Croquet Club



2020 Seasonal Information

South West Federation [SWF] League Matches

Match fees have remained unchanged for some time so these will be increased to £6 in 2020 for both home and away.  The fees are used to assist with travel and tea/lunch costs. SCC enters as many teams as there are members keen to compete in the leagues. In 2020 SCC will enter the GC High Handicapper’s League [Captain: Steve Pearson] and enter a team[s] in the new Short Croquet League [Captain: Julie Horsley].

SWF Short Croquet [SC] League

The proposal for a SC league was unanimously supported at the SWF AGM and builds on the burgeoning success of SC in the South West.  Basic rules are teams of 4 with 2 members off SC handicaps of 6+.

Macmillan Cancer Support - One-Ball Competition. The Sidmouth Heat of this country-wide charity competition will be played on Wednesday 22 April 2020. The winner is eligible to play in the final at Surbiton on Sunday 10th May 2020. Open to all - please wear whites but with a touch of green, the charity’s colour. No entry fee but a £5 Donation is suggested - in cash please. Julie Sorrell will collect on the day. Bring a packed lunch. Hot and cold drinks and biscuits will be available all day. One-ball: a cross between AC&GC, players play with one ball . It is a handicap competition, so bisques are played. Please complete the Club Tournament Entry form and forward with your other entries OR sign on the list that will be available on the mallet room notice board, once the season has opened.


If you are in your second year, we encourage you to buy your own; if you want your game to develop it is really essential. There are many varieties in weight, end faces, shafts [round, parallel ovoid, foam sheathed, plain wood, adjustable, non-adjustable] inexpensive up to c£500.  Most members are quite happy to let you try their mallet so do ask, roll-ups are a good opportunity when play is not too serious. A folder in Hut3 gives detailed info which is worth a scan.

A small number of refurbished second-hand mallets may be avail-able; please approach Andrew Thomas and likewise if donating a a mallet to the club so that he can make an assessment on whether to sell or retain as a club asset. Members wishing to sell a mallet should place a notice in the mallet room and Hut 3.

NB: Club insurance does not cover any personal property left in/on the club’s premises. All items are left at the owner’s risk.

Assistance Required

You all know that the running of our Club relies on all members playing their part.  Yes, we are all retired and ‘have done that’ but if we all said that there would be no club.  So what about you- bearing in mind working members are quite involved?

We need a treasurer– an important task but not overly onerous. None of the tasks are. If you can’t take on the treasurer’s role could you be called on to help with tournament refreshments, setting hoops, preparing the lawns [mowing, lining]; shadow the Social Secretary with a view to taking over in 2021 [job share with a friend]; consider managing a team?

Thinking about helping to run a busy and successful club? Have an informal chat with a committee member, no commitment but, a little help and willingness goes a long way.

Golf Croquet to Association Croquet Weekend

Many of you will have said on joining the Club, ‘well I’ll learn to play golf croquet first’.  So time passes and now - you can play golf croquet.  You run hoops and make clearances [i.e. roquets] so that’s two thirds of Association Croquet mastered.  So why not try the last third of AC?  You will not be pressured to play AC but you might like to be ‘ambidextrous’! A weekend course 2/3 May, on half lawns, is open to ALL members.  A sign-up list will be displayed in Hut 3/Mallet Room in due course - do give it a try.

Participation Cards

Please, please complete your Participation Card and hand them in as soon as possible so we know who we need to chase, threaten and harass!!  These really are important to the financial well-being of the Club to sustain the HMRC benefits that accrue from being a Community Amateur Sports Club [CASC].

NB: Annual season is 1 April - 31 March.  So if you have been unable to complete your card winter play is available.

CA Membership

All club members may enter any CA Fixtures Book tournament.  Many tournament players take Premium Membership but the 2018 rule change aimed to encourage more players to enter competitive events. If you don't have premium membership there is usually an enhanced entry fee, about £5 per day.


We have a number of qualified coaches in the Club and you are welcome to approach directly any of the coaches listed on the coaching list displayed in the mallet room & hut 3 but note:

Golf: Pam Bowra is happy to advise on one to one tuition.

Association: Mike Taylor is the ‘lead coach’ and a useful point of contact if you want help.

Lawn Care

Please remember that flat shoes must be worn at all times. If the Groundsman has to close the lawns at various times the on-line booking table will show this - please check. Andrew Thomas is the first point of contact for any lawn problems.

Winter Play

Lawns available will be reduced but may be booked as usual. BUT do check on-line after 9.30am before coming to the club as the groundsman will, by then, have decided whether play is possible or not.  If not he has a code to over-ride bookings to show ‘Lawn Closed’.  If you cannot check and arrive to find the centre peg pulled out - do not play

The Mallet Room / Hut 3

Members are asked to leave the hut clean and tidy, including your cups. Croquet balls can be washed and then dried with the towels provided. Refreshments are available supported by an honesty box system with a minimum of 50p recommended for a cup of coffee or tea. [2020 update]

Data Protection

An updated telephone list will be circulated in early May when new member details are known. A members’ telephone list will  be displayed in the mallet room & Hut 3. If you do not want your details displayed please notify Philip Harris via the membership renewal form.


Members may sign-in visitors in the booklet adjacent the booking tablet in the mallet room. Please note that visitors are restricted to playing on 4 occasions in the season. The fee is £5 per lawn per 3 hour session, or any part of that session, irrespective of the number of visitors; single or doubles/Golf or Association. Further details and envelopes for payment are held below the booking tablet in the mallet room. Members of other clubs joining in a club session are asked to pay £3 per person.

First Aid Kit / Defibrillator

There is a small first aid kit in Hut 3 and a more comprehensive kit is located in the main pavilion near the telephone. If you use any item please replace it. A defibrillator is mounted outside the pavilion in a yellow box for use by club members and the public.  Several members are trained in its use. To access: call 999, identify your location, and the code to open the box will be given.

Participation Cards / Tax Requirement

To retain the financial benefits accruing from CASC status,  HMRC requires us to keep records to show that at least 50% of ALL members, not just croquet, actually ‘participate’ in their sport on a minimum number of days each year. Please record your required 12 days a year on the simple card issued with this booklet.


League captains and managers of both Open and Internal Tournaments are asked to provide a report to Chris Donovan for publication in the local paper. Use my email

Croquet Website

The croquet website is regularly updated with information and photos on recent events. It can be found at:

Please send any items for the website to Chris Donovan at:

Understanding Handicap Trigger Points [GC or AC]

Handicap Changes – don’t let them confuse you!

Did you read the article below in the South West Federation’s on-line periodical - Cygnet?  It covers an area that is, regrettably all too often misunderstood.  So please read Robert Moss‘ guide on handicap changes, below, and apply:-

When I was asked to help develop the efficiency of handicapping, I was surprised by how many people were confused about the position concerning handicap trigger points.  This resulted in some people playing off the wrong handicap.

The problem arises when someone plays well and triggers a handicap change but then loses a few games and assumes their handicap reverts to the previous number. This is incorrect.

Let me illustrate this with a GC example - the AC system is exactly the same but with a different index points table.

Fred has an index of 1090 and the correct GC handicap of 14.

He then wins two games in a league match gaining 20 points and his index is now 1110 - so he has crossed the trigger point for handicap 12.  He celebrates.

The next day he plays in another league match and loses two games so 20 points come off his index sending it back to 1090.  He thinks he has crossed back over the trigger point and reverts to 14.  WRONG!

Once your handicap has changed, it does not change back until you reach THE NEXT trigger point.

Having gone to 12, he would not go back to 14 unless he loses enough games for his index to reach the trigger point for 14 which is 1050.  Fred would have to lose a further four games to get back to handicap 14 again.

This is a common mistake and is one reason why club handicappers check your cards regularly and why you should get your handicap changes ‘signed off’ straight away - it can save a lot of embarrassment and ill-feeling.

It is Club policy that if your AC / GC handicap changes a club handicapper should be approached ASAP so that it can be signed-off.

Ever Wondered Why You So Often Miss a Dead-Cert Hoop or Short Roquet / Clearance?

Do you have a shot routine or do you think ‘that’s something new players need but I’ve been playing for some time now and don’t need to?’  As I’m Grade 1 coach I tend to watch players in play in many clubs and it is clear to me that it is a variation of the latter.

Shot routines are mostly common sense and will quickly pay dividends when applied to EVERY shot. So maximise your winning potential by having one.

I have 10 points in my shot routine [top class players like David Maugham have 15 or more!] My shot routine is based on the mnemonic STALK with 2 actions/thoughts per letter:

S - Walk to the Stalk line                S - Stalk the ball

T - Take a comfortable stance       T - Test alignment

A - Assess your position                A - Always have a back swing

L - Limited body movement            L - Locate strike point

K - Keep looking at your ball          K - Kontinue the shot through

OK - Why?

S - Walk to the Stalk line - Walk to a point where you can turn in and stalk down the straight line striker’s ball to object ball. 

S - Stalk the ball - This gets your shoulders square onto the line of strike.  It ensures that, on halting, your mallet is going to swing over the centre of striker's ball such that on the upswing you can see it is dead on line to the object ball. It is pointless holding your mallet out as you stalk to check the line.  The mallet is never steady and it is your shoulders and body that need to be on line;  If they are the mallet will be too.

T - Take-up a comfortable stance - If you have stalked properly you should come to halt in your ideal position for mallet placement prior to hitting i.e. relaxed, correct distance behind your ball, ‘on line’ with feet parallel [together or one foot forward]. You ‘aim’ with your feet as the mallet will, naturally, swing on your body centre line i.e. through the middle of your feet.  If your feet are not parallel it’s one more possible cause of a missed shot as the mallet will not swing ‘true’

T - Test alignment - striker’s ball to object ball. Swing the mallet over the centre of striker’s ball and check alignment to object ball or for angled hoops: Line-up outer ball edge with inside edge of hoop’s nearest wire.  Physically hold the mallet to side of the ball and check alignment.  On taking the stroke the swing will automatically follow the centre line of the body and hit on the ball’s centre line and run the hoop.

A - Assess your stance.  Do you feel ’comfortable’, are you truly aligned? No? There are now two schools of thought:

1. Obviously - re-stalk - it’s your game / lawn so do so.

2. ‘I know me’ I just  move my feet slightly - ‘cos we aim with our feet don’t we? [Grateful you do this if playing me]

A - Always have a back swing. - This should stop the tendency to stab forward which is never accurate. Let the mallet do the work by letting the mallet fall from the back stroke high point.

L - Limited body movement. The only parts of your body that move in a shot are your shoulders / arms.  The more your body dips, sways and bends the more your shot has to compensate for. Stand still!!

L - Locate Strike Point - on striker’s ball.  Identify the actual spot on striker’s ball that you wish to hit.  Keep looking at it!

K - Keep looking at the striker’s ball as your mallet strikes.  If you do not see your mallet striking the ball then 99 times out of 100 you will see it miss.  Keep your head down and hear it hit.  You know how key this is - so do whatever to actually do it -mentally ‘talk to yourself’, practice - but do it!

K - Kontinue the shot through smoothly - If the stroke is played without follow-through it imparts an unavoidable ‘nudge’ that will decrease the accuracy of the shot.  So look at that spot on the ball, hit it, hitting ‘through’ that spot and finish with the mallet having described a smooth arc.

All shots depend on accuracy, so maximise the chance of success by adopting a shot routine.  STALK may seem daunting but persevere - it soon becomes effortless.  Feel free to adopt and adapt to what suits you but, whatever - do it for every shot. When it becomes automatic you will find that you no longer miss, unbelievably, that dead cert hoop or dolly roquet.


CROQUET HINTS for High Bisquers

The following advice applies to standard handicap Association Croquet play, where one player (assumed the weaker player) has bisques and the other player (assumed the stronger player) has none.

The Opening

If you have the bisques and you win the toss play second; because had he won he would almost certainly have put you in, with a view to hitting in on the 4th turn and going round himself.

If you have the first turn, play to near corner 4. Your oppo may then lay a tice on the west boundary, in which case you shoot at the tice from corner one to end up in corner 2 if you miss. Do not join your partner ball.

This leaves a difficult break to be established, even if he hits in. A bisque or half-bisque or both may then be used to start your break in your next turn (especially if oppo failed to run hoop 1).

Use of Bisques


Where you have many bisques with a half-bisque use the half bisque early in the game to set up a break with a ‘full’ bisque to follow.  Remember a half bisque cannot score a point.

A half bisque may also be used to gain the innings if there is little prospect of scoring a point. Generally the rule is to use the half bisque early, the earlier the better.

Offensive Bisques

Say after me ‘Bisques are for Breaks!’

The bisque deliberately anticipated while you have a stroke in hand is the most valuable and is least useful when it’s play is forced after missing a roquet or a hoop.

The offensive bisque should be used after shooting at / up to the most distant ball. Going to a nearer ball rarely pays off.

A General rule is that it is better to use a half-bisque and bisque, or even two bisques in succession, to place the balls for a 4 ball break rather than taking a single bisque to make a single hoop. From the most distant ball ‘make your way back’ to the ball near your next hoop in order. Remember playing a bisque means all the balls become available for roquet & croquet again.

The Four Ball break is the very essence of Croquet; it is the one thing, above all others, which your oppo fears. There are few, if any, positions on the court from which a four-ball break cannot be set up with the use of two or three bisques. So aim to win the game in the easiest and quickest way possible.

Defensive Bisques

As mentioned above, a general rule is that ‘Bisques are for Breaks’, however the bisque or half-bisque can have defensive value also.

Before leaving the lawn, after you break down, consider your oppo's next move. Have you left him in a position from which a break can easily be made? If so consider taking a bisque or a half bisque to thwart such a play.

4 Ball Breaks

Practise the Four-Ball-Break. Practise with unlimited bisques and find out the average number you require for an all-round break. The strong player aims at winning his game with two or three breaks. With the aid of bisques you should do likewise.

A General Plan for your game may be as follows:-

Let's suppose you have, say, 16 bisques and your oppo has not set up a break on the fourth turn and gone round.

In one turn: Use 2 bisques to set up a good break, use up to 5 more for break downs, and take your first ball to the peg, leaving all four balls on or near a boundary, your oppo's separated and your own joined widely.

Your stronger oppo may then hit in and go round. Let us assume your oppo has been unable or chosen not, to peg out your first ball,

In your next turn: Repeat the scheme with your second ball. (i.e. 2 bisques to lay the break and 5 more to get your second ball to the peg).

Now use the remaining two bisques to peg out both your balls. End of turn. End of game! You win!


It is better to leave your own two balls together near a boundary than at your next hoop. If oppo shoots at you and misses, his ball may be used to advantage with the first roquet of your next turn.

Do not join up if oppo is already joined up, since this would allow your oppo to roquet and take off to your two balls.

Rather than leaving your oppo's balls well separated and on or near a boundary, it is better to leave each of your oppo's balls near a different hoop in a way which is helpful to your break or difficult for your oppo.

Three common examples:

Put one of the oppo's balls at your next hoop and the other oppo's ball where it can be used for your break or

put one ball at each of your next hoops and maybe yourself with a rush to either hoop or

if your oppo’s balls are for different hoops, send each ball to it's own hoop in a position where it is impossible to run the hoop. This makes it difficult for oppo.

Wide Joins

Your strong oppo, rather than shoot at one of your balls, may end his turn by joining his partner ball on a boundary, say, seven yards wide of it, assuming that you’ve left one of his balls on or near a boundary. This is a ‘Wide Join’ where the distance is one where your oppo feels he can hit in if you do not move his balls but, if you do decide to move his balls, makes it less easy for you to set up a break than if the balls were closer.

The break is less easy to set up because if you roquet one of these balls, your take-off to the other is longer. As oppo’s ball is on the boundary and you will be trying to get between it and the boundary, to hit it into the court, there is more chance of you failing to get a good rush or even going off.

If oppo has set up a distant wide join and you are left in a hoop-running position with your partner ball close-by you have to decide whether to set-up the break by running the hoop before or after going to the widely joined balls. Points to consider:

Choose the option which makes it easier to set up the break rather than automatically ‘grabbing’ the hoop point first.

If you delay the hoop point you can still return to your partner ball at your hoop, take a bisque, and continue the break.

If you run the hoop first you may be able to continue the break without taking a bisque.

Taking off to the most distant ball is frequently better.

The wide join means you have more room to get both oppo balls into the court and less need to leave one near the boundary than if they were closer to each other. This may make taking a bisque worthwhile.

If you choose to end your turn with a wide join yourself do not place a ball near a corner, since if you subsequently shoot at the ball nearest the corner and miss, your striker's ball will end up in the corner and thus close to your partner ball. This is dangerous unless you intend to take a bisque because your turn will end and your stronger oppo may then have the opportunity to separate or use your balls and the benefit to you of the wide join will have been lost - you may have ‘lost the innings’.


Stalk the balls! Stalk the balls! [See above]


Take accurate and deliberate aim after stalking the ball, then hit smoothly with follow through. Gentle and controlled hoop running is a ‘knack’ which can be acquired with practice.

When faced with a difficult hoop, before attempting it, consider the consequences of failure.

If you fail to approach a hoop properly with your partner ball, it is generally unwise to end your turn by placing the striker's ball in a perfect hoop running position. There are two main reasons

(1) you will most likely be wired from your partner ball, thus probably forcing you to play with the hoop ball, and

(2) you cannot alter the direction of the rush after running the hoop. Much better: use the continuation stroke to place your striker's ball to give a rush on your partner ball, don’t leave a double, and then you can run the hoop having played your object ball into a good rush position after running the hoop.

It is often better to use the continuation stroke to play behind the ball, off which you are making the hoop, taking a bisque and approaching again.  Expending just one bisque, rather than, possibly two, if you had stuck on the wire.

Better yet: use the continuation stroke to approach the most distant ball, take a bisque and improve the position of the balls, before returning to the ball at your hoop and approaching it afresh.

The Peg-Out

Most players will attempt to peg out both their balls in the same turn, first pegging out the croqueted ball with a firm but gentle stop shot and then the striker's ball on the continuation stroke.

When your partner ball is ready to peg out leave it near the peg and, if possible, use an oppo's ball to pilot your striker's ball through Rover. After running Rover you can roquet this ball again and take off to partner ball.

If you have to use your partner ball to run rover then be sure to leave a rush back towards the peg after running rover, if you are to peg out in the same turn. Alternatively, and a more reliable technique is to arrange to have one of oppo's balls beyond Rover before you approach it and use this as the reception ball after running the hoop. Then take off to your own ball to get a good rush to the peg.

For precise adjustment of the balls in the croquet pegging-out stroke, the line of the peg must bisect the crescent formed by viewing the further ball over the nearer. The crescent must be such that an imaginary line joining the cusps is horizontal. This means stooping low to view. Some may find it helpful to check, view from the other side of the peg.

When rushing the object ball nearer to the peg take care to avoid rushing it on to the peg, as this will peg it out and you will have no ball to take croquet from and therefore be unable to peg out in this turn (unless you have an unused bisque).

20 Basic Principles to Ponder

a) Priorities

• it’s all about scoring hoops – everything else is manoeuvre.

• if you try for a hoop and miss, you give the momentum to oppo.

• if no other ball can run the hoop, you have a ‘free’ shot – but stay close to the hoop if you miss.

• practice to enable reliance on hoop running or at least jawsing.

• clearing etc is necessary, but should always be aimed at getting the next shot at the hoop.

b) Maintain pressure on the hoop

• you can’t score a hoop unless you are in front of it.

• ‘shorter is better than longer’ for a frontal hoop approach.

• if you don’t trust your clearing, just ‘join the mix’ & see what happens.

c) ‘Inside’ = good, ‘outside’ = bad

• Always place your incoming ball where it can’t be hit far away

• try and find the ‘50/50 distance’ where oppo can’t decide on ‘block or clear’.  Depends on oppo and changes during games.

d) Use the furniture

• hide from oppo behind hoops & other balls so they can’t hit you.

• when clearing them try & put them where they can’t see you.

e) Play your own game, not theirs

• it’s easy to start playing oppo’s game, but they’ll usually be better at that than you, so play to your own strengths.

• keep alert and adjust to what is happening – if they’re having a bad day, missing hoops/clearances/jumps then you can take more liberties.

f) Be patient

• play to your percentages and practice to improve them. So don’t try miracle shots unless you have to.

• it is often better to just load another ball in front of the hoop rather than try a difficult clearance/block trying to ensure that your other ball can run the hoop straight away.

• play to win the game, not just the next hoop

g) What to hit next?

• if you can’t run the hoop, and the next ball to play after you can, block or clear it.

• if neither you nor the next ball to play can’t run the hoop, its useful to hit away their last ball.  It won’t come back immediately and gives you numerical advantage around the hoop.

• NB ‘decoy’ balls are to distract you from your correct target.

h) Jawsing

• a hoop is a hoop but jawsing might give 2 hoops in a row.

• jawsing with oppo in jumping position or behind the hoop is dangerous.

• be aware that jawsing often backfires, so it’s accepting a deliberate risk.

i) Jumping

• don’t rely on jumping, since they can fail – jumps aren’t your first option if you can clear instead.

• practice your jumps, you will need them – remember that you can jump a blocking ball to clear oppo, not just run hoops but practice this as well!

• jumping is most effective on even numbered hoops, as oppo is left in the jaws & unable to play laterally across to the next hoop.

• only jump even numbered hoops if you are confident that you won’t push oppo through & give them first ball to the next hoop.

• conversely it is worth having a go on odd numbered hoops, since oppo already has first crack at the next hoop i.e. ‘no jeopardy’.  It is surprising how often a failed jump, which puts oppo through, still leaves them without a shot to next hoop.

j) ‘1-2’

• If oppo has put in a good first ball, it is tempting to try clearing with both your balls if ball one misses.  However, a solid tactic is ‘first ball in, second ball clears’.  The first ball keeps the oppo under pressure if you fail to clear them with your second ball, if they then try for the hoop & fail, you are waiting; so often they opt to clear you, and you can get back into the hoop.  If you have both balls off in the far distance after misses, this won’t happen.

k) Don’t be surprised by the unexpected

• you can’t rely on it, but it is surprising how often even the best players stuff up so never give up.  So when it actually happens – take care and make the most of the opportunity.

l) Stymying

• hitting away gives oppo an opportunity for a miracle shot, no matter how far - whereas a good stymy removes any chance.

• remember that a stymy that blocks clearing your other ball, and/or running the hoop, may still allow oppo to get their ball on-side at the next hoop.

• stymies on indifferent lawns usually lead to heartbreak.

m) Promoting your partner ball

• not my first choice – usually too inaccurate to justify leaving your other ball behind out of play.

• sometimes forced on you because striker’s ball is blocked by partner ball from anywhere useful, but be very conservative as to where ‘useful’ might be.

• can be devastatingly effective if your balls are close enough to be very accurate.  Practice to improve your %age!

• beginners often want to hit their partner ball through when it is jawsed in odd numbered hoops.  This scores the hoop, but it is unlikely to get close enough to the next hoop to be better than waiting and letting the partner ball itself run this hoop down to the next hoop.- the exception is if oppo is about to clear the jawsed ball and you can’t stop oppo’s ball doing so.

n) Running hoops backward

• not my first choice – looks easy but all too often you end up jammed against the back of a hoop or only half way through i.e. not live, or you run it so well that you haven’t blocked oppo.

• but there are times when oppo is ready to run the hoop with their ball next, and you have no other option.

• sometimes running a hoop hard backward may be better than just rolling through e.g. if they can jump you if you just roll through the hoop & block.

o) ‘Back door’ play

• deliberately putting a ball behind the hoop is counter-intuitive

but oppo will tend to discount such a ball and not hit it away. So it is often a useful tactic to influence play at a hoop if you haven’t a better option.

• especially useful to discourage oppo from just jawsing their ball e.g. if they’re setting up a promotion shot to H13 after H12.

• also useful to block an already jawsed oppo ball, so it can’t just head for the next even numbered hoop.  Remember that jawsed balls can still jump you.

• it is usually better to be a yard back than close in – you have less dead zone where you can’t hit oppo.

p) Playing to the side

• if your partner ball is far away, and oppo is close but can’t run the hoop, then play to 2-3 yards depending on your clearing distance, to the other side of the hoop, ‘Inside’ – towards a near boundary is best.

• this won’t get you a chance to run the hoop, but gives you time to get your other ball back in play.  If instead, you head for the boundary out in front of the hoop, oppo will just put in a block and see if you hit them through.

• in an impasse with 2 balls hiding from each other on either side of a hoop waiting for someone to crack & go in front, don’t get too close to the hoop – it is easy to then pop out far enough to give oppo a shot at you, and it constricts your shooting options.

q) Do more than one thing if you can

• if you can, try and achieve more than one thing each turn e.g. don’t just hit them away – try and stop your ball where it can run the hoop, or block the return shot on your partner ball.

• conversely, try and give oppo more than one thing to do – if they are not in front of a hoop, and you put your ball the correct distance in front of, but back from, the hoop, they will be undecided about whether to clear you or block.  This depends on your oppo’s skill, and even how they’re playing at the moment, but your goal is to see them ambivalent about which to do – you can often see them physically dithering, and they will usually then do neither well

r) ‘In-offs’

• deliberately hitting a ball on the side, so that your ball goes through the hoop or clears the other oppo ball.  Really great if 

they come off, but if you miss, your ball will usually then be behind the hoop, and momentum will change back to oppo.

• if you’re close enough, go for it – makes for a bit of excitement!

• practice to improve your %age & try in inconsequential games.

s) ‘Bombards’

• deliberately hitting a second ball into a third & even a fourth?  should be easy, but unless they’re close together, it is surprisingly hard to get the angles right.  Pace is also crucial.

• really great if they come off, but if you miss you leave momentum with oppo

• practice to improve your %age & try in inconsequential games.

t) ‘Dark side’ play

• never deliberately hit your partner ball out of turn, in order to create a wrong partner ball sequence that you can ‘discover’ at an opportune moment – this is cheating, and won’t end well

• if oppo goes to the wrong hoop, some players follow with their next ball, to encourage oppo to put their other ball there as well.  They then hit their own second ball to the correct hoop.  Tricky play

• Rule 10(c)(2) says that if the owner of an offside ball plays their other ball before their oppo has given a direction under Rule 10(c)(1), then oppo can require them to replay that shot even if oppo then decides to leave the offside ball where it lies).  This is usually controversial, but it is enforced often enough that I usually ask what oppo wants to do with my offside ball before I play the other ball, to avoid this situation.

• you are not required to point out your ball is offside – it is up to oppo to notice.  The referee is not to point it out either, although they can rule if asked or intervene if a player is being misled).  If I have just put their ball through a hoop, so that they are next to play, I probably won’t point out my offside ball - if they hit their ball, they’ve lost the opportunity re offside.

• remember that unsporting play, or deliberate bad play/faults, can & is likely to be penalised by the referee under Rule 14 Etiquette).

Disclaimer: References to Rules not checked and may be different in the revised 2019 version.


Although reduced to one page for 2020 this is still important.  If you play with scant regard to the ‘unwritten rules’ you will up-set other players and quickly gain a reputation for being an inconsiderate player.  After all, etiquette is, basically, common courtesy and awareness of others.

Take your turn only when your oppo has fully finished and/or agree you may start before a ball that isn’t going to affect your play is retrieved and lawfully placed.

Turn end: depart the lawn ASAP/stand clear of oppo’s shot

Call a referee if a fault is likely to be committed [a fault can only occur during a stroke] or at least ask your oppo ‘do you want to watch?’

Call an Umpire [any other player including oppo] when the outcome of a shot may be in doubt.

Don’t give or accept advice.

If the out-player ensure you are not distracting the in-player.

Play with dispatch. Once you have decided a shot and subsequent line of play ‘Get On With It!’

Double-Banked Games.


Be aware of the other game and act accordingly.


ASK before marking a ball in the other game .


Mark balls by placing a plastic marker behind the ball, lining it up to the peg or a hoop upright. Do not pick up the ball then place a marker down.

Coins!! Do not use coins as markers.

Critical Position. Be very careful if a ball in a critical position has to be marked e.g. it is against a wire unable to run the hoop or in a wired position - could you wait a bit? These balls must be very carefully marked - use more than 1 marker.


Lawn Booking - Club Rules


Members are encouraged to play friendly games as often as possible to improve their skills. Please apply the booking rules detailed below which cover all aspects.

1.         Lawn Availability. Lawns are available for play/practice from 10am until sunset unless booked or closed by the Groundsman both ‘on line’ and by physically removing the centre peg.

2.         Booking Limitation. Only one friendly game booking may be made in your name at one time i.e. complete your booked game before making another booking. For club competition matches 3 bookings may be made.

3.         Game Type. Select the appropriate booking type:

AC/GC Game / Doubles / Club Competition or Practice

4.         10 Minute Rule. Bookings not commenced within ten minutes of the start time will be deemed cancelled and may be taken by other members wishing to play.

5.         Practice. Practice sessions may only be booked from 4pm, not Fridays. You may only book one session at any one time.

6.         CA Tournaments. No bookings during a CA tournament.

7.         Double-Banked Play. Members are encouraged to double-bank but not with approved coaching sessions or tournament play. Practice play is not to double-bank with game play and Golf & Association cannot double-bank.

Club Etiquette on Bookings


Bookings: League/Club Competition Matches

Lawns booked to 4pm on SWF league match days may be booked by members for a 4pm start on the understanding play may be delayed to permit league games to be completed. Also note: Lawns booked for Club Competition may not be double-banked and need to go on beyond the 3 hour booked slot if there is a draw on time being called. A winner has to be decided with a ‘Golden Hoop’ and, in these infrequent cases, the next booking must wait for the match to end before starting play.


This downloads as an A5 booklet. Set printer to print back to back A4 [10 sheets] in landscape format.


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