Alive: In American play, a ball which has cleared a wicket but has not roqueted another ball is alive on that ball. A striker becomes dead on a ball as soon as it hits it and receives a croquet shot and a continuation shot. If the strikers ball is dead on another ball and roquets that ball before deadness is cleared, the balls are replaced to their positions before the shot was made and the turn ends. In the British game, all balls are alive at the start of each players turn.
All-Around Break: Running all the wickets in one turn.
Angle of Divergence: Angle at which balls part when a croquet shot is made. (see: Newtonian Physics).
Angle of Split: On a croquet shot, the angle between two lines, along which the two balls travel. see:Geometry).
Apple: The name of the company that manufactured the machine the author used to write this book. Also, the object that fell on Newtons head that began his thinking on what has become known as Newtonian physics. An understanding of Newtonian physics is extremely helpful in understanding the movement of the balls as they are played during the game.
Aunt Emma: A conservative player who wastes talent through dull and uninspired play. This player simply tries to advance from one wicket to the next.
Back Peel: Peeling a ball through its wicket, immediately after running that wicket.
Ball in Hand: A ball that has to be picked up and moved, either before taking croquet or because it has gone out of bounds. Any player may pick up a ball that has roqueted another ball or has gone out of bounds. (see: Etiquette).
Baulk-Line: On each of the short sides of the yard-line are other unmarked lines, approximately 12 yards in length, known as the Baulk-lines. In British play, these are the starting lines.
Beefy Shot: A long-hard shot.
Being Off Color: The opposite of hitting true.
Bisque: A shot that can replayed from its original position with no penalty. It offers the lesser experienced player a handicap. A unit of difference between two players handicaps, it is the number of extra turns given to a player with the highest handicap.
Bisque Extraction: Strategy of making your opponent use up his bisques ineffectively or for defensive purposes only.
Break: Extending your turn by using one or more of the other balls. The break results from using other balls to run wickets. This is the basis in croquet strategy as the different breaks: two-, three- and four-ball breaks allow the player to advance through the wickets, ideally in conjunction with his partners ball.
Break down: To err so that your turn involuntarily comes to an end during the course of a break. This occurs by missing the intended shot or by incurring a penalty.
Cannon shot: To make a roquet on the same shot as a croquet.
Carrying Through: Following through with your arms leading: the term was coined by Lord Tallemache.
Center Style: Traditional stance with the mallet between your knees.
Cleaning: Also known as clearing, it is the running of a wicket, and therefore removing deadness on all other balls. Having a dirty ball means that the ball may be picked up (ball-in-hand) and actually cleaned upon notification of ones opponents. It is then replaced to its position with no incurred penalty. (exception: see Rover).
Clips: The color of each ball, the clips are placed on the next wicket that a ball for. The clips are placed on the top of the wickets through the first six wickets and on the sides for the six back wickets. They are used in tournament play and by the easily confused.
Cold Ball: The roque, the last ball played of your opponent.
Condoning: Failure of a player to claim a foul within the limits of claims makes the play in question valid, with no foul charged to the striker.
Contact: To touch or make contact with another ball. A foul when your your mallet contacts another ball and the turn ends.
Continuation stroke: The extra stroke earned by running a wicket, and the stroke after making a croquet.
Corner: To hit your ball or croquet another ball into a corner for defensive purposes. This shot can also be a tice.
Corner Cannon Shot: Combination of rush and croquet stroke; roqueting a ball after taking croquet from another ball that is in the corner.
Corner Flags: Placed at the four corners of the course.
Corner Pegs: These are placed a yard on each side of the corner flags.
Croquet Shot: The croquet shot is the shot made after a roquet. The strikers ball is placed in contact with the roqueted ball and in taking croquet both balls are sent to their desired positions.
Cross peg: A leave in which the opponents balls are left straddling the peg, thus preventing a desired shot by your opponent.
Cross wire: A leave in which your opponents balls are left on each side of a wicket, thus preventing a desired shot by your opponent.
Crown: The top part of a wicket.
Crush Shot: Used to jar a ball through a wicket when the ball is laying against the wicket.
Cut Rush: A shot played so that the rushed ball moves off at an angle to the direction of the stroke.
Deadness: When a strikers ball hits another ball, the striker cannot use that ball until going through the next wicket. The striker is dead on the other ball, after taking the croquet shot.
Deadness Board: Board used to keep track of deadness throughout the game. (see: Equipment).
Delayed Triple Peel: Abandoning a triple peel temporarily, to be resumed later in the turn.
Destroy Shot: A shot taken with the great force in order to send a croqueted ball the furthest distance possible.
Double Banking: Playing two games simultaneously on the same course due to time or space restrictions. The games are completely separate.
Double Elimination: Tournament in which alone two matches before being eliminated.
Double Peel: A ball knocked through two wickets in the same turn, but not not necessarily on the same stroke.
Double roll: A shot in which the strikers ball rolls the same distance as the roquets ball.
Double Tap: A fault in which the strikers ball is hit twice in the same shot.
Drive Shot: By hitting slightly down on the striker's ball during croquet, the croqueted ball travels approximately 3 times the distance.
Fault: A foul or unacceptable stroke.
Feather-off: A light take-off shot.
Foot Shot: A croquet shot taken with the foot on the ball; legal only in nine wicket.
Forestall: A foul is committed and the opponent does not stop play before the next stroke to claim a misplay, no penalty is assessed; the foul is forestalled.
Four Ball Break: The backbone of the game, in which all four balls are used to go around the course, ideally in a single turn.
Free Shot: A shot which, if missed, will not have dire consequences. The more advanced the play, however, the less chance there is for free shots as each shot becomes necessary. One shot can mean the difference between winning and losing, even on the first wicket.
Fun: Above all else, croquet should be.
Golf Style: Style of swing in which the mallet is swung cross the body like a putter.
Go to Bed with Bisques: To lose in a handicap game with one or more unused bisques.
Half-Jump Shot: By hitting down on the ball, the striker drives both obstructing and strikers ball through the wicket.
Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle: In 1907 while at a physics meeting in Copenhagen Werner Heisenberg, one of the foremost physicists of the time, presented the Uncertainty Principle which states that one cannot know both the momentum and the position of a body in motion with any precision. This set quantum mechanics on its ear. Einstein finally accepted this principle many years later.
Hitting True: Hitting the ball with a level swing, as opposed to hitting up or down.
Hong Kong: Archaic term for taking croquet.
Hoop: the English term for wicket.
Hoop-Bound: When ones swing is hindered by a wicket.
Hoop Doc: the therapist or psychiatrist consulted by a player suffering extremes of anxiety associated with wicket-shooting errors.
Hoop-Running Shot: A shot through the proper wicket.
Irish Peel: A roll stroke which is similar to the half-jump shot, in which both balls go through their wickets.
Irish Style: Similar to the center style, but using the Irish grip.
Is For: The next wicket that a ball is headed for, e.g. red is for 1 back.
Jam: An illegal shot made with unlawfully prolonged contact between the ball and the arch when a ball lies against the wicket.
Jaws: Entrance to the wicket. (see: Hades).
Join up: To play the ball near its partner.
Jump Ball: By hitting down on the ball, the striker can make the ball jump over an obstructing ball; prohibited on some courses.
Kiss Cannon: Similar to a corner cannon shot with the added element of hitting a third ball with the croqueted ball, as well as roqueting the intended target with the strikers ball.
Knocking up: Hitting practice balls to get the feel of the course. Not to be confused with its crasser meaning in regards to getting a woman pregnant.
Lay up: A long, reckless, wild shot to escape from a dangerous position when there is uncertainty about the next shot.
Laying a break: Positioning balls at future wickets to set up a break
Leave: The position of the balls after a shot.
Level Play: A non-handicapped competition.
Lift: A ball in-hand is lifted for repositioning, either after the roquet or going out of bounds.
Limit of Claims: Time during which a fault can be called, or else it is invalid. (see: Forestalling).
Momentum: Momentum is a combination of how large an object is, how fast it is going and the direction it is moving. (see Vectors).
Newtonian Physics: Sir Isaac Newtons Laws of Motions still apply to todays croquet. Every action is accompanied by an equal and opposite reaction, so when blue is struck it moves off on a straight line forever, unless friction acts on the ball, thereby slowing the ball, or blue hits red, for instance, and the force that blue hits red determines the angle that the two balls separate and whether or not either of them go out of bounds.
Next-Two Leave: A leave whereby the striker leaves his partner with a rush to the wicket and the opponents ball at each of the next two wickets.
No Brainer: A lucky and fortuitous shot.
Non-Playing side: Area on the other side of the wicket that is being played.
Off the ...: When a ball scores a wicket off another ball, it is off the red.
One-Ball Shot: A shot in which only one ball is hit.
Pass Roll: A croquet shot in which the strikers ball goes further than the croqueted ball.
Peel: Causing another ball to make the wicket.
Peel, Emma: Avenging play.
Peg-Down: To interrupt a game, marking the position of the balls and clips, with the intention if resuming later.
Pegged-Out Game: Game in which at least one ball has pegged out.
Penultimate: The next to last wicket.
Pilot Ball: The ball off which a wicket is made in a four-ball break.
Pioneer Ball: In a three- or four- ball break, the ball that is sent forward to the wicket after the one the striker is going for.
Pivot Ball: The middle ball in a four-ball break.
Playing Side: Area in front of the wicket being approached.
Polite Play: An oxymoron.
Pool: The same laws of motion apply in croquet that apply in pool (billiards). The major difference between the two is that croquet is played on a much larger table.
Predictability: It is extremely difficult to predict the outcome of any shot due to the myriad of factors affecting the ball: the very shape, size, weight, surface and compactness of the ball all contribute to how it responds to being stuck by the mallet, the attributes of which must also be figured in the equation: weight, density of the wood or plastic, configuration of the face or hitting surface. Combine with this the state of the course upon which the game is being played, whether or not it is grass or artificial turf, length of the grass, levelness of the overall course, and the weather! Humidity, air density (playing in Denver will be different than in Newport), temperature, wind, sun will all affect how the balls respond. Fortunately, players need to be adaptable from one shot to the next and may be able to just take the shot and not be overly concerned about the individual variables affecting any given game. All players will be affected by the course and weather in the same way on any particular day. (see Chapter on Weather).
Predominance: A common error in which a hand or a foot leads the swing too much.
Pseudo-Cannon Shot: A three ball croquet shot in which the the croqueted ball moves just a little way out of the corner.
Pull: The tendency for the ball to curve inwardly from the line of aim.
Push: Keeping the mallet on the ball for an appreciable amount of time. A legal shot as long as one does not speed up the mallet during the shot.
Quadruple Peel: A four-wicket peel.
Qualifying shot: The shot that begins a turn.
Quantum mechanics: The laws of Quantum Mechanics do not necessarily apply to croquet but make a fascinating study. A most excellent reference is The Dancing Wu Li Masters, by Gary Zukov, William Morrow and Co. 1979.
Questionable stroke: A play of dubious legality, or in which there is a chance of a foul. Referee should be consulted.
Quintuple Peel: A five wicket peel, rarely seen.
Reverse Palm Grip: The most popular grip, made with the lower hands palm facing away from the body, and the upper hands palm facing towards the body.
Right of Choice: After a lag or coin toss, the winner has the choice of starting position or choice of balls.
Rigor Mortis: Being dead on all balls, also know as three ball dead or three B D.
Roll Stroke: A croquet shot used to add distance to the striker's ball as well as the croqueted ball, by striking down on the ball rather than a level shot.
Roquet: When the strikers ball hits another ball, followed by a croquet shot and a continuation shot.
Rover Ball: The rover is a ball that has passed through all the wickets but has not yet pegged out.
Rover Wicket: The last wicket before the peg.
Rutledges Handbook of Croquet: English publication (1861) written by Edmund Rutledge, probably the first rule book of the game and, and with adaptations, still governs the game.
Rush (Long or Short): A roque shot which sends the roqueted ball in a given direction.
Rush Line: An imaginary line along which a ball is roqueted on a rush shot.
Rush Line Principle: The shot made before an intended rush shot should be taken from a spot on or near the rush line.
Scatter: A shot played only as a last resort which separates balls that lie too close together.
Sextuple Peel: Part of a plan to finish the game in two breaks, similar to a quadruple peel.
Shepherding: An illegal stroke of guiding the ball through through the wicket with the mallet.
Side: Technique in which the ball is not struck with the center of the mallet: used for cut rushes and awkward wickets.
Spin: The angular momentum that a moving object has is determined by mass, size and spin. It is more difficult to stop a merry-go-round than a small top. Civil War soldiers could have their foot taken off while trying to stop a rolling cannon ball because of its momentum.
Split Shot: A croquet shot in which both balls go off at different angles (see Newtonian physics).
Stalk: Approaching the ball along the line it is to be sent, in order to insure proper aim.
Stepping Stone: When a ball is placed in an advantageous position near a wicket or the peg.
Sticky Wicket: Having a difficult approach to the wicket, or being stuck in the wicket.
Stop Shot: By delivering an upward shot to the strikers ball during a croquet, the croqueted ball is sent a considerable distance and strikers ball barely moves.
Straight Croquet: A shot in which the strikers ball goes half the distance of the croqueted ball.
Straight Triple Peel: Doing three peels with the backward ball making the same three wickets.
Striker: The player whose turn it is. Turns are determines by the color of the balls: blue, red, black, yellow (green, orange). A strike is the actual hitting of the ball with the mallet.
Stroke: Movement of the mallet beginning with the backstroke and ending with the follow-through whether or not the ball is hit.
Stymie: A ball that is blocking the intended path of the strikers ball.
Take-Off Shot: A croquet shot in which the strikers ball travels a great distance, but the croqueted ball moves very little.
Thick Take-Off: A croquet shot in which the croqueted ball moves further than on a simple take-off and the croqueted ball goes a considerable distance.
Three- Ball Break: Break using three balls, it is the cornerstone of the pegged-out game.
Tice: A shot which places a ball in a position in which the opponent is likely to shoot at it, but at a sufficient distance that the shot will be missed. This shot entices the opponent to shoot at it and if missed, places the opponents ball in a disadvantageous position. Tices are meant to be seductive and more often than not end up with unfortunate results.
Two-Ball Break: Break using two balls, it is the most difficult of all the breaks, as it involves shots of the greatest distance.
Upright Style: Another name for the front style of swinging the mallet, which gives greater movement and more power.
Up the Country: Another name for taking croquet.
Vectors: Vectors are lines defined by moving objects. For instance, when red is struck the line that red travels is its vector. If red were not affected by any other forces, it would travel at the same speed and direction to infinity. However, red may strike yellow, in which case yellow will alter the direction and speed of red, as well as moving along its own vector at an equal and opposite direction from that of red. (see Newtonian physics).
Waive: To pass on ones turn.
Wicket: The metal upright through which the balls are played. Wickets are either wire for the friendly back yard game, or 5/8 inch steel uprights 12 inches high and 3 3/4 inch wide.
Willis Setting: Introduced in 1922, it is the basis for the six wicket, one peg game.
Winter Wickets: Thin wire wickets used when the ground is frozen. Why the summer wickets were not left in is a question for the psychologist.
Wired Ball: A ball behind the wicket or peg that cannot be hit by the strikers ball or other ball because of the obstruction.
Zinger: A tea made with red zinger (Hibiscus flowers, rosehips, lemon grass, orange peel, natural flavors, and citric acid) which when laced with Vodka or Everclear will affect your opponents play, thereby giving you a decided edge to being able to win. This can also be done with specialty coffees, etc. A tactic not recommended for polite play.