Whether you’re new to croquet or need to brush up on your skills, you need some equipment. But there’s a lot that goes into croquet equipment, and the specs can be overwhelming. So consider some of the specs you can expect to find when buying croquet equipment.
Croquet equipment specs cover the details of mallets, wickets, and balls. Standard croquet mallets are about three pounds and are three feet long. Wickets can come in different materials and designs. Balls are usually 3 5/8 inches and come in different colors. But why are these specs important?
If you want to up your croquet game, you should understand the different equipment and specs. Then, you can select equipment that works for you and your gameplay. Keep reading to learn more about croquet equipment specs.
A croquet mallet is what you use to strike the ball when you play. The shaft is the long part of the mallet, including the end where you hold it. At the bottom, you’ll find the head, and that has two faces.
You can find mallets made of carbon fiber, metal, or polymer. Some older mallets are wood, but those aren’t as common as the newer developments.
The average mallet weighs around three pounds, and it’s about three feet tall. A mallet’s head can be anywhere from 9 to 11 inches long.
Be sure to try as many mallets as you can to find one that feels good. Consider different materials and sizes. If you’re new to croquet, you can start with a basic mallet because you may not know what to look for. You can always upgrade once you get the hang of croquet.
Croquet wickets or hoops are the things that mark where you need to hit the croquet ball throughout the game. A wicket contains two vertical posts and a horizontal post that connects them.
The bottom of a wicket has a pointy end to help you stick it into the ground. Then, you can remove them at the end of the game for storage. Wickets are usually metal, and they need to be at least one foot tall when they’re in the ground.
The width of a wicket needs to be between 3 3/4 and 4 inches wide. You can paint the wickets white or leave them without a coat of paint. The top of the first wicket should be blue, and the top of the last wicket should be red.
You can choose between cast or welded wickets, metal wickets, or wire wickets. Any material can work, so consider your budget and needs.
Here’s a quick video showing how you would use the wickets to set up a croquet court:
Croquet balls are all 3 5/8 inches and can have a tolerance of 1/32 of an inch. The balls have to weigh 16 ounces, and they can have a tolerance of 1/4 of an inch.
A set includes 6, 8 or 16 croquet balls, but you only need 2 or 4 for a game. The set includes more in case you want to play more than one game at a time. In general, you’ll only ever play one or two games at a time.
First, you have primary colors, which include:
You can also find striped primary colors, which use the same four colors but with a stripe to differentiate them. Secondary croquet ball colors are:
Croquet balls also come in tertiary colors, which you can use for a third game. However, the colors you get depend on the manufacturer.
You will also need a peg for your croquet game, and it will sit in the center of the lawn. After you complete a set of six wickets and go back to the beginning, you will need to hit the peg.
A peg should be 18 inches tall, though it can be 1 inch taller or shorter. It should have a diameter of 1.5 inches, though that can vary up or down by 1/4 of an inch.
The bottom six inches of the peg should be white. From the top down, you can paint it in stripes of blue, red, black, then yellow.
Pegs can also come with extensions that you can use to hold clips. However, the extension is not part of the peg when it comes to gameplay. You should be able to detach the extension, and the striker can remove it at any time.
Another important part of croquet is colored clips. You will use clips to mark where a specific color ball needs to go. The only requirement is that clips have to be the same colors as the balls, but they can be different materials.
Metal clips are a great, durable option. However, you can also buy plastic clips, even though they’re less sturdy. Another option is to paint clothespins the different colors. Then, you can store the clips in your pocket when you’re playing.
Using clips can help beginners and more experienced players keep track of the game. You can see where everyone is and how close someone is to winning. That can help you adjust your strategy to get ahead.
You may also want to use other court accessories when playing croquet. Corner flags and corner pegs can help you tell where the end of the court is. They aren’t a requirement, but they can be especially helpful for new players.
Flags can be the following colors:
If you use flags, you will need to place them in that order starting at the first corner. Use stakes or posts at least one foot tall and use linen in the different colors to make the flags.
Corner pegs sit on the boundary on either side of the corner flags. The pegs should be one yard away from the flag, and the striker can remove these pegs at any time.
Adding corner pegs can help clarify the boundary of the game, but they aren’t necessary. If you have experience with croquet, you won’t need them or corner flags.
Another way to make the boundary clear is to use boundary boards. Most boards use wood that’s two inches by two inches. You can mount the wood on short cross braces that are about 10 inches each.
Croquet boundary boards should meet certain requirements.
- Use available materials
- Be easy to assemble
- Have a simple design
- Be able to stop the ball effectively
- Be demountable
- Look good
Boundary boards can be particularly useful when the grass is uneven. If the ball gets out of the court, it could bounce and land somewhere outside the lines. The boards can keep all of the boards where they need to be so that you can keep the game going.
A swing trainer isn’t part of a croquet game, but it can be useful for individual practice. If you can’t seem to swing in a straight line, a swing trainer is perfect.
Swing trainers use two panels of plywood. They have a gap that’s just big enough for your mallet, so you’ll have to follow that for your swing. That will help you hit your target, and you can develop muscle memory.
The trainer works in different spaces, and you can set it up and take it down as necessary. That way, you can practice your swing with or without a ball.
As you get more experience using the swing trainer, you can start to practice without it. Then, you may see an improvement in your swing.
Croquet is an excellent game for amateurs and more experienced players. But all of the equipment and equipment specs can seem confusing. Consider the gear you’ll need and the requirements for that gear before you join your next tournament.