Reg Bamford in play at Hurlingham, London. Here he scores the last five hoops with Yellow, sends Red through its last two hoops, and pegs out both balls.

Association Croquet is the main game played at the club. Coaching is available for free to all members, from beginner to expert.

Competitive Play

Several competitions are run for members within the club, at all levels. The club is a member of the North West Federation of Croquet Clubs, and players can participate in leagues against other clubs within the region. Many clubs, both nearby and throughout the country, hold tournaments which are open to visiting players, and competition play is encouraged.

A GUIDE TO CROQUET

Rules

Croquet, or "Association" Croquet, is played with four balls, Blue and Black versus Red and Yellow. Each side has to guide their balls through a circuit of hoops. The winner is the side which scores all 12 hoops for each ball, and hits them against the centre peg. If a ball scores its hoop, it earns another shot, and if it hits one of the other three balls it earns another two shots.

The first of those two extra shots is called a "croquet". For this, you pick up your ball, place it touching the other ball, and hit it, so that both balls move. Play this right, and you can send your ball close enough to earn more bonus shots, and the other ball somewhere useful. Clever players can string together a series of bonus shots, and score several hoops in one turn.

Handicaps

The handicap system is based on extra turns, called "bisques". Weaker players receive a number of these bisques, and can use them to score hoops or croquet the other balls. By taking them in combination, you can shut out your opponent, and prevent them from progressing.