This game is thought to be a descendant of pall-mall, and is named from croc, a French word meaning crook, or hooked stick. It is an outdoor game played on a lawn by two players in opposition, or four in partnerships of two each. The lawn should be 35 yards long by 28 yards wide, but a smaller court can be used if necessary.
The implements required are four balls, coloured blue, black, red, and yellow, the two former playing together against the two latter; six iron hoops, 12 inches high when in the ground and 3½ inches in width between the inside of the uprights; two pegs made of wood, fitted into the ground to allow 18 inches to protrude; and four mallets, the heads of which must be of wood.
The balls are 3 ½ inches in diameter (a width that enables them to pass through the hoops with a little space to spare), and may not exceed 1G ounces nor be less than 15$ ounces in weight. All the hoops are painted white, but the crown of the one marking the starting-point of the game is painted blue, and that of the last hoop, called the rover, coloured red.
The object of the players is to knock the balls through the hoops in the order of their numbers, the winner being the player or side which first achieves this object.
At the start of the game, the balls are placed in turn in balk. The players aim to pass through all the hoops in the proper order, thescquenceof the hoops being lower left-hand, upper left-hand, upper right-hand, lower right-hand, lower centre, upper centre. This completes the first course, and the second course begins with the original second hoop, called one bac k, through the one nearest to balk one, then through the original fourth and third hoops in that order, then original upper centre, or penultimate hoop, and finally through the lower centre (called the rover). The player or players who complete the double round first win the game.
A player continues to play so long as he propels his ball through the proper hoop or his ball hits another, called a roquet. When the latter occurs, the player can croquet, that is, he places his ball against the ball struck and with the next stroke moves both of the balls, this entitling him to another stroke. Should he then propel his ball through the proper hoop he continues to play. A player cannot roquet the same ball twico without first negotiating the hoop next in order.
When a ball has been driven over the boundary, or within three feet of it, it must be placed three feet from the boundary before the next stroke is taken. This rnle does not apply, however, when turning for the home journey.
When a player has passed his ball through every hoop in oorreot succession, he must play on to the wig peg to complete the course.