Croquet Ball Specifications
Croquet balls come in many sizes and colors, each with a specific purpose.
When selecting croquet balls, you need to make sure they are matched to the mallets that will be striking them. A mismatched mallet and ball combination can cause premature wear to one or the other.
Recreational sets are typically 4 or 6 player versions. The first four colors are always blue, red, black and yellow with green & orange completing a 6 player set. The competitive 6 wicket games regulate games to 4 balls (always). Two separate games may be played at the same time on one court, requiring 8 different balls. These additional 4 balls may be either striped (favored in USCA games) or 2nd colors (green, pink, brown & white - favored in International games).
The Croquet Store offers a variety of balls for both recreational and competitive players. Weights range from 10 oz recreational balls to 'Association approved' tournament balls. Between these are a number of balls that are regulation size and/or weight. A ball may be regulation size and weight but unless it has been approved by the Croquet Association, it is not a ball that can be included in a sanctioned tournament.
To learn what characteristics a ball must meet to be approved, scroll down further
For players with Forster sets, we have replacement balls. Many of their sets use a ball identical to our 3-5/16" diameter Newport ball. For players that had a 3-5/8" smooth surfaced compressed wood ball, our new Sport balls will provide significantly improved performance and durability.
What ever your croquet ball needs are, chances are we have what you are looking for. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us by e-mail or phone. See our contact page for details.
To browse all available balls, [CLICK HERE]
How an Approved Tournament Ball Makes the Grade
Croquet balls must be approved by the equipment testing committee of the Croquet Association (CA), based in England, to be used in sanctioned tournaments. Every national croquet association has deferred to the results of the CA's testing. The approval must be renewed every three years. The testing covers 4 characteristics, critical to consistent play. These are outlined below.
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 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).
Ageing of Balls
The Equipment Committee is not aware of any definitive assessment of the effects of ageing and use on the rebound characteristics of Championship Approved 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. To facilitate such performance monitoring, Equipment Committee would welcome the assistance of one-court clubs which are intending to purchase one or two (e.g. 1st and 2nd colours) sets of Championship Approved balls. Finance would be made available to cover costs and to provide some recognition for the effort involved.
With the kind co-operation of John Beech, several sets of four year old Barlow GT balls from the Pendle club have been rebound tested. Most of the balls bounced higher than in the Championship Approval tests and several bounced higher than the upper limit for Approval. A few balls bounced below the Championship range. Since the bounce tests had not been performed on the balls when new, there can be no certainty that the bounce had changed through age or use. However, after rejecting the soft balls, sets of good quality (though not of Championship standard) could easily be constructed by selecting matching balls from the remainder. All the balls had retained satisfactory appearance, but occasional off-vertical bounces were noted which could be traced to relatively minor blemishes on the ball surface.