Carryover deadness is NOT part of the basic rules of 9 Wicket croquet.

In the 2006 USCA Rules of 9 Wicket Croquet, I quote;

“After the striker ball roquets another ball, it does not earn any extra shots for hitting it again in the same turn before scoring the next wicket in order. However, there is no penalty for hitting the ball again (unless you are using Challenging Option #1, below)”.

In the FAQ section –Question: “Is there a rule that says you are ‘dead’ on a ball you’ve hit (not allowed to hit it) until you make your next wicket. Answer: Yes, see Option 1. However, in the regular version of backyard croquet, there is no carryover of “deadness” from one turn to the next (unless Option 1)

In the 2016 9 Wicket Rules, it is made clear “You are dead on a ball for extra shots until you clear your next wicket or on the start of your next turn whichever comes first. The basic rules do not have any carryover deadness.

Only when you play in the USCA 9 wicket nationals is there a deadness option. So, why are local clubs teaching the 9-wicket game with carryover deadness? For 9 wicket Nationals?  

If you want to play with carryover deadness learn and play US 6 wicket croquet, don’t put this option in our 9-wicket game.

If we want to play the 9-wicket game on par with the 6-wicket game, the first thing that has to be done is establish one set of standard rules, taught and played at local clubs, and these standard rules played in national tournaments, no options. I think this is a no brainer. A set of standard rules can be very challenging for our long grass courts. We don’t play on pristine putting greens.

To me it doesn’t make much sense to look at other issues until we have one set of standard rules for our 9-wicket game. From this point forward all the other issues can be addressed.

Let's put the horse before the cart not the other way around which is what is being done now. This may be one reason why we can’t get a sponsor. Would you sponsor an event not knowing the rules? I wouldn’t. Would you go to an event not knowing the rules until you got there? I wouldn’t.

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  • 1) Until this year, the 9W Kansas City Croquet Club generally played basic USCA 9W rules for beginner games. In general, that worked okay for a few years. But once those players became better players they moved into advanced rules.

    With limited court space and time, this year we started playing advanced rules using bisques based on the MCA rankings and bisque conversion charts. I have been very surprised to find that this move has made this our best year (despite losing our court in March and we are now on a sloped area that is one of the roughest I've played on).

    What we have found is everyone gets to play at full gas and the beginners aren't spending the entire game with deadness because we encourage them to go ahead and use those bisques to end their turn clean. It's amazing how fast they have progressed and it has truly been my most enjoyable year of running a nine wicket session.

    Our only issue is that we need a faster method of handicap adjustment as the MCA has only had two events this year and our players are progressing quickly.

    2) You were the one that inferred that clubs were teaching and playing by Advanced 9W rules. I am not aware of any other official USCA 9W club other than my Kansas City Croquet Club. It would seem like if there were any active 9W clubs out there, they would have made a bid for hosting 9W nationals.

    • The short of it is, you are not teaching or playing by the basic rules of the USCA but are using “advance rules” ? which I don’t understand what they are. 

      Until all clubs are on board teaching and playing by the basic rules of the USCA with a set of standard rules for tournaments the 9W nationals will continue to be a local clubs “backyard” version.

      In the title of this thread, I did ask why clubs are teaching and playing with carryover deadness because this option is always played in nationals. You are calling this option “Advanced 9W rules” I never heard this expression. Again, we are all not in the same boat and why 9W nationals continue to be played by a few 6 wicket players who play their 6 wicket rules.

      As I keep saying, until the 9WC gets it’s act together, with one set of standard rules for tournaments, without options, the 9 Wicket Nationals will continue to be just a “backyard” game with local options.

      There are 9W groups out there and playing by there local rules and until the 9WC gets it act together with one set of standard rules, the nationals will never grow

      • We play MCA Nine Wicket Rules. Which offers the Basic rules and the Advanced version.

        They are relatively close to USCA 9W rules most consistently used at their 9W Nationals. We didn't feel like it was a good idea to have a buffet of advanced options, so we locked in the advanced rules.

        And I will elaborate a bit on a previous point. Prior to the 2018 season, I never thought it was a good idea to teach beginners the carryover deadness game. But using bisques has changed my opinion. And seems especially effective on the simple 9W pattern.

        • Dylan, I have read your rules, and tell the readers, they are somewhat different from the USCA basic rules e.g. your section 12, The Boundaries. I know understand why one of your players, Bill Berg, was having trouble at the 2016 Nationals in Denver. Also, your “Advanced Rules” aka Carryover Deadness are somewhat different.

          My point, if the USCA 9 wicket nationals are to grow with players from all clubs learning and playing one set of rules, not variations, the nationals as we know them now are just a version of “backyard” croquet, anything goes by the host club.

          It’s too bad, the 9WC can’t see this in spite of their mission statement in two places, “as it is the purpose of the USCA to standardize one set of basic rules,” and “however, it is the purpose of the USCA to standardize one set of rules”.

          We need one set of standard rules for any sanctioned 9 wicket USCA tournaments.



          • If by struggle, you mean taking second in his first USCA event ... okay. The feedback I heard from all of our players was that the comical turf conditions were the real issue. But yes I did hear some annoyance around the decision to modify the rules for that division after eight years.

            Yes, for the MCA we put the boundary penalties into the basic rules. It is core to the strict rotation principles especially considering the width of the nine wicket court. We would want the transition to Advanced rules to be as seamless as possible.

  • Dylan, why are you not teaching the basic rules of the USCA 9 wicket game?.

    Specifically, (1) that on each turn you are alive on all balls?  

    (2) Please explain, what you mean by you would speculate that they are playing those options because they enjoy the depth of rotation/deadness game. Who are “they” and do you know them?


  • To answer your initial question, I would guess that yes, clubs are using tournament rules to prepare players for tournament play. And secondarily, I would speculate that they are playing those options because they enjoy the depth of the rotation/deadness game. Which is quite tactical and strategic on a lawn with some character.

    The rest of your post refers to your long time assertion that the USCA has done something wrong by crafting a set of higher level rules for tournaments and more serious players. That seems well within a sport organization's purview. The Croquet Association has three sets of rules going for Association Croquet. Few people play by the AC Laws. The majority of play is Advanced. And the Super Advanced rules are out there as well and have been used in the Opens. They also list Short Croquet and One-Ball Play in the Laws book. And I believe I have noticed some One-Ball events on the CA calendar.

    The WCF also claims to recognize all versions of croquet on their website and lists nine versions (but not Gateball).

    Most sports have varying sets of rules and a lot of that is dependent on the level of play. Monopoly has tournament rules. Billiards -- everyone plays eight-ball, but the players on TV play nine-ball. And then Snooker is even more high level. I don't see the issue .... the core of the sport generally revolves around hitting multi-colored balls through wickets with a mallet. 

    I don't think the USCA 9 WIcket National Championship rules have been significantly altered during the 10 years that it has run. There have been a few minor mods here and there that I wouldn't consider super-significant. It's not un-common in sports to adjust rules at the more serious competitive level.

    The Laws of Association Croquet - 6th Edition, Amended 2008
    • You continue your comments with “The rest of your post (me) refers to your long time assertion that the USCA has done something wrong by crafting a set of higher level rules for tournaments and more serious players. That seems well within a sport organization's purview”.

      The 9WC has not NOT crafted a set of standard challenging rules for tournaments but allowed TD’s to choose some “backyard” options.

      Our group does not play variations of “backyard” croquet but instead the New Nine Sport of 9 wicket croquet.

      There is a difference between the words, “the game” and “the Sport” according to Jack Osborn in his book, Croquet The Sport.

      “While many of the new clubs are still family based, the promising trend of country, tennis and sports clubs, along with well known resorts, hotels, and country inns, to add croquet to their menu of sports offerings, bodes well for at-large members of the USCA and people seeking to find first class courts and facilities where they can learn and play the sport.” With his new US 6 wicket sport, he took the traditional American game of “backyard” croquet to a new professional level for the sport.

      I am asking the 9WC to step up to the plate, now, and take the USCA “backyard” game of 9 wicket croquet to a new higher level for national tournaments with one set of standard rules for people seeking to learn and play a skilled 9 wicket sport of croquet on long grass.

      • We can agree on that point ... I believe there should be a fixed set of basic rules rules and a fixed set of tournament rules that are a natural extension of those rules. The purpose of the basic rules being to give the casual backyard player a proper foundation if they choose to move into tournament play. That concept is why we shifted to our own MCA Rulebook.

        However, that does all ignore the reality that the casual backyard game is primarily six-ball cutthroat.

        • Yes, the purpose of the basic rules to create the proper foundation for the “backyard” game of 9 wicket croquet, which is six-ball cutthroat single players.

          From these basic rules, the 9WC moves to the next level of play; four balls, singles and/or teams for a higher level of competition with a set of standard rules for tournaments played in nationals.  

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