What is a crush?
This is a term describing when the striker’s mallet, the striker’s ball, and the hoop are in contact at the same time. It is a striking fault (the ball is put back or stays where it is, and it is the end of turn).
The following two diagrams illustrate common situations when there is potential for this to occur.
The first diagram shows examples with the ball partially in the hoop:
1: A clear crush – the bulge of the ball cannot pass the hoop
2: A probable crush
3: Unlikely to be a crush (but may be a double-tap)
The second diagram shows examples with the ball against the hoop leg on the outside:
1: A fault will occur when the mallet touches the blue ball because the bulge of the ball cannot pass the hoop
2: Unless some other fault occurs, these shots will be clean. The blue ball leaves the hoop the instant the mallet impacts it
When faced with a potential crush shot, remember not to hit towards the leg of the hoop and try not to use a lot of follow through. Grounding the mallet or pulling it back is worth practicing.
For those who are interested, a detailed technical assessment of when a crush shot is likely to occur can be found on the Oxford Croquet Club website:
What is a double tap?
A “double tap” is a fault that occurs when your mallet hits your ball more than once in a stroke. It most commonly occurs when you hit your ball hard at an opponent ball which is very close, playing along the line of centres. The diagram illustrates what happen.
This diagram shows the four stages of one stroke
1: The mallet hits the red ball
2: The red ball hits the black ball and comes to a stop
3: The mallet follows through and hits the red ball a second time
4: .... causing the red ball to move further
When is it likely to occur?
A double tap is likely to occur if a shot is played along the line of centres of two balls close together.
How do you avoid it?
To reduce the likelihood of a double tap when the balls are close together, hit at an angle to the line of centres, particularly when balls are less than 8” apart. The closer they are, the greater the angle needs to be. It is a little more difficult when close to the hoop – after striking the ball, grind the heel of the mallet into the ground. The mallet must stop dead (i.e. no follow through at all).
What is the penalty?
A double tap is a striking fault. The opponent can choose to leave the balls where they end up or replace them where they were before the fault was committed; if a hoop has been run in the turn in which the fault occurred it does not count.