Croquet Stroke: The Take-Off
In this Module you will learn:
You will find many occasions where you want to leave the croqueted ball in the same place but send your ball as far as desired. For this we use a thin take-off.
To do this place the strikers ball in contact with the ball you will be taking croquet from so that a line through their centres is at right angles to your destination. Then when you hit the strikers ball ensure that you hit in a little so that it moves (or at least shakes) the croqueted ball. The diagram below shows a thin take-off.
You can take-off from either side of the ball you are taking croquet from. There are instances where you would only take-off from one side. For example, if you are very close to the boundary and there is a danger the croqueted ball could be sent off the lawn in the take-off, you would use the side that sends that ball into the lawn (your turn ends if either the croqueted ball or your ball goes off the lawn in the take-off stroke).
A further important aspect of the take-off is pull. Your coach will demonstrate this. When you play take-offs over a distance of about 10 metres or more you will see that the strikers ball tends to pull in one direction. If you take-off from the left hand side your ball will pull to the right, and vice versa for taking off from the right hand side. Across the full 30 metres of the lawn this can amount to over a metre of pull. You must allow for this when lining up for a take-off.
We will only briefly mention a thick take-off in this Module. Suppose you have a need to send the croqueted ball a few metres and not just leave it where it is, this can be accomplished by lining everything up as in a normal thin take-off, but hitting into the ball more and hitting it harder on the croquet stroke. Hitting more into the ball causes your ball to travel less distance, and hence, you have to hit harder. This is a stroke that requires much more familiarity with your game than you will have at this stage as you have to "feel" how much harder to hit the ball, how much to hit into the ball, and how much more pull there will be.
There are a number of things you are not allowed to do when you strike a ball (faults). The most important ones that you need to know about at this time are:
In these practice notes we only use thin take-offs. For each exercise you must be able to take-off from both sides of the ball. In each case make sure that the ball you are taking croquet from moves or at least shakes!