DemosNews: Ringer/Renegade Croquet
Ringer/Renegade Croquet
By: TheYetter

In the game of mallets there is a direct correlation between competition and fun: the more, the merrier. Croquet achieves suspense, glory, and depth as the number of players rises, primarily because one has a greater mathematical opportunity to rack up additional shots by tapping opponents. This is true especially in versions of the game that call for many trips through the central wicket, where a traffic jam in the middle opens the possibility for epic comebacks and wild rides. Conversely, croquet à deux can seem flat or turn into an unremitting celebration of skill disparity as one ball cruises the course well before the other.

Here is a solution to this dilemma—a true revitalization of match play. Let each competitor have two balls in play, with turns alternating between the two “teams.” The game is over once a ball makes it through all the wickets and hits the pole at the other end, as usual, and the first ball to do so wins the game for its team. All other rules are consistent with regular croquet, except that when one ball taps the other on its team nothing happens.

Several elements of the game immediately shift. As team balls separate, players find themselves walking the pitch more. Similarly, a ringer/renegade paradigm often emerges between team balls, with one ball playing the course to win and the other orienting itself against the position of the opponent’s balls—to stay clear of them or to aggressively seek and send them. Staking out wickets gains prominence, both as a defensive stratagem (with the renegade ball hovering by a wicket so that an opponent dare not come close) and a liability (e.g. being caught with two balls at the central wicket). And, perhaps surprisingly, the game is less a showcase of raw talent than an exhibition of ball management.

At the end of the match—which takes about twice as long as a two-ball showdown—there is inevitably this scenario: the ringer ball of the leading team is poised for victory, yet it is the lagging renegade’s turn with one goal in mind: to tap the leader and keep the game afoot.

© 2023 TheYetter of DemosNews

August 17, 2007 at 12:59am
DemosRating: 4.71
Hits: 1753

Genre: Sports (Leisure)
Type: Creative
Tags: match, play

sakurachan   you're right! I just tried this version and it's a hoot. esp...
Adrian Visser   I've noticed that most the croquet sets sold in America, eve...
TheYetter   Believe it or not, these come from Clarkpoint's store! They...
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