2018 Midwest Area Schedule

01/27: 2018 MCA Annual General Meeting (East)
06/16: Shield: OKC Central Quad (GC)
06/17: Shield: OKC Central Quad (GC)
08/18: Shield Championship-Milwaukee (GC)
08/19: Shield Championship-Milwaukee (GC)
09/15: MCA 9WS Championship (9WS)
11/16: 2017 MCA Awards

01/26: 2018 MCA Annual General Meeting (South)

BOLD = 9WS Tournaments


MCA Official Six-Ball Rules
(Backyard Croquet Rules)

The rules that follow are the official rules for Six-Ball Croquet which is the most common form of croquet played across the United States. It is generally referred to as backyard croquet or cutthroat croquet and is suited for the majority of croquet sets sold in department and sporting good stores across North America that contain six balls, nine wickets and two stakes.

1. The Court

The nine-wicket croquet court does not require a perfectly flat lawn, but short grass provides the best playing surface. The best height is 1.5 inches or less depending on the density of the grass. Ideally, less than one inch of the ball would rest below the grass level.

The official full-size court is 100 feet by 50 feet. For casual play in the backyard, the size can be modified to fit the available space or to mitigate slow lawn speeds. It is important to maintain at least four feet between the double wickets. See Diagram 1 for all dimensions.

Use string, paint or chalk to mark boundary lines. You can also create boundaries by using flags or stakes at the four corners.

2. Wickets

Official MCA wickets are set to 3-3/4" width. For casual play, try to keep your wicket widths consistent.

3. Balls

Official MCA balls weigh 16 oz. and are 3-5/8" in diameter. The base colors for six-ball are blue, red, black, yellow, green and orange. Each player will play only one of the six balls.

4. Mallets

Only the striking (end) face may be used to strike a ball. Players may not push a ball with their mallet during a shot.

5. How to Play

The goal of croquet is to advance the balls through the wicket pattern by striking them with a mallet, scoring a point for each wicket and stake made in the proper direction and order. The winner is the first player or team to score the 14 wicket points and two stake points for his or her ball. Games are played to 60 minutes and if time runs out before a player stakes out both balls, the player with the most points at the end of last turns wins the game (see Last Turns below for details on timed games).

Only one player plays at a time. The player in play is referred to as the "striker." At the start of a turn, the striker is entitled to one shot. After the completion of that shot, the striker's turn ends unless a bonus shot is earned by scoring a wicket or stake or by hitting another ball. The turn ends when the player has no more bonus shots to play or has finished the course by scoring the finishing stake. The striker may directly hit with the mallet only the ball he or she is playing in that turn.

6. Starting Play

6A. Starting Order
Wicket clips of the six colors representing the balls in the game are placed in bad or container. Players randomly draw clips for ball assignment.

6B. Starting Order

All balls are played into the game three feet away from wicket #1. The front edge of the ball cannot be closer than three feet.

6C. Order of Play

The order of play throughout the game is blue, red, black, yellow, green then orange. Play continues in the this order until a ball is staked out. Once a ball is removed from the game, all other balls proceed in the same order, but skip any ball that has been removed from the game.

6D. Starting Deadness

No extra shots are earned by hitting another ball until both the striker ball and the ball to be roqueted have cleared wicket #1. A ball “not in the game” may have a ball(s) “in the game” marked and lifted for a shot — and vice versa. Balls “out” of the game are dead on balls “in” the game — and visa versa.

7. Out of Turn Plays

If a player plays out of turn, there is no penalty. Any ball moved during the out-of-turn play is replaced to its position prior to the error and play recommences properly. If an out of turn is initially condoned (not discovered) but then later discovered, only the last ball played out of turn is replaced and the correct ball then proceeds. Example: if red plays, then blue plays, then yellow plays, yellow is replaced, and then red plays correctly.

8. Shot

If the striker intentionally takes a swing at his/her ball and misses entirely, the miss counts as a shot and the turn ends, unless the striker had a second "bonus" shot. If the player strikes the ball during a practice swing, it does not count as a shot. The ball should be moved back to position and the shot played as normal.

If the striker's mallet accidentally hits another ball other than the striker ball, the shot is fault and the turn ends with all balls replaced to original position.

9. Scoring Wicket and Stake Points

Each ball can score wicket and stake points only by going through a wicket or hitting a stake in the proper order and direction. Going through a wicket out of order or in the wrong direction is not counted as a point gained or lost. A ball caused to score its wicket or stake during another ball's turn has scored the wicket and is now for the next wicket in order of the course, but no bonus shot is earned as a result.

A ball scores a wicket point only if it comes to rest clear of the playing side of the wicket. If a ball passes through a wicket but rolls back, it has not scored the wicket.

A ball that is for the finishing stake that hits or is hit into the stake is awarded the point and removed from the game. 

10. Bonus Shots

The striker earns one bonus shot if the striker ball scores a wicket or hits the turning stake. The striker earns two bonus shots if the striker ball hits another ball (a "roquet"). However, the maximum number of bonus shots earned by a striker is two; there is never a time when a striker is allowed three shots. (See the "Exceptions" section below for examples.)

If two bonus shots are scored by striking another ball, the first of these two shots may be taken in any of four ways:

  1. From a nine inches or less away from the ball that was hit. Conventional mallets have a nine inch mallet head and can be used to measure this distance. Mallets with longer heads generally have nine inch marks painted on the side for measuring.
  2. From a position in contact with the ball that was hit, with the striker ball held steady by the striker's foot or hand. This is referred to as a "foot shot" or "hand shot."
  3. From a position in contact with the ball that was hit, with the striker ball not held by foot or hand. This is referred to as a "croquet shot."
  4. From where the striker ball stopped after the roquet.

The second bonus shot after a roquet is made is called a "continuation shot" and it consists of an ordinary shot played from where the striker ball came to rest.

In general, bonus shots may not be accumulated. Upon earning a bonus shot by scoring a wicket, hitting the turning stake, or roqueting another ball, any bonus shot previously earned is forfeited. For example, if a ball roquets a ball and in that same stroke the striker ball hits another ball, the second ball hit is not a roquet and remains where it comes to rest (with no deadness incurred on that ball).

EXCEPTIONS: Two extra shots are earned when the striker ball scores two wickets in one shot. If the ball also hits the turning stake after scoring two wickets, two strokes are earned, not three. Conversely, if the striker ball scores the seventh wicket and hits the turning stake in the same shot, it earns two shots. After the striker ball roquets another ball, it does not earn any extra shots for hitting it again in the same turn before scoring the next wicket in order. However, there is no penalty for hitting the ball again unless you are playing advanced rules (see below).

11. Wicket and Roquet

When the striker ball scores a wicket and then in the same shot hits another ball, only the wicket counts and the striker has earned only the one extra shot for scoring the wicket. The striker may then roquet any ball to earn two extra shots. When the striker ball roquets another ball and then goes through a wicket, the wicket has not been scored but the striker earns two extra shots for the roquet.

12. The Boundaries

If the striker ball is shot and more than half of a ball (50%+) crosses the inside edge of a boundary, it is “Out Of Bounds” and should be brought inbounds and placed nine inches into the court. The ball should be placed 90 degrees inbounds and perpendicular to the line and not diagonally from the line. Consequently, the turn ends unless the striker ball has just roqueted (contacted or hit) another ball that has remained in bounds, the striker may choose to place it in contact with or up to a mallet-head from the ball that was roqueted.) All balls are also immediately brought in a mallet length from the boundary when they are less than that distance from the boundary, except for the striker's ball when the striker has an extra shot.

If more than one ball crosses the boundary on the same spot, the striker may measure any ball inbounds first and then place the other(s) up to a mallet-head's length away from it on either side.

13. Rover Balls

After a ball scores all of the wickets in the course, it is referred to as a rover ball. Any player may put a rover out of the game by causing it to hit the finishing stake. The rover's side earns the point for the stake, and the order of play continues without the staked-out ball. This would generally come into play during games that are played out to additional places.

14. Time Limit

Six ball games are played to a 60 minute time-limit. Each player receives one one-minute timeouts during the entire game. If no player has staked out both balls to win the game prior to time being called, the ball in play is the "first last ball" and may finish it's turn. (NOTE: If a ball has played its last stroke of the turn and is still rolling on the court when time expires, it will get another turn.) The remaining five balls also receive one final turn.


A-01. Carry-Over Deadness

Deadness occurs after a roquet is made and the striker is unable to score his/her wicket. The consequences are that the striker is not allowed to roquet the ball(s) again until scoring the wicket. Once the wicket is scored, the striker becomes ‘alive’ and is able to roquet the ball(s) again. If a striker roquets a ball he/she is dead on, all balls are replaced to their positions before the shot, and the turn is over. Deadness carries over from turn to turn.

A-03. Blocked at a Wicket by a Dead Ball

If an opponent causes a ball to be blocked from scoring its wicket by a dead ball(s) for two consecutive turns, the blocked ball becomes alive on the blocking ball(s). The opponent must be responsible for the block, not the side claiming a block. A block must be confirmed by the blocking side in order to be counted as a block, in order to avoid disputes. In addition, the proposed wicket shot that is claimed to be blocked must be possible to make to count as a block.


A player may not alter the court. Debris may be removed, but anything attached to the court cannot be altered without the permission of the opponent and the refereee or tournament manager. Hoops may not be adjusted, reset or pounded in by the striker without first asking permission. The striker must ask the opponent if it is okay to adjust, pound in or reset a wicket or stake. If the opponent refuses, the tournament manager or referee should be requested for a final decision. The referee’s guidance is the equipment should be in proper position. It is preferred that the opponent step off the court when a striker is in play; however, this is not required. In general, it is common courtesy to step behind the striker so as to not be in the field of vision during the striker’s shot. If the opponent is in the field of vision, the striker may request that he move out of the field of vision. In such case, the opponent must comply.


Spectators are expected to cheer or offer applause after a shot is made. And conversation or general crowd noise is acceptable during play. Common courtesy is to keep noise to a minimum during an actual shot. And, it is the striker’s right to ask for quiet on a shot that is challenging.

Heckling a player during a shot is not permitted by a spectator or opponent. Spectators or opponents may not make attempts to distract the striker in any way during a shot.

Abusive comments toward a player are not acceptable.

Spectators (or coaches) may not offer a player advice during a Pro, Gold or Silver Division game.