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
Aunt Emma: A conservative player who wastes talent through dull and
uninspired play. This player simply tries to advance from one wicket to
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
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
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
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
Drive Shot: By hitting slightly down on the striker's ball during
croquet, the croqueted ball travels approximately 3 times the
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
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.
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
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
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
No Brainer: A lucky and fortuitous shot.
Non-Playing side: Area on the other side of the wicket that is being
Off the ...: When a ball scores a wicket off another ball, it is off
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
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
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
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
Rush Line: An imaginary line along which a ball is roqueted on a rush
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
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
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
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
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.