How to Play Croquet?
This chapter provides a step-by-step method that will help the beginners play the game with the right approach and right style. Following are the steps that should be followed sequentially.
The game starts by tossing a coin to see which team gets a chance to make the choice. The team that wins the toss decides if they want to play first or second. The other team selects the pair of balls they want red/yellow or blue/black. The game begins from a point which is at a meter in, from the boundary in front of the first hoop.
The side which starts the game hits any of their balls into the court. After their turn, the other side hits their ball from the starting point. Immediately after, you are allowed to gain extra shots if any.
The first four turns
In the first four turns, the players have to make sure that all the balls are played. For example, if the red ball is played first then the other team has to choose whether to play the black or blue ball. If the black ball is selected, then the third is the turn of yellow and fourth is the turn of the blue ball.
After the first four turns
After the four turns are completed, the team that has started the game again has to choose the ball. Here the first team has chosen the red/yellow option so they have to choose between them and start the next round of shots. A team can hit only a single shot but if it has earned extra shots then it has to continue its turn.
After two extra shots are earned
If a team has to earn an extra shot, then the player has to hit the ball in such a way that it touches one of the three balls. Of the two extra shots, the first shot must be played in such a way that the striker ball has to come in contact with the ball that has been hit. The second extra shot has to be played from the place where the striker ball lies. The team can again earn extra shots after earning a hoop.
Ball off the lawn
If a ball goes out of the lawn it is replaced at a place one meter away from the place from where it has gone out. The play continues and there is no penalty on the team. After the completion of the shot, if a ball lies within one meter of the boundary, it is placed one meter away from the boundary.
Scoring a Hoop Point
A hoop point can be scored easily when a ball passes far enough from the hoop such that all the remaining balls have crossed the wire of the hoop on the side playing the game.
Striking the Ball with the Mallet
The ball should be shot with any end face of the mallet and with no other part. The ball played needs to be struck cleanly. The hoops and the peg that enable the players to play a shot cannot be moved. The players are not allowed to put the foot on the ball.
Finishing and Winning the Game
The side that earns six hoop points for each ball and then strikes the peg with both balls is declared as the winning side. Generally, this process takes place in the same turn when a croquet stroke and the continuation stroke are shot. It is ideal that the player takes the croquet from the team mate’s ball near the peg. The balls should be aligned so that the croquet stroke hits the partner’s ball with the peg, followed by an extra shot where the striker’s ball hits the peg.
Anyhow, the game can be easily won by striking a peg with each ball in two different chances. For example, in one chance Player A strikes red and it hits the peg. In the very next turn, the yellow ball needs to be shot to hit the peg. The only chance of winning is when a player accomplishes these shots prior to the players on the opponent side with both the balls. The ball that earns six hoops and hits the peg to earn peg points is immediately removed from the ground.
Some More Versions
However apart from Garden Croquet there are two other versions of Croquet. One is Golf Croquet that is played by six hoop setting. There are no extra shots and it is a very simple form of Croquet. The second version is Wickets Croquet commonly referred to as the Nine Hoops Croquet. This game is played by nine hoops and pegs. The hoops are in a double diamond formation. This Croquet is very famous in North America and many South European countries.