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Dr Ian Plummer

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Technical
Using Bisques: Problem 1

Problem 1 - an initial solution

There are balls in the centres of the North, East, South and West boundaries on the yard lines.  Your partner ball is for peg; your hoop 1 ball is the on South boundary. How can you set up a four ball break for your hoop 1 ball using 2 bisques?

The market cost of a four ball break is 2 bisques. If you try to get one cheaply it will probably be inferior and end up costing your more!

One suggestion is given below. Note the 'K' on the figures is to indicate the blacK ball on black and white printouts.

Starting Position

1). This is the starting position with yellow for hoop 1 wishing to set up a four ball break.

We want to work out a path whereby we can get the layout for a four ball break, i.e. get pioneers on hoops 1 and 2 and get a pivot near the centre of the lawn.

On a croquet lawn, irrespective of the geographical orientation, the boundary adjacent to hoops 1 and 4 is the South Boundary; hoops 2 and 3 the North Boundary, etc.

After the first stroke of the striker's turn

2). We need to get near one ball, take the first bisque to hit it and croquet it to a useful position whilst getting within hitting distance of another.

I decided that if I shoot deliberately at the blue East Boundary ball I can roquet it with a bisque and take off from it moving a little bit into the lawn. The blue will be my bisque ball = the ball to shoot to at the end of my 1st bisque turn in preparation to taking my second bisque. A bisque ball is normally left a little way off the boundary to allow the striker to shoot off behind it and then be able to start a subsequent bisque turn by rushing the bisque ball into the lawn.

Striker's turn: aim at the blue ball. Assume I miss but once the striker's ball is replaced on the yard line, blue will be within easy striking distance.

1st bisque - rush blue North

3). The first bisque is taken - this is exactly like a new turn, i.e. all balls may be roquetted, but the striker must play the same colour ball as in the previous turn.

1st bisque turn: the striker indicates to his opponent that he is taking a bisque then roquets blue with yellow cutting blue 1-2 feet (30-60cm) into the lawn.

1st bisque turn: roll pioneer to hoop 2 getting withing striking distance of Black

4). 1st bisque turn - continued: The striker now takes-off from blue to within striking distance of the black ball. The circle around the black ball indicates the area where yellow could end up and still be in striking distance.

1st bisque turn: roquet Black

5). 1st bisque turn - continued: Yellow roquets black then plays a roll shot to send black accurately as a pioneer to hoop 1 whilst yellow gets close to the red ball. Again the circle around red indicates the area where yellow can end up and still be within striking distance of red. Black is our hoop ball = an accurate pioneer on our next hoop

1st bisque turn: croquet Black as a pioneer on hoop 1 and roll Yellow to within striking distance of Red

6). 1st bisque turn - continued: Yellow roquets red and rolls red accurately to hoop 2 as a pioneer whilst yellow ends up anywhere with a clear shot behind the bisque ball (blue).

At this stage we have most of the components of the four ball break - the black ball as pioneer on hoop 1, the red ball as a pioneer on hoop2. All that is lacking is the pivot.

All the balls have now been roquetted and there is only the continuation stroke left in this bisque turn.

1st bisque turn: roll red slightly into lawn with Yellow behind it; set up rush to near centre of lawn

7). 1st bisque turn - continued: Yellow on its continuation stroke shoots behind blue and if necessary is brought back onto the yard line at the end of the turn. We have now finished the first bisque turn with a rush on blue into the centre of the lawn.

Start of second bisque turn

8). Second bisque turn: Being a fresh bisque turn all the balls can be roquetted again. The striker indicates to his opponent that he is taking a bisque and rushes blue near the centre of the lawn . The four ball break is now created.

Taking off from where blue is rushed the striker can approach the pioneer on hoop 1 (black) and the standard four ball break commenced.

The worrying point about the method above is the huge croquet stroke in step 5. Is there an easier solution?

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Updated 28.i.16
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