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Dr Ian Plummer

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Intermediate Coaching Notes

Section 15. The Triple Peel

The triple peel allows you to finish an advanced game having conceded only one lift shot. Naturally the essence of the triple peel is positioning the balls and achieving the peels.  See also the article: Peeling.

15.1. The priorities when playing are roughly; get the next hoop, build a break and then think about peeling. There are no prizes for doing a peel just because its there if you destroy a break in the process. Only peel if you have a good chance of an easy break ahead of you.

15.2. Whenever you want to peel a ball you require an additional ball at the hoop in addition to your striker's ball and the ball to be peeled. The purpose of the additional ball is as an escape ball. The peel is made and in the same croquet stroke a rush is obtained on the escape ball to allow the break to continue.

15.3. In all but the rover peel the peel is done after you have first made the hoop yourself. If you were to peel 4-back before running hoop 3 you would find the peelee blocking your chances of running the hoop. In the case of rover special steps are taken.

15.4. It is important to realise that the peeled ball must not leave the lawn after being peeled - if it does your turn finishes. Only the striker's ball can leave the lawn after running its hoop without penalty. In peeling, the forward ball is just the croqueted ball and neither it nor the striker's ball must leave the lawn. Note that other balls can be cannoned off the lawn without penalty though.

15.5. The standard triple consists of peeling 4-back after running hoop 3, penult after running hoop 6 and rover either after 2-back or 3-back or just before running rover yourself. If the peels are later it then becomes a delayed triple peel. Should you peel 4-back, penult and rover as your run them with your striker's ball then this is a straight triple peel. To be called a triple the peeled ball must be pegged out.

15.6. The standard triple peel is carried out in the following way assuming that a four-ball break is in progress from hoop 1 with the ball to be peeled as reception ball on hoop 1. The following commentary is only a guide, there is immense scope for variation in the ball positions.

15.7. The aim after running hoop 1 is to get two balls on hoop 3, one of them the ball to be peeled. After hoop 1 you rush your reception ball close to pivot then stop it to 4- back whilst getting a rush on pivot to the West boundary near hoop 2. The rush is made and the ex-pivot is stopped to 4-back whilst the pioneer on hoop 2 is approached. You now have two balls awaiting you on hoop 3.

15.8. Hoop 2 is made with a rush to the North boundary and the reception ball is croqueted down to a three-ball pioneer position on hoop 4, whilst going to one of the pair of balls on 4-back.

15.9. It is now up to you to contrive to leave the peelee in front of 4-back and the other ball in a suitable position to be an escape ball, whilst still getting hoop position. The escape ball's position wants to favour an easy peel with no large angles of split. Typical positions are South of the peelee, allowing a small stop shot peel whilst obtaining a rush down to the hoop 4 pioneer. Alternatively it can be left at the side of the hoop allowing a roll shot peel with the same resultant rush. In either case the rush leads to a three-ball break around hoops 4 and 5.

15.10. The peelee is collected after hoops 4 or 5. If after hoop 4 you obtain a rush on the hoop 4 reception ball to the North boundary, then the old reception ball can be sent as a pioneer on hoop 6 whilst getting a rush on the peelee also to hoop 6. You take-off to the pioneer on hoop 5 and make the hoop. The rush out of hoop 5 is to the East of hoop 6, from where you stop the old hoop 5 reception ball to 1-back as a pioneer. You then arrange to get the peelee on the centre line of penult and the escape ball to the West or North-West of hoop 6 whilst getting hoop position.

15.11. If you collect the peelee after hoop 5 you arrange a rush to corner III after hoop 5, stop the old reception ball as pioneer on 1-back to get a rush on the peelee towards hoop 6. You then arrange the peelee and escape balls as in the last paragraph.

15.12. If you know that you will be collecting the peelee after hoop 5 then it makes matters easier if you send the hoop 6 pioneer North of hoop 6. Since you will be rushing the peelee towards penult from the North this allows you to get on the rush line of the pioneer and croquet the peelee into position with a narrow split angle.

15.13. Hoop 6 is run and the peelee roqueted. It is lined up for the peel and the aim is to get a rush to the North boundary on the escape ball. It is desirable to either peel hard through penult, or jaws the ball. The options on the rover peel become more limited if the peelee ends up just the far side of penult. It is simple to rush peel the peelee down towards rover if it is in the jaws.

15.14. After the penult peel and rush to the North boundary, the old escape ball is sent with a stop shot to be the pioneer on 2-back, whilst approaching the 1-back pioneer. The position of the 2-back pioneer will depend on the position of the peelee. If it is jawsed or well down the lawn near the peg then the rover peel can be contemplated on the way to 2- back. This requires a deep pioneer nearly level with 2-back between rover and 2-back. If the peelee is not in a useful position the 2-back pioneer is sent to a four-ball break pioneer position.

15.15. Aim to have a rush to the peelee after 1-back. The old reception ball is stopped down as a pioneer on 3-back and a rush obtained on the peelee towards rover. You now have the chance of a split roll peel through rover when approaching the 2-back pioneer. Similarly you can also try this manoeuvre when approaching 3-back if you have placed the pioneer reasonably far South. If the rover peel is made then a break around to the peg, using an enemy ball to make rover, should win the game.

15.16. If you do not peel rover early then it is peeled just before you run it yourself. The preferred method is to have a pioneer beside rover and you then rush the peelee to peeling position. Obviously if the peelee was the pivot this is straight forward. If the peelee is your reception ball on 3-back, and hence would be your pioneer on penult, then you should change pivot (Section 3). There is an advantage in sending the reception ball after penult down to near the centre of the South boundary when you get your rush on the peelee. (See later).

15.17. With the peelee in front of rover it is peeled firmly, say 4ft through the hoop, whilst the striker's ball takes position on the pioneer. The aim is then to run the hoop, roquet the reception ball and set up a good rush for the peg on the peelee. Even with rover near by you can rush to within 3- 4ft. of the peg.

15.18. The rover reception ball should be positioned close to the back of rover so that if necessary you can just trickle through rover and roquet the reception ball. This has to be done if the peelee has not travelled far through rover.

15.19. Some people like to use the rover reception ball to cannon the peelee off the centre line of the lawn in a croquet shot whilst getting the rush on it to the peg - a shot to be practised!

15.20. The purpose of placing a ball on the South boundary is as a contingency if you have to jump through rover. This may be because your hoop position is poor or the peelee is just through or blocking the hoop. Following a jump shot the striker's ball will end up near the South boundary and the ball there allows you to get back to rover for a promotion peel or whatever.

15.21. If the peelee is stuck in rover then you have the option of a half jump (Section 8: Special Shots). Remember that if the peelee had not completely run the hoop at the start of the shot then you will not have roqueted it, otherwise the law of hoop run and roquet in the same stroke applies (Law 17).

For details of when peel can readily be obtained, see a further article on The Triple Peel.

For a complete discussion see Expert Croquet Tactics, Keith Wylie, Eastern Rose Publishing, ISBN 1 874135 00 2

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Updated 28.i.16
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