The Association game is played on a court of identical size and configuration as the USCA game (or vise versa). For the most part, these two versions share many characteristics and rules. For expediency, the significant differences will be discussed. It can be assumed that except for these, the description above for the USCA game holds true for the Association game.
The game begins by placing your ball on either balk line and shooting from there. The balk lines, in the south-west and (as shown in the golf croquet court image below) north-east corners of the court run parallel to both north & south boundaries. They extend from the centerline of the court to 1 yard short of either east or west boundaries, 1 yard from the south & north boundaries. Balls can be roqueted before they score the first hoop.
The order of play is not considered as long as each team alternates turns. This means that the blue/black team can play either of their balls on a given turn. After each shot any ball that rolled off the court or has rolled past an imaginary line 1 yard in from all boundaries, are brought in 1 yard from where they rolled out. (This is similar to the 9" rule in the USCA version).
Deadness in this game is obtained by hitting another ball with the striker's ball. It is cleared by scoring the next hoop or upon ending of the striker's turn, thus each time a player begins their turn, they are alive on all balls on the court.
The rover hoop is run in the opposite direction to the USCA version, going through it away from the winning stake.
The game is won by the first player to score 26 points. These are obtained by each of 2 balls scoring 12 wickets each plus staking out for an additional point.
A more thorough understanding of the rules can be had by reading the Simplified Laws of Association Croquet at the University of Oxford site. The complete set of laws may be seen at the Croquet Association's website [HERE]. You can obtain a copy of the rules on our website [HERE]
Migrating from the Association rules game to USCA rules (or visa versa)? Help is available with the 'Differences Handbook' in our Books & Video section [HERE].