Croquet Stroke: The Split Shot
In this Module you will learn:
In previous Modules you have learnt how to send both the strikers ball and croqueted ball along the same line, and how to leave the croqueted ball where it was while sending the strikers ball as far as required. In this Module you will find out how to send both balls to their required places as shown in the figure below. As with a straight line croquet stroke you can vary how far the strikers ball and the croqueted ball travel relative to each other by varying your stance and how you strike the ball with the mallet. We have left the split shot until the last croquet stroke as it is the most complicated, requiring judgement of angles, lengths, and changing stance and mallet grip all in the one shot.
The diagram shows most aspects of the split shot. The angle between the path of the croqueted ball and the line of aim is called the angle of swing. The croqueted ball will travel along a line through the centres of the balls. However, the strikers ball will not move off along the line you hit it. It will diverge at approximately twice the angle of swing. The bigger the angle the further the strikers ball will travel, and the less the croqueted ball (after all if the angle of swing is very nearly 90° you will be playing a take-off)
With a split shot it is impossible to get the balls to travel apart at more than 90°. In fact, for any angle of swing greater than 45° the balls will move off at 90°.
How To Judge The Type of Split Shot To Play
Firstly, estimate how far your ball will travel relative to the croqueted ball. From that and knowledge of your straight line croquet strokes you will know whether it would take a stop shot, drive, 1/2 roll, etc. Grip your mallet as for that type of stroke.
If your angle of swing is small (less than 15°) just play the shot as normal. If the angle is moderate (15° to 30°) then you will need to play more of a stop shot than normal, so adjust your stance and grip accordingly (feet further back, and hands higher up the mallet shaft). If the angle of swing is large (greater than 30°) then you will need to play even more of a stop shot, and have to adjust accordingly.
How To Play A Split Shot
To ensure that you get everything right it is important to have a mental checklist for playing a split shot:
Start with practising small angle split shots they require little or no adjustment to your stance and swing. When you are comfortable with those move on to wider angle shots. As with all the practice sessions you must ensure that you become familiar with all length shots from small ones (under a metre) right through to full court length.
from the Peg to Hoops 5 and 4
|from Corner 1 to Hoops 1 and 5|
|from Corner 1 to Hoops 5 and 4|
|Moderate angles:||from Hoop 4 to Hoops 5 and 6|
|from Corner 1 to Hoops 1 and 2|
|from the middle of the South Boundary to Hoops 1 and 5|
|Large angles:||from Hoop 1 to Hoops 5 and 2|
|from Corner 1 to Hoops 4 and 2|