Today we are going to Muse about croquet. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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Boy it is hot!
Today is sweltering, hot, humid . . . Sweltering. There is not a breeze. Thankfully that ocean is calm and beautiful. I just got out after an hour. Earlier I had played croquet and I was really feeling the heat. I needed the water. I’m by the pool now and starting my Musing.
One of the people with whom I was playing, got to talking about my Musing. She suggested I discuss the language of Croquet. Croquet does have a special vocabulary, you know. Some of it is obvious, some not. So here we go.
The Language of Croquet
Mallet, ball, wicket are pretty straight forward.
Clip: refers to a marker, as seen above, placed on a wicket to show which ball must go through the wicket in order to advance in the game. The game is played with four colored balls, blue, red, black, and yellow. There is a colored clip representing each ball. When a wicket is scored the scoring ball’s clip is moved to the next wicket, allowing players to know which wicket each ball must score next.
Sticky wicket: The opening between the stanchions of a wicket is set 1/16th of an inch wider than the width of a ball. Sometimes it is set too tight and the ball cannot pass through. It is said to be a sticky wicket.
Alive ball: a ball that has not been struck by a player’s ball since it scored it’s last wicket. For example, at the start of a game, all balls have entered the game but none have come into contact with another ball. They are all alive on each other.
Dead Ball: a ball that has been struck by another ball, and the striker ball has yet to score its next wicket. The striker ball is dead on the other ball and may not strike it again before scoring the next wicket. As an example, Black hits Red but does not score the wicket. In Black’s successive turns, Black may not strike Red again until he scores the next wicket. Once Black scores, Black is clean, alive again on Red.
Deadness Board: The deadness board keeps track of each ball’s deadness. Look at the above board. The four balls are represented by the left column. Looking at Blue we see no color exposed. This means Blue has no deadness and can freely strike any other ball in the course of play. The same is true for the Yellow ball. However Red and Black have some “deadness”. Red is dead on Yellow and must score its next wicket before he can come in contact with Yellow again. Black is dead on Red.
Roquet: When another ball is hit by the striker”s ball, the striker is said to have made a ‘roquet”‘ on that ball and earns two extra shots. The striker ball is dead on the ball and may not hit the ball (roquet) again until he scores the next wicket.
One back: There is one exception by which a ball can be cleaned of deadness without scoring its next wicket. When a team or single player scores the seventh wicket, called one back, the opposing team or single player may clean one of its balls of deadness at the beginning of the next turn. If they forget and play without “cleaning” their ball, they lose the opportunity.
Ball In Hand and Croquet: When a player’s ball strikes another ball, roquet, he is entitled to two more shots. He picks up his ball, becoming “Ball in Hand”, and places it next to and touching the roqueted ball and takes the first of his two shots. It is referred to as the “Croquet” shot. The second shot is called the “continuation” shot and is played from the location the croquet shot came to rest.
Scoring the wicket: When a player’s ball passes completely through the next target wicket in the proper direction of play, he scores the wicket, earning a point, and is entitled to a continuation shot. By a combination of roquets, in which a player earns two more shots, and scoring the wicket, in which the player earns one more shot, it is possible for a player to advance his ball around the court scoring a series of wickets in a single turn. Very skilled players have been known to score all the wickets in a single turn.
In the jaws: When a ball stops half way through a wicket, it is said to be “in the jaws”
The red ball in the first illustration is “in the jaws”. Don’t ask me why it is called the jaws.
Wired: When player does not have an unobstructed shot at any of the balls on which he is alive and his opponent is responsible for his ball location, he is said to be “wired”. He may pick up his ball and place it next to and in contact with any ball on which he is alive and then continue his play. Don’t ask me why it is called a wire.
I could go on and on. There are several different types of shots and other technical issues. This is a very different game than the one we used to play in the backyard. If you have not tried it, you should. It recomes addictive.
Right now, it’s too hot. I’m going back into the ocean.
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