Like most sports, croquet has its own terminology which can seem strange and incomprehensible at first. Below are some terms you are likely to see, or hear around croquet.

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Term Definition
2 ball break A break involving your ball, and only one other ball. This is by far the most difficult break to play, and even elite players often struggle to make more than a few hoops at a time with only 2 balls
3 ball break A break involving 3 balls, which is significantly easier than the 2-ball break. It uses the concept of the pioneer ball (ball at your next hoop-but-one)
4 ball break A break involving 4 balls, and is the easiest break to play. This break involves pioneer balls and pivot balls.
9-12-5 Term used to describe a game being won with 3 breaks and no errors, and usually no attempt at a TP. Break of 9 with first ball; break of 12 with second ball; break of 3 + 2 peg points with first ball.
AC Abbreviation for Association Croquet
Advanced (game) Meaning a "level" game between two players whereby lifts are conceded after 1-back and 4-back, and no bisques are given.
Anti-Duffer A first-turn shot where the player hits their ball to a point a few yards in from the East boundary, around peg-high or sometimes slightly further North. Discourages the second-turn Duffer response from the opponent
Aspinall Peel Peel popularised by Nigel Aspinall. This is played to deliberately jaws the peelee ball (often due to acute angle) and in the same shot have the striker's ball catch up to the jawsed ball and knock it through, normally with the striker's ball richocheting off safely to the side
Atkins Common nickname for Quadway hoops, in reference to the creator, Ray Atkins
B Abbreviation for the blue ball
Baulk Line An unmarked line which extends from corner 1 to the South boundary level with hoop 5 ("A Baulk"), and corner 3 to the North boundary level with hoop 6 ("B Baulk").
Bisque In a handicap game, bisques are given to the weaker player based on the difference between the two players' handicaps. A bisque is 1 extra turn
Break Scoring multiple hoops in a single turn
Bryant Standard Leave / BSL Leave made popular by Greg Bryant of New Zealand. Consists of a break to 4-back with striker's ball, leaving one opponent ball about 1 inch North of hoop 1, not visible from A Baulk, and the other ball a few inches North-East of hoop 4
Cannon A shot normally played from a corner, with 3 (and occasionally 4) balls involved. Each ball is in contact with one of the other balls. Usually a cannon will send out a pioneer ball and make a roquet in the same shot.
Carrot The carrot-shaped section of the hoop that is sunk into the ground
Clip A metal or plastic coloured clip which is placed onto the top of the hoops (for hoop 1 through to 6) or the side (from 1-back through to rover) to denote which hoop a given ball is for.
Contact A penalty given to the opponent when the striker scores 1-back and 4-back in the same turn before the partner ball has scored 1-back. The opponent may start their turn by taking contact (taking croquet) from any ball on the court.
Continuation (shot) The shot which follows the croquet shot. Normally used to score a hoop or roquet another ball
Corner peg A small stick placed on each boundary exactly 1 yard from the corner, to show where the corner area starts and ends
Critical distance / CD This is used to refer to the distance at which a player will hit 50% of their shots. Top players may have a CD of 13 yards or more
Croquet (shot) This is the shot that follows a roquet and preceeds a continuation shot. It is played with two balls in contact, and the striker's ball is struck so that both balls move
Croqueted ball Refers to a ball that the striker's ball is taking croquet from
Crosswire The act of arranging two balls to be wired (blocked) from one another - often a player will arrange for both opponent balls to be crosswired at the partner ball's hoop
Crown The horizontal bar at the top of a hoop
Cut rush A rush where the object ball is struck on one side or the other so that it travel in a specific direction
Dawsons Common nickname for Dawson International croquet balls
Death Roll Roll shot where a ball is peeled through Penult while striker's ball goes to a pioneer at 2-back. Can also be used to describe the same shot, but with striker's ball going to pioneer at 3-back. Normally part of a TP or TPO
Delayed DP / Delayed Double Refers to a manoeuvre of peeling penult before making 4-back and finishing with a straight rover peel. Normally part of a TP or TPO
Delayed TP / Delayed Triple Refers to a TP in which the 4-back peel is not peeled or jawsed after hoop 3, but is peeled later in the turn (normally before hoop 6). It is a much more difficult turn than a standard TP
Diagonal Spread One of the most common leaves after a break to 4-back or to the peg. One opponent ball is left slightly south-east of the peg, with the other wired from it, near the west boundary. Striker's balls are joined near the East boundary
Dolly rush A rush in which the two balls are in very close proximity, probably less than 12 inches
Double Peel Finishing turn in which penult and rover are peeled en-route
DP Abbreviation of double peel
DPO Double peel on the opponent's ball.
DSL Abbreviation for diagonal spread
Duffer Tice Second-turn placement of a ball, normally around 1-foot North-East of hoop 6.
East Boundary The right-hand boundary line, when facing the lawn from A-Baulk
Handicap Number assigned to a player denoting their skill level
Handicap game A game where bisques are given to one of the players in order to level out the ability
Hoop Metal object that balls must pass through
Hoop approach Refers to a croquet shot in which the striker's ball tries to get position at its hoop
Humpty Dawsons Common nickname for later-model Dawson International croquet balls, due to manufacturer living in Humpty Doo, Australia
Irish Grip Method of holding a mallet with both palms facing outward. Similar to a cricket grip
Irish Peel Method of peeling where both the croqueted ball and striker's ball score a hoop in the same stroke
Jaws The space between the uprights of a hoop
Jawsed Refers to a ball being placed between the jaws of a hoop, either deliberately or due to a hoop failure
Jump The act of jumping the striker's ball over an obstacle
K Abbreviation for the black ball
Leave At the end of your turn, the leave is where all the balls have been left - hopefully in an adventageous position for your next turn
Level Another name for Advanced
Lift Penalty conceded when a player scores 1-back or 4-back. The opponent may start their turn by lifting either of their balls and playing it from either Baulk line. In super-advanced croquet, a lift is also conceded after hoop 4
Lift to position Penalty conceded in the super advanced form of the game, if hoop 4, 1-back and 4-back are all scored in the same turn before the player's partner has scored hoop 4. Opponent may lift either ball and play from any point on the court, even within yardlines.
Load and hold shot Croquet shot in which a pioneer is sent to the next hoop, while in the same shot gaining hoop-running position at the current hoop
Long lift The longer of two available lift shots - normally this would be a shot from B Baulk at two opponent balls laid up on the East boundary. Normally is a more defensive option
Maugham Standard Leave / MSL Leave popularised by David Maugham. Similar to the New Standard Leave. One opponent ball is left a few inches north-east of hoop 4 and the other very close to hoop 2, preferably on the west wire of the hoop. Rush from east boundary is left for partner ball directly to hoop 1.
Milling The circular pattern on croquet balls which creates pull
New Standard Leave / NSL Leave in which one opponent ball is placed a few inches north-east of hoop 4 and the other is placed 1-2 yards in from the west boundary, a few yards south of hoop 2. Rush from east boundary is left towards the ball near hoop 2
Nine Australian reference to playing a break to 4-back ("make 9")
North Boundary Boundary between corners 2 and 3
Object ball Refers to a ball other than the striker's ball
OCPO Octuple peel on the opponent. Has so far never been completed
Octuple Peel / OCP Manoeuvre involving playing a break with striker's ball and peeling partner ball through its last 8 hoops. Extremely difficult turn and only a handful have been completed in the history of the game.
ODP Double peel on the opponent, but where the opponent ends up winning the game anyway.
Old Standard Leave / OSL This leave was popular for many decades, and places one opponent ball near the west boundary, a few yards south-east of hoop 2, and the other a few yards north-east of the peg, with the striker laid up with partner ball in or near corner 4. Traditionally the striker would peel partner through hoop 1 after running 2-back in their previous turn.
OOCP Octuple peel on the opponent, but where the opponent ends up winning the game anyway.
OQNP Quintuple peel on the opponent, but where the opponent ends up winning the game anyway.
OQP Quadruple peel on the opponent, but where the opponent ends up winning the game anyway.
OSPP Septuple peel on the opponent, but where the opponent ends up winning the game anyway.
OSXP Sextuple peel on the opponent, but where the opponent ends up winning the game anyway.
OTP Triple peel on the opponent, but where the opponent ends up winning the game anyway.
Parsnip Refers to the square section carrot found on Quadway hoops, and named parsnip to differentiate from traditional carrot
Peel Scoring point for balls other than the striker's ball
Peg The wooden stake in the very centre of the lawn, which is the final point to be scored for all balls.
Pilot (ball) This is a ball other than your own, which is placed at your current hoop, and that you intend to use to help you score your hoop
Pioneer (ball) This is a ball that is strategically placed at your next hoop (current hoop + 1) so that after you have scored your current hoop, you will use the pioneer ball to help you score the next hoop
Pirie Poke Hampered stroke invented by John Riches, named after Port Pirie. Played with similar stance to a sweep shot but mallet is swing directly down onto the ball, and rotates in the hands during the swing. Normally better options are available.
Pivot (ball) This is a ball that is stragetically placed near the centre of the court, normally around one-third of the distance between your current hoop and your next hoop-but-one, in an easily accessible position, meaning that you will not require difficult croquet shots
Plummers Another word for "seconds" when referring to the speed of a court. In lawn speed testing, a ball is struck from the south to the north boundary, and the time taken is recorded. For example, a, 8 second (8 plummer) court is slow, whereas a 14 second (14 plummer) court is fast
POP Peel On Opponent. Normally refers to peeling opponent through hoop 1 or 2 in order to make future scoring turns more difficult.
Posthumous peel A peel, normally on partner ball, which is through a hoop that the striker's ball has already scored, and probably means that the striker cannot finish the game in that same turn.
Pull The natural spin which is imparted onto the front ball in a split croquet stroke which makes the ball deviate slightly from the line. Is crucial to judge pull in order to complete successful peels.
QNPO Quintuple peel on the opponent's ball
QPO Quadruple peel on the opponent's ball.
Quadruple Peel / QP Refers to a turn peeling partner ball through its last 4 hoops and winning the game
Quintuple Peel / QNP Refers to a turn peeling partner ball through its last 5 hoops and winning the game
R Abbreviation for the red ball
Reception ball This is a ball that you use to roquet after scoring your current hoop. This ball would start off as the pilot ball in the lead-up to scoring your hoop, and become the reception ball after you have scored your hoop
Roquet Hitting your ball onto another ball
Rover Peel Refers to peeling a ball through rover
Scatter shot Same as a roquet, but a scatter is on a ball that has already been roqueted. Normally a scatter would be done if the striker has failed to get position at their hoop and has left other balls close together. The scatter can disrupt the position of the other balls and make the opponent's turn more difficult
Septuple Peel / SPP Refers to a turn peeling partner ball through its last 7 hoops and winning the game
Sextuple Peel / SXP Refers to a turn peeling partner ball through its last 6 hoops and winning the game
Shaft Another word to describe the mallet handle
Short lift Aggressive lift shot, normally a shot taken from A Baulk at the opponent balls on the East boundary. Missing this shot normally gives the opponent an easier start to their turn, but it is somewhat shorter than taking a shot from B Baulk.
Single Peel / SP Manoeuvre to peel partner through rover and win the game
Solomon Grip Grip popularised by John Solomon, where both hands have the knuckles facing outwards
South Boundary Boundary between corners 1 and 4
SPPO Septuple peel on the opponent's ball
Standard Grip Most common way to grip a mallet. Top hand with knuckles outwards and bottom hand with palm outwards.
Standard Opening The most common opening exchange in croquet, where the first ball plays to the east boundary, and the second ball plays a west boundary tice
Straight DP / Straight Double Double peel where the two peels are completed at the same time as the striker's ball scores the hoops for itself
Straight Peel Refers to any peel which is completed, then in the next shot the same hoop is scored by the striker. Note that this does not refer to the angle at which the peel is performed. This is to be contrasted with the Irish peel, in which both balls score the hoop in the same shot.
Straight TP / Straight Triple Triple peel where the three peels are completed at the same time as the striker's ball scores the hoops for itself
Striker's ball Refers to a ball that the striker (the current player) is playing
Super Advanced Form of the game that has been experimented with in England. Introduces a third lift (after running hoop 4) as well as the usual lifts at 1-back and 4-back, and designed to increase interactivity.
Supershot Opening Playing the first ball of the game near to the centre of the court in an aggressive position
Sweep shot A shot played while kneeling, holding the mallet horizontally. Played in order to get out of trouble when in a hampered position
SXP Sextuple peel on partner ball. Very difficult manoeuvre peeling partner ball through its last 6 hoops and pegging it out. This is the ultimate manoeuvre in croquet, but very few players have the skills to complete them.
SXPO Sextuple peel on the opponent - extremely difficult manoevure peeling the opponent's ball through it's last 6 hoops and pegging it out. Very few of these have been done in the history of the game.
T English method of denoting a score where neither player has pegged out. (t) stands for "on time"
Tice A ball which is played to a spot which is deliberately enticing the opponent to shoot at it
TP Abbreviation for Triple Peel
TPO Triple peel, but on the opponent's ball.
Triple Peel Manoeuvre whereby the striker plays a full break with the backward ball, while peeling the forward ball through its last 3 hoops and winning the game
Trivial Finish Traditional commentator's curse line in croquet, commonly said in England. A spectator may exclaim "it's a trivial finish from here", when the player is close to winning. Said player will go on to lose the game.
U Abbreviated name for the blue ball
Upright The vertical structures of a hoop that the ball must pass through
Vertical Spread A leave where one opponent ball is left inches south of Penult and the other is left inches north of Rover. Normally made after a break to the peg, with partner on 4-back or penult.
West Boundary Boundary between corners 1 and 2
Wire The act of blocking one ball from another, via a hoop or the peg
Worse Than Death / WTD Roqueting a pilot ball to a spot close to and directly on the wrong side of your hoop, making your hoop approach almost impossible