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Rules of American Croquet


8.1 Ball Out of Bounds

  Figure 5
Ball In and Out of Bounds

The turn ends at the conclusion of a shot in which any ball goes out of bounds, except for:

a) a striker ball that goes out of bounds after a roquet, or

b) a ball that the striker ball hits directly or cannons after roqueting another ball (rule 6.2b).

8.2 Out of Bounds Defined

A ball is out of bounds (figure 5) when its vertical axis crosses the boundary line (more than halfway over). It shall be placed nine inches directly in from where it went out of bounds, or, if in a corner, nine inches from both boundaries. If placement of the ball is restricted by the presence of another ball, refer to rule 8.3. Any ball moved accidentally while placing a ball in bounds shall be replaced without penalty.

8.3 Ball Replacement

  Balls Out of Bounds
FIGURE 6. Balls Out of Bounds
ABOVE: The striker, Yellow, has ended the turn and is responsible for the position of Red, Black, and Blue.
BELOW: Blue, Black, and Red own their new positions. Due to the presence of Black, Yellow cannot be placed directly in from the boundary line and therefore may be placed up to nine inches from Black, as indicated by the several positions of the Yellow ball, but not in contact with Black or any other ball.
NOTE: Yellow may not be placed on the other side of Blue because it would be farther than nine inches from Black.
  Balls Placed In Bounds

As shown in figure 6:

a) After each shot, any ball that:

  1. goes out of bounds,
  2. stops less than nine inches inside the boundary line, or
  3. is replaced less than nine inches inside the boundary line after a fault,

shall be placed nine inches in from the boundary line.


  1. If the striker ball stops less than nine inches inside the boundary line and has a continuation shot remaining, the shot is played from that position.
  2. After a roquet, if the striker ball goes out of bounds or stops inside the nine inch line, the striker ball is ball in hand. (rule 6.2a).

b) If, due to the presence of another ball, a ball cannot be placed directly in from where it went out of bounds or stopped, it shall be placed nine inches in from the line and up to nine inches in either direction the striker chooses from the other ball, but not in contact with any ball.

c) If two or more balls are sent out of bounds, or come to rest less than nine inches from the boundary, the striker shall have the option to place any ball in bounds first, with the other ball(s) measured in bounds afterwards.

d) A ball that occupies a boundary position and is not moved by another ball (except a ball in hand) retains that position. Any ball that comes to rest nine inches or more from the boundary shall retain that position. If another ball cannot be measured in because of the ball, it shall be measured in as provided in rule 8.3b.

8.4 Opponent Replacing Ball

An opponent may place the striker ball or any other ball required to be placed in bounds only if the opponent has the consent of the striker.

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