How to play croquet; the rules of croquet

To decide the order of play, each player drives his ball toward the starting post from about 15 feet away. The player who comes closest goes first, the next second, and so on.

To play, place your ball halfway between the starting post and the first wicket and strike it with the mallet, driving it through as many wickets as possible in the order indicated. For each wicket your ball rolls through, you get an extra shot.

If you hit an opponent’s ball, you get two extra shots. If you wish, you may use the first to drive your opponent’s ball from the playing area in one of two ways. To make a croquet shot, place your ball against the other and put your foot on your ball to keep it in place; then strike it so that the other scoots off. To make a split shot, strike your ball without holding it, so that both move. You may not hit the same opponent’s ball again until you have passed through another wicket.

The winner is the first player or team to finish the course and hit the starting post. Upon finishing, a player may immediately reenter the game as a rover and create mischief for others, thus helping his partner.