You be the Referee

On this page, we will be posing some questions about real incidents Kaye Martin, a referee from Coogee Croquet Club, has seen or been asked about. Thank you Kaye for allowing Strathfield to republish these on our site.

We intend publishing one or two of Kaye's questions on this page and on our Strathfield Croquet FaceBook Group on each Monday and publish the answers on this web page the following Monday.

This Week's Question

Question 4 

Wrong Ball.  The owner of the Blue ball, whose turn it was to play, played Black.  The opponents realised a partner ball had been played but didn’t know what action to take. What action if any, should be taken?

Answer Next Monday

Question 3

Overlapping play. The owner of Green plays from beside Hoop 1 towards Hoop 2. The owner of Pink which had run Hoop 1 plays before the Green ball has come to rest. What action if any, should be taken?

Answer 3

If two or more balls are caused to be in motion at the same time as the result of strokes played by both sides, the stroke played by the strikers side is valid, and the Pink ball in this case, played by the non-striking side is invalid. The Pink and all balls moved as a result of that stroke are to be replaced in the position they occupied before the stroke was played; and the next stroke of that Pink ball will be treated as having been declared to have been played, ie. Pink doesn’t get to play again after the Green ball stopped. Rule 12.

Question 2

Competing for the Golden Hoop, Red is well placed in the jaws but not quite through.   Blue and Black are both back close to the boundary line and at an angle to hoop 13.  The position of Yellow is irrelevant, the owner of Black picks up the ball and walks off the court saying "We can't do anything". All players pick up their balls and leave the court. What is the score?

Answer 2

Kaye writes: This is based on a real game I was playing.
What actually happened that day was that after the Black ball's removal,  my partner tapped Yellow, Blue picked up her ball and I tapped Red through and claimed the win. I modified that scene to the one above for the question.
In the question as posed: The score is….6-6.
If the player, on picking up the Black ball, had said as well "You have won this" and all players agreed, the score would be 6-7. Rule 1.4.1    If the players leave the court or start another game, having agreed which side has won, then the game has ended with the agreed result.
If Red/Yellow are still standing there, mouths agape, but have not picked up their balls then, under Rule 16.4.4, I would award the game to Red/Yellow, but I must say that as either a participating player or as a referee, I would like to see the Red ball played completely through the hoop anyway.
But, if Red/Yellow have also picked up their balls?  If I were refereeing I would declare Red/Yellow the winners, but there would be a quiet word with them about picking up the balls,  and a quiet but very firm word or two with the players of Blue/Black next time they turned up!

Question 1

Hoop 1 has been run and my opponent is offside.  She is telling me I must send her ball to one of the penalty areas, but I think her ball is in a dreadful position for hoop 2 and want to leave it there.  Must I direct her to play from a penalty area?

Answer 1

No.  You may choose to leave the ball where it is and should state your choice clearly.  Once you have made the decision it may not be changed. Rule 8.4

Sample Question:

Black is in the jaws of the hoop 7 but not completely through.
Yellow is very close to Black on the playing side of the hoop. So close both players deem their turns.
"We have both deemed our turn when those balls are to be played, now we are have been here for ages, deeming and going nowhere.
Can we declare the hoop invalid, go back to where we were at hoop 6, and hit off towards hoop 7 again?"

Answer . NO.  Players should persevere with their other ball until they are able for example, to hit through or hit back moving both balls, jump both or clear Yellow. 
Incidentally, once you deem your turn you cannot change your mind.  You need to be clear about deeming and not circle the balls mumbling that you might deem.
Decide your course of action and announce it clearly mentioning the colour of the relevant ball being deemed.

Question 5

Interference. This has happened more than once redcently. A struck ball hit another player’s foot.

Is this a fault against the person attached to the tingling foot?

Answer 4

A wrong ball has been played. The opponents, i.e., the non-offending side, have the choice to apply Replace and Replay or Ball Swap


If Replace and Replay is chosen no point is scored, all balls moved as a result of the stroke are replaced in the positions they occupied before the last stroke. The striker then replays the stroke with the correct ball.

OR
If Ball Swap is chosen

  1. The last stroke is treated as valid and any points scored in the last stroke are counted for the owners of the balls that scored the points. (Yes, any owner!)

  2. All balls moved as a result of the last stroke are left where they stopped, except that the positions of  the ball played in the last stroke and its partner ball are swapped.  A swapped ball takes the offside status of the ball with which it is swapped.

  3. The non-offending  side then plays the ball next in sequence after the partner ball of the ball played in the last stroke.  Rules 10.3 and 10.4.