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Dr Ian Plummer

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Technical
Croquet Leaves

The following leaves are mainly designed for use in Advanced Play, where there is a lift when either ball of a side runs 1-back or 4-back. A lift allows the opponent to start their next turn by either playing one of their balls from where it lies or, by picking it up, play it from either baulk line (Law 36). A lift is not conceded if a ball is peeled through 1-back or 4-back.

If a player takes their leading ball through 1-back and 4-back in a single turn when their partner ball had not run 1-back at the start of that turn they will concede a contact. A contact permits the same choices as a lift together with the option of taking croquet from any ball.

Top players will generally take their first ball to, but not through, 4-back and set up a leave which gives long or hindered shots whether a lift is taken or not.

In the following diagrams Red has set up the leave for Yellow

In the examples below a method of producing the leave is proffered. It is not necessarily the best or only way of producing the leave. It is assumed that you are playing a four-ball break prior to designing the leave. The notes are brief and if more detail is required let me know.

Old Standard LeaveThe Old Standard Leave

Red for 4-back, Yellow for 1. Blue and Black have a lift.

Optionally Black is left wired on Blue by the peg.

Method:
After 2-back send your reception ball and pivot to the peg. Make 3-back off Blue with a rush to short of peg. Stop Blue to its position and roquet Black to near its final position, tidy up with a croquet shot whilst getting a rush on Yellow to boundary and finalise positions.

Options:

  • Lift either Blue or Black and and shoot from A-baulk (17 yard shot)
  • Lift Blue and shoot at Black from Corner 1 to near Corner 3 (23 yards)

New Standard LeaveThe New Standard Leave

Red for 4-back, Yellow for 1. Blue and Black have a lift.

Black should be hindered from hitting Red and Yellow by the hoop and shielded from A-baulk by it.

Method:
After 6, take pivot into 1-back, run hoop and roquet opponent. Leave opponent South-West of hoop 2 wired from the end of B-baulk, whilst getting a 3-ball break down to 2-back. After 2-back rush reception ball to 3-back. Run 3-back and roquet Black, croquet to a wired position from A-baulk getting rush on Yellow. Rush and tidy up Red and Yellow.

Options:

  • Lift Blue and shoot down East boundary (23 yards)
  • Lift Blue and shoot from A-baulk at Red and Yellow (16 yards)

Maugham Standard LeaveThe Maugham Standard Leave

Similar to a New Standard Leave (NSL), but with the hoop 2 ball on the wire of hoop 2, not rushable to hoop 1 and wired from B-baulk. Commonly used by David Maugham.

Diagonal SpreadThe Diagonal Spread

Red for 4-back, Yellow for 1. Blue and Black have a lift.

Black is wired from Blue and has no back-swing to hit Red and Yellow.

Method:
As for Old Standard Leave above.

Options:

  • Lift Black to Corner 3 and shoot down East boundary (23 yards)
  • Lift Black and shoot at Red and Yellow (16 yards)

Dream LeaveThe Dream Leave, aka Three Ducks

Third turn leave. Red for 4-back, Yellow for 1. Black has to play from baulk. The three balls may be in a straight line or kinked.

Method:

Options:

  • Shoot from A-baulk to Corner 2
  • Shoot from B-baulk

Vertical SpreadThe Vertical Spread

Red for peg, Yellow for 4-back. Blue and Black have a lift.

Method:
After 4-back rush pivot to Penult. Run Penult and leave Blue wired from the end of B-baulk but being capable of being rushed to 4-back. Rush escape ball to Rover. Make Rover and rush Black to position and tidy up with a croquet stroke getting a rush on Yellow to East boundary.

Paddy Chapman gives a video demonstration here.

Options:

  • Shoot at Red and Yellow (double) from B-baulk.
  • Shoot at Red and Yellow from A-baulk.
  • Shoot at Black from B-baulk, Blue finishes in A-baulk.
  • Play Blue a little out of Corner 1.

The latter two options assume that Red and Yellow will fail to make penult on a two-ball break and hence give away a lift.

Sextuple LeaveThe Sextuple Leave

This variant is also known as the Ladies' Sextuple.

Red for 1-back, Yellow for 1. Blue and Black do not have a lift.

Method:
After hoop 4 you need to place Yellow South-West of hoop 6 and an opponent ball on hoop 1. Make hoop 5 and rush opponent to hoop 1 and set up wiring. Take off to Yellow and make 6, rush Yellow to final position. (Optional - tidy up wiring). Place Red in jaws of 1-back.

Options:
The polite thing to do is to shoot at Yellow with Blue or Black. Possibly a jump over the hoop will allow Blue to roquet Black. The grim response is to shoot to Corner three.

See the accompanying articles: Sextuple Peels and 1-back Leaves

Delayed Sextuple LeaveThe Delayed Sextuple Leave

Red is for 1-back Yellow for 1. Blue and Black do not have a lift.

This leaves a longer shot than for the Ladies Sextuple, but requires that Red is rushed into peeling position from Corner 3 to 1-back.

Method:
As for the Sextuple Leave.

Alternative Ladies Sextuple PeelAlternative 'Ladies' Sextuple Leave

Black and Blue are cross-wired around hoops 1 and 4.

See Sextuple Leaves for discussion.

Alternative Sextuple LeaveAlternative Sextuple Leave

Blue and Black are open on each other, but cannot see Red or Yellow.

See Sextuple Leaves for discussion.

Third Turn Sextuple Leave3rd Turn Sextuple Leave

Yellow is left a rush north or north east, but not leaving a double from B baulk.

Contact LeaveThe Contact Leave

This can be used as a defensive leave after 3-back if the opponent is a very good shot (e.g. bound to hit in) or if a contact is being given away after running 1-back and 4-back with your forward ball. The intention is that it is difficult to build a break whichever ball is hit or has croquet taken from it.

If only one of the opponent's balls is for hoop 1 it should be where Blue is indicated.

Contact leaves are now more common given the introduction of 'Super Advanced' play.

Method:
After 4-back send the reception ball onto the diagonal between Corner two and hoop 2. Rush pivot behind Penult pioneer and stop it to Rover. Make Penult with a rush to Corner two. Tidy ball into Corner 2 getting rush on ball on Corner 2 / hoop 2 diagonal to say 4 foot off the West (or East) boundary level with the peg. Take off to Rover and make Rover with a rush to the boundary near the last placed ball. Tidy ball to boundary getting a rush on the ball 4' off the boundary to the East (or West) boundary. Stop ball to position wired from opposite boundary ball by peg and then shoot into Corner 4.

Alternative Contact LeaveCorner II Contact Leave

Red is for (say) peg, Yellow for hoop 1. Blue and Black have a contact.

It does not matter that Black and Blue can hit each other as there is no useful rush to be gained.

Options:
There are a number of bold options involving heroic rolls. An alternative is for Blue and Black to leave a wired rush to the corner 3 ball from West boundary.

Another contact leaveCorner IV Contact Leave

Red is for (say) peg, Yellow for hoop 1. Blue and Black have a contact.

Options:
There are a number of bold options involving heroic rolls. An alternative is for Blue and Black to leave a wired rush to the corner 3 ball from corner 1.

Octuple Leave The Octuple Leave

Red is for 5 and Yellow is for 1. Blue and Black do not have a lift.

For interest!

Method:
If you are trying this you do not need hints!

Note the 'k' on the diagrams is to indicate on printouts which the Black ball is. On low resolution printers Blue and Black cannot be differentiated.

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Updated 27.vii.17
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