Module 1

Canberra Croquet Club
Advanced Coaching Notes

THE CANNON


Objectives

In this module you will learn:

What is a Cannon?

A cannon is where 3 or 4 balls are in mutual contact, ANY one of which is a yard-line ball.

So what?

Sometimes at the start of your turn, you will find 3 or 4 balls already in contact with each other.

The other situation is where you roquet a ball over the boundary or into the yard-line area; such a ball must be yarded-in in the normal manner. It becomes a cannon if it is contact with another ball either already on the yard line or slightly inside the yard line.

The first thing to do is to PUT YOUR MALLET DOWN!

Only the roqueted ball must remain in its original position. Your ball and the 3rd (and 4th) balls may be lifted up and move around the roqueted ball, ie. they all become balls-in-hand.

Simple stroke

The simplest cannon stroke is to place the 3 balls in a boomerang shaped line and then play a soft stroke. The middle ball will move out to one side leaving you a close rush on the 3rd ball

Advanced strokes

The balls can be placed in a triangle shape with your ball only touching the ball that has already been (or deemed to have) been roqueted. Place the balls so that the line through the centre of your ball and the ball you have not yet used is aimed to your objective.

Aim the mallet about between the line of centres through your ball and the ball you have not yet used and the point where the other two balls are touching and play a firm drive stroke

In the diagrams below:

Diagram 1 is a 1st corner cannon with the player loading hoop 2 and sending the ball to be roqueted close to hoop 1;

Diagram 2 is a 4-ball cannon in the 4th corner. In this case the line of aim is the same as the line of centres of the 3 balls because of the extra power that is needed. In the cannon stroke, the 4th ball will be promoted to hoop 1 and the roqueted ball will end up between the boundary and hoop 5. In the next stroke that ball can be used to load hoop 2 with the striker's ball ending up close to the ball at hoop 1 which can now be roqueted.

Where there is a long rush eg. 1st corner to hoop 2, ensure that the distance between your ball is very small, almost (BUT NOT) touching

Where the distance is shorter, eg. 1st corner to hoop 1, the distance between the balls can be increased to about 5-10mm

Playing the stroke

Keep you head down and your eyes riveted to your line of aim (this should avoid you being distracted by the location of the three balls).

Hit through the balls with enough follow-through to get the rush to where you want it. Use a firm grip and remember you are moving three balls not just two balls.

4-ball Cannon

A 4-ball cannon adds a new dimension to this stroke and a wider range of options. Probably the best use of a 4-ball cannon is to place the 4th ball in contact with the BALL YOU ARE ABOUT TO ROQUET so that it can be promoted to a specific position on the court. For example, playing a 4-ball cannon in corner 4 when going for hoop 1, the 4th ball can be promoted to a position near hoop 1 while the other balls are brought into the lawn.

Practice

Practice the most common cannons:

First corner rush to hoop 1 and pioneer load hoop 2
rush to 1-back and pioneer load 2-back
Second corner rush to hoop 2 and pioneer load hoop 3
rush to 1 and pioneer load 2
Third corner rush to hoop 2 and pioneer load hoop 3
rush to hoop 3 and pioneer load hoop 4
Fourth corner rush to hoop 3 and pioneer load hoop 4
rush to hoop 1 and pioneer into the court around hoop 4

You will need to experiment with the size of the gap between your ball and the ball to be croqueted and also the line of aim as these can be influenced by your particular stroke play.

Experiment with a 4-ball cannon ensuring that the 4th ball gets close to your next hoop and the other balls are brought into the court.