Commentaries on the 3rd Edition (2008) Golf Croquet Laws
NB. 3rd Edition Superseded by The Rules of Golf Croquet (4th Edition).
It is intended that these commentaries are treated as further explanations of the particular law and do not attempt to expand the intent of the wording of the law. The references C1,2 etc are used within the laws to indicate the presence of a commentary. All text below shown in black will be published in printed laws books. Should further commentaries be found to be necessary in light of experience with the new laws, these will be shown in blue.
C 1.1, Law 1(e) - Outline of the Game
Note that the striker's ball for a turn is now defined strictly as the ball next in sequence after the ball last played - no matter if the ball last played was played unlawfully.
C 6.1, Law 6(e) - The Turn
This now defines a ball that has left the court as an outside agency, i.e. it is no longer part of the game until it becomes its turn to play. The law also allows an opponent to request that the ball be replaced on the line to denote the exact position it left the court as this could affect shots that may be played to obtain a wiring. If a player considers that a ball so replaced could affect the final position of balls in a shot that he is about to play, he should request that the line ball is moved out as far as necessary to indicate the marked point without affecting play of the current stroke.
C 9.1, Law 9 - Interference
A sprinkler head which is situated within the boundary of the court may be regarded as an outside agency and not a normal feature of the court.
C 10.1, Law 10 - Halfway Law
Once an offside ball has been directed to a penalty point, it shall be deemed to be located at the penalty point if a further hoop is scored before it has been played even it has not been physically moved there. Thus, if hoop 1 is run by B when Y is lying offside north-east of hoop 6 and Y is directed to the east penalty point, if R or K immediately scores hoop 2 before Y has been moved, Y cannot be directed to the west penalty point because it is entitled to the exemption under Law 10(b)(4).
C 11.1, Law 11 - Wrong Ball Play
The intent of this new law is straightforward. It only requires the players or referee to remember the last two or very occasionally three turns played before play was stopped and then select from three possible solutions. In the examples below Babs plays blue (B) and black (K) in singles and blue in doubles. Ray plays red (R) and yellow (Y) in singles and red in doubles
(1) Replace and replay This applies to the most common form of wrong ball in singles, namely when a player plays one of his balls out of sequence with the previous enemy ball (e.g. Bab plays B after R). Law 11(b)(1) requires that all balls moved by the last stroke are replaced and Bab replays the turn with the correct ball. No hoops are scored as a result of the last stroke. It does not matter whether the opponent played the previous stroke lawfully or unlawfully (because Law 11(c)(1) applies if the opponent played unlawfully).
(2) Full penalty This gives the non-offender the right to choose (i) whether to have all the balls moved by the last stroke replaced or left where they lie and (ii) with which of his balls he will restart play. No hoops are scored as a result of the last stroke. This applies whenever a player plays: (a) an enemy ball (e.g. B plays R); or (b) one of his own balls after the opponent has also just played one of those two balls (e.g. B plays B after R plays K); or (c) one of his balls out of sequence with the previous enemy ball but commits a striking fault; or (d) two consecutive strokes (i.e. thinking that the opponent had played a stroke when in fact he had not). Note that, in this case, if the first of the two consecutive strokes was itself a wrong ball, the opponent may choose to have all the balls replaced where they were before either of the consecutive strokes and no hoops are scored as the result of either stroke. See CA Ruling.
(3) Continue in sequence If a wrong ball is played but play goes back into sequence before the wrong ball is noticed and play is stopped, play continues in sequence with the last ball played and all hoops scored as a result of the last stroke count. (e.g. B, Y, K, Y, play stopped - B plays next).
(1) Full penalty As for singles, this gives the non-offending side the right to choose (i) whether to have all the balls moved by the last stroke replaced or left where they lie and (ii) with which of their balls they will restart play. No hoops are scored as a result of the last stroke. This applies whenever a player plays: (a) any ball other than his own; or (b) his own ball after the wrong opponent (e.g. Bab plays B after Ray plays R); or (c) his own ball immediately after his partner has played (thinking that an opponent has played when in fact she had not). Note that, in this case, if the first of the two consecutive strokes was itself a wrong ball, the opponents may choose to have all the balls replaced where they were before either of the consecutive strokes and no hoops are scored as the result of either stroke. See CA Ruling.
(2) Continue in sequence If a player plays his own ball after the other side played the previous stroke unlawfully in any way, the player sets a new sequence and play continues according to the new sequence. All hoops scored as a result of the last stroke played by the player count. See Law11(c)(2).
C 12.1, Law 12(a)1 Non Striking Faults
If the mallet touches a ball other than the striker's ball before making contact with the striker's ball, a non-striking fault is committed. If after, a striking fault is committed under Law 13(a)(11). It could be difficult for a referee to judge which has occurred but the penalties have been made identical, namely that the opponent may choose whether to leave the balls where they lie or to have them replaced where they were before the stroke and the striker misses the turn he has just played.
C 12.2, Law 12(c)5 and CA Ruling
It should be noted that a point can never be scored as the result of a non-striking fault. Thus, if a non-striking fault is discovered but not until after the non-offending side has played a turn, there is no remedy in terms of ball replacement or loss of turn but the point does not count and the hoop apparently scored remains the next hoop in order. This is not expected to be a common occurrence.
C 13.1, Law 13(a) 6 and 8
Law 13(a)(6) provides that a fault is committed in a double tap. However, high speed photography work by the CA has shown that 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 whether a double tap has actually occurred or not in such situations. Accordingly, the new Law 13(a)(8) resolves this problem by declaring that a fault is committed if the mallet is in contact with a ball that is in contact with another ball unless the two balls started in contact. This means that all strokes involving a mallet being driven into balls 4mm or less apart will constitute a fault under either of these sub-laws. Further work by the CA has also shown that, 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.