Rules of the Game

A schematic of USCA 6-wicket, 1-stake croquet
A schematic of USCA 6-wicket, 1-stake croquet

What we’re talking about — croquet as a sport not a mere game — is pool or billiards played on fairly flat turf about the size of a doubles tennis court.

The kids’ way of playing ends up being all about (ital) defense — hit the other guy’s balls so far away it’ll take them two or three turns to come back.

What about offense? You want to win, don’t you?

The new rules allow you to play the other guy’s balls to give yourself extra turns, to position yourself for easy wickets. And also for defense, put those balls at bad angles to burn off the other fellow’s turn.

The new rules aren’t new. I just didn’t know them. They’re really British, adopted a bit for America by the U.S. Croquet Association.

Here are the rules for nine-wicket, the proverbial backyard game.

Printing out the rules to have one hand isn’t a bad idea.