When you’ve got a lot of people, and especially when a number of them are relatively new to croquet, sometimes it’s just not practical to be teaching lots of rules and so on, so that’s where Pirates can come in very useful!
The idea is that you all take turns to have a single shot, and try to run hoops wherever possible, in any order you wish. Each hoop counts as a point, and you’re trying to get as many points as possible. However, if somebody hits your ball with theirs, they get to steal all of your points.
As you can imagine, this can turn into quite a competitive game, and is very easy to pick up. It’s also not too bad at levelling the playing field between the new and the more experienced players.
- Decide the order of play however you wish – a common method is to go in “Birthday Order”, starting with whoever’s Birthday is coming up next.
- Players each select their own ball, which is theirs throughout the game
- Balls start from the one yard line (the length of one mallet in from anywhere on the lawn’s boundary)
- The aim is to get your ball through any hoop, in any direction, to score a point
- Once you have gone through a hoop one way, you must move on to a different hoop to score your next point
- If you hit an opponent’s ball, you take all of their accrued points, and their score returns to zero
- Each time you get to 10 points, those points are then banked. So if you’re on 8 points, and you hit an opponent who has 4 points, then instead of being on 12 then you would be on 2 with 10 in the bank. If you get hit after that, you’ll only give up the 2 points, the 10 remains safe.
- If somebody hits your ball, you can hit them straight away to steal all the points back!
- You can either decide on a time limit at the beginning of the game (whereupon the player with the highest score wins), or a target score, eg 21