Arizona Croquet Club


How to Learn the Game:

The game is best learned by playing ... and in addition, we offer coaching, competitive tournaments, and for the studious there are reading materials.


The Arizona Croquet Club has been a wonderful place for me to learn the game of croquet.  I find everyone most helpful.  In fact, this of all sports you will find everyone willing to teach and or share trade secrets of the game with you.  This is great when trying to learn how to play and most importantly how to improve.

Special coaching sessions can be setup to help individuals learn the shots, the rules and how to run the court on a single turn with a 4-ball break.  Advancing from basic to immediate level usually is best done by jumping in and playing in a few tournaments using handicaps to level the playing field.  To continue to improve, one must play or practice on a regular basis.  At this point, you may want to join the club.  Our facility gives you access to a full-size lawn with good equipment, level playing field, and short grass.  Again, having good players around can be very helpful for improving your skills.  It is best to get a small group of players together on a regular basis.  This way you can 'bounce' ideas off each other and challenge one another for an informal game or two.  Before you know it, you will be hooked and find yourself playing under the lights.

Hoop #1, the starting point, is marked with a blue crown (top of the hoop).
NOTICE that the ball has just enough clearance to make it through.


The Pro-Am is a tournament that is geared toward the new players.  Each team is comprised of a 'Pro' ACC member and a 'sponsored' new player..  The team competes against 3 to 4 other teams for bragging rights.  The main goal of the Pro-Am is to demonstrate how the croquet game is played and is aimed at trying to setup and run a 4-ball break using handicaps (called bisques) that allow the new player to keep playing his/her break around the court.  These handicaps are additional turns which may be used consecutively (at least until they run out at which point you may be close to the end of the game).

Advanced Level:

At the advanced level of play, you will find that players seem to do the strangest things, like hitting off the court instead of setting up in front of their next hoop.  This is done in a defensive posture that is intended to make it more difficult for the opponent to make an all around break.  The game is always played with 4 balls each team sharing two.  It is now quite common to find an advanced player doing more than making all the hoops with his 'striker ball'.  You will also find him putting his partner's ball through some of its hoops as well during the turn - this is called 'peeling'.  In fact, at the beginning of a turn, a player may start with a score of 6 hoops and in a single turn end the game with a score of 26 points (a point for each hoop plus two for the pegout at the end).

Four balls are used in a game of croquet.  We often play with two different sets of balls - one set is called solids and the other set called stripes.
When you see all eight balls on the lawn, we are "double banking" two different games on the same court.  This allows us to optimize our available resources.  Whether we play singles or doubles, a game is always one side against another and blue and black are teamed against red and yellow.  In American rules, the order of play is important and blue starts followed by red, black and then yellow.  In Association rules, either ball may be used at the start of each turn.

Additional reading materials:

I have found some excellent material which I've included below.  I thank the authors for this material, and if you find yourself playing against them sometime (and you happen to beat them at their own game), make sure to thank them yourself.  Most of these items can be found directly on the web sites at the bottom of the ACC home page.
From basic to advanced play
 A Check List of Priorities
 Body Movement
 Common Sense Croquet
 Five Keys to Consistency
 Getting Boundary Balls Into Play
 Getting to the Other Side of the Hoop
 Giving Bisques
 How to Improve Your Game
 How Wristy is your Swing
 Peeling and the Phenomenon of Pull
 Peels without Hoops
 Shooting Hoops the Rhythm Method
 Some Points on Hoop Making
 The basics of the Rush
 The Learners Lament
 The Ten Commandments of Practice
 Triple Peeling Opportunities
 Two Common Problems In Roqueting
Some videos of croquet ...

Mental Aspect of the Game

by Paul Bennett
"The game is mental.  Of course, I have heard that before ... but what does that mean?

Why can I win one game with ultimate confidence, pleasure and determination and another against a different opponent, different day, different court, different venue, unknown hoop approach, uncertain stroke, bad mallet, well just uncomfortable in general .... that is it isn't it ...

Being comfortable, confident and hitting with pleasure.  Feeling one with yourself and your opponent, the court, the game the balls the hoops.  Knowing that you and your opponent have the same advantages in terms of the equipment, that both of you have the same opportunities and that each of you will grant the other possibly one good opportunity to shine.

Being frustrated and both of you can be ... then both of you get so many opportunities that you loose count.  You loose wanting to write down the game.  You loose the sense of the game the court the whereabouts of yourself -- the now.

Remember ... be happy, content and focused.  To play - you must hit, you must attack, you must execute -- flawlessly, effortlessly, as you have taught yourself to perform,  stroke after stroke,  hoop after hoop,  to the peg!

Remember ... (0.999)^(7x12) is 92 percent and (0.999)^(7x26) is 83 percent.
To be better ... (0.9999)^(7x26) is 98 percent which is 70 percent chance of winning the tournament with 20 wins in a row, like Reg did.  (9 wins in block plus 11 wins in playoff)."

last updated  28 November 2009
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