Canberra Croquet Club
Advanced Coaching Notes
In this module you will learn how to make effective use of a bisque, half bisque and a number of bisques.
What is a Bisque?
A bisque is a new turn in handicap play which can only be taken at the end of an existing turn and, with the ball that was used in that turn. As it is a new turn, you are alive and can use all the balls again before you make another hoop;
A half bisque is the same as a full bisque except that you cannot score a hoop for yourself or your opponent.
(In Victoria there is such a thing as a quarter bisque which is a single stroke; this is not used in any other State and is not included in the Laws Book).
In a handicap game when you have some bisques, it is an ideal opportunity to really take control of the game.
General principles of bisque taking
The important question to ask yourself is - if I use a bisque what are the chances of being able to get a break going - say getting at least 3 hoops? (That includes being able to approach your next hoop from only a few feet away and have a good pioneer at your next hoop). If you think the chances are, say over 70%, then start working out where to put the balls before the end of your turn.
Case 1. You over-run a hoop approach with your opponent ball on the other side of the hoop and the other two balls in a perfect position for a break - say at the next hoop and a good pivot.
Yes, it sounds like the time for a bisque, but what do you do?
Lets look at the various options:
In any situation, do not be dogmatic about what option to take;
Windscreen wipers - you miss a roquet and run 3 or 4 yards passed the target ball; don't take a bisque as the chances are that you will probably miss again - call it a day and hope the opponent will break down and you will get in again!
If your break is falling apart, don't wait until you bomb a hoop, take a bisque and get the balls back together again.
If you have plenty of bisques, do not hesitate to use two to set up the court and then use half the available bisques to go right round to the peg.
A Half Bisque
It is preferable to use a half bisque to set up the court so that you can make a break in your next turn.
But remember, if you leave one of the opponent's balls at your next hoop and the other one still on the boundary, the opponent will obviously move the first ball and you might find it just as difficult to get a break going.
There may be a few occasions when you might want to use a half bisque or full bisque to get out of trouble; can you think of an example?
Giving away bisques
Make it hard for your opponent, ie. when their balls are together, don't join up but leave your balls say 3 or 4 yards apart, or cross cornered or with one ball behind a hoop to make it harder to rush to the target.
Try a 4 ball break with all the balls in a good position - when (if) you break down, eg. not in position for a hoop or a missed roquet, don't just repeat the stroke but take a bisque and use it to collect all the balls into a good position again. If necessary use, two bisques running to get things together. How many bisques do you need to do an all round break? Can you improve on that next time?
Throw the balls onto the court and work out the best way to use one or more bisques to collect the balls; stop once you have got all the balls into a good position.