Inviting discussion on points of etiquette, conduct and the laws, with particular emphasis on helping improving players.


Don't be offended! The ettiquette and 6th edition law of placing a ball on the yard line with your back to the court has been extended in the 7th edition Law 15.6.

It is no longer a requirement if there is a choice of positions due to the proximity of other balls.

Posted by the ref 27th March 2021

7th edition AC LAWS now in print

To make a start on digesting the new edition of the laws I suggest you begin with quickly reading the glossary HEADINGS. These entries should be familiar to you but there are 2 new concepts introduced in the glossary. 'Critical Position' and 'Critical Shot' You should now have a copy of the new laws open while you read on. They can be downloaded here

To understand these two new concepts you need to refresh yourself on what 'Interference' is:- Interference happens when a ball is moved accidentality or by an outside agency. It can happen during a stroke (typically casting) or between strokes by moving a ball accidentality . In open play both interferences can be redressed as they would be under the old laws. But the new laws now tighten things up when the position is 'critical' See the glossary now!

Please now read new law and which are at the heart of the changes relating to 'casting'. Note that if both sides agree the ball has been marked accurately, then the shot is treated as non-critical and any interference rectified. However there is an important point to consider. For example, say after running hoop one, striker has a hampered shot at a ball to the North while there is an open shot at a ball near corner four. Deciding on the open shot (non-critical) the strike ball moves while casting. Striker replaces the ball but then decides to change the line of play and take the hampered shot towards the North. That is a no-no. After the non-critical interference the new laws prevent striker from adopting a different line of play involving a critical shot. Another example would be when striker declines an angled hoop opting for an open shot elsewhere and while casting moves the ball. Striker can not now try to make the hoop. To finish this section please read 8.5.4 regarding borderline positions.

This has covered the interference during a shot and to complete section 8.5 of the new laws please read 8.5.3 which will refer you to the rather hefty new law 36 which is about interference BETWEEN strokes.

If law 36 is all new to you then do not try to digest it all. Not much has changed but you must read 36.4 and 36.5 to understand what is new and being addressed in these laws. Optionally continue with 36.2.2 which develops the interference idea and prevents a critical shot being taken afterwards. Lastly look into the exemption of 36.3.3. An example would be striker lifting their strike ball in an emergency to allow double banked ball to pass without colliding.

Memo: Introductory Statement from the WCF Association Croquet Laws Committee regarding law 8.5 follows:

If the striker’s mallet accidentally contacts a ball during the striking period of a critical stroke, that accidental contact will constitute the stroke. If the ball contacted is not the striker’s ball, the stroke will be a fault. A critical stroke is one for which a minor change in the position of the striker’s ball could have a material effect on the intended outcome of the stroke. This change necessitated an extension of the striking period and the new definition matches that of the Golf Croquet Rules.

Restriction on play following an accidental contact; (Law 8.5) If an accidental contact occurs when the stroke is not a critical stroke, or when the striker’s ball has been marked before the stroke is played, the accidental contact does not constitute the stroke. The striker should discontinue the stroke and it is then annulled. The striker may begin the stroke again after replacing any balls that may have been accidentally moved, but may not then attempt any critical stroke that could have been an alternative to the one annulled.

Between the last law (63.6) and the Index are several tables for quick reference. Taking some time to familiarise yourself with what can be found there will be very helpful in the long run.

Posted by the Webmeister, 23rd Febuary 2021

Deletion of previous postings

With the adoption of the 7th edition of the AC Laws and the new rules for GC in 2020 many of the previous postings were depreciated and deleted.

Posted by the Webmeister 23rd March 2021

Hitting the corner peg

When a ball hits a corner peg as it leaves the lawn it does not necessarilly mean that it should be replaced as a corner ball. The ball must be replaced at the point where it first began to cross the edge of the court. This can be a considerable distance from the corner. For example when shooting from the corner one spot, hitting the South corner peg of corner two full on would mean that the ball began to cross the boundary a long way South of the corner. If you were to hit the peg with the right hand side of the ball then it would have left the court even further from the corner.

Pegs should be placed so that they just touch the inside of the boundary line.

Posted by the ref, 20th May 2013

Unknown Roquet

A player making a roquet, believes it to be a scatter shot and quits the lawn. The oncoming striker plays. No redress: Striker quit the lawn in the belief their turn has ended.

Posted by Don Williamson (Referee), 1st July 2012

GC moving balls

INTERFERENCE explains what happens if a moving ball is affected by a moving ball from another game: Any balls moved are replaced and the shot replayed. But if the final position of the ball is not in doubt then it is placed where it would have stopped.
Also worth noting that no points can be scored because of an interference.

Posted by Alan Morton (GC Referee), 22nd June 2012

Ball at Rest

Obviously the position of a ball in the game is where it comes to rest. This is critical for wiring lifts and determining if a hoop point has been scored. The laws state that a ball has come to rest when it has stopped moving and remained still for 5 seconds. If a ball moves after this period the striker should replace it.

A ball in a critical position is deemed to have come to rest only when its position has apparently remained unchanged for at least 5 seconds. If, in addition, its position needs to be tested it is deemed to have come to rest only when its position has been agreed or adjudicated upon.

So if striker wants a test then the test is carried out where the ball actually is unless both sides can agree on its position before it moved.

Posted by Liz Wilson (Referee), 4th July 2010

When not to Forestall

Players sometimes are confused when to forestall play. Typically when an error is about to happen, there is little time to find out, so players should be aware of the laws in order to be ready when called upon to forestall.

All you need to remember is that you do not forestall when you see that your opponent is about to:

  • run a wrong hoop; or
  • play a wrong ball; or
  • purport to take croquet from a dead ball.
  • In all other cases you MUST forestall.

    But, I hear you ask, what is the best etiquette when you do decide to forestall?

    The adversary should forestall play between strokes and, unless the issue concerns the stroke about to be played, must not forestall play after a stroke has started and before it has been played.

    Posted by the ref, 4th June 2010

    Ref or umpire?

    When playing a shot in which a fault may be committed you must call for a referee by raising the mallet vertically above your head. However in the following circumstances all that is required is an umpire.

    ON CALL: To decide whether:
    1. a ball hits another ball; or
    2. a ball is moved or shaken; or
    3. a ball hits the peg.
    ON APPEAL. To decide whether:
    4. a ball has run a hoop in order or is in position to do so; or
    5. a ball is off the court.

    On call means they are asked to judge an event that is about to happen and on appeal to judge an event that has happened.

    To call for an umpire raise the mallet horizontally above your head.

    Unless specifically identified otherwise by the Tournament Referee, all players entered into the tournament [2011 amendment now adds: who have played in at lease three tournaments] will be deemed to be appointed Umpires by the Tournament Referee. In fact most players on appeal prefer to call for a referee than an umpire because referees will have received training in methods for testing these cases.

    Although most referees will be happy to act as an umpire on call providing they have not had a long walk or interrupted their break to do so, you should try to find an umpire for these jobs before calling for a referee.

    August 2008, Amended by the ref 27th March 2011

    Bisque after wrong ball

    You probably know that if, during a break, you play the wrong ball this will result in the balls going back and end your turn. You may also recall that after that you can take a bisque. As usual in a bisque turn you must continue with the ball you were (supposed to be!) playing but what happens if you play the wrong ball at the start of a non-bisque turn? Can you take a bisque? The answer is yes! Law 37(f) says: If the striker plays a wrong ball in the first stroke of a non-bisque turn and the error is rectified, he may then play a half-bisque or bisque with either ball of his side that could lawfully have been played in the first stroke of the turn.

    Posted by the ref 4th July 2008


    In the environment of teaching Croquet it is often necessary to correct errors as they occur during the game.

    However, during tournament play it is vital that spectators only offer their observations according to the Tournament Regulations.

    TR(R5) is a lengthy and exacting list putting a big demand on the average spectator, so in tournament practice most spectators who see something wrong discreetly consult other spectators to confirm their intervention will be correct.

    Unless a spectator is absolutely certain of their actions then the best course of action is to do nothing.

    The TR(R5) list of when a spectator can intervene is as follows:

  • ERRORS To ensure that play is lawfully continued after an error is claimed or admitted.
  • ERRONEOUS INFORMATION. If he hears a player giving erroneous information on the Laws to his adversary.
  • BALL WRONGLY REMOVED. In a handicap game if a ball is wrongly removed from the game.
  • VOLUNTEER INFORMATION. To volunteer relevant information to a Referee On Appeal.
  • BECOME IN CHARGE. To apply to the Tournament Referee to be placed in charge of a game. If so appointed after he has observed that a particular error has been committed, he may not act in respect of that error or draw attention to a misplaced clip until the error has been claimed or admitted or the limit of claims has passed.
  • Posted by the ref 7th September 2006