Did you know there is a United States Croquet Association complete with clubs and tournaments? It’s also a fun game for all ages to play in the backyard or at a park. A great time to play is in the evenings after supper but before the sun goes down while it’s cooler, but still light.
First up, find a croquet set complete with mallets, balls, and metal hoops (called wickets). You might find one in a grandparent’s dusty garage, at a yard sale, or on Craig’s List. Otherwise you can get a set at sporting goods stores or even Walmart. (Some are cheaper than others since some come with fabric carrying cases while others have what looks like a wooden display rack.) My advice is to start cheap and invest later if your family continues to play.
Second, find an open space and set up the playing course. Two stakes (one at each end) and nine wickets (hoops) are pushed into the ground in a simple pattern. If your equipment doesn’t have a setup and rules page, do a quick search online.
Third, pick your color and mallet and flip a coin to see who goes first. The basic version of the game is to hit your ball through the wickets in order starting from the first stake, down to hit the second stake, and eventually back to the starting stake, earning one point for each wicket passed through in order, but this is a version that not everyone likes to play, some prefer to play with thor slots games instead. Each player takes turns with one stroke each, unless they’ve earned bonus strokes by passing through the first two wickets with one stroke or have “roqueted” or hit another player’s ball. Of course there are variations on the game and it can be played with or without teams.
All in all, croquet is a great way to get outside with the family. And if you liked this game, why not try other lawn games like badminton or horseshoes?
(For more ideas to get the family together and create new memories, stop by on Fridays for the rest of the summer!)
What about you? Have you ever played croquet? Or do you prefer other types of lawn games?