Ball and Wicket Size: are these regulated by the USCA?

by Paul Bennett · 21 August 2019

An often asked question is “what is the wicket size and balls for the USCA 9W game?” – Ford Fay

The Nine Wicket USCA committee has answered the question.

While the 6-wicket USCA and Association croquet is regulated, specified,inspected and complied with by not only the United States croquet Association but also by the World Croquet Federation, Australian Croquet Association, New Zealand and the British organization simply know as “the Association Croquet”, 9-wicket croquet is unregulated, unspecified and left up to the club hosting the event to make its equipment fit the purpose of the tournament and their lawn conditions.

“There’s never been an official size for the balls, wickets have been generally same specs. The balls I distribute are slightly smaller than regulation but it’s on keeping with their lighter weight that works well on longer grass. In any tournament, balls, wicket and mallet limits should be set so all know going in. Other than that, I recommend just leaving regulations out of it, seeing that few of the millions of sets sold meet any standards at all.” – Steve Fluder

“I, too, do not believe that we have specifications for balls, hoops or other equipment for 9W tournaments, preferring the loose structure demanded by lawn circumstances and player preference. I am confirming this with the USCA office and will report back to you regarding any equipment qualifications for titled tournament.” – Sara Low, President of the USCA

“For long grass, you definitely want a lighter ball than the 1-pound balls used on manicured courts. I personally think the ProBalz sold by Steve Fluder are best for the 9-wicket game, and I speak from substantial experience, having played on long grass for 30 years. They are probably the balls of which Paul speaks. Our local club has 24 of them. Besides being lighter, their big advantage is in their liveliness…a solid hit on a ball makes a pleasant light “ting” sound and the ball goes flying across the grass. The biggest challenge in playing on long grass is in getting a good rush. This is already challenging enough because bumps and ridges in the ground can make your ball hop and make you not get a solid hit on the ball you’re trying to rush. But if you’re playing with standard one-pound balls, then even a solid hit will often end with the rushed ball dying into the grass. The ProBalz are substantially livelier than Sunshinys or Dawsons, and with some luck you can get the rushed ball skimming along the top of the grass for quite a ways before it sinks in.” – George Cochran.

“The ProBalz are outstanding for long grass – the Croquet Shots are similar to 6w balls and they rush well. For wickets, Foxy Wickets are great for flat long grass conditions while 18 inch high 1/4 inch stock winter wickets are good for difficult long grass conditions.” – Bob K.

“I, too, feel that standardizing everything is only leading to the very
regimented way in which America 6W, Association and GC are played. To my
way of thinking, 9W was to be representative of the backyard game. That
culture has been as varied as the number of backyards its played in. I’m
all for letting the TD determine the equipment and optional rules for their
event.” – Don

“ProBalz are 3.6”, 1/40 of an inch smaller than the 3 5/8” standard.” – Steve

“I do not happen to know the manufacturer of the balls I use for 9W. They are plastic in composition, they weigh 12 ounces instead of 16 ounces and the dimension is 3-1/2” wide instead of 3-5/8” wide. A good explanation of available balls from England is here at this website. They give the specifications Croquet Online: croquet ball dimensions – Paul

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