Golf Croquet

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A Synopsis of the game (courtesy of The Croquet Association UK)
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Picture: /infra/golf.gifThe course and lawn bearings

The opposing sides each have two balls: primary colours Blue and Black against Red and Yellow. Each side may be one or two people (i.e. singles or doubles). Each side plays alternately in rotation: blue, red, black, yellow, as shown by the sequence of colours from the top of the centre peg.

(A second game on the same court may be played by another two or four players using secondary colours Green and Brown against Pink and White. Each side plays alternately in rotation: green, pink, brown, white). Each turn consists of one stroke only: no extra turn is gained by running a hoop or hitting another ball (contrary to Association Croquet).

To start the game, toss a coin. The winner of the toss chooses the colours but blue always starts. The opening strokes are played from within one yard of Corner IV (nearest hoop 4), and the players aim to run the hoops in order from 1 to 12. The winner is the first to reach 7 points. A deciding hoop (hoop 3 again) is run if the scores are equal after 12 hoops, making 13 in all.

To score a point, a ball must run completely through the hoop in the correct direction. A ball has run a hoop if no part of the ball is left protruding from the playing side of the hoop. A ball may be knocked through a hoop by another ball and if a ball should go through two hoops in order in the same stroke, both points are scored.

The side that first gets a ball through Hoop 1 scores that point and then all balls go for the next hoop in order (i.e. Hoop 2). All players contest the same hoop. A player may play towards the next hoop before the previous hoop is scored but runs the risks being declared offside if ending up over the halfway line. The opponent may request any ball lying beyond the halfway mark when the current hoop is actually run, be brought back to a penalty spot halfway down the east or west boundaries.

A ball that goes off the court is replaced on the boundary where it went off but may be temporarily moved if it interferes with the playing of another ball.

The striking of the ball in a turn must be a clean, single hit; there are a number of faults a player may make when striking the ball. These faults are listed in the detailed rules of Golf Croquet. Depending on the nature of the fault, the opponent may choose between a number of options, and penalties may occur.

There are also a number of consequences that arise when a player plays a wrong ball, or their own ball out of turn.

To allow evenly contested games between players of different abilities, handicap play is an option. This is where players are ranked in accordance with their ability and the weaker side is given a number of extra turns that can be taken at any stage of the game. However a hoop may not be scored for the player’s side in an extra turn.