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Garden Croquet Rules and Regulations

This guide explains the simplified rules of croquet UK. The laws of the game regulate how players hit balls through a course of wicket hoops using a wooden mallet.

CROQUET RULES UK: Jaques of London invented croquet sets and the game in 1851.

The first official rules explaining how to play croquet UK got registered in 1856. Even so, similar lawn and garden games were also played as early as the 1600s.

Note: The game is a derivative of the Official Association Croquet rules.

It is difficult to imagine a game more quintessentially English than garden croquet. But, there are several different variants of lawn croquet rules and regulations.

Many believe croquet is only played in England by those who can afford Pimm’s cocktail drinks and cucumber sandwiches. In fact, there is much more to learn than this for all newcomers to lawn croquet rules.

This simplification of the Official Rules of Garden Croquet derives from the World Croquet Federation. But, altered and authorized international versions are more popular in other parts of the world.

Even so, the variations of the game rulings in their simplest form all involve the same governance. It is a race of hitting balls around a predetermined garden lawn or flat circuit.

Croquet players achieve this with a wooden mallet. The aim is to shoot their balls through hooped wickets, score points, and have a lot of innocent fun doing so.

Basic Rules of Croquet Simplified

Aim of the playing Croquet Game

The object of croquet is to maneuver the balls across a grassy lawn through pegged wicket hoops. You must play them in the right direction and correct order. Doing so allows players to ‘peg out‘ by hitting the central peg.

Lawn Croquet Court Dimensions

The croquet game rules state the lawn should measure at least 17.5 meters by 14 meters. That is the official croquet court size in meters. But, casual players can use any decent sized smooth grassy area instead.

A standard lawn at a croquet club may be twice as large because the grass is shorter and faster. One important point on croquet regulations is to use a lawn with similar proportions.

Croquet Equipment

Basic croquet equipment which players use includes balls, mallets, and hoops.

Wooden Mallet Regulations:

  • Mallets usually weigh 2.5 – 3.5 pounds (1 to 1.5 kilos).
  • Measure 24 – 40 inches long.
  • The head is 9 to 12 inches long and square faced, as a rule.

Hoop Regulations:

  • Hoops are usually made from metal for competition play.
  • They are 12 inches high and 3¾ inches wide (slightly wider than the balls).
  • The hoops must get laid out in a set configuration.

Ball Regulations:

  • Balls usually measure 3 inches in diameter and weigh one pound.

Croquet Players

The rules are the same for both games no matter whether it’s played one against one (singles) or two against two (doubles). One side plays with one black ball and one blue ball while the other team uses a red and a yellow one.

General Garden Croquet Rules and Regulations

  • Winning the coin toss before the game begins means you get to choose between playing first and picking which color balls you want to use.
  • The first player shoots either of their balls into the court from any point on either baulk-line. Their opponent follows this by making their move in the same way.
  • The remaining two balls are also played into the game on the third and fourth turns.
  • Each player plays one shot and played in turn (unless extra shots get earned).
  • Running a hoop‘ (passing through the correct hoop) gains one extra shot. Hitting one of the other three balls (a roquet) gets you two extra shots as well.
  • You must bring all four balls into play on the first four shots. Follow that by choosing to play any ball (extra shots can get earned immediately).
  • You can hit another ball (make a roquet) and earn two extra shots. In this case the first of those (the croquet stroke) must get played by placing it in contact with the roquet ball.
  • To do that, you move your ball and place it anywhere in contact with the ball that got hit. The roqueted ball must move or shake with the next strike.
  • The next shot is the ‘continuation shot’ according to croquet rules UK. It must get played from where the first, original ball rests.
  • Extra shots are not cumulative. That means you can only earn extra shots once from each ball – until the next hoop gets a score.
  • Balls can get struck off the lawn. They can also rest within a meter of the edge. In both cases the ball gets moved to a spot one meter inside the lawn. Croquet rules UK does not penalise this action.
  • Players must hit each ball clean and without moving any other balls, hoops, or pegs. The best croquet strategy is to strike the balls with the face of the mallet to make a clean shot.
  • The ball gets removed from play once it hits the peg at the end of the course.

  • Scoring in Croquet

    You score one point for getting each ball through each hoop. You get an extra point for hitting the peg with each ball. That would produce a maximum of 14 points (in association and garden croquet).

    No part of the ball must be visible on the original side of the hoop to score the point. All the ball must have passed through at least some part of the hoop.

    Croquet Umpires and Officials

    A croquet match referee should check the lawns to ensure they are suitable for play. Umpires should also determine that the hoop width is as specified under the rules of croquet UK.

    There would usually be a single referee in charge of one game. There could also be a supervising referee where more than one game takes place. The supervisor has the right to intervene in the games at any stage.

    Winning a Game of Croquet

    Winning a croquet game means you have passed both balls through all six hoops and then ‘pegged out‘ each ball. Thus, the team or player who is the first to score 14 points wins the game of garden croquet rules.

    Advanced Croquet Rules UK


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