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Picture of Crazy Croquet!


Croquet is my favorite backyard sport. It's like playing golf, but I don't have to wear those stupid pants. And it always makes me think of Alice in Wonderland. Off with her head!

***UPDATE 5/3/10:  Hey, if you make your own Crazy Croquet course and post some pictures in the comments section, I'll give you a patch!***

 
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Step 1: Gather the materials

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Crazy Croquet requires these elements:
Time
A backyard
Your friends
1 or 2 croquet sets (2 sets means extra wickets, balls, posts, mallets, up to 12 players)
Random scraps of things (pipes, bricks, boards, plywood, cinder blocks, large rocks)
Creativity

Not necessary, but highly recommended:
Beer
Barbecued hot dogs/hamburgers

Step 2: Build!

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This is half the fun! Get creative, you'll need ramps, maybe an old dryer hose, blocks of wood to shunt the balls down a new path, whatever you can think of, do it! If it doesn't work out during play, simply rearrange the course and try again.

Beer can be very useful at this point.

You don't need to follow the standard figure eight setup of croquet, add all sorts of loops, twists and turns. Make the course double back on itself, or put a wicket underneath a ramp that the balls went over earlier.

Step 3: Play!

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The rules are whatever you want them to be. We usually stick to the basics, so for those of you who haven't experienced the joys of this sissy French sport, here are the basic rules:

-You start just in front of the finishing stake
-Hit your ball through the wickets in a predetermined course
-Each time you go through a wicket you get another shot
-Go through to the other end of the course, where you must strike the turning stake with your ball
-Turn around and go back to the finishing stake, through a different set of wickets
-The first person to hit the finishing stake with their ball after passing through all of the wickets in the correct order, wins
-If your ball strikes another player's ball you may either take an extra shot, or place your ball next to theirs, brace your own ball with your foot, and "send" their ball as far away as possible by hitting your own ball with your mallet

That's all. The rules are so easy, you'll even be able to remember them after drinking beer and setting up a Crazy Croquet course all day.

Some extra rules we sometimes throw in:
-Special stakes/rocks/toys that, when struck, give you an extra shot
-Special stakes/rocks/toys that, when struck, end your turn and make you lose the next one
-"Poison," which is one player who's goal is not to reach the final post, but rather to seek you out and send your ball away if you get to close to the goal

Step 4: Example course part one: The Plateau

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Since every Crazy Croquet course will be different, I can't tell you exactly how it will be, but here is an example of one of my favorite setups:

Obstacle one:

The Plateau

This is a very basic obstacle, simply a sheet of 1/4" plywood on top of some bricks, with ramps leading up to it from each side. There is also a broken cinder block in the middle that we used as an extra wicket. We ended up making a wall around it with more bricks, since the plywood was warped and the yard was uneven and the balls kept falling off. This obstacle was the first out of the gate, and therefore also the last. It was MUCH easier going over the first time.

Step 5: Example course part 2: Double Ramp

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After coming out of the Plateau, hang a sharp left, and head for the Double Ramp.

This obstacle is situated on a small rise in the ground, so that you go up over the first ramp and through a wicket at the top, then turn around and head back down through the lower ramp. This obstacle looks easy, but me and several others kept getting stuck at the bottom, or misjudging our shots and missing the wicket at the top. Once you've made it through this obstacle, you'll be pointed straight for my favorite one.

Step 6: Example course part 3: Super Ramp

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Oh, I liked this one. It's pretty simple to navigate, but I spent a long time building it. I made a couple of ramps from some sheet metal (one of the side panels of an old dryer), painted them up, and used some clothes hangers to make extra wickets, which I fastened at the top of each of the ramps.

We set them up, one after another for an extra tall ramp. At the top, if you've smacked your ball hard enough and made it through both of the wickets, you get spit through another cinder block and into a dryer hose and rolled down to the base of the next obstacle.

We also put another wicket underneath the taller ramp so that you have to pass underneath this obstacle on your way to the finishing stake.

Step 7: Example course part 4: Turning Stake Turnaround

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Here's the mid-point of the course. The dryer hose spits you out right at the base of a lower ramp that leads up to a series of three wickets. The object was to go through the one on the left, back out the middle one, and then through the one on the right, hit the turning post, and go out the last wicket in series. It's pretty straightforward, but you really had to watch out of the sinkhole/compost pit just on the other side of the post.

Step 8: Example course part 5: Stone Hemicircle

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This was a pile of paving stones we found and made into a half circle. It was a pretty easy part of the game, usually doable in one turn as you get an extra shot from each of the three wickets in the obstacle. If you were really good (or more likely, really lucky), you could bounce your ball against the rocks just so that it would go through all three wickets and out the other side in one hit, leaving you with an extra three shots!

After passing this obstacle, it's a quick jaunt through the wicket und the Super Ramp, around a couple of randomly placed bricks in the yard, back up over the Plateau, and to the finishing stake for the win!

Step 9: El FIn

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That's the game, I hope you enjoyed it! If you like this instructable enough to try it yourself, please send me pictures of your Crazy Croquet courses, I'd like to see what you come up with!  Remember, anyone who posts pictures of their own crazy croquet course gets a DIY patch!
ilpug4 years ago
Very awesome! i have to try this... except maybe make it bigger and use golf clubs or something.
ccronkhite ilpug2 months ago

I believe that would be called Put-Put :)

depotdevoid (author)  ilpug4 years ago
I'd love to see the results, if you feel like posting some pics! We just set up our first course of the year yesterday, it's croquet season again!
in the soon-to-come bored days of my summer vacation, i will definitely try something!
james45 years ago
feet looool
depotdevoid (author)  james45 years ago
looool indeed.
Flumpkins6 years ago
Oh... I thought you said Crochet... lol
seamster6 years ago
I was just explaining this great idea I had for "extreme croquet" to my wife last night, you know, thinking I was all clever... And dammit, I come to find out it's already been done! You are the man. I'll be working on my own course soon. I really want to have an upside-down loop, so we'll see how that goes. Rock on.
depotdevoid (author)  seamster6 years ago
Oh, that would be awesome! If you do make a loop-the-loop, you've got to post a picture!
ya what depotdevoid said
Kiwieatyou6 years ago
lol. this looks so cool. 5/5 rating for you!
depotdevoid (author)  Kiwieatyou6 years ago
Thanks Kiwi!
PhahQ6 years ago
I once wore out three or four croquet sets in one summer playing this style of the game. Sand boxes/pits/traps make an interesting terrain.
depotdevoid (author)  PhahQ6 years ago
I've never tried sand pits, I'll have to do that. One time, I used a kiddie pool and a ramp, where you had to shoot the ball up the ramp and over the pool. Since the balls float, it wasn't too hard to get them out if you missed, but it certainly took a couple of extra shots, and made a big splash!
This is funny. I wish I had a backyard. Well, that I didn't share with everyone else. (:
depotdevoid (author)  Aleksandr Skotbot6 years ago
No, that's perfect! Just get "everyone else" involved! The more the merrier!
haha, okay I'll talk my apartment manager into it ;D
hugepockets6 years ago
This reminds me of.... MOUSE TRAP!! Mouse Trap croquet... genius.
depotdevoid (author)  hugepockets6 years ago
Next time I set up one of these courses, it's definitely going to have some moving parts...
lupinesoul7 years ago
You should try the Crazy Croquet from the MacHall webcomic.
Crazy Croquet Purple Monkey Dishwasher
O_o
depotdevoid (author)  lupinesoul6 years ago
I don't trust that Roscodio guy. He's weird.
pokiespout6 years ago
This game needs to involve catapults.
depotdevoid (author)  pokiespout6 years ago
Oh, some day, some glorious, glorious day . . . you know, my friend Loren is a science teacher, and he tells me that he has each of his physics classes build working trebuchets, so maybe I could get him involved.
....yup....though of that a long time ago.....it was fun
Fast Eddie7 years ago
Hilarious! We used to play this when I was a teenager. We called it "Ultimate Croquet" At one point the course became 100's of yards long (Around the house, under the car, Ramp jump over the sewer, down the sidewalk, navigate the jungle gym, through the sandbox, etc...) LOL! :) +1
Redgerr7 years ago
lol thats prety sweet-- i havent played crowuet too much :O cool course though :D
1up7 years ago
Awesome! This is great! A great way to reuse old junk. It's a lot like minigolf. :D +5/5 rating and I would vote for it, but I don't see the vote button... :/
depotdevoid (author)  1up7 years ago
Thanks, I'm glad you like it! Voting isn't open on this contest yet, but please vote for me when it is.
1up depotdevoid7 years ago
Cool. I'll make sure I will. :)