Official Squirearchy rules
as of 10/12/2001

A.00 Bloodmatch
B.00 Squirearchy Bloodmatch Championship Belt
C.00 Golden Sharpshooter
1.00 Start of Play
2.00 Sequence of Turn
5.00 Course Set up & Design
6.00 Clearing a wicket
7.00  Obstacles, hazards, and equipment
9.00  Penalties
11.00  Replacing broken balls
12.00 Finishing the game
13.00 Etc
15.00 Etiquette
16.00 Squirearchy rules compared to international and american rules.
17.00 Optional minor adaptions to current rules



A.00 Bloodmatch

When two players compete against each other, it is considered a bloodmatch. If the difference between the two players career average is greater than 40 points, then the matches will only count in the Squirearchy records if the said underdog wins.

B.00 Squirearchy Bloodmatch Championship Belt
B.10 The owner of the championship belt shall be determined only through the faire play of a bloodmatch. (see rule A.00)
B.20 The player with the higher points average will choose the type of game to be played for the bloodmatch. See game varieties rule 17.00.
B.30 The "Number One Contender" can be determined in a variety of ways.
B.31 whoever the current champion decides to face
B. 32 a concensus of the players at a current event
B.33 the decision of the commisioner (if we had one)
B.34 a bloodmatch (see rule A.00)
B.35 player with highest career points average

C.00 Golden Sharpshooter

C.10 Before the start of every Squirearchy match it is decreed upon that a Golden Sharpshooter shall be placed upon the starting stake. Once the winning player has staked out, and bowed to the stick (see rule 1.40); he/she shall promptly remove the Golden Sharpshooter from the stake and take it into their permanent ownership.

C.20 Creation of Golden Sharpshooter
Any player may create a Golden Sharpshooter, but it must fall under certain guiding characteristics.
C.21 The majority color of the Sharpshooter must be gold.
C.22 The figure must be some sort of soldier or bear some form of weaponry.
C.23 Must be able to remain on top of the stake for the entire game.
C.24 The date of the match and the game number of that day be written on the bottom of the Sharpshooter.
C.25 If a figure does not fall under these descriptions, it is up to the majority of playing players to determine if the said figure is worthy. At any time this may be veto-ed by the commissioner.
C.30 Absense of Golden Sharpshooter
If a Squirearchy match is held without a Golden Sharpshooter present, the winner of the match may be awarded a Golden Sharpshooter on a later date. The date of the match shall be written on the bottom of the Sharpshooter.
C.40 Ownership
Once a Golden Sharpshooter is won, that Sharpshooter is the permanent property of this individual. The ownership will be trasffered only if the game is protested and later determined that another player is the winner.
C.50 Display of Sharpshooter
Players may choose to display their Sharpshooters in any ways they wish. Some suggestions are: making a necklace, attaching to mallet, placing in one's pocket. Some great players may find it cumbersome to display their many Sharpshooters.

D.00 The Constitution of the United States of America, and all the powers and rights contained therein, shall also govern the Squirearchy. [7]

E.00 The official headquarters of the Squirearchy shall be Chicago, IL. [7]

F.00 Voting members must advise the MLGC of their whereabouts at least annually. [7]

G.00 Any disputes not contained wherein upon these stated rules, shall be referred to the USCA rules or by consesus of players on the field.


1.00 Start of Play

1.10 See rule 16.01
1.20 For three players or more
For three players or more, the colour order on the starting stick shall be used. Also see rule 16.02.
1.30 For two players
For two players (a bloodmatch) The order of the players will be determined by having each player take aim at a distant target -- tree stumps work well or shooting from the centre hoop, aiming at the starting stake. If the two players cannot decided what to shoot towards, the player with the higher career average has the final say. Once all players have taken their shot at the target, they are ordered from closest to farthest from it.  [8]
1.40 Respect to the stake
Immediately before a player's first stroke, the player must:
1. Take their ball in hand and make the ball touch the appriopiate color on the starting stake.

2. Bow or courtesty to the starting stake.

3. Place their ball down on the ground in position for their first stroke.

4. Play their stroke.

5. If a player does not do this ritual, it will be recorded as an immediate loss for the said player. But the player may continue to play the rest of the game. A player must be strongly warned before such a loss occurs. If they are not given suffiicient warning, then the game shall count in the records.
1.50 Starting time
The start time will be noted before the first player makes the first shot.  [8]
1.60 Players
1.51 Firearms
Please, no firearms on the course at any time.[15]

1.52 Official uniform
The official uniform consists of:
1. A shirt matching the member's ball
2. Pants, shorts, skirt, kilt, leggings, etc. but NO bare bottoms![8]

2.00 Sequence of Turn

A player will strike his/her ball with any part of the mallet. This includes the faces, the sides, or the handle (including the tip, known as the cue shot). For a list of shots, visit Lakewood Croquet's website. Any time any player's mallet touches any ball in any way for any reason, that player will have used his/her next shot. After striking his/her ball that player's turn will then be over unless one or more of the following occurs:[8]

2.10 Completion of a Wicket
Should a player pass completely through any number of wickets in the correct order, he/she will get one additional bonus shot for each wicket completed. A wicket will be considered completed if the ball has completely passed through the entering plane of the wicket. Should the ball pass through the entering plane and roll back (the honor system rules here), it will be considered not through and the wicket not completed.) [8]
2.20  Hitting a Turn post.
Should a player hit any Turn post (most courses, of course have only one) in correct order, he/she will get one extra shot from wherever the ball stops. Should any balls be roqueted on the same shot, normal ball-choice rules will be followed (see 2.30 Roqueting a ball).[8] Once the turn post is hit, he/she will get only one extra shot, any previous extra shots are deleted.
2.30  Roqueting a live ball.
What is a roquet?
1. You hit your ball.
2. Your ball hits another ball (called a roquet)
3. You take an extra turn (called a croquet stroke, see rule 2.40)
4. You take a continuation stroke.

Therefore, if your ball hits another ball, you get two extra turns, the first is the croquet stroke, the second is the continuation stroke.
Remember the order: Roquet, Croquet, Continuation

For more rules on roquets, see rules 16.03, 16.05, 16.13, 16.14, 16.15, 16.16.

Should a player roquet more than one ball from one stroke,  that player will play the croquet stroke from the last ball hit. Extra points do not accumulate for multiple roquets.
2.40 Croquet Stroke
When taking the croquet stroke, a player has 3 options:
1. Leave his/her ball where it lies and take the croquet stroke
2. Move his/her ball within one mallet's head length of the ball that was hit. Then take croquet stroke
3. Move his/her ball so that it touches the ball that was hit. Then take croquet stroke.

2.41 The player must hit only his/her ball in the croquet stroke. If the player hits another ball with their mallet, the balls are returned to their orginal positions (where they were before the roquet stroke) and the player's turn has ended.

2.42 A player may position their ball on the croquet stroke so that it lies underneath the wicket. And if the player hits his/her ball through the wicket, the wicket is considered cleared.

2.43 Once a player clears a wicket any extra strokes resulting from a roquet are deleted.

3.00 Mallet swinging

3.10 Ball Resting Rule
Ball cannot be rested on the mallet when shooting it your shot. Also a backswing is required. For penalty refer to rule 9.40.

5.00 Course Setup & Design

5.10 Liberties
Course designers may take some liberties in their setups, using warps, launchers, and other obstacles. They must inform all players of any special considerations. Designers may also impose "boundaries" to keep play away from cars, water, or other hazards. [4]
5.11 Warps
Warps can be used to "teleport" a ball from one part of the course to another. Once a player enters a warp, the extra shot must be taken from the final designated warp site on that same turn. [4]
5.12 Approval
The entire course must be approved by at least 3 course designers before play can begin. [4]
5.13 Variety in the Course
Although standard backyard croquet is played on a rectangular, 50’ x 100’ double-diamond field, LCC croquet adapts to the particular playing conditions. In general, we prefer to play matches on uneven surfaces. The more hills, bumps, roots, and flower beds, the better. [1]
The wickets are placed according to the general course layout below, but there are no requirements on minimum dimensions or symmetry. It is recommended that when a player is near one wicket he shall be able to see the next. Boundaries are defined only when the circumstances make this advantageous, for example when playing in the vicinity of a mined area. [5]
5.14 Wickets
Wickets may be up to twice as wide as the ball. They must never be narrower than the ball. [15]

6.00 Clearing a Wicket

6.10 Each wicket on the course must be cleared in a specific order, and a wicket cannot be purposely skipped. If a wicket is skipped on accident, that player will have to go back at some point in the game and clear the skipped wicket before they can become a "poison". Knowing the course is expected. [4]

6.11 To clear a wicket, the ball must be 100% through. In the case of a "close call", a ball is considered through the wicket when a straight-edge placed against the approach side of the wicket doesn't touch the ball. [4]

6.12 If a ball completely passes correctly through a wicket from the approach side, but then rolls backwards back through the wicket, the wicket is considered not cleared. [4]

6.13 If a ball is hit or knocked by an opponent and passes through a wicket, it's considered cleared, but doesn't receive an extra shot. [4]

6.14 Clearing a wicket with your ball will earn you an extra shot and make your ball "alive" on all of the other balls. [4]

6.15 If a player upsets the wicket (both sides of the wicket become uprooted), that player's turn has immediately ended (the balls remain where they lie) and the player will lose their next turn. Cases may arise where it is decided that the wicket was inadequately planted and the player will not be penalized. [4]

6.16 Once a player clears a wicket any extra strokes resulting from a roquet are deleted (also stated in rule 2.43).

7.00  Obstacles, hazards, and equipment. [2]

7.10  Obstacles.
Obstacles are defined locally as loose impediments (stones, sticks, dogs, etc.). Obstacles may always be moved if, in doing so, no balls are moved in any way. Should any player attempt to move an obstacle and in doing so move any ball even slightly, the ball is returned to its original position and that player's next shot is considered taken. The honor system rules here. [2]
7.20  Hazards.
Hazards are either a) locally defined “immovable hazards” (buried stones, logs, roots, etc.), or b) locally defined “terrain hazards” (leaf groups, piles of rubble, streams, rip-rap, etc.). No part of any hazard may be moved or altered in any way, except as the result of a shot or a search for a lost ball. Balks (see 9.30 Balks) are not counted in terrain hazards. [2]
7.30  Equipment.
Unused and extra equipment is considered out of play and can be moved at any time by any player. If equipment should have been moved but was not, it is considered in play. Any player who moves or places equipment (including, but not limited to, mallets, beer bottles, etc.) in the path of a moving ball will be suitably punished according to local rules and customs. [2]

9.00  Penalties

A number of infractions and irregularities can occur which are herein addressed.
9.10  Striking another player's ball instead of one's own.
All balls are replaced in their original positions and the offending player's turn is over immediately. Should the player have additional bonus shots earned earlier, they may not be taken.
If the contact with another player's ball occurs in a terrain hazard while looking for a lost ball, there is no penalty. [2]
9.20  Knocking out wickets or posts. [2]
9.21  Knocking out wickets or posts with a ball.
See rule 9.22
9.22  Knocking out wickets or posts with a mallet.
The wicket or post is replaced (see 10.00 Fixing and replacing wickets or posts) and the player's turn is over immediately without any bonuses available (this includes roquet bonus shots). The player has not completed any wickets or posts on this shot (even if it appears that the ball completed the wicket and/or hit the post), will not be allowed to take any bonus shots earned earlier, and he/she will lose his/her next turn. [2]
9.30 Hitting a wicket or post with the mallet before striking the ball, missing the ball completely, or Balking. [2]

9.33  Balks.
Missing the ball completely (hitting only air); stopping a swing part way through the foreswing; hitting the ground without also moving the ball (if the ball moves at all, the shot is considered completed without penalty); or missing the ball by hitting a post or wicket without also moving the ball during a cue shot or a drop shot are all considered Balks. The offending player makes another attempt to strike the ball as normal and complete his/her turn. [2]
9.40  Pushing or pulling balls.
Both are illegal, immoral, and without honor and are punishable anywhere on the continuum from returning the ball to its original position and loss of turn to simple derision, depending on the severity of the push or pull and the competitive level of the game. [2]
9.50  Completing any wicket or Turn post in the incorrect order or direction. [2]

9.51  Completing any wicket or Turn post in the incorrect order or direction, but not taking an additional shot.
Play continues without penalty or benefit. [2]

9.52  Completing any wicket or Turn post in the incorrect order or direction and taking an additional shot.
Should a player complete the wrong wicket or Turn post and play continue for one complete player-turn cycle without the error being noted, play will continue without penalty. If the error is noted before completion of one complete player-turn cycle, the offending player will lose one shot for each incorrect wicket or Turn post completed and one shot for any dead balls roqueted for which bonus shots were taken. All incorrect wickets and Turn posts will be considered not completed.
In other words, the player is assumed to have gone out of turn some number of times and will miss enough shots to cover the number of turns taken “out of turn”. [2]
9.60 Cheating
"Cheat, but don't get caught."
If a player is witnessed cheating by another competitor, the cheating player will be penalized one turn. If he or she is caught a second time during the same match, the player is then disqualified. [1]
9.61 Punishment
"Punishment" could be summarized such that any behavior of a player aimed to disturb the intention of the game is punished by excluding that player from the next round. The state of the game previous to the disturbing behavior shall be restored. [5]
9.70 Property Damage
Any player accidentally damaging property, is given a one stroke penalty (or greater depening upon the incident). And must sit in the penalty box. Any player intentionally damaging property, or accidental damage that is excessive, is given a three stroke penalty, and may be removed from competition depending on group consensus. [14]
9.80 Player Block
Players impeding the travel of the ball will be penalized one stroke while the ball is returned.
9.90 Time Limit
Any player taking more than 30 seconds between shots, unless the players have agreed to take a time out, loses their turn. The next player should always be ready to play.

11.00  Replacing broken balls

The striking player must immediately replace the largest piece of the broken ball with a new ball. The player will get all bonuses accrued by any pieces of the broken ball, with no limit to the number of shots so obtained. Normal ball-choice rules will pertain. [2]

Example: Player A strikes his/her ball, which splits. The larger half goes through the correct wicket, the smaller half spins off and hits Player B's ball. Player A must immediately replace the larger half with a new ball. He/she then may choose which ball to use, the original or Player B's ball (discarding the smaller piece of the original ball). Player A would either keep the original ball and have two shots, one for the wicket and one for the roquet, or may choose Player B's ball, getting one shot for the roquet. In this case, Player B would be through the wicket, but Player A would not. [2]

12.00 Finishing the Game

12.10 Any player who hits the final stake must announce their accomplishment to all of the other remaining players. A loud obnoxious yell is the preferred method. Highly suggested is to develop your own unique signature finishing move. [4]

12.11 Play may be stopped due to weather, daylight, or other time constraints. This will be a majority vote of the existing players. [4]

12.12 If a player forfeits a game, their ball is removed from play. If a player must leave the game, temporarily, it is up to a majority vote of the other players whether or not someone may step in their place. The player may be required to forfeit entirely. [4]

12.13 Also see rules 16.19, 16.20, 16.21, 16.22.

13.00 Etc

13.01 The Stump Rule
The stump rule allows a player to take advantage of the rough nature of our courses.  If a player's ball comes in contact with a tree stump, boulder, or other distinct object (i.e., not a dirt mound), that player has the option of placing the ball on top of that object on his or her next shot and teeing off.  We recommend that they warn any other players in the vicinity with a courtesy shout of "fore!" [2]

13.02 Striking of Ducks
"Look out for the duck!!"
In the event that a competitor becomes frustrated with the match situation, launches his or her mallet into the air and strikes a duck, said player shall be issued a one-shot penalty, losing his or her regular turn in the next rotation. The player shall also be responsible for any aid which must be administered to the effected duck. [1] If this happens to a beloved squirrel, the player shall be immediately and forthright exterminated from the match. No body hurts our esteemed mascot!

13.03 Grudges
"You're gonna regret doing that..."
Grudges amongst players during match play and throughout the course of the season is greatly encouraged. These blood feuds add spice to the competition, and provide much entertainment for the spectators present. If the opportunity presents itself, one should attempt to do all that is within his or her powers to obliterate an opponent from the match. It is not at all unusual for a player to completely disregard his or her own place in a particular match when the opportunity to ruin an opponent's game presents itself. [1]

13.04 Overruling
The Mauler has the final word in everything. Nobody shall challenge what he says. Haha, just kidding. I put this in here to make sure you are reading this.

15.00 Etiquette

15.10 Expediency
You must play with expediency (without undue delay); long trances or extended discussions in doubles are unacceptable (Law 49). To play deliberately slowly in a timed game when it is to your advantage is cheating - there are some viable tactics however. [16]
15.20 Replacing out of bounds ball
When replacing a ball on the yard line you should face out of the court. There then can be no dispute that the ball's position might be adjusted slightly left or right to your advantage. [16]
15.30 Summoning referee or umpire
If you feel that a stroke may have a questionable outcome, then you should have the stroke watched, preferably by a referee or assistant referee. In their absence ask a player from another game, an old lady walking her dog through the Park or finally, as a last resort, your opponent to watch. If you say 'yes' and your opponent says 'no' you have a conflict.[16]

15.31 Summoning a referee
To summon a referee (see below) hold your mallet, head up, above your head. A referee may witness and rule on strokes, explain the Laws and sort out mistakes but not give advice.[16]
15.32 Summoning an umpire
To summon an 'umpire' or assistant referee, hold your mallet horizontally above your head. An assistant referee may witness and rule on strokes, but may not interpret the Laws or give advice.[16]
15.40 Warning a wrong play
If you see a player about to take a croquet before they have actually roqueted, take croquet from the wrong ball and similar omissions you should stop them in the act and query the situation. Most of these acts of omission just require the correct stroke to be played instead. If the balls are disturbed by subsequent play it can be difficult to unravel the game and replace the balls in their correct positions. [16]
15.50 Avoid walking across the striking line of players, whether in your game or the other. [16]

16.00 Squirearchy rules compared to international and american rules.

17.00 Optional minor adaptions to current rules


extreme croquet:
[1] Lakewood Croquet
[2] Connecticut Extreme Croquet Society
[3] Berkeley X-treme Croquet
[4] Golden Mallet Croquet Society
[5] Krocketklubben R.Å.S.O.P.
[6] Dauphiné Croquet
[7] Manassas Lawn & Garden Club
[8] Motor City Mallet Club

official rules
[9] Nine wicket American
[10] Six wicket American
[11] Six wicket International
[12] Six wicket American vs. Six wicket International
[13] Golf Croquet


more extreme croquet
[14] Ironman Croquet
[15] Beach Croquet
[16] Oxford University Croquet Club


chicagocroquet@spudart.org