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Rules to play Croquet
Croquet can be played in many different forms. Serious croquet is played at international level including world individual and team championships. Mostly though it is played as a casual, social game by millions of peoples around the world in their own gardens. These rules are the Official Rules of Garden Croquet as authorised by the World Croquet Federation. They allow for some variations and also for added complexity so that you can move from social garden croquet to more serious croquet.
2. The court
A backyard croquet court doesnt have to be a perfectly manicured lawn, but short grass provides the best playing surface. If you have room, a full size court is a rectangle, 100 feet long by 50 feet wide. You can adjust the size and shape of the court to fit the available space. Use string or chalk to mark definite boundaries, or just mark the corners with flags or stakes.
3. Size of court
The normal size of court for garden croquet is 17.5 metres by 14 metres. However, you can play on other size lawns to fit the particular characteristics of your garden. The longer the grass and the rougher the surface, the smaller the court should be. You may need to reduce the measurements to fit onto the available lawn. If reducing the size, keep all proportions the same as for a normal sized lawn i.e. reduce all length and width measurements by the same proportion .
If you have a good quality lawn flat and with very short grass and you have reached a high skill level then you may like to increase the size of the lawn. Again keep the proportions the same. At croquet clubs you will find most lawns are 32 metres by 25.6 metres but this is usually too large for garden croquet.
4. The Wickets and Stakes
The nine wickets and two stakes are arranged in a double diamond pattern as shown in the diagram. If you are playing on a smaller court, the distances shown should be scaled down in proportion to the length and width of the court. The wickets should be firmly planted in the ground, and the width of the wickets should be uniform throughout the court.
5. The balls
For a two or four player, two sided game, you need four balls. The colors usually used are blue, red, black, and yellow. One side with one or two players plays with blue and black, and the other with red and yellow. For a six player team game, you need six balls. In team play, one side plays blue, black, and green, and the other side plays red, yellow, and orange. In one ball games, you need one ball per player.
6. The mallets
Each player uses a mallet. Only the striking end face may be used to strike a ball, unless the players have agreed to allow the use of side shots or other shot making variations.
7. Optional accessories
You can use colored clips or clothespins to mark the next wicket your ball must go through. The clip is picked up when a wicket is scored, then placed on the balls next wicket at the end of the turn.
8. Object of the game
The object of the game is to advance the balls through the course by hitting them with a mallet, scoring a point for each wicket and stake made in the correct order and direction. The winner is the first side to score the 14 wicket points and 2 stake points for each of its balls, unless the game is played to a time limit and time runs out before that happens, in which case the team with the most points at the end of the time period wins see below .
The players take turns, and only one plays at a time. At the beginning of a turn the player called the striker has one shot. After that shot the turn ends, unless a bonus shot is earned by scoring a wicket or stake or by hitting another ball. The turn ends when the player has no more bonus shots to play or has finished the course by scoring the finishing stake. The striker may directly hit with the mallet only the ball he or she is playing in that turn the striker ball .
If a player plays out of turn, there is no penalty. Any ball moved during the out of turn play is replaced to its position prior to the error and play recommences properly. If an out of turn is initially condoned not discovered but then later discovered, only the last ball played out of turn is replaced and the correct ball then proceeds. Example if red plays, then blue plays, then yellow plays, yellow is replaced, and then red plays correctly.
If the striker takes a swing at his her ball and misses entirely, the miss counts as a shot and the turn ends, unless the striker had a second bonus shot.If the strikers mallet accidentally hits another ball other than the striker ball, the shot must be replayed, but with no loss of turn.
10. Scoring Wicket and Stake Points
Each ball can score wicket and stake points for its side only by going through a wicket or hitting a stake in the proper order and direction. Going through a wicket out of order or in the wrong direction is not counted as a point gained or lost. A ball caused to score its wicket or stake during another balls turn earns the point for its side, but no bonus shot is earned as a result.A ball scores a wicket point only if it comes to rest clear of the playing side of the wicket. If a ball passes through a wicket but rolls back, it has not scored the wicket. An easy way to determine if a ball has cleared a wicket is to run the side of the mallet head down the plane of the playing side of the wicket. If the mallet head touches the ball on the way down, it has not cleared the wicket; if the mallet head does not touch the ball, it has cleared the wicket.
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