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Dr Ian Plummer

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Croquet is probably unique inasmuch as it is up to the players to ask for a referee. A referee is called as an 'expert witness' for situations where there is the possibility of committing a fault or to sort out a situation by applying the Laws.

National bodies accredit people to become referees.  This involves examinations on the Laws and practical tests.  Some national bodies also empower people to become Assistant Referees or Umpires.  This section contains notes on refereeing practice, training to become an referee and points about the laws. Players should become familiar with the 6th Edition Laws of Association Croquet together with the Official Rulings on the Laws of Croquet. In the domain of the Croquet Association (CA) the types and duties of referees are set out in the Regulations for Tournaments.

Currently the CA has no online material on refereeing. It is hoped that they will produce a teach yourself course. They do arrange infrequent refereeing courses but these are only advertised in their Annual Fixtures book. In addition to standard referees there are championship and international referees. No information is forthcoming about qualifying for those grades.

How to Become a Referee

I asked a member of the Croquet Association's Laws Committee about the current process of becoming a refereee (January 2012).

Q1 Can you take the exam/s without attending a training course?
A1 Yes

Q2 Are there self-study materials on the web
A2 Yes, on the excellent Oxford Croquet web site (!)

Q3  Can sample examination papers be downloaded from the web?
A3 The quiz and questions on the Oxford Croquet site are good practice for the real exam

Q4 Is there any cost for the exam?
A4 None, other than any time, travel and cost of getting to a laws course or to wherever you get examined.

Q5 What is the nature of the exam?
A5 To become an Assistant Referee (note: this term is likely to change/ be clarified soon), you need to pass a multiple choice written exam lasting 40 minutes, for which you may not refer to the Laws Book, and take an on-lawn practical test.

To become a full Referee, you need in addition to pass an one hour examination on some more difficult laws situations.  For this exam, you may refer to your Laws Book.

Assistant Referee

40 minute multiple-choice written exam without reference to the Laws book

On-lawn practical test


Full Referee

1-hour written test with the Laws book

Q6 Do you have to travel to an examination centre or be examined at your local club.
A6 It is not generally possible to be examined at the end of a Laws course, as it is too time-intensive to fit in.  So normally, candidates arrange to meet with an examining referee at a tournament or club they will be visiting in any case.

Refereeing Practice

Refereeing Problems

Refereeing Reference Material

See 6th Edition Laws Material in the Laws Section, especially the Official Rulings on the Laws of Croquet (ORLC) document and the Rulings therein.

Although created for an American audience, the following videos by Ted Prentis and Bob Kroeger are instructional on refereeing shots on the lawn:

  1. Introduction To the Video Series - Please Watch This First
  2. How To Use An iPhone For Slow Motion Video
  3. Mallet Faults
  4. Contact Distance In Single Ball Shots (2006 CA Highspeed Shoot)
  5. Double Tap, Crush, Beveled Edge Fault Intro
  6. Eight Wicket Shots In Real Time Only
  7. The Same Eight Wicket Shots (Plus 3 Others); In Real Time And Slow Motion
  8. Hampered Shots (note resting the shaft on a hoop is not a fault in Association croquet)
  9. Hammer Shots
  10. Sweep Shots
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Updated 9.vi.16
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