The following is an updated version of the recommendations by Lawrence Whitaker that first appeared in the Croquet Gazette #342, February 2013. It includes changes to help players with a Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD, or "colour blind").
In AC, clips are vital to the game and a player must be able to see, from the far end of the lawn, which clip is on a hoop. Unfortunately many clips - even new ones - are too darkly coloured. This makes them difficult to distinguish especially in high-contrast lighting (e.g. overhead sun), even for normally-sighted players. In addition, we now realise that players with CVD have trouble distinguishing Red, Green and Brown clips. Clips also often need repainting due to chipping, rust or to re-use a clip to replace one of a different colour. So the following recommendations aim to help both normally-sighted and CVD-affected players with clear, distinct AC clips.
Below we set out preferred colours for repainting AC clips and the appropriate enamel colours. All but one is specified in terms of Humbrol colours. Humbrol paints are intended mainly for model makers and are sold in very small tins (14ml), currently £1.70 per tin. One had to be specified in a larger 250ml Johnstone's tin, around £4. These are much more cost effective than the larger tins normally sold for domestic paints. A small Humbrol tin is sufficient to repaint many clips (at least a dozen). They are available directly from http://www.humbrol.com/uk-en/shop/paints/enamel-paints.html or from local stockists (also listed on the Humbrol website - though beware some now only stock their water-based range rather than the oil-based enamels). Johnstone's paints are widely available from hardware stores - http://www.johnstonespaint.com/ - this also lists local stockists.
In some cases we recommend lightening the paint with some white - a good test is to check the paint against the Dawson ball - if the paint is darker than the ball, lighten it.
|Clip||Humbrol paint colour|
|Blue||Humbrol #14 - French Blue|
Should be lightened by adding a little white. See sample blue clips
|Red||Johnstone's Signal Red|
|Black||Any domestic black gloss is fine|
|Yellow||Humbrol#69 - Yellow|
|Green||Humbrol#2 - Green|
There is no suitable green in the Humbrol range - lighten Green #2 with 15-20% of white gloss. See sample green clip.
|Pink||Humbrol#200 - Pink|
|Brown||Humbrol#9 - Tan|
|White||any brilliant white gloss is fine|
It will help all croquet players, including those affected by CVD (about 1 in 12), to use the colours defined above, and avoid the deeper colours that have all too often been used on AC clips. The most frequent problem for CVD sufferers is distinguishing brown, green and red clips. Accordingly, clubs are asked to add distinguishing marks in white gloss (or white PVC tape) to two of the 3 problem colours:
Green Clips - add a white solid circular dot, about 10mm diameter, to the flag of the clip on both sides:
Brown Clips - add a white diagonal line, about 7mm broad, from top left to bottom right of the flag:
It is likely that even with these changes some players with CVD will find a particular colour or colours hard to distinguish - they are encouraged to carry their own distinctive clip for these cases.