2013 Golf Croquet Rules - commentary on changes

Commentary on changes in the GC Rules in the 2013 edition

These Rules are intended for use in all WCF-sponsored competition.  They are also designed to be used by all National Croquet Associations where Golf Croquet is played.  However it is recognised that special conditions will apply in some countries and clubs due to weather, terrain and different traditions.  Such conditions may well be most appropriately dealt with by using local variations in the Rules.

There are minor wording changes in Rule 1, but note:

1(a) The commonly used alternative colours are now mentioned in 1(a).

1(c) now includes when a match ends.

The commentary on 1(c) allows for 2 game matches, which is not the same as a double round robin.

 For games played to a 2 point advantage, the commentary suggests that the game stops after a further 6 hoops or when a 2 point advantage is reached.  If after the 6 hoops the game is tied management may choose to break the tie. 

The use and application of time limits are a management choice.  The Rule and commentary is deliberately non-prescriptive.

1(d) In the 7 point game the last (7th) hoop is now made by running hoop 1 again. This makes the play to the last hoop similar to that in the 13 and 19 point games in that players turn back to the left for the last hoop.

1(f) has been expanded to cover what happens if both players have been competing for the wrong hoops and at least one wrong hoop has been run.

1(g)  clarifies something already well understood.

The first sentence of the commentary of 1(h) covers the situation where other coloured or marked balls are used in place of the normal or alternative colours.

Rule 2 has been expanded in consultation with the ILC to use the same wording as applies in Association Croquet, where a common rule is appropriate, as the two games are played on the same courts in many places.  Apart from introducing tolerances for court layout, there are no significant changes here.

Rule 3  The Rule has been expanded in consultation with the ILC to use the same wording as applies in Association Croquet, where a common rule is appropriate, as the two games are played on the same courts in many places.  Modifications include:

3(a) introduces tolerances, permission to straighten a leaning peg and the addition of alternative colours on the peg.

3(b) introduces tolerances and permission to straighten a leaning hoop. It also allows for the square topped hoops as used in Egypt.

3(c) leaves the final detailed specification of balls to the tournament management.

3(d) adds detail to mallet specification, but makes no significant changes.

Rule 4 has no significant changes.  A suggestion is made in the commentary, and approval for alternative colours on the peg has been removed to Rule 3(a).

Rule 5 (a) now allows for alternative coloured balls being used at the start.

In a best of 3 or 5 match, Rule 5(c) requires the loser of the previous game to start the next game.

In events played as a double or triple round robin among the same players Rule 5(d) allows the manager to choose to alternate the winning of the toss or to have a fresh toss in each round.

5(e) defines when the game starts.

Ruling 6.1 has been added to Rule 6(a).

The rulings 9.1 and 9.2 have been included in this rule as 6(e) & (f).  Otherwise only clarifying changes have been made.

In Rule 7 a commentary has been added to allow a ball replaced in a hoop after a fault to score from that position.

Ruling 8.1 which offered protection against incorrect information supplied by an opponent has been added as Rule 8(c). 

Two new rules dealing with advice from an opponent or spectator have been added.  Rule 14(a)(2) deals with an opponent giving advice, and the Management should deal with spectators giving advice, but in both cases the players being advised should not be penalised when they still had the chance to recognise a change in play themselves. Rules 8(d) & (e) cover this.

A slightly modified Ruling 9.3 is incorporated as Rule 9(g). 

Ruling 9.4 was felt to be giving too much advice to the striker, but a modified form appears as 9(h).

Rule 9(j) now allows an emergency lift of a ball to avoid a wayward ball without incurring a non-striking fault.

Defining of the halfway lines has been moved from the diagram to Rule 10(a).  This includes defining the halfway line for hoop 7 in a 7 point game.  

To avoid delay, a commentary has been added to Rule 10(b) making it easier to judge whether a ball is off side or not.

 The three rulings 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3  have been added to the Rules  10(b)(2), 10(b)(3) and 10(c)(2) respectively.

Rule 1(e) defines which ball is to be played in any turn and who is the striker.  When something else happens Rule 11 now looks at what to do if (b) the striker has not played the striker’s ball  (c) the striker’s partner in doubles has played, or (d) anyone else has played.  These cases cover all situations when the first wrong ball played is noticed.  If more than one wrong ball is played before play is stopped then (e) deals with the case where a player has played an opponent’s ball and the next player plays before it was noticed;  (f) deals with the case where a ball is played in correct sequence after out of sequence play; and (g) deals with a series of wrong ball plays terminated by a wrong ball being noticed or the game ending. A major concern here has been our inability to agree on a method that would prevent ‘gifted’ hoops in all cases, without conferring the ‘gifted hoop’ to the other side.

A minor change to Rule 12(b) has clarified the intent of the rule.

There have been some contradictory ideas about the time when a striking fault may occur ends.  We have adopted here in the commentary to Rule 13 the same approach as that used in Association Croquet, which has the advantage of clarity.

 Also 13(a)(10) has been returned to the list of faults.

New wording for Rule 14 (a) makes it clearer that the list of unacceptable behaviours is not exhaustive.

Rule 14(a)(8) introduces a time limit of 1 minute between strokes, with flexibility allowed for hold-ups in play.  The emphasis is still on not wasting time.

Rule 14(a)(13) is intended to penalise players who try to hide lawn damage they have produced.

Rule 14(a)(14) reintroduces the restriction against smoking and drinking alcohol during a game.

Rule 14(b), which deals with this Rule when there is a referee present has been expanded to cover any unacceptable behaviour for a first or subsequent offence.

Rule 14(c), which deals with the very common situation of there being no referee present on the court, seeks to find amicable agreement between the players, calling on a referee only if agreement cannot be found. Common courtesy and sense should prevail and is ultimately in the hands of the management, if the players cannot resolve any issues.

Rule 15 has been reduced because we now have an approved WCF Refereeing Regulation, and so we did not feel it necessary to repeat the issues here.

The major change in Rule 16 is in the allocation of extra turns in Handicap Doubles matches, so that the handicaps of the higher handicapper on each side is compared with the lower handicapper on the other side. See 16(c).  This is intended to allow the extra turns to the higher handicapped player on each side.  The change has been trialled for 3 years in New Zealand and for a shorter time in Australia.  It has meant more doubles play with a senior partner able to help a junior partner develop handicap using skills. 

The Appendix that outlines a system for using an automatic handicap system has been replaced by a system based on the one used in New Zealand, as a more complete system.  National Croquet Associations are free to use the system described, to modify it or to replace it if so desired.  At present we have little or no International handicap play, and many countries play no handicap games, so there is little need for a common system.