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Dr Ian Plummer

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The Wiring Lift

What is a Wiring Lift?

A wiring lift allows you to take a 'wired ball' to either baulk-line and shoot from there.

What is a Wired Ball?

If the opponent is responsible for the position of your ball and you do not have a clear stroke at all parts of at least one ball, or any part of your ball lies in the jaws of a hoop then the ball is said to be wired. If the ball is wired you have the choice of playing that ball from where it is or lifting it to either baulk line and taking your shot. 

The text of the wiring Law (13) is given as a footnote.

There are several things to note about the wiring lift:

  1. The opponent must be responsible for that balls position!

  2. If your ball is in contact with another ball it cannot have a wiring lift.

  3. You can only be wired by the lawn furniture (the hoops and peg), not another ball.

  4. A lift can develop many turns after the opponent put your ball somewhere. 

  5. You can become responsible for the position of a ball if you cause it to shake indirectly, e.g. by hitting the upright of a hoop which the opponent's ball also touches. It is important when someone is shooting at a ball in a hoop that the witness notes whether the ball was caused to shake even if it was not touched by the striker's ball.  Under some conditions a hard shot at a hoop will cause a dinner plate-sized patch of earth to shake around the hoop and this can shake a ball remote from an upright.

  6. A clear stroke means that you can play your normal stroke without having your backswing or forward stroke impeded by the hoop or peg. Additionally you should be able to use all parts of the face of the mallet to contact your ball and not be impeded. Sure if you use that part of the face you can cleanly hit the target ball, but you must be able to use any part not to be obstructed.

  7. If you lift a wired ball you cannot change your mind and put it back.

Wired or Not?

Ok - think you have got it? Now test yourself.  In the situation below, drawn nicely to scale, there are only three balls on the lawn.  Consider playing each of the three balls and assume that it is the start of the turn and your opponent is responsible for its position; do you have a wiring lift? (Click on images for larger version).

So is:

Blue wired?

Yellow wired? and

Red wired?

Here is the full Wiring Law:

13. Wiring Lift

  1. LIFT If the adversary is responsible for the position of a ball of the striker's side which is wired from all other balls and not in contact with another ball, the striker may start his turn:
    1. by playing as the balls lie; or
    2. by lifting the wired ball and playing it from any unoccupied point on either baulk-line or taking croquet from a ball that it could touch in such a position.
    1. A player becomes or remains responsible for the position of any ball that:
      1. he plays; or
      2. is moved or shaken as a result of his play; or
      3. is involved in any croquet stroke or cannon that he plays, even if it does not move; or
      4. is replaced when an error committed by him is rectified; or
      5. belongs to him, in the event that he played the first stroke of a turn with an adversary's ball, or by declaring that he was leaving a ball where it lay without specifying which. [see ORLC rulings]
    2. However, a player does not become responsible for the position of any ball replaced to correct an interference.
  3. WHEN WIRED A ball ("the relevant ball") is wired from another ball ("the target ball") if:
    1. any part of a hoop, including the jaws, or the peg would impede the direct course of any part of the relevant ball towards any part of the target ball; or
    2. any part of a hoop, excluding the jaws, or the peg would impede the swing of the mallet before its impact with the relevant ball; or
    3. any part of the relevant ball lies within the jaws of a hoop.
  4. IMPEDED SWING In Law 13(c)(2), the swing is impeded if there is any part of an end face of the mallet that the striker used in the turn before the relevant ball was positioned with which he would be unable to strike the centre of the relevant ball in order to drive it freely with his normal swing towards any part of the target ball. However, the swing is not impeded merely because a hoop or the peg interferes with the striker's stance.
    1. A player may ask a referee to conduct a wiring test only if he is the striker entitled to claim a lift with the relevant ball before the first stroke of the current turn. He must otherwise rely on an unaided ocular test to determine whether or not one ball is wired from another.
    2. The striker is entitled to the benefit of any doubt in an adjudication of whether one ball is wired from another.

    If the striker lifts a ball of his side under Law 13(a)(2):

    1. it is thereby elected as the striker's ball and he may not then play with the other ball of his side. If he does so, Law 26 applies. In addition, he is obliged to take the lift to which he is entitled and he may not then play the lifted ball from where it lay before it was lifted unless it already lay on a baulk-line.
    2. and places it on an unoccupied point on either baulk-line, whether in contact with another ball or not, he remains entitled to play it from any unoccupied point on either baulk-line until he plays a stroke.


Is Blue Wired? Yes!

If any part of a ball lies in the jaws of a hoop (and is not in contact with another one) it is eligible for a lift under 13(c)(3), even if it could trivially roquet an adjacent ball.

Is Yellow Wired? Yes!

You might have thought that Yellow might not be able to clip the lower edge of Red but, although it is close, it is not impeded by the right-hand upright of the hoop.

Yellow cannot however be driven to all parts of Red - take the upper left side of Red:

The left-hand upright prevents the striker from using all parts of his mallet face to strike Yellow to just graze Red.

So can Yellow hit all of Blue?

If you look closely, when the pale Yellow circle just kisses the edge of Blue it is intersecting the left upright hence could not reach that position.  Hence Yellow is also wired from Blue. It is eligible for a lift.

Is Red Wired?

Red can't hit Blue because the right-hand upright is in the way but can it hit all of Yellow?

Red cannot just graze Yellow because of the right-hand upright hence Red is wired.

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Updated 11.vi.17
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