We received an email from DF & LBR Deano B. up in Oregon a couple of days ago. This past weekend, he and Lora played a version of extreme croquet with a group of friends. They finished first and Deano said it might have had something to do with their exposure to our mildly extreme croquet set up there at Second Chance Ranch. The rules of the game they played sound positively wicked. Here they are:
RULES: FULL CONTACT JUNGLE CROQUETTE
Marquis of Queensbury Rules
This is NOT your parents’ croquette game, though the process of passing through the hoops in succession and touching both the far and home posts is the same.
Two persons, a runner and a hunter comprise a team. The runner moves his/her ball through the numbered hoops in sequence and strikes the first post on the opposite end of the field. It is the hunter’s job to protect his/her runner while inflicting the maximum amount of havoc on the opponents’ balls*. Upon striking the far post, the runner and hunter change roles. This is called, in polite circles, dimorphism. The new runner must return, through the hoops, to the first post.
The hunter seeks out the balls of runners of the opposing team or those of unrepentant rogues (see 4 below). The hunter tries to “whack” the other balls after first touching (hitting) them. To execute a “whack”, place the hunter ball next to the touched ball, foot on the hunter ball and smack the hunter ball, sending the touched ball into orbit. The hunter, flush with victory, gets another free turn.
Upon reaching the first post, the runner, fed up with being whacked, becomes a hunter. Revenge is sweet. The hunter of the same team suffers a twinge of conscience at inflicting wanton destruction and havoc and becomes a runner.
The unrepentant rogue is a person who starts the game attached to no team. He/she lives only to “whack” any ball within range. When a runner of any team hits the first post, the unrepentant rogue sees the error of his/her antisocial behavior and becomes a devout pacifist. The devout pacifist becomes a runner who starts at the far post and tries to make it back to the home post. The devout pacifist becomes dependent on the good will of the hunters not to smack him/her into oblivion.
If there are a large number of players, two simultaneous games can be run together. Teams playing different games begin at opposite posts. When the teams meet somewhere in the middle of the course, a Cry Havoc! occurs. This is generally a free-for all where runners can attack members of the opposing-game teams. Rogues, having no scruples whatever, attack everyone.
The first runner or devout pacifist to move back to the home post and tap it is the winner! It might be noted that during the long and illustrious existence of the game, there have been very few survivors.