Association Croquet

This section aims to provide useful links to information and advice on association croquet skills and techniques for players of all levels from absolute beginners to more experienced and advanced players.

Many of the links are to the Croquet Association, Oxford Croquet and Bowdon Croquet Club and we are most grateful for their contributions to the game by posting useful coaching pages on their websites.

Association Croquet Coaching Manual

The Croquet Association has produced an Association Croquet Coaching Manual which includes a syllabus for a six week beginners’ course as well as material for improvers’, Bronze, Silver Gilt and Gold coaching courses. A copy is in the clubhouse and additional copies may be purchased from the Croquet Association. A copy in pdf format is also available for Croquet Association members under Coaching Resources in the Members’ Area at the Croquet Association website and at Oxford Croquet .

These resources are aimed at coaches rather than players wanting to learn and improve. Some useful resources for them are listed below.

For beginners

How to play An outline of the game and basic techniques
Beginners’ coaching notes 1 The basic idea, single ball strokes and croquet strokes
Beginners’ coaching notes 2 How to start, the rush Line, the four-ball break and leaves
Beginners’ coaching notes 3 The three-ball break, basic tactics, handicap play
Beginners’ coaching notes 4 The end game, further tactics and a practice game
Types of shot Roquet, hoop shot, take-off, rush, drive, stop shot, half roll, threequarter roll, roll, pass roll, split shot, approach shot, hoop approaches
Aiming How some of the top players ensure their hitting-in is consistent
More on aiming – not half the angle! How to line up balls in a croquet stroke
Hoop running Advice and routines to help running hoops
More on hoop running techniques How a very light grip and pendulum action can help
Overcoming inconsistency Tips on what to do if your shooting loses consistency
Which ball to hit What to bear in mind when deciding which ball to shoot at
How NOT to play croquet How to avoid dull, unenterprising ‘Aunt Emma’ tactics

For improvers, handicaps 18 down to 14

Hints for high bisquers How to use bisques, leaves and other useful hints
Getting boundary balls into play Illustrations of how to dig balls off boundaries and build a break
Running angled hoops Dave Kibble describes how it is done
Stop shot techniques Different methods of playing the stroke including hitting off-centre
 Sweep shots How to play a sweep shot when your back swing is hindered
 Cannons Simple recipes for arranging balls for cannons
 More on cannons More details on arranging cannons by Allen Parker

For intermediate handicap players, handicaps 14 down to 6

 Intermediate coaching notes 1 The four ball braek
 Intermediate coaching notes 2 The three ball break
 Intermediate coaching notes 2a The three ball break revisited
 Intermediate coaching notes 3 Changing pivot in a four ball break
 Intermediate coaching notes 4 The start of the game
 Intermediate coaching notes 5 Openings
 Intermediate coaching notes 6 Leaves and ball positions
 Intermediate coaching notes 7 Getting balls into play
 Intermediate coaching notes 8 Special shots: cannons, peels, jump shots, hammer shots
 Intermediate coaching notes 9 Using bisques
 Intermediate coaching notes 10 Tactics against better players
 Intermediate coaching notes 11 Giving bisques
 Intermediate coaching notes 12 Wiring
 Intermediate coaching notes 13 Pegging out
 How to beat higher handicap players Top players give advice on how to beat high handicap opponents with bisques.

For emerging advanced players, handicaps 4 to 6

 Intermediate coaching notes 14 Advanced play
 Intermediate coaching notes 15 The triple peel
 Cross wiring Advice from top players on cross-wiring

For advanced players, handicaps 4 and below

Expert Croquet Tactics Link to an on-line version of ‘Expert Croquet Tactics’ by Keith F Wylie published by the Croquet Association in 2014
Duffer’s Tice, Anti-Duffer’s Tice, the Dream Leave and the Tea Lady A couple of openings, a leave and a shot used in advanced play which have special names.
 The super shot opening Robert Fulford’s analysis
 Croquet leaves Diagrams of the old standard leave (OSL), new standard leave (NSL), diagonal spread, contact leaves, etc
 Peeling including the triple peel Details of the various forms of peeling and what can go wrong
 Peeling opportunities When a triple peel may be done easily
 Advanced pegged out tactics Tactics at the top level – three pegged-out endings are discussed

More topics can be found under the How to Play Croquet section at Oxford Croquet and at the ClarkeCroquet website run by Chris and Jenny Clarke which includes sections on tactical coaching for both association and golf croquet.