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Croquet Handicaps - must be used for all competitive games.


There are two methods in using handicaps - the old method of "extra turns" and the new "Advantage play".

Handicaps are agreed at the start of a match. They don't change even if a player’s handicap may need to be adjusted as a result of a game’s outcome during a match of multiple games (ie if a trigger point is reached - see below). Changes to handicaps only apply as a result of singles matches.

The new Advantage system - click here

The old system

Essentially handicaps help to even out games between players of different skill level and experience. A lower handicapped player gives away extra turns (previously known as bisques) to the higher handicapped player.



For singles matches the difference between the players’ handicaps is the number of extra turns the higher handicapped player receives. With respect to the handicap card, the winner is awarded +10 points and the loser -10 points for each game played. At the end of the match the handicaps are adjusted if the trigger points are reached.



The higher handicap players and the lower handicap players are matched in pairs. For example let’s use the following scenario:-

Pair 1 = Player A (handicap 14) partners Player B (handicap 6) and

Pair 2 = Player C (handicap 12) partners player D (handicap 9)

We match highest handicap player from Pair 1 with lowest handicap player Pair 2. So players A and D have a difference of 5, which is halved and rounded up to give player A 3 extra turns (shots). Similarly lowest handicap  player from pair 1 and highest handicap player from pair 2 are matched, so player C gets 3 extra turns.

When to use your extra turns

Practice makes perfect as they say! Basically use your extra turn(s) to set up a hoop winning position, but you are not allowed to use the extra turn to run the hoop - only to get into a favourable position!). A second, less desirable, option is to use the extra turn to defend a hoop if in danger of losing the game. The favourite places to use an extra turn is on the long runs say from hoop 1 to hoop 2 or hoop 3 to hoop 4, if you are the first to play a shot so that you can adjust your position to be as close to the hoop as possible. Alternatively, use the extra turn to knock off an opponent's ball away from the hoop or to protect your partner ball.

You can use as many extra turns as you feel you need to (if you have  a few) in your turn.


The etiquette in using extra turns is to alert the opponent(s) as soon as you have played your shot saying that you "may wish to use your extra turn". You are allowed a few moments to decide, but you are not obliged to go through with using the extra turn thus saving it for another opportunity. A nicer etiquette is to alert the opponent(s) before you play the shot so that everyone can adjust their expectations. Try not to end the game losing, but still having unused extra turns!!


Please refer to the coaching videos through the link in the "Golf Croquet" page.



Columns on the card from the left are :-

Date The date the match is played

Name The name of your opponent

Hcp Your opponent’s handicap

A/H/L H is for a game played using handicaps; L is for level play matches. All club competitions and matches are played using handicaps so put H in this column

Result Fill in the score, putting your own score first e.g. if you won, the score should be written 7 – 3 If you lost, the score should be written 3 – 7

+/- If you won, +10. If you lost -10

New Add or subtract 10 from your previous index score and write in your new index


Handicaps only change when a new trigger point is reached. (See inserted sheet in your cards for handicap trigger points.) Every time you win, your index will go up and when it reaches a trigger point, your handicap will come down. e.g. If you have an 11 handicap and your index goes up to 1200, your handicap will go down to 10. If you then lose a few games your index will go down again, but your handicap does not change until the index reaches the next trigger point. i.e. 1200 is a handicap of 10. You do not go up to an 11 handicap until your index goes back down to 1150. In other words once your handicap has gone down, it will not go up again until you have lost a nett number of  5 further games. Note that below a 6 handicap the trigger gap is 100 points, i.e. win a nett sequence of 10 games to go from 6 to 5. As soon as a new trigger point has been reached, please put your handicap card into the box to be checked and change of handicap noted on the club sheet. If you are not sure about any of your entries, put the card into the box and it will be checked for you. 

For more in-depth reading go to the Croquet Association  --------->>>

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