How To Play Association Croquet

Association Croquet has many similarities to snooker. It is a game of break play and strategy that you never stop learning. It can be played at beginner level, with a shorter, quicker version of the game known as short croquet, right up to full international level.

Association Croquet is based on the concept of turns with more than one shot and is similar to snooker played on grass. Association Croquet was invented in the mid-19th century. There are some rumours that snooker was invented by the Indian army soon after the monsoon rain prevented croquet play!


Basic rules of Association Croquet

A summary of the game is given below.

  1. A game consists of a series of turns, each of one or more strokes, which are played by hitting a stationary ball with a mallet. One player plays the blue and black balls, the other the red and yellow (or green and brown versus pink and white).
  2. The players have alternate turns. At the start of a turn, its player, who is known as the striker, chooses which of the balls to play throughout that turn. The ball chosen is known as the ‘striker’s ball’.
  3. A ball scores a hoop point by passing through its next hoop in the required direction. The winner is the first player to score the 12 hoop points in the sequence shown in Diagram 1 and then score the peg point by hitting it, for both their balls, a total of 26 points.
  4. A player is initially entitled to one stroke in a turn, after which the turn ends unless, in that stroke, the striker’s ball has scored a hoop point or hit another ball.
  5. When a hoop point is scored, the striker is entitled to play one continuation stroke.
  6. When the striker’s ball hits another live ball, the striker is said to have made a roquet on that ball. At the end of the stroke, the striker’s ball is said to become ‘a ball in hand’ and the striker becomes entitled to play a croquet stroke. The striker’s ball is placed in any position in contact with the roqueted ball. The striker then plays the croquet stroke by striking the striker’s ball, causing both balls to move. After the croquet stroke, the striker plays a continuation stroke – unless the turn has ended because a ball has been sent off the court or for some other reason.
  7. A ball that may be roqueted is known as a ‘live’ ball; one from which croquet has already been taken, a ‘dead’ ball. The striker must not attempt to take croquet from a dead ball; if this occurs, the turn ends. When a new turn is started, and on each occasion the striker’s ball runs its hoop in order, all the balls become live again. Thus by a series of strokes, the striker may score more than one hoop during a turn, which is known as making a break.