A complete revision of the rules of AC came into effect on 31st March 2021.
Read a comparison with the previous version at https://worldcroquet.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/AC-Laws-7th-edition-Changes-log_final.pdf
My own list of the headline changes that players need to take note of is as follows:
- Accidental contact between the mallet and any ball before the intended stroke will count as a fault where the ball was in a critical position unless the balls had already been marked by a referee.
- The treatment of borderline positions: Where a ball is in a borderline position ( on/off court, in/out of hoop, touching another ball, etc.), the default decision when the eye cannot adjudicate is defined for more circumstances than in 6th Ed.
- When positioning a lift on the baulk line the striker can only take croquet from the ball it can legally be placed beside and an ensuing cannon must be played with that ball as the croqueted ball.
- Not hitting with end face or lawn damage: The occasions when these are faults has been extended from a hampered stroke to include when attempting a jump and when playing a ball in a group.
- Misleading advice. A player can now seek redress from misleading advice from a referee or timekeeper. If replaying the stroke, the player must adopt a different line of play.
- Alternate-stroke doubles: Rules have now been moved from an Appendix in 6th Ed to the main rules in 7th Ed.
- Time Wasting: Rules have been added that allow tournament referees to deal with both deliberate gamesmanship and habitually slow players.
- Advice etc. to Players: There has been a substantial addition to the rules regarding advice to players during a game.
- This includes a ban on consulting material, paper or electronic, and the wearing of earphones.
- It includes an instruction that a player in a team competition is prohibited from playing the option suggested by another team member (other than their partner in doubles).
- Penalties extend from loss of current turn for the striker( or next turn for the waiting opponent ) to the forfeit of the match on a 3rd offense.
- Time Limited Games: The rules for these have been incorporated into the 7th Ed.
- Note: Priority should be given to the player with the least time remaining when there is less than 15 minutes left.
The rule change comparison document is an extensive 14 page document but many parts of it would only need to be considered in circumstances where the players would probably need to consult with a referee for an adjudication.