Secrets of Great Croquet: different croquet shots

The croquet shot starts with your ball, the striker ball, in contact with another ball. When you strike your ball, both balls move. You play the croquet shot after a roquet, that is, after the striker ball hits another ball. You then put the striker ball next to the roqueted ball and play the croquet shot.

Of course there’s the foot shot (aka tight croquet), very useful to blast an opponent away; and the mallet head apart for advancing your ball. But if the foot shot and the mallet head apart are the limit of your croquet shots, there’s a world of possibility for you to explore. With practice it’s possible to play an amazing range of croquet shots, controlling the distance and direction of each ball to your advantage.

This article starts with the basics. By adjusting your hand and foot position and the forward tilt of the mallet, you can vary the relative distance each ball travels. The lower your bottom hand, the farther forward you stand, and the more you tilt your mallet forward, the farther the striker ball will travel relative to the other ball. Watch the videos to see how this works.Then get out in the backyard and practice ‘till you get the feel for the angle of the shaft, position of your hands and distances the balls travel.

Stop shot

Stand slightly farther back than normal. Place your hands at the top of the shaft and stand upright. Hit slightly up on the ball, using minimal follow-through. The croqueted ball will travel 5–8 times farther than the striker ball. Play video

Drive shot

Move forward a few inches and tilt the mallet forward slightly. Drop your lower hand a few inches down the shaft. The croqueted ball will travel 3–5 times farther than the striker ball. Play video

Half-roll shot

Your bottom hand goes just over halfway down the shaft. Place your feet just behind the ball, and tilt the mallet well forward. The croqueted ball will travel twice as far as the striker ball. Play video

Two-thirds-roll shot

Your bottom goes hand well down the shaft. Place your feet a few inches behind the ball. Give the mallet a moderate forward tilt. The striker ball will travel two thirds the distance of the croqueted ball. Play video

Three-quarters-roll shot

Your bottom hand goes well down the shaft, and your feet should be just behind the ball. Give the mallet a moderate forward tilt. This is very similar to the two-thirds-roll shot, but with the feet a little closer and the mallet a little more tilted. The striker ball will travel three quarters the distance of the croqueted ball. Play video

Full-roll shot

Place your bottom hand near the mallet head, and your feet just behind the ball. Tilt the mallet well forward, and hit sharply downward. The striker ball will travel the same distance as the croqueted ball. Play video

Pass-roll shot

Stand directly over the ball, with your lower hand at bottom of mallet shaft (but not touching the head). Hit sharply downward. The striker ball will travel up to twice as far as the croqueted ball. Play video