Croquet Game Variations
Usborne is the inventor of a game which is now fairly well-established
in South Australia when players want to play a faster game: Easy Nine.
At our invitation, he has also noted some other variations on the standard game for players who
don’t want to sit out for hours while their opponent grinds away:
The basic game of Easy Nine is very straightforward: when a
player makes his first hoop with either ball, the clip for his other
ball immediately goes to Four Back.
This means, of course, that as soon as the first hoop is made,
there is an opportunity for a triple peel, and for better players, this
means more fun sooner, and quicker games.
Andrew has developed a competition version of the game,
in which the players have an option as to where to move there other
clip to when they make their first hoop, with bonus points being
scored for each peel. Thus, if you put your other clip on Rover,
it is fairly easy to make just the one peel, for one bonus point,
whereas if you think you can sextuple peel, you can put you other clip
on One Back, with a potential 6 bonus points.
The first such competition at Norwood on 1st April 2007
was won by Mark Prater, with Harley Watts coming second and Robert
Fenwick Elliott third.
'The early rules of the game, which allowed peeling through the front hoops and gave points for both opponent peels and useless peels, were being legalistically exploited and have now been changed so that lawyers can, once again, be safely invited to E9 competitions. They can spend their spare time harmlessly defining "useful".'
Break Limit Games
Here are 3 games in which a player is limited in the number of hoops he can make in a single turn:
Means Three Hoops Or A Peel.
Max break of 3 unless a
peel is made. If a peel is made with within that break of 3 hoops, then
the player becomes entitled to unmake another 3 hoops in that turn.
As above but Four Hoops.
length of break allowed to be determined by ones handicap; the maximum
number of hoops that can be made in a single turn is one's handicap
plus 4, viz;
-2 -1 0 1 2
3 4 5
Max Break 1
2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9
This restriction may affect both players or only the lower handicap one
What happens when the limit of hoops is reached...
In these 3 variations after the last
allowed hoop either:
A]The turn ends immediately the hoop is
B] The player gets one more shot or
C][The Bow Variation] There is a toss. If
the player wins he gets the chance for another ration of hoops. If he loses his
Three Hoop Combination Doubles
a doubles game, after 3 hoops have been made in a single break by a
player, the player's partner has to continue the break with
the original player's ball.
Three Hoop Bisques
If players of widely [or maybe not so
widely] different handicaps want a more even game and don’t fancy a normal
handicap game they could try this:
If the better player is 3 or more hoops
ahead his opponent gets a bisque in every turn until he is less than 3 hoops
One can either make this a normal bisque to
be played in the turn or a bisque that must be taken before the first hoop in
that turn is made.