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Choosing Croquet Balls

To purchase croquet balls, please visit the CA online Shop.

There are a wide range of croquet balls available, and we hope this guide will be of some assistance, but please do not hesitate to contact the CA Office for expert advice if you would like to discuss the options further.

Regulations

A regulation croquet ball must be 35/8" diameter, and weigh 16 ounces, within specified tolerances. There are also regulations specifying the bounce height of the balls, and how much these parameters may differ within a set.

Construction

Almost all croquet balls made today (including all tournament quality balls) are of a solid plastic construction. These are far more durable than the old wooden balls. The balls differ in the type of plastic used, which affects weight, bounce and durability. There is only one type of ball sold in the UK which is wooden as far as we know, and these are the Townsend Longworth balls.

All balls sold on this site (with the exception of some balls in children's sets) are of approximate regulation size, and have a 'milling' pattern on them. This is a pattern of grooves on the surface of the ball which affects how well they grip each other on impact.

Balls Listed as CA Approved

Balls listed as tournament approved have been tested by the Croquet Association, and meet the regulations for balls. If you want to buy balls for a serious croquet player, who plays at a club or in tournaments, you will probably need to buy CA approved balls. Refer to Ball Specification and Approvals for full details.

Balls Listed as Regulation Weight and Size

Balls listed as regulation weight and size will be approximately 16 oz and 3 5/8" diameter, but may fall outside of the strict tolerances allowed for tournament approved balls. This is unlikely to affect most garden players, but of more significance is that the bounce characteristics may also differ from tournament balls. This will mean that they may have a different 'feel' to them (e.g. it may be harder or easier to play a roll shot or stop shot than with tournament quality balls). This will be significant to serious croquet players, but is not likely to make a big difference to players who do not play at a club or in tournaments.

Please note that balls in this category will not be as durable as tournament quality balls. If you want to buy balls for frequent use (e.g. club use) then we strongly recommend you opt for tournament quality balls.

Lighter Weight Balls

Most garden sets have balls of 12 ounces or sometimes even less provided with them. 12oz balls may be a better choice than full weight balls when young children are likely to be using them, as they will find them easier to play with. They are also to be preferred if your croquet set has light-weight mallets (of weight less than around 21/2lbs). Buying heavier balls when you have light mallets will lead to a mismatch which both makes it harder to play well (as you can't hit the balls very far), and may damage the mallets. 12oz balls are heavy enough to satisfy most occasional garden players.

 

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