Rose Terrace Croquet
A version of Croquet ideal for new players, yet also very competitive.
The field can be as large or as small as is available. Someone’s front lawn or a cricket pitch.
The boundaries are the natural boundaries: flower beds, sidewalks, ditches.
One wicket 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. Or
To start, each player plays in turn 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 a ball is in an unplayable lie, on the next turn for that player, it is 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. 7 is a fast game. If a player puts any other ball through, it counts for the appropriate team.
A ball which is part way through the wicket at the end of the players 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 any ball, the player takes only one more stroke with the original ball. He cannot score again in the same turn. 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.
Rose Terrace takes features from Ricochet which is an Australian simplification of English ‘Association’ Croquet. It adds the competitive feature of Golf Croquet, all playing the same wicket at the same time.
The game is designed for new players. Yet on a large enough court, it is also challenging for aficionados, simply different strategy.
Try it. You’ll probably like it.