Notes from Bob & Ted's Croquet Videos

"No rest for the wicket."

Pinup stolen from Lakewood Croquet

Jump to the subject of your choice.

HERE for confusing diagrams of Set Shots

Partner Deadness
Split Shots
The Swap
Deadness Theory
Ball Rotation
Set Up
Guarding a Shot
Shot Making Routine
The Seven Deadly Shots
The Clearance at 1-Back
Angled Wicket Shots
Power Distribution
Attack Formula
Chase Theory
Practice Routines
The 2 Ball Break
More Hot Tips
Rush Roquet
Pre-Shot Preparation
Rush to Attack
The Chernobyl
Cut Rush
Hot Tips
Rout or Croquet Out
Championship Opening
Jump Shot
The 4 Ball Break
Deadness Rotation
End Game
Hammer Shot
Double Loading (4BB)
Balls Out of Bounds
Croquet Shots
Ball to Ball Break
Set Shots

Partner Deadness 

Partner deadness is bad, m-kay? So don't be partner dead, m-kay. If you're dead on your partner it's bad, m-kay. He won't be able to send you a rush. And that's bad. So don't go partner dead, m-kay?

The partner is the ball most often used to hit in to a break.


Ball Rotation


- the ball in play.

Danger Ball

- the next ball to play.

- the most likely ball to profit from your mistakes.

Partner Ball

- your partner.

Spent Ball

- the ball that just played.

- most often sent to Partner to help build a break.

In the Roquet shot, the striker is deemed to be Ball in Hand as soon as it hits the roqueted ball. Anything that happens to the striker after that is considered to be incidental contact and croquet is taken off the roqueted ball.


This is fun! After stalking and aiming the roquet shot, take the shot and keep your head down. Listen for the sweet, reassuring sound of the roquet. Mmmmm!


Shot Making Routine

  • Find the line and stalk it.
  • Place mallet by the ball and set stance.
  • Feet parallel to the line of the shot.
  • Aim with the body.
  • Check follow through with target.
  • Concentrate on smooth swing and deadly accuracy.
  • Don't forget to follow through on hoop shots.

If you're not happy with your set up for a wicket shot, do it again.


Angled Wicket Shots

Aim at an imaginary ball jawsed in the hoop.

Check the opposite side of the hoop to see whether the shot is makeable or not 

If you see a sliver of clearance between the ball and the hoop on one side and more than

half the ball showing past the other side, the shot is possible.

Not easy, just possible


Practice Routines

Distance is determined by backswing.

Keep head down, estimate distance and accuracy, look up after the shot and confirm your assumptions. Adjust if necessary and repeat.

This helps to build a subconscious register of backswing and distance.

Distance estimating for roquet shots. The shot should be hard enough to send the striker twice the distance to the target ball.

Practice your swing in front of a full length mirror.

Close eyes while making the shot to get a feel for the mechanics of the shot.


Rush Roquet

In a rush roquet shot, use the same amount of force as would be necessary to send the striker to the target area.


Cut Rush

Power distribution. The more severe the cut, the more power will be needed to make the shot.

Aim at an imaginary spot/ball on the rush line.


Jump Shot

Arches of the feet by the ball. Hit down sharply. No follow through.

If you have to use this shot, you're already in trouble.


Hammer Shot

Face away from target. Hit down not steeper than 45 degrees. No follow through.


Croquet Shots

Take Off - Use mallet to line the shot up.

The striker will travel perpendicular to the centre line of the two balls.

Pull or Draw - around 10 percent of the distance of the shot

Take off from the left, draw to the right and vice versa.

Aim in a constant amount to reduce variables, either thick or thin.


Split Shots

The distance and direction of both balls must be considered.

The forward ball will pull in the direction of the split, so adjust aim accordingly.

Practice various splits and assess any errors.

1. Forward ball direction error equals incorrect striker placement.

2. Striker direction error equals incorrect mallet aim.

The distance travelled by the forward ball is controlled by the amount of backswing.

You can't use strength to determine the distance travelled by the striker in a split shot.


Split Shot Summary

Forward Ball
Mallet Aim
Striker Placement
Type of Shot
Strength of Shot


The Seven Deadly Shots


1. The Stop Shot

Striker travels the smallest amount. (1/5)

Stand farther back from the ball, front of mallet head raised.

2. The Drive Shot

Striker travels 1/3 to 1/4 the distance of the forward ball.

Mallet head square to ball.

3. The 1/2 Roll

Feet equal to front edge of striker.

Mallet head hits down on ball 30 to 45 degrees.

4. The 2/3 Roll

You figure it out.

5. The 3/4 Roll

Feet front of forward ball.

6. The Full Roll

Lower hand at balance point of handle.

7. The Pass Roll

Lower hand just above mallet head.

No follow through on roll shots.


Power Distribution in Wide Angle Split Shots

When shooting greater than 30 to 45 degrees, use a shot 1 fraction less to acheive the same distance on the forward ball.

Check angle using thick take off setup.


The 2 Ball Break

1. Croquet forward ball to reception.

2. Wicket shot distance is critical to gain a rush on the reception ball to the next hoop.

Roquet to set up at forward ball's hoop.


Pre-Shot Preparation

1. Which ball to play? Make sure you are going to play the correct ball.

2. Which is the next wicket to run? Check the clip position.

3. What is the state of deadness? Deadness rotation.

4. Time remaining to play? Make points or guard your lead?


Hot Tips

If you don't have a good rush after running your wicket, consider abandoning the break and avoiding partner deadness.

Just because you have a rush doesn't mean you have to take it.

Odd numbered wickets need a forward rush, so rush the pioneer to one side, setting up a simple croquet shot to place reception ball and striker.

Don't rush your reception ball unless you have to. If so, rush the reception ball to your next hoop but one.

Determine exactly where you want to be ball in hand on the reception ball after the rush. Rush it there.


The 4 Ball Break

  • Long rushes are not necessary in the 4 Ball Break.
  • Rush the pivot ball to a position more favourable for taking croquet.
  • Keep it on the side of the court containing the wickets you are working on.


Double Loading (4BB)

  • Send pivot to next hoop but one to act as a second pioneer.
  • Use this strategy when you are not satisfied with the placement of the original pioneer.

Try to pick up the fourth ball as soon as you can, ideally get it before you run your next wicket. Try not to use your partner ball.

Pick up the fourth ball before running the wicket it is closest to.

"Chasing a Bad Break" Trying to make or maintain a break out of badly placed balls.


Ball to Ball Break

Rush a ball to another ball.

Try not to risky shots off your partner ball.


The Swap

1st ball croquet to reception, then score wicket.

2nd ball is sent to pioneer.


Set Up

1. Set partner up.

2. Opponent's balls become pioneer and pivot.



1. Set 3 Ball Break for partner.

2. Get clean. (Striker or partner)

3. Make danger ball ineffective.


Attack Formula

1. Take off from partner to attack danger ball.

2. Roquet danger ball.

3. Take off to spent ball.

4. Roquet spent ball.

5. Rush spent ball to next wicket.

6. Get clean.

7. Set partner up.


More Hot Tips

When taking off to attack, hit danger ball first gaining a rush on spent ball to wicket.

If you can't rush the spent ball to your wicket, send it to your partner ball and set up by your next hoop. You are 3 Ball Dead and must get clean.

The spent ball may be of no use to partner, but it's close proximity can prevent your opponents from joining up.

Send spent ball to your partner's next wicket and join up, a giving your partner an opportunity to hit in to a 3 Ball Break.


Rush to Attack

1. Rush partner close to opponents (joined on boundary).

2. Take off to spent ball.

3. Send spent to partner.

4. Roquet danger ball.

5. Destroy danger ball by sending it to a distant location.


Rout or Croquet Out

Croquet partner to spent ball on boundary if danger ball is ineffective.


Deadness Rotation

Attack is a risky manoeuver if you are carrying serious deadness.

  • Dead on opponent(s), attack is not possible.
  • Dead on danger ball, you can't do anything about danger ball's location.
  • Dead on spent ball, you can't set partner up.
  • Partner is dead on spent ball, he can't use spent ball to make wicket.
  • Partner is dead on danger ball, less risky.

Refer to the deadness board before each turn and keep alert to changes in status.

Send partner to pioneer, then take off to opponents on boundary.

Danger ball first if possible.


Sending Ball Out of Bounds

1. Locate behind opponent's play, enticing them to go backwards with long shots to pick up alot of deadness.

2. Forwards to your own direction of play, ie: leave your partner a rush into the court.



Set things up for your partner ball.

Aim to complete the groom by the time you have made the same wicket as your partner's in the opposite direction.

Think ahead to the end of the turn.

Avoid meaningful deadness.

If you sense that the break is coming apart, think of ending in a groom before you break down completely and allow your opponents an easy break.


Deadness Theory

Partner ball has deadness and you are both for the same wicket.

1. Rush to the wicket and peel your partner, then make the hoop.

2. Rush to set partner up at its hoop, then run your wicket.

3. Trading Deadness or The Back Peel

  • Rush partner to the hoop running zone.
  • Take off to set up at hoop.
  • Run the hoop.
  • Rush partner to the peeling zone.
  • Peel partner hard, ideally croquet boths balls out.
  • Striker becomes partner dead and partner is clean for its next turn.


Guarding a Shot

When (dead) partner is set up at its next wicket and the opponent has a shot at it, guard the hoop from the boundary.

Make your opponent pay for his miss.

Dead ball takes position and the live ball guards the wicket.


Clearing Balls After Running 1-Back

Don't abandon a good break, just to avoid running 1-Back.

Don't forget to take your clearance before the start of your next turn.

If it is painfully obvious which ball will be cleared, announce it immediately.


Chase Theory

When your live ball and dead ball aren't for the same wicket, or if both balls are partner dead.

Dead ball is left in position at its hoop while the live one guards the shot.

Position partner and peel if possible. If not, leave at wicket, then go and guard danger ball's next wicket.

Chase the opponent's position.

Peel your opponent through 1-Back, immediately clear the striker ball and take the peelee out of position.

You can end your turn in position if the spent ball is dead on partner and the danger ball is separated from its partner and long distance from your location.



In tournament play, at least one ball fails to hit in through the first wicket about 50% of the time.

Other ball stuck in the wicket .

  • Lay up behind and wait.
  • Use a Drag Roll of Half Jump to push both balls through Hoop 1.

Nobody wants to make a move on Hoop 2.

  • Rush partner to the Zone @ Hoop2.
  • Croquet partner towards the boundary. (Bad for opponent)
  • Score the wicket.
  • Shoot off at the East boundary. (Away from opponent) 


The Chernobyl

After missing Hoop 1, set up in perfect position, therby threatening any attempt by the opponents to set up at Hoop 2. In effect guarding Hoop 2 with a clean ball.


Championship Level Opening

Blue and Black are joined close in Corner 1.

Red is on the South boundary.

Yellow has set up at Hoop1.

Blue to shoot.

Blue shoots to a better position in the corner.

Red attacks by roqueting Black, the danger Ball. High risk shot.

Stops Black East towards the rush line to Hoop 1.

Roquets Blue and sends it to pioneer at Hoop2

Red then goes to reception at Hoop 1, wired from Black, the danger ball.

Always consider sacrificing a dodgy 2 Ball Break to set your partner up with a better 3 Ball Break.


End Game

Croquet partner out near the spent ball on the boundary.



Arrange to roquet your partner ball first after running Rover. This will allow you to avoid "last ball deadness" on your partner.





Shot Selection


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