Air Deck Croquet

Teams need to make a single donation of $5 (or more if you wish) at the NAMI table to enter the Olympiad contest.

Teams will face off in a single-elimination tournament. A bracket will be created at the beginning of the event, so please be on time, as no participants can be added once the first ball is struck. The winners of the game move forward in the bracket, while the losers join the spectators. The bracket will produce a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winning team. There will also be a design portion of the competition, with the judges deciding 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place on the aesthetics of your mallets. Points are per team, not individual.



Any team of 2 people are welcome to participate in the competition, whether associated with an airship or not. However, registered Airships are only permitted to field one team. Additionally, if you are not part of an airship, one of the competing airships may try and convince you to join afterwards, and therefore earn your points. This year only one set of points will be available per competition. If the winners are not part of an airship or not convinced to join one, the points go un-awarded to any airship. Airships will have until 3:30pm on Sunday at the convention to claim an unaffiliated winner. The winner must announce his decision to join an airship, in person, to the Games’ MC (Peter B. Slayer) before that time. It is important to note that any Airship may recruit an unaffiliated team, and substitute them for their own. An airship may not take more than one place in the standings (ie: winning 1st and 3rd place is not permitted).

Equipment Needed:

  • Teams must bring at least one modified mallet. If only one mallet is brought, the players on the team will switch off for use. Please see design rules below. Teams that do not bring at least one mallet may be ineligible to play.
  • Colored cannonballs will be used in play and provided by the Symposium. Note that these are lighter than normal croquet balls. Balls should be hit with similar force to miniature golf. The goal is to make it roll, not make it airborne!

Croquet Rules:

  • Each team has two players. The first player is the navigator and works on advancing the team’s ball through the course. The second player is the gunner, and works to interfere with the other team’s navigator.
  • Each round of the game is divided into four turns. The winner of a coin toss gets to go first.
  • Using the mallet, the first team’s Navigator player knocks his/her ball towards the hoops, aiming to put the ball through the hoops, in order from 1 to 6.
  • Next the second team’s Navigator takes a hit, knocking his/her own ball through the hoops, in order.
  • The third turn belongs to the first team’s Gunner. The Gunner will take his/her cannonball and aim for the second Navigator’s ball and attempt to knock it off course and away from the hoops. This is similar to pool, where one ball is used to strike another away from the pocket.
  • Finally, the second team’s Gunner will use his/her Cannonball to try and knock the first Navigator’s ball off course.
  • Balls that are knocked off the playing field, goes overboard, will be brought back to the field at the starting point.
  • If a Navigator’s ball hits the other Navigator’s ball, causing it to move and lose position, it will be returned to its original position. As before, Judges will decide any placement disagreements. Only Gunners may legally strike a Navigator’s ball and change its position.
  • If one Gunner’s cannonball hits the other Gunner’s cannonball, both Cannonballs will remain where they land.
  • If a Gunner’s cannonball hits her own Navigator’s ball, both balls will remain where they land.
  • Please do not hit the balls with overly great force. Launching a ball into the air will result in disqualification from the game. This is for the safety of the spectators and other participants.
  • Rounds will repeat until one of the Navigators’ balls completes the course of six hoops in order.
  • Due to time restraints, games will be restricted to a total of 8 rounds.
  • If no navigator has completed the course in 8 rounds, the Navigator whose ball has completed the most hoops (in order) wins. If there is a tie between the Navigators, then the Navigator whose ball is closest to the next hoop is the winner. Once again, the judges will make the final ruling in the event of disagreement.
  • Winners of the semifinals will advance to the final. Losers of the semifinal will play one more time to determine 3rd place winner.


Victory Points for Croquet:

1st Place – 30 Points

2nd Place – 20 Points

3rd Place – 10 Points

Mallet Design Rules:

  • Your mallet must be no larger than 32 inches high. We recommend the mallets found at this link (
  • Any aesthetic modification that does not impact safety is permissible.
  • Mallets may not have sand or any other weight modification added to the head of the mallet to make it heavier (like a golf club). Extra weight added to the head to provide advantage could result in unsafe hitting of the ball (causing it to launch into the air, etc.).
  • Modifications that impact performance are not permitted, such as spring loaded ball launching mechanisms, etc. These could impact the safety of spectators and other participants and as such, are not allowed.
  • Mallets must be used in the competition to be submitted for judging in the mallet design competition.


Victory Points for Mallet Design:

1st Place – 30 Points

2nd Place – 20 Points

3rd Place – 10 Points

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