Balls Specification and Approvals
1 New Balls
The Equipment Group administers a scheme for the certification of balls which are suitable for use in major championships and tournaments. The specifications are set out in Section 2. The World Croquet Federation Management Committee has recognised Croquet England's Championship Approval scheme ('International Ball Standard') and agreed that it applies to all versions of croquet.
Balls that have current Championship Approval are as follows:
- Barlow GT Mark II 1st Colours (Approved to July 2006*)
- Barlow GT Mark II 2nd Colours (Approved to July 2006*)
- Dawson 2000 International Mk3 1st Colours (Approved to Nov 2026)
- Dawson 2000 International MkII 2nd Colours (Approved to June 2023)
- Dawson 2000 International MkII 3rd Colours (Approved to April 2020)
- Sunshiny (CQ16) 1st Colours (Approved to November 2025)
- Sunshiny (CQ16) 2nd Colours (Approved to November 2025)
- Willhoite Xtreme 1st Colours (Approved to October 2017*)
* Approval not renewed: ball production terminated
It is suggested that purchasers may wish to safeguard their rights by ordering balls that comply with the current Croquet England Championship Specification. Makers produce balls in batches and Croquet England is not able to test each batch, so close inspection of new purchases is recommended. Modern plastic balls appear to be produced from moulds comprising two hemispheres: it is a simple matter to check that the two hemispheres have been correctly aligned - any significant step across the joint line causes out of line rebounds and is unacceptable in play.
Manufacturers who wish to obtain or renew Championship Approval for balls are required to submit a set (non-returnable) to Equipment Group accompanied by a fee of £50 (payable to Croquet England). In the event of the balls failing to meet the required specification, £20 will be returned; balls that meet the specification will be awarded Championship Approval valid for a period of three years. Test Reports will be sent promptly to the Manufacturer and those for Approved balls will be forwarded to the WCF and may be published by Croquet England.
2 Championship Ball Specification
(Imperial measurements are definitive; metric equivalents are given for convenience.)
- The maximum diameter of a ball must not exceed 3 21/32 inches (92.9 mm) and the minimum diameter must not be less than 3 19/32 inches (91.3 mm).
- The maximum and minimum diameters of a ball must not differ by more than 1/32 inch (0.8 mm).
- The maximum and minimum diameters of balls in a set must not differ by more than 3/64 inch (1.2 mm).
- When dropped from a height of 60 inches (1524 mm) from the bottom of the ball onto a steel plate 1 inch (25.4 mm) thick and set rigidly in concrete, a ball must rebound to a height from the bottom of the ball of not less than 31 inches (787 mm) and not more than 37 inches (940 mm).
- The rebound height is the average of eighteen measurements: each ball is dropped three times onto each of the two poles and four nodes in the milling pattern.
- The rebound heights of a set of balls to be used together must not differ by more than 2 inches (50.8 mm).
- All balls must be milled with an identical pattern.
- The pattern must consist of two orthogonal sets of grooves and the width of the grooves must be less than the width of the upstands left after grooving.
- The weight of balls must be within the range 15 3/4 ounces (446.5 g) to 16 1/4 ounces (460.7 g).
3 Ageing of Balls
Ideally, sets of balls should be tested when new and at annual intervals thereafter, but in clubs with several similar sets of balls it is likely to be difficult to keep track of a particular set. Dawson 2000 International Balls have been rebound tested annually at the Cheltenham Club for several years. The balls are in frequent use and have shown no significant change in rebound to date. To facilitate such performance monitoring, Equipment Group would welcome the assistance of one-court clubs which are intending to purchase one or two (e.g. 1st and 2nd colours) sets of Sunshiny balls. Finance would be made available to cover costs and to provide some recognition for the effort involved. Dawson 2000 International Balls had unchanged resilience after 2 years use.
Modern cast polyurethane balls may retain a satisfactory appearance even when performance in the resilience test has deteriorated. It is also noteworthy that relatively small blemishes on the ball surface have been observed to affect the direction of rebound in the bounce test. Regular inspection and monitoring of performance is recommended.
4 Colour of Balls
Colours of first and second colour sets of balls with Approval in 2005 have been measured and assessed for visibility and distinguishability. Recommended ranges have been forwarded to makers and a copy of the definitive document is archived in the office.