top of page

Official Croquet Rules

Croquet is a classic lawn game that involves hitting wooden balls with a mallet through a series of hoops (wickets) embedded in the grass. The game can be played individually or in teams, and the objective is to complete the course by successfully maneuvering through the hoops and hitting a finishing stake. Here are the detailed rules for playing croquet:


  • Croquet Mallets: Each player or team needs a mallet with a handle and a striking face.

  • Croquet Balls: Each player or team is assigned a set of colored balls (typically four colors: blue, red, black, and yellow).

  • Hoops (Wickets): A set of hoops or wickets placed in the ground to create the course.

  • Stakes: A central stake placed at the center of the course as the finishing point.

  • Boundary Flags: Flags or markers to indicate the boundaries of the playing area.

  • Measuring Equipment: Measuring tape or similar equipment to set up the course accurately.


  1. Mark the Course:

    • Set up the course by placing the hoops in the ground according to the layout of the course. The standard layout is a double diamond shape, but variations are possible.

    • Place the finishing stake in the center of the course, known as the peg.

  2. Assign Colors:

    • Assign each player or team a set of colored balls. Players take turns, with the starting order determined by random selection or a predetermined method.


  1. Starting Position:

    • Players start from a designated starting area, typically located near the first hoop.

  2. Order of Play:

    • Players take turns hitting their balls in the order determined at the beginning of the game.

    • In a doubles game, teammates take turns hitting alternate balls.

  3. Hitting the Ball:

    • Players use their mallets to strike their balls, aiming to pass through the hoops in the correct order.

    • The striking face of the mallet must make contact with the player's ball.

  4. Passing Through Hoops:

    • To score points and advance through the course, players must pass their ball through each hoop in the correct order.

    • Players can hit opponents' balls to send them off course or prevent them from passing through hoops.

  5. Scoring Points:

    • Players earn points for each hoop they successfully pass through.

    • Additional points may be awarded for hitting the finishing stake or other designated points on the course.

  6. Finishing the Course:

    • The game ends when all players or teams have successfully passed through all the hoops and hit the finishing stake.

    • The player or team with the highest score at the end of the game wins.

Additional Rules and Tips:

  • Obstruction Rule: Players are allowed to obstruct opponents' progress by placing their balls strategically on the course.

  • Boundaries: Players must keep their balls within the boundaries of the playing area.

  • Etiquette: Good sportsmanship and fair play are essential in croquet. Players should respect opponents and follow the rules of the game.

  • Practice: Regular practice improves accuracy and strategy.

Croquet is a strategic and enjoyable lawn game that combines skill and precision with friendly competition. Whether played casually in the backyard or competitively in tournaments, croquet offers hours of fun and entertainment for players of all ages.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see our disclosures here.

Browse Related Games!

bottom of page