Rules of Croquet | How it is Played?

There are multiple theories regarding the development of the game, the first theory states that the game was introduced in Britain from France during 1660–1685 reign of Charles II of England. During this period, the game was played under the name of paille-maille , derived ultimately from Latin words for ‘ball and mallet’.

Rules of Croquet

The second theory says that rules of the modern game of croquet were originally made in Ireland during the 1850s, during this time, a similar game was played on the beaches. Both theories have one thing in common, i.e. the heritage of game from France to Britain. Even the second theory suggests that the game reached Ireland (which was part of England) from France.

Irrespective of the fact which theory is true, the game of Croquet is played in different parts of the world including England, Australia, South Africa, Egypt and several other countries. The game looks similar to golf but upon looking at its versatile ruleset, the game can be easily distinguished.

Object Of Croquet

The object of this game sounds way more simple than it practically is. You have to manoeuvre balls over the lawn and through the six hoops in the right direction and correct order. Then you hit the central peg to peg out.

How to Play?

Croquet is a similar game to golf but it is played in a smaller area. Players are supposed to hit the ball with mallets in such a way that they move through the hoops, in this way, they can score points and take the ball to the central pig which is the ultimate way to win the game.

Sounds easy? But there’s much more to learn about what’s a legal hoop, how a player can commit a foul and how extra shots can be won. If you are curious learn different rules associated with this game, make sure you give the next section a thorough read.

General Rules of Croquet

  • Any number of players can play it at a time. Normally, it’s a 4-player game.
  • If teams of 2 players play against each other, they choose 2 balls from the 4 given balls.
  • If 4 players are playing against each other, each of them chooses his ball. All 4 balls are of different colours.
  • Each player takes his turn, one shot is allowed per turn but you can also earn extra shots by passing the ball through the hoop or hitting one of the three balls.
  • Passing the ball through hoop earns you one shot while hitting another ball earns you two extra shots respectively.
  • Generally, the first turns are used to bring all 4 balls in play.
  • When you hit another ball, and earn extra 2 shots, the hit ball is now your croquet. For the next shot, you can place your original ball anywhere near the racquet and for the next strike, your ball must hit the racquet ball before going in any direction.
  • One turn can only win you 1 or 2 extra shots, you can win another extra shot from your ongoing extra shot.
  • There is no penalty if the ball goes out of the playing lawn.
  • Double touching is not allowed, once you have hit the ball with mallet, irrespective of the fact it moved or not, your turn is over.
  • The player or team which completes the set of circuit of six hoops with their chosen balls and strikes the centre peg in the end is declared winner of the game.


Before every game, a coin toss takes place, the winner of the toss gets the first turn while the loser choses the ball.

Time Duration of Croquet

There is no time limit, the game goes on until all the balls have been removed.

Playing Field

Croquet is played on a grassy lawn with metal-made hoops perched on it, these hoops are 12 inches high and 3¾ inches wide, only slightly wider than the balls.

Playing Equipment

For a game of Croquet, you need 4 balls and Mallets. These balls are of blue, black, red and yellow colour. One side uses black and blue balls while the other one uses red and yellow. These balls are 3 inches in diameter and weigh one pound.

The mallets are used to hit the ball. They are usually 2.5-3.5 pounds in weight, 24-40 inches long, with a head around 9 to 12 inches long.

These hoops are arranged in a zigzag pattern and they have to be hit in the same sequence.


The game can go on smoothly even without a referee but in professional games a referee is needed to sort out any difficult situation by applying the laws of the game.

Famous Croquet Events

The Association World Croquet Championship is held after a gap of 2-3 years in which Croquet teams from different countries participate and play their part in the growth of the game.

Governing Body

The World Croquet Federation (WCF) is the governing body that promotes recognised versions of the game by organising and sanctioning professional level tournaments worldwide. As of December 22, 2009, Australia, Canada, Egypt, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, and the United States of America are Full Members of the WCF.