Rules of Field Crumpets

Table of Contents


Field Crumpets can be played by any number of people from 4 to approximately 12. Although larger games are not unheard of, if the group is too big the game tends to bog down and confusion runs rampant.


Every player will need one large, fat, red wiffle bat, which will from this point be referred to as a Crumpet Stick. The color doesn't really matter, but most of the good crumpet sticks I have seen are red or orange. As long as the stick doesn't do too much damage to any individual it might come into contact with, it will be fine.

Each game must also have a ball, which will from here to the end be referred to as a Crumpet. The crumpet should be lightweight and made of relatively soft rubber and definitely inflatable. If possible, the crumpet should have some sort of cartoon character on it. Most drug stores or Wal-Mart-type stores will carry a ball perfect for the game of Field Crumpets.


The field is a large rectangle. It should measure approximately 25 yards (40 paces) in width and approximately 32 yards (52 paces) in length. A larger field can be used for more players and a smaller field for fewer players. The goal is made by measuring 10 yards (16 paces) in from each corner of each short side (so the goal is 5 yards wide). The goals should be 3 yards (6 paces) deep. Neither goal should have a top nor should they have sides. A marker should be placed at 16 yards (26 paces) on each side of the field to mark the halfway point. Ideally, the field should have at least one tree on it somewhere, to add an element of interest to the game, although the game can just as well be played on a field without a tree.


To select teams, one player is chosen as captain. This person chooses a number between 1 and 20 and keeps it to him or herself. Each other player in turn announces a number. No two players should announce the same number. The player closest to the number chosen by the captain joins the captain's team. This is repeated until the teams are even.

If two players are equally distant from the captain's number, they should play rock-paper-scissors (which is called farkling [FAR-kuh-ling]). Farkling is always done best two-out-of-three. The winner of the farkle joins the captain's team.

If there are an uneven number of people, the captain follows the above rules until his team has one less person than there are remaining. He then farkles with one of the people who is not on his team. If the captain wins, he selects another player using the rules above. If the captain loses, then the teams are set and his team has one fewer than the other.

The captain's team picks a goal to defend. Each team should also select a goalie or elect to go without a goalie, which will from this point be referred to as Going Commando.

Lastly, each team should decide on a name for the opposite team. Players should avoid profanity and try to keep the names civil (i.e. nothing dirty). But names should be humorous or somehow derogatory to the team who is receiving the name.



Bringing the crumpet into play is called a serve. The captain's team serves the crumpet first and, from then on, the team that scores will serve the crumpet. The server should always be the same person who is goalie, in order to keep things straight.

All members of the serving team must be in their goal or behind their baseline at the time of the serve and shouldn't leave the goal or cross the baseline until the server's stick or foot has made contact with the crumpet. The members of the receiving team may advance as far as the marker at midfield before the serve.

Before serving, the server must announce who their team's goalie presently is, the score (zero is called "love" as in tennis) and each team must shout their team name as loudly as possible. The server may then serve the crumpet by one of several means:

  1. The server may drop or toss the crumpet and hit it with the crumpet stick.
  2. The server may place the crumpet on the ground and hit it with the crumpet stick.
  3. The server may place the crumpet on the ground and kick it [note that this can not be done if the server has elected to go commando].

If the crumpet lands out-of-bounds, fails to reach the midfield point, or is touched by a member of the serving team prior to reaching midfield and prior to being touched by the receiving team, then it is called a scrub. In the case of a scrub, the receiving team may elect to take a reserve. They announce this by shouting, "We don't want no scrubs" and shaking their fingers and hips at the serving team. The receiving team may also elect to not take a re-serve and the crumpet is played as usual. If the receiving team does not say the exact words "We don't want no scrubs" or "No scrubs", it is as if they have declared that they wish to play the serve. Simply saying "No", "No way", "That won't do", "Bob's your uncle" or any other slang form of "We don't want no scrubs" is insufficient and is not considered binding for the serving team, although of course this may vary from location to location. On a re-serve, the server must be the same who served the scrub. After 3 re-serves the receiving team gets the crumpet at the middle of the field with the serving team still standing in their own goal.

After each goal, the scoring team serves the crumpet to the other team. No player may serve the crumpet a second time until all players have served the crumpet once. After this, no player may serve the crumpet a third time until everyone has served a second time and so forth.

It is worth noting that, unlike bringing a crumpet into play from out of bounds or a foot, a goal CAN be scored on a serve even if no one except the server touches the ball. However, the game-winning goal cannot be scored on a serve. In the case that the serve goes in, resulting in what would be the game-winning goal, the serving team should reserve, although it is not considered a scrub.


Once the crumpet is in play players from each team attempt to hit the crumpet into the goal by using their crumpet sticks to pass and shoot. If any player intentionally hits the crumpet with their foot or if a substantial change is caused by an accidental foot contact, any player who saw it and is not the one who hit the crumpet with his/her foot may shout "FOOT". [note that different regions currently apply this rule differently] The crumpet is then considered dead and the team who did not hit the crumpet with their foot gets it at the point of foot contact. The rules for bringing a footed crumpet back into play are the same as the rules for bringing it in from out-of-bounds (see below). The goalie is allowed to kick the crumpet to bring it into play. A goal can not be scored on a foot call until two people have touched the crumpet (the one bringing it into play, and one other player).
In order to score the crumpet must cross the front line of the goal. This is worth one point. If the crumpet also crosses the back line of the goal, an additional point is awarded. So each goal is worth either one or two points. Once the crumpet has crossed the front line of the goal, no offensive player may enter the goal to hit it across the back line. However, any defensive player may enter the goal to attempt to prevent the crumpet from crossing the back line. The game is played to 10 points.


Each team has a goalie unless they have chosen to go commando. If the teams are uneven, the larger team may not go commando. The goalie is allowed to use his or her feet to kick the crumpet. However, the goalie must also remain on the same side of the midfield as the goal he or she is defending.

Once a goalie is chosen, he or she remains the goalie until:

1) His or her team scores a goal, or
2) His or her team chooses to go commando.

If the team scores a goal, they MUST change goalies. As with serving, no player may be goalie twice until all players have been goalie once. Then, no player may be goalie a third time until all players have been goalies a second time, and so forth.
If the team chooses to go commando, then there is no goalie. No player on that team may kick the crumpet, but they may all cross the midfield markers. A team may announce that it is going commando any time the crumpet is dead and in their possession or after a goal (i.e. after a goal by either team or after a foot/out-of-bounds on the other team). They may also announce that they are ceasing to go commando any time the crumpet is dead and in their possession or after a goal.

If the team goes commando and doesn't score but wishes to stop going commando, they MUST chose the same person as goalie who was goalie before the team went commando. If the team goes commando and scores, then wishes to stop going commando, then they MUST chose a different player as goalie following the same rules as above.


To start, if the players must ask "was that out of bounds?" then the crumpet is NOT out of bounds. If there is a debate between teams as to whether the crumpet was out of bounds, then the two who are having the debate must farkle. The winner of the farkle gets the crumpet at the point of dispute as if it had gone out of bounds.

If there is no dispute, then the team who did not hit the crumpet out of bounds brings the crumpet into play by placing it on the out of bounds line and hitting it in bounds with the crumpet stick (or by kicking it, if the goalie is bringing it into play).

The defending team must leave at least a crumpet stick-length plus an arm length around the player bringing the crumpet in bounds. The defending player may be anywhere they want in relation to the in-bounder as long as their body and crumpet stick remain outside of this crumpet-stick plus arm length half-circle.

Offensive players who are not directly involved in bringing a crumpet into play may set picks for the person who is. This is done by simply pushing a defending player out of the way so that the person bringing the crumpet in has a clear passing route. The only regulation on picks is called the 3-step rule. Anyone who is setting the pick must take no more than 3 steps before making contact with the defender to avoid an injury. Taking more than 3 steps is considered uncouth and, if too many more steps are taken, the defender may take a penalty shot against the goalie as described below.

As with a foot call, no player may score a goal by bringing the crumpet into play from an out-of-bounds call. At least one other player (whether offensive or defensive) must touch the ball. Then a goal can be scored as normal.
[Note that this does not apply if the crumpet goes into the goal of the team who brought it in bounds. If the in bounds pass results in the crumpet going in the goal of the passing team without anyone else touching the ball, then the other team still gets a point.]


First and foremost, if the opposing team doesn't see you commit a penalty and call it, then no penalty has been committed. The same rule applies to foot and out-of-bounds calls.

Penalties include hitting the crumpet with one's hand, catching the crumpet with any body part (ie in the crook of one's elbow), intentional tripping and any sort of tackle which includes grabbing and holding a person or their crumpet stick. Pushing is a legal action; tackling, tripping and holding are not.

If someone commits a penalty, then the person against whom the penalty was committed gets a shot against the goal. In the case of a tackle or hold, the person who was tackled or held gets a shot against the goalie. In the case of a hand call, anyone on the team who did not touch the crumpet with their hand may take the shot against the goalie.

In a free shot, all players except the goalie and the shooter must stand outside the goal, either behind the shooter or to the sides of the goal. The free shot is taken from no less than 1/4 the length of the field from the goal. If the goalie blocks the shot or if the shot misses and stays in bounds, then it is played as usual.


When a team reaches 10 points the game ends. Both teams should line up and every player should touch elbows with every player from the opposite team as a sign of good will.


Crumpets is a game of friendliness and honesty. There is no penalty, foot or out-of-bounds unless one is called, but if one is called, do not lie about it. If you honestly believe no call is warranted, then farkling is in order. The same is true of a disputed goal. In fact, all disputes can and should be resolved through farkling, with the losing team accepting the loss gracefully.

Return to the Field Crumpets main page.

Field Crumpets was invented by Robert Overton and Michael Nolan. Feel free to play the game, but don't you dare try to pass it off as your own. We're watching you!