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Completing the Sextuple

Various experts discuss their methods of executing a break in which they achieve six peels on another ball. From the Nottingham Croquet Newsgroup.

Robert Fulford reveals his current thinking on making sextuple peels

Still learning but following is the nearest thing to Plan A for my sextuples currently for those who are interested.

Peel 1b peel ideally right down to 2b after 2 getting rush to North boundary*. Play split stop shot sending escape ball to besides 2b going to hoop 3 pioneer. At least jaws 2b getting rush to 4. After 4 leave pioneer behind just NW of 3b as escape ball, take off to peelee. Probably have hoop 5 pioneer between 5 and 2b so could have been used to peel 2b then if necessary. Tap peelee so easy to send to 3b getting rush to 5. Make 5 and rush to South boundary between corner 3 and in front of 3b. Send pioneer to 1b getting rush to peeling position. Peel getting rush to 6. Don't tend to leave myself space to get the peelee up to 4b that shot as would have less options peeling going to escape ball further away, downside is never get 4b peel before 1b. Try to get a rush out of 6 to West of 4b so can then place escape ball taking off to peelee (If I don't get this rush tend to give up on peeling before 2b and send pioneer to 2b). Having taken off to the peelee, any kind of rush NWish allows a relatively easy shot sending peelee to 4b going to 1b. After 1b could rush to a spot where can send pioneer to 3b getting rush on peelee but prefer to rush close to peelee and leave 3b pioneer 2 yards S and a yard W of 4b. If the peel jawses (and remember can't play peel as straight stop shot) having pioneer at 3b doesn't look that great, won't be able to send peelee to right in front of penult and hoop 3 is going to be in the way of the thick take off. Obviously if peel fails completely can try again before 3b with pioneer at 4b. If peel jawses or goes through before 2b as Robin says can do delayed double.

* Probably the most critical shots for me in the whole sextuple are getting the 1b peel through cleanly down to 2b and then placing the escape ball for the rush across to 4. Sending out escape ball from 28 yards and would really like to play 2b peel with straight stop shot so not much room for error. Starting to experiment with making the sextuple leave so my hoop 1 ball is near corner 3 and partner is about 3 yards from 4b so it is technically wired from both opponent’s balls. If the opponent misses have space to send their ball SE of 2 so can possibly peel 1b going to that ball before 2. Only want to go for this peel if positive it will go through but if you can get it through some distance gives much better chance of being well set up for peel getting rush to 4.


Keith Aiton proposes another scheme

Just to show that there is more than one way to skin a cat:

Croquet opponent to 3, rush peelee to 2. Take off to 1, make 1 with a rush N and set up escape ball S and E of 2. Make 2 off peelee, peel 1b ideally all the way to 2b. Rush escape ball N of 3 and croquet it to 4. Make 3 and rush N and W of peelee (assuming peelee is not close to 2b). Croquet escape ball S and E of 2b, rush peelee N and E of 4, croquet it in front of 2b. Make 4 and rush to S of 2b. Croquet pioneer to 6. Peel 2b and obtain rush to 5. Make 5 with a rush S of peelee. Croquet pioneer to 1b and obtain rush on peelee N of 6. Croquet peelee in front of 3b. Make 6 and rush to S and E of peelee. Croquet pioneer to 2b. Peel 3b with a roll to 1b. Make 1b with a rush S and E of peelee. Croquet escape ball to 4b (the only remote pioneer!) Rush peelee S and W of 2b. Croquet peelee to 4b. Make 2b with a rush to E of 4b. Croquet pioneer a couple of yards W of 4b. Make peel and obtain rush to 3b. Make 3b with a rush to N and E of 4b (you might not manage this so a roll may be required). Croquet escape ball/pivot/pioneer to penult, obtain rush on peelee to 4b pioneer. Croquet peelee in front of penult obtaining rush to 4b. Make 4b and finish with a straight double.

There are probably three places where I may choose to rush to the next peeling hoop instead of croqueting to it as described above. (1) If the 1b peel has gone almost all the way to 2b (I may even attempt the 2b peel with a take off to the pioneer at 4). (2) From 2b to 3b if I don't have enough room to send the pioneer to 1b and get a rush N or if the pioneer at 6 is particularly good. I can usually get the peelee positioned adequately with a ropey rush and a thick take off. (3) If the 3b peel has gone most of the way to 4b then I will rush to 4b (or the peelee) after 1b and rush the peelee to 4b and take off to the pioneer at 2b.

To anticipate someone commenting "but you're rushing all over the place", yes, but never with a need to be particularly accurate, so long as enough room is left to play a croquet stroke. If you think this method requires accurate croquet strokes, well, DUH!

I am not claiming this is a better method than the one described by Rob, just an alternative. Personally I aspire to playing like Rob and Reg, ie rushing to a standard that makes it possible to peel a hoop and the next time you roquet the peelee rush it to peeling position. It's also useful to be able to rush to a hoop from 14 to 25 yards away and make it under sufficient control to obtain a rush to wherever you want. As far as I know only Rob and Reg can do both of those consistently at the moment.

By virtue of trying things out and practising a lot it is possible to gain confidence that you can complete a TP even if the first peel is done going to 3b. Once you are confident of that then the sextuple becomes a realistic target.


PS As an aside I don't think it will be long before the "supershot" opening gets refuted by people consistently hitting it and going round on a 2 ball break.

Author: Robert FulFord & Keith Aiton
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Updated 28.i.16
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