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Are roll shots illegal?

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29th December 2000 (Other News)

John Riches has recently been performing some tests with carbon paper taped to the mallet face in order to find out the extent to which the ball slides or rolls across the mallet face, or contacts it more than once, in various strokes.

John explains the three methods of playing a long pass roll as follows:

1. With only a short backswing (or else none at all, starting the forward swing from a stationary position a foot or less behind the ball), use a flat, rapidly accelerating "short-arm jab" through the top half of the striker's ball with the mallet handle more or less vertical.

2. Tilt the mallet handle sharply forward (at 45 degrees or more from vertical) and use a fairly flat swing through the ball. Again you need to accelerate the mallet head through the ball, but much of the desired forward momentum of the striker's ball is achieved by "squeezing" the ball between the ground and the sloping mallet face. This method works best when the ground is hard (as it almost always is here), and does not work on a soft, spongy or sandy surface.

3. Play what is referred to as a "clonk" roll (because you just go "clonk!"). This involves playing the pass roll as you would a jump shot through a hoop, hitting down sharply on the striker's ball with the mallet handle sloping well forward; except that you may want to have one hand closer to the mallet head than you would when jumping through a hoop. The striker's ball actually does jump, though not as much as if the croqueted ball were removed, and this helps it to get past (or over) the croqueted ball. This method seems to require an angle of 20 degrees or more between the directions of the two balls, as in the shot I have described above.

John Riche's images and comments under 'Contact Times'


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