Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quadruple Peels

It's no nontuple peel, but I managed to complete my first two quadruple peels last weekend at the Selection Eights tournament. I know this will be just noise to many of you readers, but for those who are curious, here was an explanation I gave to the editor of Croquet World Online Magazine.

The quadruple peel is a single turn during which, the striker ball completes all of his remaining hoops while sending his partner ball (peeling it) through its final four wickets. For the play to count, the striker must peg out both balls. The term "quadruple peel" refers to the number of hoops the non-striker ball scores.

(1) WHY AND HOW these qp's come about
These qps come about after a mistake. I have heard that Reg used to only run to 3-back to avoid tpos, but I have never seen anyone do that. One of mine came from a stuffed hoop, the other from a missed roquet. One went smoothly, the other was a trial.

The first qp of my career came against Doug Grimsley as a result of me stuffing 2-back. You may say, "this is exactly a quintuple!" but Doug rushed me through 2-back as a means for making hoop one. He went on to stuff hoop 3. I sent a ball to hoop 2, left a ball near hoop 3, and rushed partner from 3 all the way to hoop 1. The rush wasn't the best, but it was only a yard north and 3 yards east of hoop 1. I took off and made the hoop with a nice rush to 3-back ( a nice bit of luck that I foresaw before the take off). I took peelee to about 4 yards south of 3-back straight on. This is the fun part. I peeled the ball through by about 30 feet, it went through with minimal resistance from the so-called "super hoops" and I ended up one yard east of my pioneer ball at hoop 2. That one stupendous death roll turned a play I had never completed in game into a standard tp attempt, which went swimmingly.

Against Jerry the next day, I missed a return roquet after 2-back (my soaking wet rental tie that I found on hoop 3 got in my way). Jerry under rolled position at hoop one and missed a 12 yard shot. I hit the 12 yard shot that he missed with a slightly hampered backswing and after getting the break going, I sent partner as the pioneer at hoop 4. This allowed for the 3-back peel after hoop 4 (which I jawsed). I almost got the remaining triple on track, but I couldn't peel it after hoop 6 (too much angle) at this point I thought it would be a good time to stop the peeling attempt, but I was tempted to try the late triple for reasons I describe below. I managed to get a decent chance at the straight double (peeling penultimate while I was for penultimate) but I jawsed the peel. I could try a conventional jump and hope to hit the ball that was near the peg, but I decided to keep the risks going. I did a drag jump peel, followed by a 6 yard roquet and a soft rover peel. I executed a conventional jump of the rover hoop, cannoned my partner away from the hoop from 15 feet and finished the quad. It was the scrappiest double peel that I have actually finished.

(2) Whether playing to achieve them was correct from a risk-versus-gain perspective or whether you were doing it as "practice" or for some other reason.

Against Doug, it was cold hard reason. There was a little risk in the first peel, but not much. The rest was a relatively easy triple, which has been a safe bet in my repertoire for the last year or so. Against Jerry, I wanted to attempt a delayed quad, partly for practice, partly out of respect for his ability to hit and triple in his own right (the best defense is a good offense), and I felt less stress because I had one (all be it, much easier) qp under my belt.

(3) Whether a qp might be the result of something that goes awry on the way to a sextuple.......and anything else that might enlighten?

It is possible that the qp is a result of a failed sxp, but it would have to have failed pretty early to still have enough time to control a quad. I imagine after failing a sxp, for whatever reason, one may be more apt to run to the peg and set a leave rather than risk another peeling turn, that would usually be quite late.
That being said, I have seen Robert try a late triple the turn after he failed a sextuple. Oddly enough, he failed the tp as well, and was defeated by James LeMoignan (2008 British Open, first round).

Essentially, the quad is essential in damage control, learning to complete a sextuple, and it helps as practice for late triples.
I'm glad to have completed them, but they were my penance for having failed to complete the previous break.

DP = Double Peel
TP = Triple Peel
TPO = Triple Peel of the Opponent (when the peeling player is victorious)
OTP = Triple Peel of the Opponent (when the peeled player is victorious)
QP = Quadruple Peel
QNP = Quintuple Peel
SXP = Sextuple Peel

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