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Rules of American Croquet


2.1 The Turn

a) Each player is entitled to one shot at the start of a turn, after which the turn ends unless the striker ball earns an additional shot(s) by:

  1. scoring a wicket (rule 6.1), or
  2. roqueting another ball (rule 6.2).

b) A player’s turn begins when the previous player’s turn ends. The player’s turn ends when:

  1. the shot clock expires,
  2. a shot is completed with no croquet or continuation shot earned,
  3. a fault is committed, or
  4. the player intended to strike the ball but missed it entirely.

c) A player may pass a turn or shot. To pass, a player shall declare audibly to the opponent the color of the ball playing and the intention to pass. Once the announcement has been made, the turn has finished and may not be replayed. A player who passes out of turn has played out of turn.

2.2 Court Damage

a) Players may pick up or move any loose impediments from the court surface. Some examples include worm casts, leaves, nuts, twigs, and similar material. Players may not pull out or press down anything growing on the court surface.

b) The striker may not move any ball because of an inequity on the court surface unless the inequity constitutes special damage. Some examples of special damage include old wicket holes, irrigation heads, in need of repair or improperly repaired divots or scars, and worn out areas on the corner spots or between the uprights of a wicket. The normal hazards of an indifferent court do not constitute special damage.

c) With the consent of the opponent and/or official, special damage may be repaired or balls may be moved no more than is necessary to avoid the special damage or boundary restrictions but never to the advantage of the striker. When any ball is moved, the striker must also move any other ball likely to be affected by the next stroke so as to maintain their relative positions, provided that such a ball is not in a critical position. After the shot, all balls moved to avoid playing on damaged areas should be moved back the same relative distance before the next shot unless they were moved as a result of the shot.

2.3 Aiming Aids

a) In singles, a striker may not place an outside aid (i.e., a coin or leaf) inside or outside of the court to assist in aiming.

b) In doubles, a player may indicate a spot (i.e., by foot, mallet, or a finger) for the partner to shoot at, but must remove the aid before the shot is taken.

2.4 Cleaning Ball

A striker may mark and lift a ball to wipe it clean at any time during the striker’s turn, and shall advise the opponent before doing so.

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