If you are looking to take on a new hobby and have been thinking or hearing about the game of croquet, then why not familiarise yourself with everything you need to know about this game to get you started and to find out if this can turn into a new hobby for you or simply a fun activity to engage in with friends or family.
Where Did Croquet Originate From?
The earliest records of where croquet originated date back to France in the 13th century, where a less civilised version was played by peasants using makeshift mallets to hit wooden balls through the hoops made from branches. Through the decades, the game evolved and found its modern traces in England, and by 1870, the game of croquet had become widely recognised in almost all British colonies.
The first modern manufacturer of the croquet game or set was known to be John Jacques, who began to manufacture and sell croquet sets in London and throughout England and through croquet reaching the shelves or sporting shops and homes across the country, it quickly became widely enjoyed leisure activity amongst the middle to upper-class societies. The game travelled across the seas into North America, and by the 1970s, croquet was recognised as a competitive sport with a surge in popularity throughout the world.
Variations Of Croquet
As the game has evolved through the centuries, variations of croquet have emerged. Here is a list of the different versions of croquet:
- Association Croquet
- Golf Croquet
- Garden Croquet
- American Six Wicket
- Nine Wicket
- One Ball
Each of the variations above will have slightly different rules and setups, but ultimately the objectives remain. But for the sake of sticking to the beginner’s guide to croquet, we will stick to the overall concept of croquet and how to play the game.
How To Play
The game of croquet is categorised as a tactical game where the objective is for players to strategically maneuver their balls, using mallets, to position the balls through the croquet hoops and earn points as you go. A tactic to apply is to ensure you restrict your opponent’s ability to do the same and limit the number of points they earn.
Croquet is usually played on a lawn or a completely flat and grassy surface. With six cast-iron hoops placed and pegged into the ground and four balls that have to be coloured blue, red, black, and yellow in a specific order, a simple coin toss will determine which team or player kicks off the game first. Whoever starts off the game will always start with the blue ball as there is a specific playing order with the coloured balls. The person whose turn it is will be referred to as the striker.
One important rule is that no player or team is allowed to “pass” on a turn, and each turn is only allowed one strike. Although, there are ways of earning extra turns, such as striking any one of the other three balls or getting your ball through one of the hoops. These moves will earn you some extra shots and will ultimately give you a boost in the game.
Using your mallet, you are only allowed to strike your ball with the face of the mallet, and touching the ball with any other part of the mallet means you forfeit that turn and score no points, regardless of the result of the turn.
Each ball needs to run the course, making sure that each ball goes through every single hoop twice, and once each of the balls has run that course; the final goal is to then hit the centre peg. The first team or player to get through the entire course, according to the rules, will win the game.
Time To Get You Started
When learning anything new, it is always best to do your research beforehand. If you are interested in learning the game of croquet or adding a new hobby or activity to your life, then why not find out from people in your neighborhood or community or even friends if they know of anywhere you can play croquet, if there are any clubs you can join or if someone else is interested in joining you too.
Alternatively, you may want to look into adding this game to your home collection of yard or lawn games to enjoy with family or friends. In that case, why not look into buying yourself your very own croquet set. There are so many different styles and sets to choose from, whether you are a group of adults playing or perhaps you want to find something fun for the children to play.
Remember to do your research and look into the variations of croquet and the various rules attached to those versions, as you might find you prefer one over the other.