Croquet sets contain various pieces of equipment and it can be confusing and complicated to understand what they are all for. This guide has been designed to explain what all of the different pieces are for and why they are needed for a game of croquet. Some of the games include the basic level of equipment and some sets have added equipment just to complicate matters.
Croquet balls are one of the main pieces of equipment needed to play the traditional garden game. Each player has a specific colour ball when playing the game, which they will use for the entire game and is aiming to manoeuvre there ball through the hoops and to the end of the course.
Croquet balls can come in different sizes and weights to allow players of all ages and abilities to join in. Official regulation size balls must weigh 16oz and must be 9.2cm (35/8") in diameter, but there are croquet balls which are 9.2cm however only weighing 12oz. Some sets including our lawn croquet set, include even smaller croquet balls which are 7.5cm in diameter and weigh 6.5oz, making them ideal for introducing the game to children as they are smaller and easier for them to use when playing.
There are 8 different colour balls that can be used in croquet. They are often referred to as 1st or 2nd colour sets. When playing a game of croquet with 1st colour balls you can simply tell the order by looking at the winning post. 1st colour balls consist of the primary colours which are blue, red, black and yellow and the 2nd colour balls are secondary colours which are green, pink, brown and white.
Most 6 player sets have been designed and made to include a 6 player winning post which allows you to glance and see whose turn it is to hit the ball next. If however you are playing with 4 secondary colour balls you cannot easily glance at the winning post as it will not correspond to the balls being played.
There is an easy way to remember which order the second balls should be played in and this is to think of each ball as a season.
Mallets are a vital part of any croquet set and are needed to play this wonderful game. Mallets come in various designs, shapes, materials and sizes so choosing the one to best suit your needs can be a complex decision. We have composed a helpful guide on choosing a croquet mallet to help you understand and decide which mallet to choose.
We offer a wide range of mallets in various lengths and sizes with different features and we have created a dedicated section where you can view our complete range of mallets.
Croquet hoops are essential to play this game and it is important that they go in a certain order. The croquet hoops need to be placed as shown in the diagram below with the hoop labelled number 1 being the blue topped hoop and the hoop numbered 6 as the red topped hoop.
Croquet hoops are sometimes known as wickets in the United States. The croquet hoops are simply pushed into the ground or can be hammered in with a hoop mallet. Croquet requires 6 hoops but in the United States they often use 9 hoops and the game slightly differently.
Croquet Winning Posts
Winning posts are sometimes referred to as a croquet peg is placed in the middle of the croquet court. The first player or side to get their balls through all 6 hoops, in both directions, and hit the peg is the winner. The circuit which the balls need to follow can be seen in the diagram of the croquet court.
The winning post has painted bands of colour on which allows you to glance at this during play to see who is going next. Six player sets normally include a winning post which has the extra two colour balls on to make life simple.
Clips are sometimes included in croquet sets and they help indicate to players which hoop each ball needs to run next. Arguments and errors can be prevented if players are struggling to keep track. Each clip represents the different colour balls which are used during the game and we sets have first and second colour sets available. The first time the clips pass through the hoops the clip is attached to the top of the hoop and on the second run through they are attached to the upright of the hoop. If they are obstructing the path of the ball they can temporarily be removed and then reattached.
Croquet Hoop Mallets
Some croquet sets include a smaller mallet which is known as a hoop mallet and has been designed to hammer the hoops into the ground. Hoop mallets are often included in sets as there is sometimes temptation to use your croquet mallet to hammer the hoop into the ground. The hoop mallets are designed to allow you to hammer the hoop into the ground without damaging any other equipment in the croquet sets.
Croquet Yard Markers
Yard markers are sometimes referred to as corner pegs in a croquet set. They are solid wooden pegs which are placed in the ground and help mark the yard lines on a croquet court. You can see where they should be placed in the diagram below.
They are an optional accessory to any croquet set and are placed on the boundary one yard from each corner. They should touch the boundary but they must not lean or intrude into the court.
Croquet Corner Flags
Flags in blue, red, black and yellow are sometimes used and placed in the four corners of the croquet pitch. They should touch the corner but cannot lean into the court. You can see where they should be placed in the diagram above. The order the flags go in is the blue flag by the first corner by hoop 1(Blue topped hoop) and then red, black and yellow in the fourth corner. Corner flags are an optional extra and we have sets available with wooden or metal posts and fabric flags.
Croquet Hoop Drills
Hoop drills have carrot style ends and are attached to a solid plate of metal at the top and are designed to prevent damage to hoops when inserting into the ground. The idea is that you put the hoop drill in the correct position and hit it into the ground. This then creates a pilot hole for the hoop to sit in which can help prevent damage to the croquet lawn as well as the hoop. Hoop drills are normally designed only to work for one brand of hoop as the spacing and sizes of the carrot ends can vary with manufacturer.