Croquet Ball

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise accurately sending an object through a series of targets.

  • Intermediate (Ages 13-15)
  • Senior (Ages 16-18)

Facility

  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 9 pylons per group
  • 1 ball (e.g., tennis, soccer) per participant

Safety

Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides sufficient traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Ensure that activities take place a safe distance apart.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into small groups (e.g., two to six).
  • For each group, have participants set up a circuit of five “gates” (on a grass surface if possible), using two pylons to create four gates, and one pylon for the final gate. Participants choose how far apart gates are from one another and how wide each gate is.
  • Each participant chooses a ball.

Activity Instructions

  • One at a time, participants roll their ball through the first gate, attempting to make it to the final gate in the least number of turns.
  • On their turn, participants roll their ball from the spot where it had previously stopped. If a participant’s ball has been knocked by another ball, the participant rolls the ball from the new location.
  • Each participant continues in this manner until they have rolled their ball through each gate and their ball strikes the final pylon. Participants work to be the first of their group to make it through all of the gates, or groups may work together to have the fewest number of throws as a group.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: What happened when you applied a strong force or a light force when sending your ball toward the gate? When playing against other participants, how do you choose when to aim for the target or aim to hit the other participants’ balls out of the way? What strategy did you use to get ahead or to prevent the other participants from getting their ball through the gate?
Croquet Ball

Adaptations

To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Make the gates wider by increasing the space between the two pylons.
  • Work in pairs or as a group to successfully complete the course.
  • Change the object they choose to throw (e.g., larger rolling object).

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Make the gates narrower by decreasing the space between the two pylons.
  • Use their non-dominant hand to roll the object underhand.
  • Send the object in different ways (e.g., overhand throw, kick).
  • Use an implement (e.g., hockey stick, croquet mallet, pool noodle) to send the object to the target.

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for sending an object through a series of targets. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Manipulation skills and effort awareness – applying controlled force to send an object toward the target (e.g., using different amounts of force, depending on the distance from the target)

Movement Strategies

  • Applying appropriate skills to be proficient when avoiding obstacles (e.g., choosing to manipulate the ball with spins and turns in order to avoid obstacles)
  • Learning to make decisions about the next play when playing against an opponent (e.g., hitting opponents’ balls out of the way to make the activity more challenging for them)

Living Skills

Interpersonal Skills

  • Showing respect for opponents even when hitting their ball away to achieve an advantage
  • Applying conflict resolution skills if needed during the game

Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

  • Analyzing and evaluating the plays throughout the game
  • Interpreting information throughout the game to apply problem solving skills (e.g., deciding ball placement in relation to gates)