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).
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.
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
Common Sense Croquet
Five Keys to Consistency
Getting Boundary Balls Into Play
Getting to the Other Side of the Hoop
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 ...