Annapolis Cup - some details

by Paul Bennett · 26 April 2019

Best of 2019 Photo by Michael Rumbin

Format of Play

Three 9-wicket courts are setup
Two Teams of 12 players
Six total games played – no time limits

There are 3 courts setup and the cup is won in a best 3 out of 5. There are 6 total games played, but the second round game on court 3 is an exhibition game that doesn’t count towards the actual competition. Each school has 12 players and all the games are doubles. There aren’t any time limits so you always play until one team wins (it’s not unusual for games to run to 3 hours, we had a 5 hour game last year).


We play on a 9-wicket setup with slightly modified American 6 rules. We do not do clearing on 1 back and no wire rule. We have an added rule for rover: once you are a rover ball, any other ball can stake you out (whether or not they are rover), but they must stake you at the starting/finishing stake (there are two stakes in a 9 wicket setup). When you are a staked out by an opponent you are not out of the game, but instead you miss your next two turns, on the third turn your ball comes back into the game, but is not in play (the same status a ball has prior to making hoop 1 in American) until the rover ball hits to the opposite end of the court and hits the second stake again, at that point the rover ball is back in the game.

The rules change from decade to decade, they used to play with a ‘continuous rover’ rule meaning that a rover ball could hit each ball as many times per turn as it would like to (as long as it cleared liveness). This lead to some interesting games, one time we played this way for fun and a member of our team peeled his partner through 9 wickets (a lot easier with this continuous rover rule, but still was cool to see). Because our lawns are imperfect (they are probably less level than most people’s yards) our strategy is often a bit different than a typical American 6 game. SJC is typically very aggressive, my motto in college was ‘wickets don’t matter until you’re 3-ball dead’, while navy generally (not always, but for the most part) will ignore a 3-ball and opt for 2-balls (which are much easier in 9 than 6 wicket, you can 2 ball the whole court in a turn in 9 wicket). Navy always has really great shooting (they would be/are great golf croquet players, they also peel really well).

Next Event

This Saturday, April 27th, 2019. Sorry but if you don’t have tickets, they have all been sold out. Instead, come join us for a Regional or National 9-wicket tournament in Virginia, later this year.

Thank you Shane Hettler for providing these details.

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