Equipment - Court Accessories
Whilst not required in the Laws of Croquet, optional additional lawn fittings are commonly used: corner flags (Law 3f), corner markers (Law 3g) and bisques.
The corner flags and markers are useful in play for delimiting the region of a boundary from which a ball would be replaced on the corner spot if it left the lawn (with some caveats). Flags are typically linen on a stake. Solid flags are less hassle. If you are making solid flags with a stake and pane, make sure that the stake protrudes say an inch above the top of the pane. This makes it easier to hammer into the ground - if it is level then the hammer can hit the pane and shear it off!
Corner markers are either cylinders with a tapered end or can be cylinders with a central metal spike. The metal spikes want to be moderately thick (>1/8"), otherwise they soon get bent and are troublesome. Solid wooden corner markers are also useful if there are infestations of vampires.
Bisques are simply counting sticks used to keep a record of how many free turns (bisque turns) remain in a handicap game. They are arranged in a row in the ground and removed or knocked over as the free turns are used. Whilst 3/8" (8mm) dowel can be cut, sharpened and painted, consider visiting your local Chinese supermarket and buying a couple of bulk boxes of 20 plastic chopsticks - a box costs ~£2.
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