How To Set Up Croquet Court In Your Backyard?

We set up the croquet court in our backyard when we first started playing. However, I wanted to know about the official croquet court size, and how I could adjust it to fit in the space we had. After hours of research, this is what I have come up with.

The international rules of association croquet stipulate that the court must be 105′ long by 84′ wide. A wicket may not be within 21′ of the outside boundaries of the court. Two wickets will be set 21 feet from the center stake, and the other four will be set 21 feet from each edge of the court.

This is a little confusing reading it that way, so I made some charts and diagrams to show the actual layout. There are also far better ways to play croquet than using the international court layout, which I will show you next.

Most croquet forms and variants fall into one of two categories, six-wicket croquet or nine-wicket croquet. American croquet, association croquet, and golf croquet all use six wickets and have similar court layouts, but their rules and standards are different.

Nine wicket croquet is the most popular backyard game for families and groups to play together.

You will need decent croquet set such as this Baden Deluxe Series Croquet Set (link to Amazon) that we use, or check out our comparison of the most popular croquet sets here, Croquet Set Costs and Compare to find the right set for you.

how to set up croquet
how to set up croquet

9-Wicket Croquet Court Layout

For most people just playing for fun in their backyards, I recommend trying 9-Wicket croquet. There are more professional croquet players that compete in clubs or internationally around the world who play 6-Wicket croquet. The 6-Wicket croquet court will be discussed later, but for now, let’s focus on the most popular play style in North America, the 9-Wicket croquet.

Playing 9-Wicket croquet on a 9-Wicket croquet court can be done either in an official fashion or in a more relaxed manner, which allows the court to be used in various ways.

The 9-Wicket croquet court is sometimes called the double diamond court. You’ll see why once we get it set up. It’s the most popular form of croquet in the US because it’s more of a social game.

Official 9-Wicket Croquet Court

There are more rules for an official 9-Wicket croquet court than for a family 9-Wicket croquet court. This court is usually not used by backyard recreational players.

  • 100′ by 50′ rectangle
  • Short maintained grass
  • 9 Wickets
  • 2 Stakes
  • Up to 6 players
  • Boundaries marked by flags or chalk

This setup needs exact measurements and is used in tournaments. Most people use the family croquet dimensions below.

Family 9-Wicket Croquet Court

The 9-Wicket croquet court is a more relaxed and enjoyable court, ideal for social gatherings and recreational play. There is no need to maintain the grass, and the dimensions are flexible.

Often called extreme croquet because the court is set up around trees, bushes, and other obstacles. In our backyard, we halved all the measurements of the official 9-Wicket croquet court to fit in our space.

Print it out and use it as a guide when setting up your court. If you need to, you can place obstacles on your court. Everyone will face the same obstacles, so no one will have an unfair advantage.

Measure and set up a 9-Wicket court

Place the wickets and stakes near where you think they’ll end up. It makes the setup easier. If you plan on making an official, full-size 9-Wicket croquet court, you should double the measurements listed below.

Double diamond, the 9-Wicket court set up:

  • Place a stake 3 feet from the center of the short side boundary
  • Measure 3 feet from the stake and set your first wicket (in line with the stake, at center court)
  • Measure 3 feet from the first wicket and set your second wicket (in line with the stake, at center court)
  • Place the third wicket 16 feet from the second wicket (this will mark the end of the first diamond wicket).
  • Put the second wicket between the second and third wickets (8 feet from the second wicket) and measure 9 feet to the side of the court and set a wicket on each side.
  • That has created the first diamond of the double diamond 9-Wicket croquet court, now show off what has already been done
  • Place a sixth wicket (in line with the stake, in the center of the court) 16 feet from the end of the first diamond.
  • Measure 8 feet from the end of the first diamond, then 9 feet to either side and place another wicket on either side
  • Measure 3 feet from the 6th wicket and set your last wicket (in line with the stake, at center court)
  • At the center of the court, measure 3 feet from your last wicket (9th wicket) and place the other stake (in line with the first stake).
  • 9-Wicket croquet court complete

For marking the boundaries of the court, you should place flags at the corners or around the perimeter. It is against the rules to hit a ball beyond the boundaries. Sometimes we play without boundaries to make the game less technical and just enjoy playing.

6-Wicket Croquet Court Layout

Most 6-Wicket croquet courts are used for professional games or tournaments, but there are some variations of 6-Wicket croquet that are fun to play in the backyard. We play a version that is less rigid in the direction of play, but the court layout is the same.

Association Croquet Court

There is an official croquet court used in Association croquet games, usually to decide who will compete in international competitions.

  • 105′ by 84′
  • Short grass (1/4″ thick)
  • The large flat playing area
  • 6 Wickets
  • 1 Stake
  • 2 Teams (played as singles or doubles)

Association croquet can only be played by two teams at a time. Each team gets its own ball when playing doubles. A singles player plays two balls. Blue and black balls are usually used instead of red and yellow.

On an official 6-Wicket croquet court, one unit is 21 feet. The court is 5 units long (105′) and 4 units wide (84′).

Here’s a printable version of this diagram without the green background, hopefully, that will save you some money on printer ink.

The United States Croquet Association (USCA) uses these measurements for tournament matches.

We adjusted this unit to be only 10 feet when we set this court up in our backyard. This gives us a 40′ x 50′ court that is more manageable in our backyard. We also think the game is more fun that way. None of us are professional croquet players, so shorter distances make for a more enjoyable experience.

Golf Croquet Court

A golf croquet court is set up in the same way as an association croquet court. In a tie game, the only difference is the rules and the direction of play.

Measure and Set Up A 6-Wicket Court

Start by laying out the bats and stakes near where they will end up. This makes the setup process easier. In order to play on an official, full-size Association Croquet court, you’ll need to use 21 feet as your unit of measurement. Our court measures 10 feet.

  • Place a stake at the exact center of the court (2 units from the short side and 2.5 units from the long side of the court)
  • Measure 10 feet (or 1 unit) from the stake towards the short side of the court and place a wicket with the open end facing the stake
  • Measure 1 unit in from the short side and 1 unit in from the long side of the court, and place a wicket
  • You can also measure a half unit down from your first wicket, then 1 unit to either side, and place a wicket on either side
  • It is recommended that all wickets face the same direction (open end toward the short side of the court).
  • Simply mirror the wicket placements on the other side of the court.
  • Measure 10 feet (1 unit) from the stake and place a wicket
  • Measure 1/2 unit from that wicket, then 1 unit to either side and set a wicket
  • Your 6-Wicket croquet court is complete

Flags should be placed on each corner and along the court’s perimeter. The official Association Croquet courts actually use flags or chalk to mark the boundaries of the play area. We don’t typically play with boundaries. The more relaxed we can make the game, the more fun it is for us.

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