Croquet Balls are an important part of any croquet set - and spares are bought by players regularly, from professional players to families playing less seriously.
There are a few things which need to be taken into consideration when choosing a set of croquet balls. Generally speaking, the quality of the ball gradually increases in line with the price - but there are a few exceptions where the prices leap dramatically.
The Ball Material
There are different types of croquet balls made with different materials. There are painted wooden balls - like our Lawn Croquet Balls which are primarily made for children and home, family use.
There is a larger set of wooden balls called the Cottage and Longworth croquet balls which are suitable for adults to use but again, these are for more recreational home use.
The step up from these wooden balls is the 12oz composite - lighter than competition balls but more hard wearing than their wooden alternatives. There is also then the 16oz composite (the Hurlingham or Townsend balls) which are the highest quality but most affordable balls here at Big Game Hunters.
The Ball Colour
There are both primary coloured croquet balls and secondary colours. The primary colours are yellow, blue, black and red and the secondary sets are made up of green, brown, pink and white.
The secondary colours are usually brought in when you have more than 4 players - but there are so many types of croquet game that this really can vary a lot.
The Ball Weight
We sell three different weights of croquet ball - these are the 6.5oz (the Lawn Croquet Balls), the 12oz and the full weight 16oz balls.
The 6.5oz are perfect for young children as they are easier to hit. The 12oz provide a heavier alternative for adults who are not using a really heavy weight mallet. The 12oz croquet balls will be suitable for lighter mallets - as the heavier balls may damage the more value sets.
There are certain criteria that a ball must meet to make it suitable for competition use. The Sunshiny Croquet Balls are currently the only competition standard balls we have which are CA approved (Croquet Association tested and approved for tournament use). CA approved balls are the only type which can be used in an official tournament.
However, we do have the Hurlingham Croquet Balls which are the same size, weight and specification as the CA approved balls - just have not yet gone through the testing procedure. This makes them a lot more affordable and great for those who would like to practise for a competition without using really expensive balls.
To give you an idea, some of the criteria competition balls must follow is detailed below:
Diameter - greater then 3 19/32 inches and smaller then 3 21/32 inches (approx. 91.3mm to 92.9mm).
Rebound - the ball must rebound to a height of between 31 inches and 37 inches (when dropped from 60 inches onto a steel plate, set in concrete and 1 inch in thickness).
Differences in a Set - the rebound difference between balls in the same set must be no more than 2 inches. The variation in ball diameter must not vary more than 3/64 inches (around 1.2mm).