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Croquet Terms Explained

"Some of the terms used in the rules of croquet can be unfamiliar and confusing to a beginner. This simple guide gives a brief explanation of some of the common terms used by croquet players and will help you understand the rules of the game more easily.


The player who is the owner of the ball that is being played.


A single hit of the striker's ball made by the striker with their mallet

Striking Period

The period during which the Striker is making their stroke. During that period, a fault can be committed. The Striking Period starts on the last backward swing before the Striker hits their ball and ends when the Striker moves having taken their stroke or when the next stroke starts if the Striker does not move between strokes.

Running a Hoop

Where a ball passes completely through the next hoop in order in the correct direction of play. The ball must fully pass through the hoop so that the back of the ball cannot be seen when the hoop is viewed side on, to be deemed to have run the hoop and for a point to be scored

Make a Roquet

When the striker's ball strikes another ball. This is a strategy that players can use to earn extra strokes during their turn. The striker can roquet each other ball on the court once and then take croquet from each of these balls before striking their own ball through the next hoop on the court

Take Croquet

Having made a Roquet, the player places their ball in contact with the displaced ball and then strikes their ball so that the other ball moves.

Live Ball

A ball that can still be roqueted as it has not yet been struck by the Striker's ball since it has passed through its last hoop.

Dead Ball

A ball that has already been roqueted and had croquet taken from it. The striker cannot take croquet from the same ball twice between passing through its last hoop and the next consecutive hoop on the court.

Continuation Stroke

An additional stroke a player is entitled to, having taken croquet or run a hoop

Making a Break

Running several hoops in a turn by earning a combination of croquet strokes and continuation strokes. By carefully setting up roquets between hoops and taking croquet, players can put their ball in a favourable position to allow them to pass through several hoops in one turn.

Rover Ball

A ball that has passed through the last hoop on the court on its return circuit but has not yet ""pegged out"". This ball can continue to be played in turn, to help the player's or team's other ball to finish the game and help prevent the opponent's balls from finishing.

Pegging Out

Striking the ball against the winning peg after it has passed through all 12 hoops in order. A ball that has pegged out is removed from the court.

Double Banking

Using one court to play 2 independent games simultaneously. This requires one game to be played with 1st colour balls: Red, Yellow, Blue and Black and the other to be played with 2nd colour balls: Brown, Green, Pink and White

Baulk Lines

The starting lines at either end of the court used in International Association Croquet. This is where players place their balls to play their first stroke onto the court

Yard Line

An invisible line, a yard inside the boundary of the court. Balls lying between the Yard line and boundary or going off court are placed back on the Yard line at the point they crossed it at the start of their next turn.

Off Court

A ball that has crossed the boundary is deemed to be ""Off court"" and should be placed back on the point on the boundary where it left the court when it is time for it to be played on its next turn.

Outside Agencies

An item not connected to the game such as an animal, spectator, players or equipment from another game. Outside agencies also include balls from the game itself, which are balls in hand or not in play and also clips which are not attached to a hoop or the peg.

Ball in Hand

A ball that leaves the court or has been temporarily removed to be wiped clean or to be replaced to rectify an error for example. The striker's ball also becomes a ball in hand once it has made a roquet or if it stops in the yard line area.