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Dr Ian Plummer

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Croquet Handicaps

The table below gives an indication of the abilities of players with various handicaps. Four- and three-ball-breaks are manoeuvres involving standard arrangements of balls which allow many hoops to be made in a turn. Bisques are extra turns for the weaker player, in which you have to continue playing with the same colour ball as in the prior turn, but can re-roquet all the other balls again. A bisque turn can be taken at the end of a normal or preceding bisque turn.



Can frequently ...


Novice Player

Hit 6-foot shots and run hoops from 2 feet or less1


Club Fixtures

Execute croquet strokes (stop shot, take-off, half and full roll). Use roquet - croquet - continuation to make a hoop from 10 foot.


Tournament Threshold

Use bisques for sequence of roquet - croquet - continuation to make more than one hoop in a turn.


Average Club Player

Execute four-ball break with bisques

12 or better

Potential Varsity2 Player

Execute 4-hoop, four-ball breaks without bisques, basic knowledge of match play tactics

8 or better

Half-Blue3 Threshold

Execute 5-hoop, three-ball breaks without bisques

4 or better

County level

Implement advanced break building, 12-hoop four-ball breaks

1 or better

Championship level

Occasional triple peels


-1 or better


Reliable triples plus higher order peels


-2 or better

Test Team

Successful sextuple peels


To gauge your handicap in the 26 to 12 range the following routine is suggested on a full-sized lawn with standard equipment. Place a ball in Corner 2, a ball level with hoop 1 on its adjacent boundary, and two balls a yard apart on the boundary to the side of hoop four. Now, using bisques, play with one of the balls by hoop 4 and count how many bisques you need to take to get the ball to the peg (all 12 hoops). Doubling the number of bisques taken indicates your approximate handicap. (This is appropriate down to a handicap of 8 or so).

Recognised handicaps are set by Official Handicappers; in Oxford contact Ian Plummer. He will watch your play and assign a handicap. Once you have a handicap it can be changed by an automatic system which moves your handicap up and down depending on the number of games you lose or win.

1. Running short hoops is the sign of a good player - they have the skill to get in that position.

2. The Varsity Match is competed between Oxford and Cambridge Universities best teams.

3. Oxford University award Blues and Half blues as university colours to Oxford players in Varsity Matches.

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Updated 28.i.16
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