What Are the Rules for Playing Croquet in the Backyard?


Quick Answer

When playing croquet in the backyard, divide teams by following the colors in the order presented on the stakes. Extra strokes are earned if the ball is shot through the intended wicket or the turn stake is hit. Two extra strokes are awarded if another ball is hit. Take these strokes the length of the mallet-head away from the ball it hit or while in contact with the other ball being held in place by the striker's foot or hand.

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Full Answer

Shots can also be taken when the balls are still in contact, but the ball that was hit is not steadied, or from where the ball stopped after colliding with the other ball. The second shot is considered a continuation shot and, unless a wicket is cleared during that shot, the ball is considered dead until the player's next turn comes around.

Two extra strokes are also given when the player clears the first two, upper two or seventh wicket in one shot. Only two extra strokes are granted in one play. If the player clears a wicket and hits another ball in the same stroke, he may choose to take his one extra stroke to hit the ball again and gain two additional strokes.

When dividing teams, decide if it is a four- or six-ball game. Four-ball games are teams of black and blue balls against red and yellow balls. Six-ball games are blue, black and green balls versus red, yellow and orange balls. Croquet balls can also be played singly to accommodate up to six players.

Croquet courts are set up with two turning stakes on each end. Two wickets are located in front of each stake, as well as two on each side and one in the middle. Balls rotate clockwise through wickets.

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