Background

The R.Å.S.O.P. eXtreme Croquet rules differ from those used by many other eXtreme croquet clubs. The reason is, of course,  that the R.Å.S.O.P. rules were established well before those that have been created by more recent clubs. Being the traditionalists that they are, the R.Å.S.O.P. players have decided to stick to the old rules.

Below is a popular summary of the rules. In order to translate terms to English words that are as widely accepted as possible, the rules of the Connecticut Extreme Croquet Society have been used for guidance. Most of the information on the CeCS web site (see Links) on wicket position, course size, shape and location is also valid for the R.Å.S.O.P. game.

The present R.Å.S.O.P. eXtreme Croquet rules are almost identical to the rules of the original "Terrängkrocket" rules established in 1975. A couple of significant changes were introduced in the 80's:

1) A player that hits the poison post before the end of the game has to restart. Earlier, he was "dead" and could focus on drinking beer. With the modified rules his pain and suffering will last longer, but he will also have the opportunity for revenge.

2) After roqueting a ball, the player is allowed to select between two kinds of croquet shot - "fixed croquet"  or "free croquet" - se ch. 6 below.

The complete set of R.Å.S.O.P. rules is available in Swedish, only.


1. The playing field and the equipment

The playing field is any surface that the players agree upon to be suitable for a game. Preferably, the playing field is an uneven outdoor area. There shall be a number of obstacles. 

Ten wickets (1-10), a poison post (PP) and a turn post (TP) are placed according to the general course layout below, but there are no requirements on minimum dimensions or symmetry. It is allowed to place the wicket in such a way that it is visible from the previous wicket. Boundaries are defined only when the circumstances make this advantageous, for example when playing in the vicinity of a mined area or a jail.

Wickets number 4 and 9 are placed perpendicularly across each other to form "the church", as shown below. The legs of one of the wickets defines the middle line. The yellow arrows show the allowed paths for passing the church in one direction. Of course, when passing the church at the return the paths are the opposite.

Note: Many anglosaxon equipment sets contain nine wickets, only. In that case, simply use one wicket (in the ordinary way) instead of the double wicket church.

The players shall inspect and agree upon the playing field before the start of the game. The extension of the middle line shall be identified and may be marked.

1.1 Notes on the equipment
The R.Å.S.O.P. wickets are made of 1/2 inch solid steel bars.

The R.Å.S.O.P. mallets are equipped with Delrin [trademark for acetal polymer] heads. The Delrin heads are cylindrical of 3 inch diameter and 8 inch length. Surprisingly, some ash wood heads have survived and are still used. The wood used in the shaft is birch.

The R.Å.S.O.P. balls are Delrin balls of 3 1/2 inch diameter, but wooden balls are allowed. Any personal ball color is allowed - and encouraged.

The R.Å.S.O.P. posts are sharpened 1 1/2 inch stainless steel rods.


2. The object of the game

In order to win, the player shall be the first to play his ball so it:
1 hits the poison post to begin the "grand tour,
2 completes the wickets 1, 2, 3 (in this order) to become a live ball,
3 completes the center wickets (i.e. the church, as described above), 
wickets 5, 6, 7,
hits the turn post,
returns via the wickets 7 and 6,
completes wicket 8, the church, wickets 10, 2 and 1 without striking the poison post,
to have ended "the great tour",
4 passes the middle line to become poison,
5 hits all live balls, and
6 hits the poison post by the force of its owner.

The direction to pass a wicket or the church is evident from the order in which the wickets and the church shall be passed.

The game ends when there is a winner.


3. The playing order and the start position

The order in which the players are to perform each round during the game is determined by placing all balls at a long distance from the poison post. Each player shoots his ball towards the post. The closest goes first, the next closest becomes number two etc.

The start position is one mallet length in any selected direction from the poison post. If the individual mallets are not of equal length, one and the same mallet should be used for all players.


4. The shot

A shot must be made with one of the short ends of the mallet head.

A player has one shot per round to his disposal. 

In addition, he earns a bonus shot if he with his own ball:
1 completes a wicket in the right order and direction according to 2.2 and 2.3 above,
2 hits the poison post according to 2.1, or the turn post according to 2.3, or
3 roquets, i.e. hits a legal ball. To be legal, the ball must be live and the player doing the shot may not have hit that ball since the last time he completed a wicket, the church or did hit the turn post according to 2.3 above.

Furthermore, a player receives two bonus shots when he, in the order according to 2.3, completes the church. 

A player may also receive two bonus shots by passing two wickets in one shot, by roqueting more than one ball in one shot or by roqueting at least one ball after having passed a bonus wicket or the church. However, a remaining bonus shot is lost if, during the first bonus shot, the ball passes the next wicket, the church or roquets.

The bonus shot(s) shall be used immediately.


5. Passing a wicket or the church

A wicket is passed only when the ball in one shot moves from a first position entirely at one side of the wicket to a second position entirely on the other side of the wicket. If this fails, and the ball rests in a position between the legs of the wicket, then the player has to use a penalty shot in order to place his ball where he can take a new shot at the wicket.

In an analogous manner, the church is passed only when the ball moves from a first position entirely at one side of a port (two adjacent legs) of the church to a second position entirely on the other side of the diagonally positioned port of the church.


6. The croquet shot

When a player roquets, i.e. hits an opponent's ball that gives him a bonus strike according to 4.3 above, he also receives the right to croquet that ball.

According to the R.Å.S.O.P. rules, the croquet shot is compulsory, i.e. the player must croquet the opponents ball when he has the right to do so. However, the player may select between "fixed" or "free" croquet.

When a player performs the fixed croquet shot he positions his ball so that it touches the opponents ball, places his foot on his own ball to hold it fixed and makes a shot by striking his own ball to send the opponent's ball to the nastiest position possible. If the player succeeds in holding his own ball he then continues to make use of his bonus shot(s). If the player fails to keep his own ball fixed he looses the right to any remaining shots.

The free croquet shot is similar to the fixed croquet shot except that the player does not place his foot on his own ball and therefore is able to move both balls with his strike.

In case the player's ball hits more than one other ball with the same strike, those balls that should be croqueted shall be croqueted in the same order as they where hit.

Regardless of how many balls the player has hit, or if he did pass a wicket or the church in the same shot as he did strike the balls, he has only one remaining bonus strike after having performed the croquet shots.


7. Striking the poison post before the end of the game

If a live ball (as per 2.2 above) hits the poison post, be it by its owner or by a legal action of any competitor, then the player has to pick up his ball and restart his tour according to ch. 2 above.

The only exception is the case described in ch. 8 below.


8. The end of the game

The winner is that poison player who hits the poison pole with his own ball when there are no other live balls that he has not roqueted since he became poison.

9. Punishment

The parts relating to "punishment" in the more detailed R.Å.S.O.P. rules could be summarized such that any behavior of a player aimed at disturbing the intention of the game is punished by excluding that player from the next round. The state of the game previous to the disturbing behavior shall be restored.

10. Force Majeure

If a ball is in an unplayable position (a circumstance to which all players should agree) the player may drop it in an adjacent position. However, he has to wait two rounds before doing this. The drop counts as a strike.

If a ball breaks into parts in such a way that it is deemed by all players to be unsuitable for play, then the player shall in the same round take a new ball, place it at the position of the largest remnant of the first ball and remove the broken parts. He shall then wait one round until he reenters the game, although his ball may be roqueted and croqueted in the meantime.