Players of Their Scores - The Finish of the Match - Prizes
Crazy croquet is an excellent game for chil-dren, for it is both easy to play and most exciting, and as luck and skill come almost equally into play, it makes a pastime in which boys and girls of all ages can take part together without the smaller children spoiling the fun of the older ones.
A lawn like a billiard-table is not in the least necessary, and the hoops and sticks can be laid out along any odd piece of irregularly shaped turf if a proper croquet ground is not obtainable. It is, however, one of the few games that children can play upon a good croquet lawn, which will keep them thoroughly happy and amused for hours without the fear of their doing any injury to the cherished grass.
The rules for crazy croquet - which seem crazy indeed to the player used to ordinary croquet, though it is nevertheless a most entertaining game, and not to be despised by "grownups " when the croquet ground is out of order - run as follow:
1. The court is laid out as for ordinary croquet, or otherwise, if more convenient, only so arranged that the course begins with a hoop, which each player must go through before proceeding elsewhere.
2. The order of playing is as in ordin-ary croquet - viz., blue, red, black, yellow.
3. Each player plays for himself or herself. There are no partners.
4. The number of players is not strictly limited, but from four to seven or eight players make the best game.
Hitting a stick scores one, but does not give the right to a second turn
7. No player shall strike his or her ball until the previous player's ball has come to rest.
8. When a player has been through the first hoop, during her next turn she may go to any part of the ground, hitting any stick or going through any hoop she pleases.
Going through a hoop or hitting a stick scores one. A hoop may be approached from either side, but a player may not go through the same hoop or hit the same stick in two successive turns.
9. A player may strike any other player's ball, and having done so, appropriate his opponent's score (should it amount to fewer than ten), and have another stroke.
10. It is the object of the player with the highest score (under ten) to avoid the neighbourhood of other players' balls until her score amounts to ten, when she is allowed to put it aside and set about securing a second ten, until the full score fixed upon before the game begins - as a rule, 30, 40, or 50 - is reached.
The player who makes the full score first wins the game. When giving a children's crazy croquet match, provide a mallet and a ball with a distinguishing mark on it for each player, and a small prize to be competed for - a set of table croquet makes a very appropriate prize - and invite half a dozen young guests, who may range in age from six to twelve or fourteen, to arrive not later than 3.15, and directly they have all assembled, the game can begin.
The players, each one armed with a ball and mallet, must range themselves behind the first hoop, while player No. 1, having carefully measured two mallets' length distance away from it, places his ball there, and makes an attempt to go through.
It is a rather long shot, and ten to one he misses it. In this case he picks up his ball, and takes his place at the end of the line, to await his next turn after each of the other players has played.
Each player must go through the first hoop before being at liberty to proceed elsewhere
Player No. 2 gets through with a lucky shot, and scores "one" in so doing. Her ball must remain where it is, however, while the rest of the players take their turn. Player No. 3 misses, and retires, discomfited, to the end of the line along with No. 1, but Player No. 4 gets through, scoring one, and is lucky enough to hit No. 2's ball (which had stopped a foot away from the other side of the hoop) in doing so. He, therefore, takes her score of one to add to his own, leaving her reduced to "nought " again, and, taking the privilege of a second stroke on hitting an opponent's ball (according to Rule 9), careers off gaily, to go through the next hoop, so bringing his score up to three before No. 5 gets her first turn.
No. 5 goes through the first hoop with a clever shot, which carries her within a possible though not very easy distance of No. 4, and when No. 6 has failed for the first hoop, No. 1 and No. 3 have their turns and succeed in getting through, while No. 2 goes off to begin piling up a laborious score by hitting the nearest stick.
No. 4 now unwisely tries to hit No. 5 - for he has three to lose and only one to gain - and misses, and No. 5 neatly hits him and appropriates his score, takes the second shot due to her, and goes through a hoop, thus bringing her score up to five, and leaving herself safely wired from No. 4, who, of course, plays before No. 5's turn comes round again.
The fun now waxes fast and furious, for the other players, beginning to realise fully the advantages to be gained by hitting No. 5, and thus rifling her of her cherished score, proceed to surround her from all quarters, each player leaving the attempt to score one at a time by going through hoops or hitting sticks in order to employ their strokes to hit. No. 5 if possible.
No one quite succeeds, although No. 3 gets very close, and when No. 5's turn comes round again, she hits No. 3, thus adding a further two to her score, and then wisely uses her second stroke to escape.
She is still fol-lowed closely, and after she has gone through a hoop and hit a stick, as two successive turns come round, she is cleverly hit by No. 2 (who has only a score of two to her credit), bringing her score up to eleven. She is now allowed by Rule 10 of the game to put ten aside out of danger towards the final score, and with one on her ball proceeds to collect towards a second ten.
By tea-time, however, the game is decided in favour of No. 3, who has managed to score thirty, and the whole party troop off to a tempting looking repast, spread under the trees in the shadiest corner of the garden. Tea over, and the prize awarded, the proceedings wind up merrily with a game of Blind Man's Buff, until it is time to say good-bye, and go.
sometimes the game looks like a new form of Follow my leader," since the player with highest score flies from danger with the others in close pursuit