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Croquet Jargon – Croquet Association


This page lists croquet abbreviations and croquet jargon used in croquet scoring and descriptions of play, including match reports.
For a list of Golf Croquet terms approved by the Coaching Committee, refer to the Golf Croquet Jargon page in the GC Coaching section.
Parentheses are used to indicate who completed a peeling turn in a doubles match: Death & Maugham beat Patel & Kibble +7TPO(M) means that Maugham completed the triple peel on his opponent’s ball.
Association Croquet
This is the most commonly played variation of association croquet, identified by lifts at 1-back and 4-back. It is commonly mistakenly used interchangeably with level play, but advanced is strictly a variation from ordinary level play (See Law 39). By default, Advanced is level-play, but it can be played as Advanced Handicap.
(Acronym) “At Manager’s Discretion” or “As Manager Decides” meaning that the part of a tournament so designated will be arranged as the manager sees fit, and may not be notified to entrants before the event.
See Ducks
A way of playing AC doubles where the pair take each stroke in turn, see Law 48 onwards. It is rapidly increasing in popularity and is particularly good when playing handicap with a high-low handicap pair.
Opening intended to discourage a second-turn Duffer tice – the first ball is played to a few yards off the East boundary so that in turn three if a Duffer tice is hit, the striker can get behind it easily for a rush to hoop one for a third-turn break.
One of the two lines from which balls are played into the game. “A baulk” runs from Corner I to the middle of South Boundary, whilst “B Baulk” runs from Corner III to the middle of North Boundary.
A ball in the box is a pegged-out ball no longer in play – used to describe a clip position: John is 6 and box, Sam is peg and 4.
Break Down
Broke Down
An alternative format to block play that avoids games towards the end of the block may be dead (i.e. the result is inconsequential) or half-dead (i.e. the result matters only to one player).
The format dispenses with blocks and instead has one large Swiss. This is run fairly strictly, but with some flexibility (e.g. to deal with an odd number of players and to reduce wait time). Define a known number of rounds and a qualification level – i.e. X wins from Y games. As soon as someone has X wins, they qualify and drop out. As soon as someone cannot reach X wins in the number of rounds remaining, they non-qualify and also drop out. Thus, all games are fully “live” (i.e. they matter to both players), everyone gets at least Y-X games, and you get approximately half the field qualifying for the knockout in a defined number of rounds, with no need for any tie-breaks.
It is now usually used with the first few rounds pre-drawn, so that a player may know their first few (often 6) opponents. Players are selected by a computer algorithm from the entire field (i.e. not within a specific block) in order to provide an equal average strength of opponents.
(AC) A croquet stroke where the act of taking croquet moves three or four balls, not just the usual two.
(GC) To deflect one ball off another with the objective of moving a third ball or scoring a hoop.
To remove (an opponent’s) ball, usually from its position of tactical advantage. (Also hit away)
A (rare) peg-out attempt (with a low success rate) in which a croqueted ball is used to promote a peg ball onto the peg. This is most commonly attempted at the end of a peeling break when a rush back to the peg cannot be obtained.
A YouTube video shows Robert Lowe completing a combination peg-out during the plate event at the 2009 World Championship. A commentator remarked, “Well, after three less-than-brilliant shots (failing the jump, poor placing of black from the stop shot, and poor placing of yellow from the rush), I think most of us would be delighted to achieve the peg-out.”
Croquet Player
See Dream Leave
A peeling break where the peels are made behind the easiest schedule. (Compare Delayed Triple with Standard Triple)
Diagonal Spread Leave
Dream Leave
Refers to more than one game being played concurrently on one court, each game using differently coloured sets of balls, which are ignored by every other game on the court. See the GC Rules or AC Laws for details.
See Mallet Drag
At the end of the third turn of the game either with all the clips still on hoop 1 or after making a break to 4-back: a leave with a rush from the maximum-distance position on the EB to a ball near the maximum-distance position on the west boundary, often on the yard line. So-called because the opponent must play with the 4th ball, leaving the other three balls in such positions that the striker could only dream of, with an easy start if the opponent misses, and a quite difficult start for the opponent should they hit (since they are unlikely to get such a good rush to the ball on E boundary).
If this leave is created after a third turn break to 4-back, the rush usually is laid with the opponent’s ball, resulting in an easy start for a standard triple peel, since the natural line of play will send partner (and peelee) to 4-back. (This is also known as a defensive [3rd turn] spread; compare with also three ducks.)
Another term for pull, but also see mallet drag
See Diagonal Spread Leave
Fingered off
Finger lift
Golf Croquet
Allows the higher handicap player to take
extra turns (AC bisques) or extra strokes (GC) to make the contest an even chance of a win for either side. In doubles AC, either player of a side may use the side’s bisques, in GC the extra strokes belong to a player.
(GC) See Clear
A leave similar to a diagonal spread leave (DSL), but with the balls arranged across the lawn East-West, rather than across the diagonal
See Fingered
The area of a hoop between the uprights. Used as a verb to indicate the placement of a ball in a hoop (generally either the striker’s ball (deliberately – otherwise, see blob), or a peelee).
How the balls are intentionally arranged by the striker at the end of his turn. In Advanced Play Association Croquet a number of standard leaves used by most players have evolved (e.g. see MSL, Spread).
A hoop (1-back and 4-back) which when run (in advanced play) concedes a lift to your opponent who can then choose to play their turn by playing either of their balls from a baulk line.
Playing without taking handicaps into account – there are no extra turns (AC bisques) or extra strokes (GC). The Laws and Rules describe level-play and then add handicapping as a variation. Often mistakenly used to mean AC Advanced play.
An occasionally used term (most commonly in Australia) to refer to what is usually called pull on the striker’s ball in a split-shot. The intent is to distinguish it from the pull on the croqueted ball, since proponents claim that the two effects are in fact different and can be separately controlled.
To McCullough ones partner ball is to put it somewhere that eliminates any risk of being tempted into a peeling break. Usually, this refers to sending partner (for 4-back) as a pioneer at 3-back thus rendering the straight triple all but impossible. (A variation is to ensure that when making hoop 2 off partner, you get a rush pointing West.) John McCullough did indeed tend to the defensive, and the number of times his 4-back ball ended up as the 3-back pioneer was such that the only believable explanation was that he was trying to engineer an excuse for not trying the 4-back peel straight.
A Maugham Standard Leave. Enhancement of the NSL with the hoop 2 ball on the wire of hoop 2, not rushable to hoop 1 (and can be hit from some distance whilst remaining at hoop 2). Commonly used by David Maugham.
New Standard Leave. A leave with an opponent ball on the east wire of 4 with a rush into the lawn from (near) the EB maximum distance position. The other opponent ball is near hoop 2.
Old Standard Leave
See Old Standard Leave
A triple peel on the opponent, but failing to win the game (see TPO)
Octuple Peel
As for Sextuple Peel, but the last eight hoops
To place a ball in a particularly inconvenient position, usually, tight up against a hoop upright. e.g. “I was trying to send a ball from corner IV to hoop 2, but parked it against hoop 4″.
Used as a general term to describe a position in which a ball has finished and is the worst possible place. For example, the Worse than death position.
The primary set of balls are Red, Yellow, Blue and Black
In a croquet stroke played as a straight stop shot, the croqueted ball will travel along the line of the centres of the balls involved in the croquet stroke if a stop shot is played. If however a wide split roll is tried it will be found that both balls deviate from their intended trajectories and both curve in slightly towards the aiming line. This is called pull.
Pull is due to spin about a vertical axis being imparted to the balls as they rub past each other in the croquet shot. This spin acts against the grass and causes the balls to arc. The rougher the balls the better they mesh together and acquire spin in the croquet stroke. Pull also varies with the weather (temperature and humidity), the type of balls and lawn conditions (dry or wet grass, length and type of grass). Unfortunately, it is up to experience as to how much to aim off for given conditions. Therefore deeply milled balls, long or heavy grass and a long path will maximise the effects of pull. It is claimed that pull is most noticeable on roll shots at 45 degrees.
Some players claim an effect known as negative pull, generally in pass-rolls at around 30-degree split, but others deny this.
Quintuple Peel (5 peels)
Quadruple Peel (4 peels)
As for triple peel, but for the last four hoops
To Riggall someone is to peg them out or to Riggall one off is to peg-out ones own ball. Named after Leslie Riggall, a late South African who wrote on the disadvantages of pegging-out one ball when its partner ball has not yet finished the course of hoops. The then editor of The Croquet Gazette decided to give the letter prominence by printing it on the front page of The Croquet Gazette and so it was a talking point, and the name stuck.
Referee of Tournament; more formally the Tournament Referee
To cause another ball to move to a position of tactical advantage – in AC restricted to when a roquet is made (otherwise it is a scatter shot)
A prefix used to indicate a peeling break in which each peel is made just before the striker’s ball makes the same hoop for itself. (e.g. STP: Straight Triple Peel).
Short Croquet
Second Colours
A variation of AC played on a half-size lawn as a 14-point game with an extra wiring law and low-handicap players being obliged to make peels before they may peg out. It’s great fun and quick to play and is described in the Laws.
Generally made when the striker attempts to set up a cross-pegged leave spread, but fails to wire the opponent’s balls across the peg, so leaves one of his own balls on the east border and the other on the west border, usually near the 2nd corner.
Usually, a Diagonal Spread leave; but for third-turn leaves see Aggressive Spread (or Ducks) or Defensive Spread (or Dream Leave)
A split shot is a croquet stroke sending both balls (usually some distance) at an angle of much less than 90 degrees. For example, he split from near hoop to hoop 3 going to the pioneer at hoop 2; means the stroke was played from near hoop 1, croqueted ball went to hoop 3 and striker’s ball went to hoop 2.
A Straight Triple Peel
A prefix used to indicate a peeling break in which a peel is made just before the striker’s ball makes the same hoop for itself. Can apply to one or more peels (E.g. Straight Triple Peel).
A Triple Peel in which each peel is completed just before the striker makes the same hoop
A variant of AC intended to resolve a perceived lack of interactivity at the highest levels of the game, particularly when played in relatively easy conditions. Having been pioneered in England, it is now defined in the Laws. There are two facets:
A method of organising a tournament where the players are listed in order of the number of games won and paired for their next game with a player on a similar number of wins. With a sufficient number of rounds, the list order becomes that of how well the players played. Whilst a fair method, a significant disadvantage is that a round cannot be scheduled until the previous round is complete. A Flexible Swiss uses the basic idea but schedules games more quickly from players waiting to play, the winner being the one on the best ratio of wins to games played.
Used to indicate a score in a game that finished on time: Kibble beat Patel +10t means no one pegged out both balls and Kibble scored 10 more hoops than Patel when the game ended due to its allotted time expiring. See the Regulations in the Tournaments section for an explanation of timed games.
A leave with a rush laid near corner 3, and the opponent cross-wired around hoop 1. Also used to describe the subsequent (approx. 33-yard) shot. Used to give the maximum possible length of shot.
Keith Aiton (eye-witness) writes: During the 1990 NZ Open Doubles Championship at the United Club in Christchurch, Bob Jackson and Joe Hogan (then World Champion Doubles Pair) were playing. The Legend says that in order to avoid having a bye, two of the ladies who were there to prepare tea were persuaded to make up the numbers; they were not in fact tea ladies, but were mistaken for them. Joe laid up an octuple for Bob and the shot hit was from hoop 3 to a yard south of hoop 5. The first shot was hit, but no hoops made so Joe made the leave again and the other “tea lady” hit. I have rarely heard bigger cheers at a croquet tournament.
Third Colours
See Ducks
Walter off
See Jam
This variation proposed a lift at 1-back, in addition to the conventional (at the time) single lift hoop at 4-back. This subsequently became the normal form of play and is now known simply as Advanced Play, and codified in Law 39.
AC variations, collectively known as shortened games (Law 51). They are played exactly as the full (26-pt) game except with fewer hoops to be run by starting at a later hoop, finishing at an earlier hoop, or advancing the partner clip immediately the first hoop is run. Handicaps are adjusted and in doubles, the number of allowed partner-ball peels adjusted – see Law 53.
A GC variation: “GC is a contest for the best of 7, 13 or 19 points”, though generally only 13-point is played. See Rule 1.4
An MSL, although the hoop 2 ball is not always so precise
See Ducks
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