Where appropriate, the referee is to first establish the score, which hoop is next in order, which ball shall play and whether a ball has been replaced on court after crossing the boundary or on a penalty spot. Referees on Call are to remain on the court for the particular purpose requested and at their discretion thereafter. A request for a Referee on Call is not to be made if there is an appointed referee present.

(3) Referee on Appeal

A referee who is asked by a player to give a decision on a matter of fact or about the laws after an event has occurred. The referee's duties are the same as those of a Referee on Call. The matter may be decided by observation or investigation or both. If the referee witnessed the event and need not investigate further, the players are to be so informed and the decision given. In other cases the referee is to decide the appeal after hearing both sides and, if necessary, other witnesses. If the referee observed something relevant the players are to be so informed. The decision is then to be given. In the last resort the referee may give a compromise decision. This may involve arbitrary adjustment of the score, which ball shall play, the positions of the balls, the number of extra turns outstanding and the time remaining. The referee may decide that a game is to be restarted. Referees on Appeal are to remain on the court for the particular purpose requested and at their discretion thereafter. A Referee on Appeal may not decide that a fault has been committed unless satisfied of the fact by personal observation or by the evidence of the offender or a Spectator Referee who personally observed the fault. A request for a Referee on Appeal is not to be made if there is an appointed referee present.

(4) Spectator Referee

A referee who can only act when there is no referee appointed and whose powers and duties are confined to the following:

(i) To intervene to ensure that play is lawfully continued after an error is claimed or admitted.
(ii) To intervene if a player is heard giving erroneous information on the Laws to their opponent.
(iii) To volunteer relevant information to a Referee on Appeal.
(iv) To apply to the Tournament Referee to be appointed to a game.

Law 16 - Handicap Play

(a) Handicap games may be played to allow players of different abilities to compete so that they will have more equal chances of success. Laws 1 to 15 above apply except as indicated in this Law. Each player is allotted a handicap according to ability, ranging from -4 for the strongest players up to +6 for the weakest players (for 13 point games).

(b) In singles the weaker player is allowed a number of extra turns equal to the difference between the players' handicaps for 13 point games and as shown in the table for 7 and 19 point games.

Extra Turns Allowed in Handicap Games



19 Point Game

13 Point Game

7 Point Game













































(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 after finding half the difference between their handicaps with any fraction rounded up to the next whole number. The same procedure applies to the higher-handicapped players in each side.
(d) No point shall 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 shall 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 conclusion of a turn a striker intending to take an extra turn shall give a clear indication of the intention and forestall the opponent from playing. When a striker decides to play an extra turn after committing a striking fault, Law 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 shall not change that intention.