Golf Croquet Tactics – Basic Principles (P4)

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(q) do more than one thing if you can

if you can, try and achieve more than one thing each turn
eg 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 are close enough, go for it – makes for a bit of excitement!
practice them (improve your %!) & try them in games where it doesn’t matter

(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 them (improve your %!). Try them in games where it doesn’t matter

(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).

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