Rose Terrace Croquet
Rose Terrace Croquet is a competitive version of Croquet, yet one which new players can learn in a matter of minutes.
The field can be whatever size is available. A front lawn or a cricket pitch. A lawn bowling green is ideal.
The boundaries are the physical boundaries: flower beds, sidewalks, ditches.
A court consists of only one wicket which is set fairly central in a patch which is relatively level with fairly low grass.
The simplest version has 4 players in pairs, one pair plays blue and black, the other red and yellow. Each player plays the same colour throughout a game. The sequence of play is blue, red, black yellow.
An alternate is white and pink are partners against brown and green. Sequence of play: pink, green, brown, white.
To start, each player plays in from one ‘corner’.
In each turn, the player gets an additional stroke for hitting any other ball. Yet not the partner ball on the first stroke. Any ball can be counted as hit for an additional stroke only once in a turn, but may be hit as often as the player wishes.
If the stroked ball hits more than one other, only the first is considered hit.
If any ball is in an unplayable lie it remains there until the next turn for that player. It is then brought in the length of that player’s mallet. The player then plays a regular turn.
Running the wicket from either direction scores 1 point. A ball which is completely past the leading edge of the wicket scores even though it has not cleared the wicket.
If a player puts any other ball through the wicket, it counts for the appropriate team, but its scoring has no effect on the play.
A ball which is part way through the wicket at the end of the player’s turn remains there. It can subsequently be run through and score, whether intentionally or accidentally, only in the direction in which it was going.
After running the wicket with the stroked ball, the player takes only one more stroke with the original ball. He cannot score again in the same turn. However if an opponent’s ball is inadvertently put through, that counts. He may hit any other balls but does get any more strokes.
If the stroked ball then comes to rest closer to the wicket than the closer opposing ball, it is relocated. The ball is taken 3 strides beyond the opponents’ ball which is further from the wicket.
If the stroked ball hits more than one other, only the first contact is relevant.
First team to 7 is a fast game.
When there are 2 courts on a bowling green, the 2 wickets are set equidistant apart diagonally, 1/3 1/3. The entire green is then the court for each court, the 2 overlapping. Balls rest and are played from where they lie. If a ball from another court blocks a player’s line, it may be lifted and a coin used to mark its position.
When playing singles the rotation of the balls is the same. Each player plays 2 colours.
With 3 players each plays only 1 colour.
When playing on a green, instead of playing with 5 or more, set up another wicket.
Rose Terrace Croquet is very similar to internationally played Golf Croquet. Continuing play on the same wicket after a point is scored, with the balls where they were, makes positioning of your own and the opponents colours a key component of strategy, an addition.
Adding a stroke for hitting another ball is taken from Ricochet which is an Australian evolution of the English Association game.
The game is very fast because there is very little measuring in and no ball in hand or deciding which ball to play. Scoring is faster than in Golf because a player has as many as 4 strokes in a turn.
Because the rules are so simple, The game is ideal for new players. Yet on a large enough groomed court, such as a lawn bowling green, it is also challenging for aficionados, simply different strategy.
Set up of the court takes 2 minutes, pick up the same.
Try it. You’ll probably like it.