Croquet is a game played on lawns using mallets, balls and hoops (but see below for indoor croquet).
The task is for a player to knock two balls through a sequence of hoops before the opponent can do so. This requires:
* The physical skill of a golf player, and
* The mental prowess of a chess player.
The ball colours are Black and Blue (for one side) and Red and Yellow (for the other). There are also balls of alternative colours which permit two games to be played on a lawn at the same time.
In the doubles form of the game, two players combine as a pair, and each plays one of the two balls of their side.
Popular views of the game are:
1. That it is vicious, and
2. That it is played only by the elderly.
Neither is true. It IS a game of strategy as players try to prevent opponent balls from getting ahead while advancing the balls of their own side. It is also a game played by people from school age to late retirement as it is not a contact sport, yet poses both physical and mental challenges.
Croquet has been played for about 150 years. It is still played in close to its original form in what is known as ‘garden croquet’.
The modern form of the game has been played for the last 100 years. As the skill of players has increased over time, the Rules have also changed to ensure that the game continues to pose a challenge for players at the highest level.
Christchurch has a number of international level players including Chris Clarke (twice World Champion), and Jenny Clarke (one of the top woman players in the world).
There are two forms of the modern game:
Association Croquet(the classic form); and
Some clubs also play indoor croquet in winter, or inclement weather. Both versions are played, and to unmodified rules, on carpets using snooker balls, small hoops and small mallets. Indoor croquet is an excellent way for beginners to learn the basics of the game without having to await a new season.