The game of Gardoolet® is, as its exceedingly curious name suggests, a charming blend of GARDen, pOOL and croquET.
Strictly an outdoors affair designed for grassy areas, players swing a mallet croquet-style with the objective of hooping their four coloured balls through ‘pockets’ reminiscent of those on a pool table. The winner is the first to hoop the black ball after hooping all their coloured balls.
More compact and fast-paced than croquet, a game of Gardoolet® takes approximately 10 minutes – just enough to leave players hankering for a second round. Much like pool, you can play singles or doubles, making it a particularly sociable sport friends and family will adore playing over a glass or two of their favourite tipple.
Crafted in the inventor’s hometown in North Norfolk’s beautiful coastal village of Bacton and assembled in the nearby village of Northrepps, Gardoolet® is produced as locally as possible and is designed to stand the test of time. Made from the finest woods, this heirloom game comprises two specially designed patent pending mallets, manufactured from a combination of heavy and hardwearing hickory and ash, and six hand-shaped spruce side rails, coated with premium Danish oil. Along with perfectly weighted balls, hoops and an official rulebook, the entire set comes neatly packaged in a branded forest green bag with handles, making it transportable, easy to store and sure to be handed down from generation to generation.
HOW TO PLAY
To lay out your game you need to select a suitable site on a lawn or grassed area. While well-manicured, short grass is ideal, the game can be played on any level grassed area 4x2m or larger.
First, lay out the side rails in the form of a table. Angle the corners to form a corner pocket, which will allow a ball to pass through. Next, insert the hoops through the holes at the end of the side rails on both sides and at the ends. Push the hoops firmly into the lawn to anchor the rails, but not so low as to prevent a ball passing through. Finally, position the balls so that your Gardoolet® set resembles the picture. Your assembled Gardoolet® set should look like this:
HOW TO SETUP YOUR GARDOOLET SET
RULES OF GARDOOLET®
With each round of Gardoolet® taking approximately 10 minutes to play, the object of the game is for each player to hoop their four coloured balls and then the black ball. The first player to do so is the winner.
- Players select their own cue ball, pink or white, and decide which player will play first.
- The first player strikes their cue ball towards the coloured balls. The first colour hit, red or yellow, becomes their colour for the remainder of the game.
- The first player, assuming a colour was hit, picks up their cue ball and re-positions it anywhere near to the first coloured ball hit, but in such a way that when the cue ball is struck the colour is sent through a hoop.
- If the coloured ball goes through a hoop the player continues with their turn by aiming for another of their coloured balls. If the coloured ball does not go through a hoop, the turn passes to the second player.
- The second player places their cue ball to start from the same place as the first player. They strike their cue ball so as to hit any ball of the colour not previously hit. If one is hit the player picks up their cue ball and re-positions it near the ball hit so that when it is struck the coloured ball goes through a hoop. If successful, the second player continues with their turn.
- Once all a player’s coloured balls have been hooped, then the player aims at the black ball. If it is hit the player picks up their cue ball, as before, placing it so when it is struck the black is sent through a hoop. The first player to hoop all their coloured balls and the black ball is the winner.
NOTES ON PLAY
- At the start, if a player fails to hit any coloured ball with their cue ball then the turn immediately passes to the other player. The cue ball is not re-positioned and will be struck from the position in which it lies at the start of the player’s next turn.
- If a player’s cue ball hits the other player’s cue ball, coloured ball or black ball before hitting their own colour, then the turn passes to the other player.
- If a player hits the other player’s cue ball with their mallet, either before or after hitting their own cue ball, then the turn passes to the other player. This player has the choice of leaving their cue ball where it now lies or replacing it where it was.
- If, while attempting to hit a colour ball, a player’s cue ball hits the black ball, the turn passes to the other player.
- If a player hoops their own cue ball without hitting one of their own coloured balls, the turn passes to the other player. When the turn returns to the player who hooped their own cue ball, the cue ball must be placed back on the court in the starting position.
- If a player hoops their own cue ball after it has made contact with one of their coloured balls or the black ball and if all the coloured balls have been hooped, then play continues normally by retrieving the cue ball and re-positioning it in order to hit the coloured ball previously hit or the black ball. However, if after re-positioning their cue ball and striking it, the cue ball goes through a hoop, the turn passes to the other player.
- If a player hoops their cue ball and one of their coloured balls in the same shot, the turn passes to the other player, but the coloured ball remains hooped. On their next turn, the player restarts with their cue ball placed in its initial position, as for the start of the game, but may strike it in any direction.
- If a player hoops the other player’s coloured ball, then the ball remains hooped and the turn passes to the other player.
- If a player hoops the other player’s cue ball, then the turn passes to the other player who retrieves their cue ball and places it on the court as per its original starting position. It does not have to be placed centrally and may be struck in any direction.
- If a player hoops one of their coloured balls and the cue ball rolls on and hits another of their coloured balls, the player has the option of either picking up their cue ball and re-positioning it so as to hit that colour or to carry on.
- A player is allowed to hit their ball to a better position on the court, but since no colour has been hit the turn passes to the other player.
- An attempt to hit the black ball directly with the cue ball may only be made once all a player’s coloured balls have been hooped.
- If a player hoops the black by mistake, he or she loses the game.
- Players are expected to hit their cue ball with a swing of the mallet. If their cue ball is in a corner, the mallet can be twisted to strike the cue ball. If it is close to the side rail, use the angled face of the mallet to strike the cue ball. The mallets have differently angled heads and can be swapped to use the appropriate angle.
- Making a sweeping move (push-shot) with the mallet is not allowed unless it has been agreed by the players before the game starts.