6 Wicket American Croquet
The US Croquet Association created a variation of the Association rules.The object of the game is the same. Whether you are playing singles or doubles is to make both of your balls to run through all the hoops in the order shown here and to hit the winning stake before your opponent(s).
The court in its full size is 105' X 84' with the hoops 1,2,3 & 4 being set in 21' from each boundary. Hoops 5 & 6 are set in the center (east to west) and 31-1/2' from north & south boundaries. A single winning stake is positioned in the center. The boundary is marked with a white string and the corners marked with flags in the colors shown. If space doesn't permit a full size court, any size can be laid out so long as the 5:4 ratio is maintained.
Croquet is played with the blue & black balls competing against the red & yellow balls. In singles, each of two players uses two balls. Doubles is played with each of 4 players hitting one ball each. Each player hits the same ball throughout the game. The game continues until either, one team scores all the hoops in the order shown including the winning stake with both balls, or, has scored the most points within a time limited game.
The game begins with each ball hit, in turn, from 3 feet behind hoop #1. The order in which the balls play are indicated by the color sequence, from the top, on the winning stake. Each player (striker) in turn, positions their ball similarly, and begins the game. A ball, however, is not considered to be "in play" until it has gone through #1 hoop. A ball has passed through a wicket when it comes to a complete stop on the exiting side of the wicket. Clips, matching the ball colors are used to keep track of which hoop that same color ball is going to score next.
If during a turn, a ball comes to rest beyond the boundary or less than 9" from it, it is placed 9" inside the boundary line perpendicular to the point it crossed the line. The striker's turn ends when any balls roll past the boundary line unless it is the striker's ball that has rolled out of bounds after becoming "ball in hand".
When the player’s ball passes through a hoop in the required direction, a point is counted and a single continuation shot is earned. Each successive wicket passed through earns an additional point and earns one additional continuation shot.
If the striker's ball hits a ball it is alive on, that is, a ball that has not been hit by the striker since its last hoop was scored, it becomes "ball in hand". At this point the striker's ball is placed next to the "roqueted" ball for the first of two earned shots. The first, the "croquet" shot is taken by hitting the striker's ball causing both balls to move, hopefully to their desired location. The second, "continuation" shot, is taken by hitting the striker's ball from where it came to rest after the croquet shot.
Deadness is a condition of a ball that has croqueted another ball during the course of its turn. A striker can hit any ball it is alive on during their turn. Deadness is cleared on all other balls when the striker scores its next hoop. A team can also clear the deadness on any one ball of its choice each time the opposing team scores the "1 Back" hoop.
When a ball has scored the "rover" hoop, it is considered a rover ball and is alive on all the balls on the court. It can clear its deadness by running through any hoop in either direction but can only hit each ball on the court once during a turn. The purpose of remaining in the game is to assist its partner ball in scoring more hoops.
A more thorough understanding of the rules can be had by reading the current USCA rule book, available on our website [HERE] or by viewing them online at the USCA website.
Migrating from the Association rules game to USCA rules (or visa versa)? Help is available with the 'Differences Handbook' in our Books & Video section.