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Croquet has a very good handicapping system whereby the weaker player is given extra turns against the stronger. This gives either player an equal chance of winning. Croquet handicaps run from 28 to minus 3. A novice would start on a 28 handicap and the best world-class player would be around -3.

Handicaps change with time - as they say on the adverts, "handicaps may go up as well as down". Our aim is to give you the correct handicap to have an equal chance of winning. No one benefits from an incorrect handicap.

The Club has a Croquet England National Handicapper, Ian Plummer, who can set your official handicap.

28 to 16 handicap range

All novices will be set to 28 and then set appropriately down to 16 by Ian or Club members with handicaps of 6 or below either by performing a simple test or long term inspection.

14 to 10 handicap range

Ian will be involved in adjusting handicaps in this range.

9 handicap and below

People will be expected to use the automatic handicap adjustment system - by playing against players from other clubs and in tournaments. Only in exceptional cases will Ian intervene.

Ability Table



Can frequently ...


Novice Player

Hit 6-foot shots and run hoops from 2 feet or less1


Club Fixtures

Execute croquet strokes (stop shot, take-off, half and full roll). Use roquet - croquet - continuation to make a hoop from 10 foot.


Tournament Threshold

Use bisques for sequence of roquet - croquet - continuation to make more than one hoop in a turn.


Average Club Player

Execute four-ball break with bisques


Potential Varsity Player

Execute 4-hoop, four-ball breaks without bisques, basic knowledge of match play tactics



Execute 5-hoop, three-ball breaks without bisques


County level

Implement advanced break building, 12-hoop four-ball breaks


Championship Level

Semi-Demi-God: Occasional triple peels



Demi-God: Reliable triples plus higher-order peels


Test Team

God: Successful sextuple peels

Simple Test

To gauge your handicap in the 28 to 12 range, the following routine is suggested on a full-sized lawn with standard equipment. Place a ball in Corner 2, a ball level with hoop 1 on its adjacent yard-line, and two balls a metre apart on the boundary to the side of hoop four. Now, using bisque (free) turns, play with one of the balls by hoop 4 and count how many bisque turns you need to take to get the ball to the peg (all 12 hoops). Doubling the number of bisques taken indicates your approximate handicap.

Updated February 2018 to reflect that the Half Blue qualifying handicap being raised from 6 to 8.

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