Ricochet - The Easy Way to Association Croquet

The Game of Ricochet


Enclosed for your information is a set of rules on Ricochet developed in co-operation with clubs in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. Our purpose was to develop a common set of rules that would enable players in a club to play ricochet elsewhere without having to learn new variants of the game. The development of these rules was co-ordinated by John Riches for the Laws Committee. However, it is recognised that clubs will vary these rules to suit their own particular purposes, in particular when using Ricochet for coaching purposes.

In developing these rules, various people asked for rulings on particular situations about which they have had some doubts and these are given on the accompanying sheet.

Mervyn Dunkley
Chairperson, Croquet Australia Laws Committee


Introduced by John Riches of S.A., Ricochet is a game for new-comers, which teaches more efficiently, most basic ideas leading to other forms of croquet.

After demonstrating how to hold the mallet and hit a single ball, and maybe a round of Golf Croquet to get the lay of the course and practise at hoops and roquets, the beginner is ready for Ricochet. It is played like Association Croquet except that players never take croquet.

Players take turns as in Golf Croquet and clips are used. When a ball is roqueted, the player gets two further shots, but the first of these is played from where his striker's ball comes to rest. He can hit his ball near another ball (good practise for rushes) and roquet it to get two more shots, and can use each ball once before making a hoop. Partners, if used, can help each other.

Suggest 6 hoops and the peg for a start. Play on half courts is a help for beginners and two balls from another set may be thrown in to help players progress more readily.

After a few games of Ricochet, beginners can be taught Rolls, Stopshots etc. and then take croquet when a roquet is made.


Ricochet is an advancement on Golf Croquet and Aussie Croquet, with Rules as close as possible to Association Croquet but with one major exception - croquet strokes are not played. This allows another group of players to participate in a mallet sport without the challenges of Association Croquet. It can be understood and played by newcomers almost immediately, and can be used either as an efficient way of introducing players to Association Croquet, or as a competitive game in its own right.

1.The game is played on a court set up as for Association Croquet, with four coloured clips used to indicate the next hoop in order for each ball.

The game may be played as:

Singles, where each player has two partner balls (either Blue & Black or Red & Yellow). If a second game is played on the same court, then the colours are Green & Brown vs Pink & White. The players take alternate turns. In a turn a player may play either of his balls, but must continue to play the same ball (referred to as the 'striker's ball') throughout that turn;

or Doubles (also referred to as "Shared Singles"), where two pairs of players play each other. The players in each pair alternate in taking the turn for their side, and can play the turn with either of their two balls.

3.The game starts with the toss of a coin. The winner may either nominate which side is to play first, or choose which pair of balls to play with. The loser then makes the remaining choice.
4.As in Association Croquet, the first four turns of a game are commenced by hitting a ball into the game from any position on either baulk line. At the start of a turn the player may attempt to make the ball he plays eitherroquet' (hit) one of the other three balls or Prun' a hoop by passing through it in the required direction. If he fails, the turn ends.
5.Hoops are'run'and scored as in Association Croquet. After making a hoop the player becomes entitled to play one further stroke. If another hoop or roquet is not made in that stroke, the turn ends. If a ball comes to rest in a hoop, then provided it had entered the hoop from the correct side the player may hit it through in a subsequent stroke, or it may be knocked out or knocked through ('peeled') by another ball. As in Association Croquet, if a ball enters its hoop from the incorrect side it cannot run the hoop until it first comes to rest in a position where it has not begun to run the hoop (i.e. a position where no part of the ball protrudes from the back of the hoop).
6.A roquet is made when the striker's ball hits a 'live' ball. All balls are live at the start of a turn, and all dead balls become live again after a hoop has been run.
7.A 'dead' ball is one that has been roqueted during a turn, and it remains dead until a hoop is run or a new turn begins. If the striker's ball hits a dead ball no roquet is made and there is no penalty involved.
8.After making a roquet the striker is entitled to two further ('free') strokes and he plays the first of these strokes from where the ball lies. If in that first free stroke the striker's ball leaves the court without making a roquet or running a hoop, it is measured onto the 'yardline' in the nearest available position and the turn ends. A roquet or hoop can be made in either of the two free strokes, but the additional strokes earned by making a hoop or roquet cannot be accumulated. After making a roquet the striker is always entitled to just two further strokes, and after making a hoop (without also making a roquet) the striker is entitled to only one further stroke. In the second free stroke the striker's ball must either make a roquet or run a hoop, otherwise the turn ends
9.After a roquet has been made any ball which has left the court is replaced on the yardline in the nearest available position to where it went out. Any ball other than the striker's ball which has come to rest in the yardline area is similarly replaced, and the turn then continues.
10.If the striker's ball comes to rest touching a live ball, a roquet has been made and the player may strike his ball in any direction, but the mallet may touch only the striker's ball.

A ball which has scored the last hoop is known as a rover ball and its clip is placed on the peg. A rover ball will be 'pegged out' if it is caused to hit the peg in any stroke in which the striker's ball is a rover ball. The pegged out ball and its clip are removed from the court.

The game ends when both balls of a player or side have been pegged out.

12.In a stroke, the striker's ball may 'ricochet' off another ball (live or dead) and either run its hoop or'peel' another ball orpeg out' another ball. Only one 'roquet' may be made in any stroke, and is made on the first live ball which the striker's ball contacts.
13.The "hoop and roquet" rule applies as in Association Croquet, but in Ricochet there are no "wiring lifts".

Faults, other errors and interferences appiy as in Association Croquet, and are explained in the Australian Laws Book. Faults may include "double tapping" the striker's ball, allowing any ball to touch any part of the strikers body or clothing, allowing any ball other than the striker's ball to touch the mallet, failing to strike the ball distinctly, striking the ball with any part of the mallet other than the end face, or deliberately damaging the lawn. Other errors include playing when not entitled to do so, playing the wrong ball, and playing when a ball is misplaced.

Interferences include the displacing of a ball by a player or ball from another game, wrongly removing a ball from play, failing to remove from play a ball which has been pegged out, and playing when misled by a clip which has been incorrectly placed by the opponent or when misled by false information supplied by the opponent.

15.In Doubles it is an error to play out of turn, and if the error is discovered before the first stroke of the opponents'next turn, the error is rectified by replacing the balls where they were at the start of the turn, and the turn ends. If it is discovered after the opponents have played the first stroke of their next trun, the error is ignored and the game continues with the next turn of their side being played by the partner of the player who committed the error.
16.As in Association Croquet, if a game is not finished either a "stop on the bell" rule may be used, or "turns after the bell" may be permitted as set out in Regulation -11 5 ofthe Australian Laws Book.
17.Playing out of sequence- In a doubles game, if the wrong player (i.e. the same one who played the previous turn for his side) plays, and the error is discovered before the first stroke of the opponents'next turn, the balls are replaced and the turn is begun again with the correct player playing. However if the error is discovered after an opponent has played a stroke, the balls are not replaced, and the game continues with the changed player sequence - i.e. the next turn for the side which committed the error is played by the partner of whoever played the last turn for that side.

Questions and Answers

Q1.After making a roquet my striker's ball came to rest very close to a 'dead' ball - not the one it had just roqueted. What happens if in the next stroke I roquet the 'dead' ball?
A1.It will not be a 'roquet'. This is quite OK, and it makes no difference whether the 'dead' ball was the ball you just roqueted or another dead ball. There will be no penalty unless you commit a fault, (e.g. a 'double hit') or send the striker's ball out over the boundary before it roquets a live ball or runs its hoop. Sending the dead ball out does not end the turn.
Q2.After the first 'free" shot my striker's ball came to rest less than one inch (about 2 cm) from a 'dead' ball - in this case the one I had roqueted in the previous stroke - which prevented me from shooting at a 'live' ball. Can I play a "saving shot" on the dead ball?
A2.Yes, but if you hit directly into the dead ball it is likely that you will commit a ."double hit" fault. After the stroke your turn will have ended unless your strikers ball roqueted a live ball or ran its hoop in that stroke.
Q3.After the first "free" shot my striker's ball came to rest in contact with a 'dead' ball. Can I play a 'croquet' stroke, and what happens if either ball goes out over the boundary?
A3.There are no 'croquet strokes' in Ricochet, but you can play what would be referred to as a 'croquet stroke' in Association Croquet. That is, you can hit into the dead ball (roll, split, stop-shot, etc) and move it. Causing either ball to go out over the boundary would not necessarily end the turn; however your turn will end unless your striker's ball in the same stroke roquets a live ball or runs its hoop in order.

(Note that in the above answer the shot referred to is the second "free" shot. It is also possible immediately after a roquet for the striker's ball to come to rest in contact with a 'dead' ball. In that case it would be the first "free" shot and the same things would apply, except that the strikers turn would end if the strikers ball went out before roqueting a live ball or running its hoop.)
Q4.My opponent's balls were in contact in the second corner. I roqueted one of them, sending it out in the corner, and my striker's ball also went out in the corner. When I replaced the balls on the yardline I had three balls in contact - a "cannon" situation - what can I do now?
A4.In Ricochet this can be a rather awkward situation, as the strikers ball has to be replaced in the nearest available position, and there is no provision for moving it once it has been replaced on the yardline, although either of the two balls that went out could be replaced first. There seem to be two possibilities