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Rules of American Croquet


7.1 Deadness

When the striker earns the croquet shot, the striker ball becomes “dead” on the roqueted ball and may not roquet it again until the striker ball scores its next wicket or is cleared of deadness under rule 7.3 (1-back) or 9.2 (blocking).

7.2 Ball Cannoned

Any ball struck by a roqueted or croqueted ball or by a ball hit by the striker ball after a roquet shall be given credit for wicket or stake points it scores in the shot and no additional deadness shall be incurred.

7.3 Special Relief from Deadness

a) As each ball of both sides scores its 1-back wicket, the opposing side has the option of clearing the deadness from one of its balls. The side eligible for this relief, if it chooses the option, shall declare to the opponent which ball it is clearing before playing the first shot of its next turn or no relief shall be given; however, the declaration need not be made prior to that time.

Exception: If a striker has taken ball in hand (moved the ball) after claiming a wire, the striker cannot then clear the striker ball of deadness under the 1-back rule; however, the partner ball may be cleared of deadness.

b) If a striker causes an opponent’s ball to score the 1-back wicket, the striker shall have the option of clearing either ball of the striker’s side after the shot ends. The striker must exercise the option:

1) before the next shot of the turn, or

2) before the first shot of the sides next turn, if the shot ends the turn with the 1 back wicket scored for the opponent.

If the score occurs in the roquet shot, the striker ball may be cleared; however, it shall be placed in contact with the roqueted ball, the croquet shot shall be taken, and the striker ball shall be considered dead on the croqueted ball. If the score occurs in the croquet shot, the striker ball may be cleared of all deadness and the continuation shot taken as if the striker had just scored a wicket.

c) When both balls of a side have deadness and the side declares which ball is to be cleared of deadness after an opponent scores the 1-back wicket, the first color declared by the side shall be the one cleared and may not subsequently be changed.

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