OUACC Logo Oxford University Croquet Club

Intermediate Coaching

The intermediate range covers players who are roughly in the region from handicap 4 to 14. The notes below are taken from the Intermediate Coaching Sessions that Robin Brown kindly gave to an assortment of OUACC members during Trinity Term 2002.

Session 4

This session was mainly devoted to the penult peel, finishing with a discussion on 3 ball 4-b leaves for a bit of variety.

The Standard Penult Peel, Non-Triple

The most emphasised point was that the break comes first, and getting the peels done comes second. Always concentrate on getting the correct positioning to maintain the break, even if that is at the expense of the peels.

Presuming that the peelee was 'in-play' before the peel, contrive to get it as either the hoop 6 pioneer or the pivot. Before you go through 5, position those two balls together, and hopefully quite close to hoop 6 (together is the more important than close). Hopefully get a rush out of hoop 5 to somewhere useful.

When positioning the 1-b pioneer, it is worth bringing it round to the peg side, rather than the usual 3BB position in front of the hoop. This makes the subsequent 2-b pioneer positioning shot a little less critical upon getting a N rush on the escape ball.

Also, before going any further it is important to assess how much control you are likely to have when it comes to the peel shot, since this has an effect upon the positioning of the escape ball: good control would be expecting to get the peelee about a foot or less infront of the hoop; poor control would be anything significantly further away.

Position the 1-b pioneer, getting a rush on the prospective escape ball. It usually allows for greater accuracy to go to the peelee second.

Position the escape ball, and get a good rush on the peelee, to the playing side of hoop 6. The positioning of the escape ball:

  • For good control - position it about a yard SW of the hoop.
  • For poor control - position it one to two yards NNW of the hoop.

If for whatever reason you are unable to position the escape ball on the W side of the hoop as described above, then use the comparable positions on the E side (1yd SE of hoop, and 1-2yds NNE, respectively).

Rush the peelee, hopefully quite close to the hoop, on the playing side. Get into hoop running position and position the peelee. If it is under good control, position it close to penult on the playing side. Otherwise concentrate on getting it to a position on the centre-line of the hoop.

Run the hoop. Roquet the peelee, rushing it towards the hoop or its centre-line, if the opportunity arises.

As discussed previously, for the rover peel, lining up the balls properly requires you to get your head down to the ground and to look along the sides of the balls. How the peel is played again depends upon how much control you have:

  • Good control - line up the balls, possibly allowing for a little bit of pull. Play the peel as a split drive, concentrating on the positioning of your ball, so as to get a good N-facing rush on the escape ball.
  • Poor control - line up the balls straight at the centre of the hoop, and play a gentle drive, aiming for the peelee to have just enough speed that it rolls into the jaws of the hoop and stops. At the same time try to get a N-facing rush on the escape ball.

Rush the escape ball N of the 1-b pioneer by a useful distance. Position the 2-b pioneer, whilst getting a rush on the 1-b one.

If the peelee either is in the jaws, or didn't go very far through, aim to get a NE rush out of 1-b, so that as you position the 3-b pioneer you can approach the peelee.

  • For a jawsed peelee - promote it through with a strong rush, hopefully getting it down towards rover.
  • For a peelee close to the hoop - aim to get to a suitable place to rush it down towards rover, or over near 2-b for positioning near rover on the croquet stroke.

It can be worth trying to peel rover on the way to 3-b. For that it can be advantageous to bring the 3-b pioneer out to the W or NW side of the hoop, since otherwise it becomes necessary to play a wide split roll.

The Standard Penult Peel, During A Triple

If the penult peel is being used as part of a triple peel, then it will be necessary to move the peelee to penult at some point after running hoop 4.

There are two opportunities for moving the peelee to penult, one after each hoop:

  1. The first opportunity comes after 4. Try to get a rush N out of hoop 4. Rush N so as to be able to play a stop shot to position it at a pioneer near 6, whilst getting a rush on the peelee. This often means rushing the hoop 4 reception ball to the N boundary, E of the line between hoops 3 and 4. Then proceed as before.
  2. The second opportunity comes afer 5. This is more difficult, since there is no second chance to improve the positioning of the two balls by 6. Get a rush NE out of 5, so as to be able to play a stop shot to position the 1-b pioneer whilst getting a rush on the peelee. Rush the peelee as close to the hoop as possible, so as to be able to position it further on the croquet stroke, whilst getting a rush on the pioneer. Then proceed as before.

Three Ball Leaves At 4-B and 3-B

In the event that you hit-in third turn, and get all the way round to 4-b or 3-b, there are two types of leave to consider setting.

  • The first is to put all three balls, at the 19yd point by the W boundary, all in a line to the peg. The 19yd point, is the point equidistant from the W ends both A and B-baulks.
  • The second option is to lay a diagonal spread. For a 4-b leave lay up your rear ball with a rush on oppo to the peg, allowing partner to be used on 1, and making the standard triple easier. For a 3-b leave, lay up your rear ball with a rush on partner towards the peg, allowing partner to be used on 2, and making the quad easier....
Session 5

© 2018 Oxford University Association Croquet Club