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Technical
CHAPTER VI.
THE RULES
< Chapter V
Croquet, 1864, Captain Mayne Reid
Transcribed by Dr Ian Plummer

1864 Croquet Lawn Setting THE START.

1. The chief who has won the first choice of friends, has the right to lead off the play.1
2. The hostile chief plays next.2
3. The others enter upon the game, in the order in which they were marshalled by their respective chiefs, - friends and enemies playing alternately.
4. Each ball must first be placed on the Spot.
5. The stroke of the ball may be either a push, or a blow ; but only one hand is to be used in making it.3
6. Each ball continues its play, so long as it succeeds in making a point in the game ; and terminates it, on the failure to do so.4

THE BOOBY.

7. A booby cannot croquet another booby.
8. A booby cannot croquet a bridged ball.
9. A booby cannot be croque'd by a bridged ball.
10. A booby may displace another booby or a bridged ball by roquet, ricochet, or concussion.
11. A bridged ball may displace a booby by roquet, ricochet, or concussion.
12. If a booby be driven through the first bridge by roquet, ricochet, or concussion, either of another booby or a bridged ball, it becomes a bridged ball.
13. If a booby bridge another booby, and at the same blow succeed in running the first bridge, it may again roquet the ball it has bridged, croquet it, and continue.5
14. If a bridged ball succeed in bridging a booby, it may again make roquet, or ricochet upon it, and then croquet it.6

THE BRIDGES.

15. If a bridge be obliqued, either to the line of the course, or the plane of the horizon, any player may restore it to the perpendicular.7
16. No player may oblique a bridge, standing perpendicular ; nor change it from one oblique to another.
17. If a bridge be accidentally displaced by a stroke of the mallet, the foot of the player, the concussion of a ball, or otherwise, it is to be restored to its position without forfeit.

RUNNING THE BRIDGES.

18. A bridge can be run only by a direct blow of the mallet, by roquet, croquet, ricochet, concussion, or roquet-croquet.
19. If a ball proceeding from a direct blow of the mallet, or otherwise, strike against a bridge, stake, or other obstacle, and rebound through its proper bridge in the direction of the course, it runs it.8
20. If a ball, after running a bridge, strike an obstacle, and recoil back through the bridge, the run remains good.
21. A bridge is not run, unless the ball passes clear through so that no part of it remain under the arch.9
22. A ball resting under the arch of a bridge is in position for that bridge, if it have been driven between the piers from the front, or in the direction of the course.
23. A ball resting under the arch of a bridge is not in position for that bridge, if it have been driven between the piers from the reverse side, or placed under the arch by hand, for the purpose of making croquet.10
24. A ball passing through its proper bridge from the reverse side, or in a direction contrary to its course, makes no point in the game.
25. If a ball, in executing the croquet, flinch from under the foot of the player, and pass through its proper bridge in the direction of the course, it does not run the bridge.
26. A ball passing though any bridge, other than its proper one, in any direction, makes no point.
27. A ball, striking, or struck, against the piers of a bridge, makes no point
28. A ball may run two or more bridges by a blow of the mallet, by roquet, croquet, ricochet, concussion, or roquet-croquet.11

THE STAKES.

29. If either of the stakes be obliqued to the plane of the horizon, any player at any time may restore it to the perpendicular.
30. No player may oblique a stake standing perpendicular ; nor change one oblique to another.
31. The turning stake may be tolled, by a ball proceeding from a direct blow of the mallet, from a roquet, a croquet, a ricochet, a concussion, or a roquet-croquet.
32. If a ball, in executing the croquet, flinch from under the foot of the player, and strike the turning stake, even at its proper time for tolling it, it does not toll the stake.
33. The turning stake can only be tolled by a ball that has completed the half-round.
34. If a ball, after making the half-round, strike the turning stake by rebound from a bridge, another ball, or any fixed obstacle of the ground, it tolls the stake.12
35. The slightest perceptible touch constitutes a tolling of the stake.
36. A ball may run one or more bridges, and toll the turning stake, or vice versâ, by a single blow of the mallet, by roquet, croquet, ricochet, concussion, or roquet-croquet.
37. A ball having made the grand round, may be struck out against the starting stake, by a direct blow of the mallet, by roquet, croquet, ricochet, concussion, roquet-croquet, or by a flinch from under the foot of the player while executing the croquet.13
38. If a ball, having made the grand round, strike the starting stake by rebound from a bridge, another ball, or any fixed obstacle of the ground, it is struck out of the game.14
39. A ball may run one or more bridges, and be struck out at the same blow.
40. A ball striking, or struck, against the turning stake, at any other time when tolling it, makes no point in the game.
41. A ball striking, or struck, against the starting stake, before completing the grand round, makes no point in the game.

THE ROQUET.

42. A ball can roquet another by a direct blow of the mallet, or proceeding from the mallet by rebound from a bridge, a stake, or other fixed obstacle of the ground.15
43. The slightest perceptible contact, between the two balls, constitutes a roquet.
44. A ball having roque'd another, may strike it again without any intervening play ; but the second contact does not constitute a roquet.
45. If a ball, after roque’ing another, run one or more bridges, or toll the turning stake, it may again make roquet upon the same ball.
46. A ball, that has been roque'd, remains on the spot to which it has rolled, subject to further displacement by croquet.
47. If a ball, in the execution of the croquet, flinch from under the foot of the player and strike another ball, the contact does not constitute a roquet.

THE RICOCHET.

48. Ricochet can be made only by a ball that has, already roque'd or ricoche'd upon another.16
49. The slightest perceptible contact between the playing ball and that played upon, constitutes a ricochet.
50. A ball having ricoche'd upon another, may strike it again without any intervening play ; but the second contact does not constitute a ricochet.
51. If a ball after ricoche'ing upon another, run one or more bridges, or toll the turning stake, it may again make ricochet on the same ball.
52. A rioche'd ball remains on the spot to which it has rolled, subject to further displacement by croquet.

CONCUSSION.

53. A ball displaced by concussion, remains on the spot to which it has rolled, not subject to further displacement by croquet.

THE CROQUET.

54. A ball can only croquet another, on which it has made roquet or ricochet.
55. A ball, having made roquet, may decline the croquet.
56. A ball, having made roquet, and declined the croquet, may continue its play, either from the spot into which it has rolled after the roquet, or from the side of the roque'd ball.17
57. A ball having made ricochet on several ball may croquet all, or any, of them.
58. A series of ricoche'd balls must be croque’d, in the order in which they have been touched.
59. A ball having made ricochet, can decline to croquet all the ricoche’d balls, and continue its tour of play either from the spot into which it has rolled after the ricochet, or from the side of any one of the balls ricoche’d.18
60. A ball having made ricochet, can decline to croquet any of the ricoche'd balls ; and croquet any other, or others, of them.
61. A ball having croque'd a ricoche'd ball, cannot go back to one previously touched in the same ricochet ; but must continue its tour, by playing from the place where it has made the croquet, or else proceed to the ball ricoche'd next in order, croquet this, or play from its side ; or declining this croquet, proceed to the next ; and so on, to the end of the series.19
62. If a ball, after making roquet or ricochet, has been taken up from the ground, it must continue its tour of play, either from the side of the roque'd or ricoche'd ball, by croquet or otherwise.
63. A ball may croquet every other ball in the game - whether friend or enemy - once between the running of every two bridges.
64. A ball may croquet every other ball in the game - whether friend or enemy - once between the running a bridge, and the tolling of the turning stake ; or vice versâ
65. A ball having croque’d another, cannot croquet it a second time, during the same tour of play, without running a bridge, or tolling the turning stake.
66. A croquet is completed when the mallet makes a perceptible – that is, an audible - blow against the croque’ing ball, whether that to be, croque’d stir from its place or not.
67. If the mallet altogether miss the croque’ing ; ball, the croquet is still incomplete, and the blow may be repeated.
68. If a ball roquet another, and at the same blow run a bridge, it may either proceed to croquet the roque'd ball, or decline, and again make roquet upon it, before taking the croquet.
69. If a ball roquet another, and at the same time toll the turning stake, it may either proceed to croquet the roque’d ball, or decline, and again make roquet upon it, before taking the croquet.

THE ROQUET-CROQUET.

70. Roquet-croquet is the peculiar privilege of the Rover ; and may only be executed by a ball that has completed the grand route.20
71. The rover can roquet-croquet all the other balls in the game, - whether friends or enemies, - but only once during the same tour of play.
72. A ball may continue its tour of play, after each successful stroke, or point, made in the game.21
73. Running a bridge entitles to continuance of tour.
74. Tolling the stake entitles continuance of tour.
75. The tour is continued after making a roquet or ricochet.
76. The tour continues after a croquet.
77. After roquet-croquet, the rover continues its tour.
78. The tour terminates, on the failure of the playing-ball to make a successful stroke, or point, in the game.
79. A ball striking another ball, after having roque'd it, and without any intervening play, terminates its tour.22
80. A ball striking another ball, after having ricoche'd upon it, and without any intervening play, terminates its tour.
81. A ball striking another ball, after having croque'd it, and without any intervening play, terminates its tour.
82. A ball failing either to run a bridge, make roquet, or ricochet upon another ball, or toll the turning stake, terminates its tour.
83. Making roquet on a booby terminates the tour.
84. The tour of a booby terminates with a single blow, unless the blow make it a bridged ball.
85. If a ball declining the croquet, and playing from the side of the roque'd ball, displace the latter, the tour of the playing ball terminates.
86. If the rover, in executing the roquet-croquet, does not displace the other ball, the blow terminates its tour.23
87. If the rover has made either roquet, croquet, ricochet, or roquet-croquet, on all the balls in the game, it has only one more stroke, when its tour terminates.
88. If a ball, in executing the croquet, FLINCH from under the foot of the player, its tour terminates.24
89. A ball may decline to take its tour of play, or at any time leave it unfinished25.
90. The commencement of each new tour of play restores a ball to all the privileges of the game.

MAKING DOUBLE POINTS.

91. If a ball run two bridges by a direct blow of the mallet, it call take ground, up to one mallet's length, in any direction from the spot where it has rested.26
92. If a ball run a bridge, by a direct blow of the mallet, and at the same time toll the stake, or vice versâ, it can take ground in any direction, up to one mallet's length.
93. If a ball run three bridges, as above, it can take ground in any direction, up to two lengths of the mallet.
94. If a ball run two bridges as above, and at the same time toll the stake, or vice versâ, it can take ground up to
two lengths of the mallet.27

MISPLAY.

95. If a ball be played out of its proper tour, and challenged before the play of another ball has commenced, the misplayed ball may be returned to its original place, or permitted to remain in that to which it has rolled ; but the option belongs, not to the player of the ball, but to the enemy.
96. If a ball, played out of its proper tour, have gained any advantages for itself, or its friends, or done any injury to the enemy, the latter, duly challenging, may strip the misplaced ball of any or all, of the advantages thus gained, and repair any or all of the damages sustained.28
97. If a ball be played out of its proper tour, and not challenged in due, time, the play will hold good.29
98. A ball played out of its proper tour, may be challenged at any time while in the act of play ; the play stopped, and the forfeit required from it, as prescribed in the preceding rules.
99. If a ball be played out of its proper tour, - whether challenged, and mulcted of the damages, or not, - it loses that tour, and must remain unplayed till the next after.30
100. A ball played, by any other than its proper owner, subjects the player to the same forfeits as for playing out of turn.31
101. A ball played by any other than its proper owner, subjects the player to the loss of one tour of play.32
102. A ball played by any other than its proper owner, does not thereby forfeit its own tour of play.
103. If a ball, after having croque'd another, croquet it again during the same tour, before running a bridge or tolling the stake, it becomes liable to the same forfeits as a ball played out of turn.
104. If a rover take either croquet or roquet-croquet on the same ball, twice during the same tour of play, it becomes liable to the same forfeits as a ball played out of turn, and must terminate its tour whenever challenged.
105. A ball accidentally displaced, either by a back stroke of the mallet or otherwise, may be returned to where it was lying, or left on the spot into which it has rolled ; but the option belongs, not to the player who has caused the accident, but to the enemy. 33
106. If a ball, accidentally displaced, pass through its proper bridges, or strike the turning stake at the proper time for tolling it, the bridge is run, and the stake tolled, - if the enemy so decide.
107. If a ball, in its progress over the ground, be interrupted by any of the players, it may either remain where it has rested after the interruption, or be carried to the most distant part of the arena, in the direction in which it was rolling, at the option of the enemy.

BARRIERS AND BOUNDARIES.

108. A ball driven over the boundary may be brought back into the arena, in the shortest right line from the point where it has been found lying, - and placed twelve inches inside the boundary line.34
109. A ball driven over the boundary should be returned to the arena, and placed, before the play proceed.
110. If a playing ball lie contiguous to a stake, or one of the piers of a bridge, so that it cannot be properly struck by the mallet, a blow given to the stake or rod, driving the ball by concussion, will count as if the ball itself had received the blow.
111. If a ball lying contiguous to a stake, or one of the piers of the bridges, be displaced by the concussion of another ball striking the stake or rod, the displacement remains good ; but the playing ball (if it be one) makes no point in the game, unless the ball displaced may at the same time have been roque’d or ricoche’d.

THE ROVER.

112. The Rover - made so by a direct blow of the mallet, - must continue its play from the spot.
113. The rover- made so otherwise than by a direct blow of the mallet - must continue its play from the place into which it has been rolled.
114. The rover - and it only - may execute the roquet-croquet.35
115. The rover can roquet-croquet the same ball, only once during the same tour of play.
116. The rover may strike the same ball, any number of times during the same tour ; but only the first stroke makes a roquet, giving the right to continue the play.
117. The rover may croquet any ball in the game ; but only once during the same tour.
118. If the rover has croque'd a ball, it cannot roquet-croquet it during the same tour.
119. If the rover has roquet-croque'd a ball, it cannot croquet, it during the same tour.
120. If the rover make a ricochet, it may roquet-croquet all the ricoche'd balls ; but it must proceed from one to the other in the order in which they have been ricoche'd, without any intervening play.
121. If the rover make a ricochet, it may croquet some of the balls and roquet-croquet the others ; but it must proceed in the order in which they have been ricoche'd, without any intervening play.
122. The rover cannot run a bridge, - having run them already in making the grand round. It may pass through a bridge, but this makes no point in the game.
123. The rover cannot toll the turning stake ; having done so already, It may strike against the stake ; but the contact makes no point in the game.
124. The rover may be struck out against the starting stake by a blow of the mallet, by roquet, ricochet, concussion, rebound from a fixed object, recoil from the person of its own player, or that of a friend, by flinch, by croquet, or the roquet-croquet of another rover. When this event occurs, either by chance or design, the rover terminates its existence and is thenceforth a dead ball.
125. A dead ball on being declared dead, is to be instantly taken up, and carried out of the arena.
126. When all the friends of a side have struck out, they can call "Victory."


1 The first chief may resign this right by courtesy, or require the. other chief to lead off, or they may strike again for first play ; but as this often conducts to a re-distribution of the balls, and some consequent confusion, it will be better to adhere to the rule.

2 This is supposing, two sides, and therefore only two chiefs in the game. If there be more the chiefs follow in order of their “strike”, follow in the order of their "strike."

3 The stroke of the mallet is delivered whenever it moves the ball, - no matter how short the distance the latter may have been driven.

Objections are made to pushing the ball, and the "Rules" of the toy-makers are against it ; though in truth it is the absurdly heavy mallet of these same toy-makers that renders pushing a necessity. It is only an advantage to the tyro, or the indifferent player. Except when obstructed by a bridge, stake, or otherwise, an experienced player will no more think of pushing the ball, than a “crack billiard-player would of using the butt end of his cue

4 For the continuance or termination of a tour of play, see “Rules” under this heading.

5 Of course, after running the bridge, both boobies become bridged balls, and subject to the laws for continuance and termination of tour which see. Throughout the “Rules,” a ball, not specified as a booby, is understood to mean a ball that has been bridged.

6 It cannot, croquet from the roquet or ricochet which passed the booby through the bridge: since either must have been made before the booby became a bridged ball, and therefore before it became liable to the croquet.

7 The proper position of a bridge is perpendicular to the plane of the horizon, with its own plane perpendicular to the line of the course. (See Chap. IV.)

8 Should the obstacle struck, however, be the person of one of the players, the run will only hold good at the option of the enemy, - that is the enemy of the player causing the accident.

9 It is often a debatable question as to when a ball is “through” the bridge. By good fortune the question is easily solved, and by the simplest of methods. Place the shank of the mallet against the two piers of the bridge, in front ; and if the ball be not through, even by a hundredth part of an inch, the deficiency will declare itself. If the bridge be obliqued, either the owner of the ball, or the enemy has the right to restore it to the perpendicular.

10 IN either case, the test described in Note 9 will be effectual. If the ball be doubtfully under the arch of the bridge, and in position, the mallet-shank is to be applied in front of the piers ; while, if doubtfully not in position, the shank is to be laid along the reverse side.

11 For running two or more bridges, by a direct blow of the mallet, there are rewards. See Double points.

12 Should the obstacle causing the rebound he the person of one of the players, it is at the option of the enemy of this player whether the tolling may hold good.

13 In this case the enemy, who has the option, decides for the striking out ; since the point is a disadvantage to the unfortunate flincher.

14 As in the case of running a bridge, and tolling the turning stake, should the accident be caused by one of the players, it is the enemy of that player who has the option of deciding.

15 If the rebound be from the person of a player, the enemy can decide against the roquet.

16 The ricochet is simply a double roquet. It may be triple or quadruple, according to the number of balls touched by the playing one.

17 With some, the rule is, if the croquet be declined, to compel continuance from the spot into which the playing ball has rolled after the roquet. Altogether irrational, since the playing ball may place itself contiguous to that roque’d ; sham the croquet by the slightest blow, and then proceed from the coveted place.

18 To deprive it of this privilege, would be equally irrational with the rule referred to in Note 17.

19 A ricochet on more than two balls is a rare fluke ; but the rule is thus extended, in order to meet every possible eventuality.

20 It is given exclusively to that rover, as a compensation for the loss of other privileges, which the latter must abandon on becoming a rover, such as the right to recroquet after running a bridge, or tolling the stake. Also for the risk the rover ball constantly runs, of being struck out.

Roquet-croquet is, moreover, a premium to prowess.

On some croquet-grounds the roquet-croquet, or “taking two turns,” is allowed to every bridged ball ; and there are players who prefer this fashion. A better knowledge of the game will teach such players, that with every ball using the roquet-croquet, the game skilfully played might be prolonged for a lifetime.

21 It must be a point made by the playing ball itself, not by one on which it has played: such as the latter running a bridge by roquet, ricochet, concussion, or otherwise.

22 When the tour is said to terminate, by any of the contingencies mentioned in the “Rules,” it is under the supposition that the playing ball at the same blow, makes no other point that entitles it to continue.

23 In either case, of rules 85 and 86, the slightest displacement will suffice.

24 This termination of tour is absolute ; and no point made by the playing ball after the flinch can be claimed. (See Rules under Roquet, Ricochet, and Running the Bridges.) The only exception to this, is when rover flinches in executing the croquet, and strikes out against the starting stake, an advantage that, under most circumstances, would be cheerfully declined.

25 It would be irrational to deny it this privilege, since, if the play be insisted upon, a slight tap of the mallet will suffice to satisfy the conditions, leaving the ball where the player desires it to lie.

26 If the mallet’s length should enable it to take ground on the reverse side of its next or proper bridge, it does not count as running the bridge, since that can only be done by a blow of the mallet, by roquet, croquet, ricochet, concussion, rebound or croquet-roquet.

27 The rule might be extended ; but a ball is not likely to run more than three bridge at one time, or two with the toiling of the stake.

28 This is done, by returning the misplayed ball to its original position ; by moving any of the enemies that have been “bettered”.

29 The enemy, by not challenging, having forfeited his right to “take the damages”.

30 It does not actually lose .a tour by playing out of it proper time. It has its play all the same subject to the forfeit specified in the Rules

31 Of course, the enemy of the guilty, or mistaken player, is his judge, and has the right to “lay the damages.”

32 The player only loses the play of his (or her) own ball, having already taken a tour on the wrong one.

33 Flukes made by roquet, ricochet, or concussion, are not accidental displacements.

34 There is a Rule directing the ball to be placed on the arena at the point where it rolled off. This is deficient. Why? Who knows where the ball rolled off? Who saw it? Perhaps no on ; since nobody cares to note the course taken by a croqu’ed ball on its journey “up the country.” The shortest right line from the spot where the ball is found to the proximate boundary is perpendicular ; and this will hold good, whether the boundary be a curved or straight line. The restored ball may be placed close to the line, with the privilege of taking twelve inches inside it. In like manner, if there be an obstacle in the arena, a tree, shrub, or even a flower-bed, forming an obstruction to the proper play of a ball, it may be carried twelve inches clear of the obstacle, on either side of it, but not nearer to the bridge or ball intended to be played at. It must be placed before the play proceed.

This last regulation may be regarded as a rule ; but as a correct croquet-ground does not contemplate obstacles of the kind referred to, it is not given among the absolute “edits” of the game

35 Some of the Rules, under the heading of The Rover, have been given elsewhere. They are here partially repeated ; as the privileges of the rover have hitherto so ill-defined, that is desirable they should be thoroughly understood. See Note 18.

< Chapter V
Croquet, 1864, Captain Mayne Reid
Transcribed by Dr Ian Plummer
 
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