Wacko Croquet : A fun game indoors or out

Big Thanks to Zimms, Starbuck, and the good folks at RPO (alas, gone forever) for play testing.

Sections: How to make a set | Rules

How to make a set

You will need some tools and equipment to make and play the game

Parts List

This is the equipment need to make 12 hoops, 2 stakes and the other sundry equipment. More then 12 hoops is ok, less is ok, but 12 seems about right.

Quantity Picture Description
At least 1 Croquet Set (or at least mallets and balls)
You need a mallet and ball for each player.
1 PVC Pipe Cutter
At least 1 Sharpie or other permanent marker (any colors)
50 Feet 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC Pipe (some extra wouldn't hurt)
It usually come in 10 sticks, get the kind with no "bell" at the end.
30 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC Slip T
24 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC Slip L
58 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC Slip Cap


A word about glue: Don't. Not using glue makes the pieces easier to store and fix if damaged. Plus the lack of glue lets you reconfigure the hoops (see rules).

Cut the pipe into 4" and 8" sections as in the chart below

Quantity Size Color In Drawing
60 4" Pieces Blue
38 8" Pieces Green

Stake Blueprint:

Stake Picture

The stake is made from [3] T, [5] Caps, [6] 4" Pipe (Blue), [1] 8" Pipe (Green).

Obviously, the "pole" of the stake will stand straight up

The Redbands on two of the pipes are made with a sharpie, any color will do. These are explained later in the rules.

The Stakes should be marked 'start' and 'finish' with your sharpie in nice big letters.


Hoop Blueprint:

Hoop Picture:

The hoop is made from [2] T, [4] Caps, [2] L, [4] 4" Pipe (Blue), [3] 8" Pipe (Green)

Obviously, the "U" of the hoop will be upside down plugged in to the legs.

The Redbands on two of the pipes are made with a sharpie, any color will do. These are explained later in the rules.

The Hoops should be numbered '1' to '12' (assuming you wanted to make 12) in nice big letters on both sides.


The rules is designed to make the game fun, if its fun to add rules, do that, if rules are no fun, ignore them.

Setup of Playing Field

The idea is to set up a course made up by taking the two stakes (start and finish) and putting them out and then scattering the hoops around.

The hoops need not be arranged in numeric order, in fact its more fun if they are not. Players will still have to go through them in order but the next hoop may be way 'over there'!

Outdoors and in there are lots of fiendish layouts, around cubicals, rocks, trees, chairs, etc. Uneven ground is perfect, hence hoops at the top of a hill or against a fence are good fodder. The standard "official" Croquet Layout is no fun and is not used.


The Start

Players rock paper scissors (or something) to determine the order they'll play in. Each player put their ball in a line behind the stake and hits it (hopefully) toward the #1 hoop.

The middle

Players take turns hitting the ball once per turn. If the player moves the ball at all that's their turn (one rule variant is that each player gets one "do over" per game to try it again).

Players must go through the hoops in numbered order, if a player goes through a hoop that is not the next one for them, it is treated as if the wicket was not there at all.

Hoops each have two "legs" marked with colored bands (see diagram). If the bands are on the same side, then the hoop must be gone through from the banded side to the unbanded side in order to count. If the hoop has a band on either side then the player may count the hoop if it goes through in either direction (thus during setup the hoops can be configured either with the bands on one side or on opposite sides or a mixture of both).

A ball that passes more than 1/2 way under the cross bar of the "U" of the hoop has gone through. Each time a player hits their ball through the hoop, they get one more stroke that turn as a bonus. If (Theoretically) this put them through another hoop (that is the right one in order) they would get another stroke and so on. (But who would set it up like that?)

Hitting another player's ball

Like the other (un-fun) version, a player can hit another player's ball (intentionally or not). The player whose ball hits another has two choices:

  1. Take another stroke (as a bonus)
  2. Put their ball next to the victims ball, then put their foot on their ball, and then hitting their own ball knock the other player's ball to kingdom come. The other players ball may not be moved except by contact with the player's ball.
This is not only fair, it's fun (much more important).
Knocked over or moved hoops

The hoops are PVC pipe, they are light, they get moved, knocked over etc.

There are two cases

  1. The hoops is moved or knocked over by a ball.
  2. Something else moves or knocks over the hoop
If a hoop is knocked over or moved by anything else besides a ball it is put back exactly as it was.

If however, a ball moved the hoop, it stay's moved (unless it would be unplayable, then it is put back). If the hoop is knocked over, it stays down until the next player who would need to go though the hoop has their turn. That player may "right" the hoop facing in any direction they wish without moving it too far from where it was knocked over, and then play their turn as normal.

Out of bounds

The game organizer will define a play area that is "in bounds". Any ball that leaves this play area is said to be "out of bounds".

If a players ball goes out of bounds, their turn is over no matter what. Their next turn they may pick up their ball, stand at the boundary line and toss it backwards over their shoulder (no looking), and that completes their turn. If the ball is dropped so it goes out of bounds again, then their turn is still over and they must repeat the process again.

The ball should not be dropped more then a reasonable distance, in doubt the organizer gets to decide what reasonable is.

Any equipment knocked over, ball moved, etc is corrected immediately.

Bouncing off Objects

Objects are there to be bounced off. The game organizer can declare some object taboo to be bounced off (equal to going out of bounds) to prevent property damage.

Willfully trying to nail another player is bad sportsmanship (and un-fun) and results in the offending player being ejected from the game.

The Finish

Just like the hoops have two banded legs, so does the finish stake. Players must hit the "Cross" piece of the "H" from the banded side (if the bands are on the same side) to count. The first player to do this wins.