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How Many Hoops Are Used In A Game Of Croquet?

How Many Hoops Are Used In A Game Of Croquet

Croquet is a fun sport that some people play professionally. For many others, however, it is just a recreational activity. Since croquet sets contain several pieces of equipment, it can be challenging to keep track of everything you need to play the game. Therefore, you may find yourself asking questions such as “how many hoops are used in a game of croquet?” Continue reading as we answer that question and explain the game in detail.

Hoops are the essential pieces of equipment for croquet. Read this guide to find out how many hoops you need for professional and casual croquet games. This article will also explain how to set up the hoops correctly.

Hoops Used In A Game Of Croquet

Six or nine hoops are used in a game of croquet. The number of hoops used largely depends on how many hoops are in your croquet set and the size of the playing court. Continue reading to discover how you can set up your croquet game with six or nine hoops.

How To Set Up A Croquet Game With Six Hoops

How To Set Up A Croquet Game With Six Hoops

The number of hoops in your croquet set determines the ideal dimensions of the croquet lawn.

Follow these steps to set up a croquet game with six hoops.

1. Make a rectangle with dimensions 14 x 17.5 m (45 x 57.4 ft).

Note: For games with children, you can use dimensions 10 x 12.5 m (32.8 x 41 ft).

2. Use a flag or stick to mark the yard line.

3. Stake the center point of the rectangle with another flag.

4. From any corner of the yard line, measure 1/4 of the field’s shorter length and place the first hoop at this point.

Note: Some croquet sets have one hoop with a blue top, indicating that it is the first one. If your hoops are unmarked, you may use any one as the first hoop.

5. Place three more hoops the same way, starting from the other three corners of the field.

6. Starting at the center stake, measure 4.7 m (15.4 ft) toward one of the short sides of the rectangle and place the fifth hoop.

7. Return to the center stake and measure an equal distance in the other direction. Place the final hoop there.

How To Set Up A Croquet Game With Nine Hoops

How To Set Up A Croquet Game With Nine Hoops

Follow these steps to set up a 9-hoop croquet game.

1. Create a rectangle with dimensions 15.2 x 30.4 m (49.8 x 99.7 ft).

Tip: If you don’t have enough space for a playing surface of this size, you can use a game field with the following dimensions – 9.1 x 18.2 m (29.8 x 59.7 ft).

2. Stick a hoop into the ground at the exact center of the field.

3. Decide which ends of the field will be the north, south, east and west points. Name one of the field’s shorter sides, the north end and the opposite side, the south end. The longer sides will be the west and east.

4. From the center hoop, walk 9.75 m (31.9 ft) toward the north end of the field and stick another hoop into the ground.

5. Return to the center circle and walk 9.75 m to the south side. Place the third hoop there.

6. Place another hoop about 1.8 m (5.9 ft) away from the third hoop.

7. Continue walking toward the south side and place a stake (not a hoop) after 1.8 m.

8. Repeat steps 8 and 9 on the north side.

9. Return to the center hoop and walk 1.8 m diagonally southeast. This is the spot for the sixth hoop.

10. Place the last three hoops 1.8 m apart in the other three diagonal directions.

Croquet Equipment And Court Explained

Croquet Equipment And Court Explained

We’ll go over the various pieces of croquet equipment and their functions.

1. Croquet Hoops

Croquet hoops, also known as wickets in the United States, are among the most important pieces of equipment for the game of croquet. You have to put the hoops into the ground at specific positions on the field. Tournament hoops must be made of cast iron or welded bright steel bars.

Tip: It is best to choose hoops with thicker uprights to ensure they don’t get knocked over by hard shots.

2. Croquet Balls

Every set comes with balls of different colors and each player has to choose a specific ball that they will use for the entire game. Croquet balls come in different sizes and weights, but the official regulation size balls must weigh 16 oz (453 g) and have a diameter of 9.2 cm (3.6 in).

3. Croquet Mallets

Croquet Mallets

Mallets are essential when playing croquet because you use them to knock the balls around. Croquet mallets are available in various shapes, designs and sizes.

4. Croquet Winning Posts

Winning posts, also known as croquet pegs, are to be placed in the middle of the court. The first player or team to get their balls through all the hoops and hit the winning post is the winner of the game.

5. Croquet Clips

You may find some croquet sets with clips. These clips are used to indicate the next hoop to target during a game.

6. Croquet Hoop Mallets

In addition to the regular croquet mallets, some croquet sets come with a smaller mallet known as the hoop mallet. This mallet is designed to hit the hoops and secure them firmly into the ground. Hoop mallets usually come with wooden handles, but the mallet head can be made from metal.

7. Croquet Yard Markers

Yard markers, sometimes called corner pegs, are wooden pegs that you can use to mark the yard lines.

Note: If you’re using corner markers, ensure that they don’t protrude.

8. Croquet Corner Flags

Croquet Corner Flags

You may find four corner flags in your croquet set. These flags are usually in different colors –  blue, red, black and yellow. You place the corner flags at the four corners of the rectangular court.

9. Croquet Hoop Drills

Hoop drills can help prevent hoop damage when sticking them into the ground. Rather than forcing the hoops into the ground, you can use these drills to create holes for the hoops in the ground.

10. The Croquet Court

The dimensions of croquet courts vary depending on the available space. Association croquet games are played on courts with dimensions 32 x 25.6 m (104 x 83 ft). However, the dimensions of a golf croquet court are 15.2 x 30.4 m (49 x 99 ft).

Note: You can adjust and decrease the court size for golf croquet, but the proportions need to be the same as for a standard court.

How To Play Croquet

How To Play The Game Of Croquet

Here we’ll explain everything you need to know about playing croquet.


Needed For Croquet
A croquet game requires at least two players and either two or four balls to begin.

Note: Some croquet sets come with two additional balls, totaling six balls in the set.


You can have six or nine hoops on your croquet field.


The main objective of the game is to be the first person or team to score 14 hoops and two stakes in the correct order.

Click here to find the best croquet set.

Game Play

Each player has a ball and mallet of the same color. Your first turn starts with the ball between the finishing stake and the first hoop. After the fourth round, each turn begins with the player deciding which of the two balls to strike. Players will hit the chosen ball throughout that turn and the other ball is called “the partner ball”.

Bonus Shots

You are awarded a bonus shot anytime you score a hoop point or hit the stake. Players also win bonus shots when the striker’s ball hits the opponent’s ball.


Croquet Game Rules

Here are some of the most important rules in croquet.

Starting The Croquet Game

Toss a coin. The winner of the coin toss decides who plays first. However, the opponent chooses the ball colors for both teams.


  • Take the shot if your opponent has left a ball near your next hoop and you have a good chance of hitting it.
  • Aim to make it difficult for your opponent to make a roquet while making it easier for you to make a hoop on your next turn.

Visit our blog post to learn more about winning croquet strategies.


As you approach the end of the game, try to peel both of your balls through the rover hoop together. This will eliminate the risk of your opponents pegging your ball with their rover ball.


Some croquet clubs and associations, like the England Croquet Club, use a handicapping system called bisques. A bisque is an extra turn in which you must play with the same ball you used in the previous turn.


You can play croquet against one opponent or in groups of two or three players.

Check out our post for more information on croquet rules.

The Croquet Grip

Croquet Grip

Your grip should feel comfortable and natural. There are three grips commonly used in croquet.

Standard Grip – In the standard grip, the upper hand grips the shaft near the top as your knuckles point forward. Your lower hand supports the back of the shaft.

Solomon Grip – Grasp the top of the shaft with both hands while ensuring that the knuckles are in front.

Tip: You can use the Solomon grip to pull off a big backswing.

Irish Grip – Both hands grip the shaft, with the palms either behind or at the side of the shaft.

The Strokes

There are various kinds of croquet strokes and we’ll briefly describe them below.

The Roquet – Your success in croquet depends on how accurately you can roquet another ball.

Note: A roqueted ball is the ball that has been hit by the striker’s ball.

The Cut Rush – The cut rush is the ability to send the ball in the direction you want, so your subsequent croquet shot becomes easier.

The Take Off – You can use this stroke to send your ball some distance, leaving the croquet ball close to its initial position.

The Drive – For the drive shot, you place two balls together and strike the rear ball along the lines of the centers.

The Stop Shot – You can play a stop shot to send the croqueted ball further than your own ball.

The Roll Shot – This is the opposite of the stop shot. You can use this croquet shot to make the striker’s ball travel farther than the roqueted ball.

Split Shots – You can use split shots to make two balls go in different directions.

Jump Shots – You can pull off a jump shot to make your ball jump over another ball.

Canons – Canons occur when three or more balls come into contact.

Angled Hoop – An angled hoop is a shot that you take when there are only 0.06 inches (1.5 mm) of clearance on either side of the ball.

Read about the traditional croquet attire and croquet party etiquette ahead of your next game.

Margin Of Error

The margin of error is the distance between the striker’s ball and a marker.

Three And Six Player Croquet

Three And Six Player Croquet

Three and Six Player Croquet is a variation of association croquet for three or six players.

American Six Wicket Croquet

This form of croquet is similar to association croquet, but there are a few differences.

Bonus Strokes – The three types of bonus strokes are the roquet stroke, the continuation stroke and the croquet stroke.

Dead And Alive – A “dead” ball is the ball that you have already roqueted once and you cannot score a croquet on the same ball. When the striker’s ball scores another hoop point, the dead ball becomes “alive”.

Note: A turn ends if the striker’s ball hits a ball, it is “dead” on.

Rover Balls – A rover ball is the ball that has scored all the hoop points. Once your rover ball hits the final stake, you have to take it out of play.

Faults – Faults in American six-wicket croquet are the same as in association croquet.

Time Limit – In tournaments, there is a time limit of 45 seconds for each shot.

Nine Wicket Croquet

This is a less formal version of croquet and you need nine hoops to play.

Glossary Of Croquet Terms

Glossary Of Croquet Terms

This glossary contains terms frequently used while playing croquet.

Ball In Hand – The striker’s ball when it has made a roquet.

Break – When a player’s ball scores more than one hoop point in a single turn.

Cannons – Cannons occur when three balls collide on a yard line.

Jump Shot – A shot in which you strike the ball downwards, causing it to jump.

Peel – When the striker’s ball causes another ball to score in its hoop.

Playing Croquet – The Past And The Present

Modern-day croquet originated from “Paille Maille”, a game in which players used mallets to knock balls through hoops. The modern game started in the 1850s. Today, croquet is played all over the world, with international tournaments held annually.

Frequently Asked Questions

There may be six or nine loops in a croquet set. These loops or hoops are usually made of cast iron or welded bright steel bars. The loops are to be set in strategic positions around the court and players will attempt to hit the balls through them until they touch the center peg.

There are six balls in a croquet set, but you can use four balls in most games. Each ball has a diameter of 3.6 in (9.1 cm) and weighs 16 oz (453 g). Most croquet sets include red, yellow, blue and black balls. The two other balls in the set are usually white and green. In a singles court game, players play with two balls each. However, in a four or six player game, everyone gets one ball.

How you set up the hoops for croquet depends on the number of hoops you intend to use. You can set up a croquet game with six or nine hoops. You’ll create a double-diamond pattern with the hoops from the center of the court. You may need a measuring tape to ensure that the distance between them is equal. 

The hoops in croquet are called wickets in the United States. Every croquet set has six or nine hoops, which you have to place strategically on the croquet court. The hoops or wickets are made of metal arches and when the striker’s ball goes through them, you get a hoop point.

Croquet hoop sizes vary depending on what they are designed for. However, the hoop must be 12 in (30 cm) in height above the ground when measured from the top of the crown. The hoop’s width can range between 3.8 in (9.5 cm) and 4 in (10.1 cm).


If you’ve read this far, you’ll know the answer to the question, “How many hoops are used in a game of croquet?” The number of hoops used in croquet is determined by how many hoops are included in a croquet set as well as the size of the field. Generally, most games involve the use of six or nine hoops.

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