Despite its popular image, croquet is not a "vicious game", in which you send your opponent scrabbling around in the shrubbery to find his (or her) ball - it is a sport requiring tactical nous, skill and finesse.
The sport is played on a lawn, or "court", measuring 35 by 28 yards (or 32 x 25.6m, for those metrically inclined).
The term "croquet" in fact covers two different games, known as Association Croquet and Golf Croquet. Each of the games is played either as singles - with one player playing the red and yellow balls, and the other taking the blue and black - or as doubles, with one player taking command of each ball, red and yellow being paired against blue and black. Each sport has an effective handicapping system, which means that a complete novice can find himself, within a few weeks of taking up the sport, playing competitive matches against the country's leading players.
Each of the two games has its aficionados, but there is no reason you cannot play both.
Association croquet can be likened to a race between the two opponents; the first player (or pair) to get both balls round a prescribed course of twelve hoops and hit the peg is the winner. In each turn, a player will attempt to play a break with one ball, consisting of hitting other balls (roquets), playing strokes with two balls in contact (croquet strokes), and hitting the ball through hoops. In this way, a turn could consist of as many as ninety-one shots.
Much like snooker, while one player is playing a break, the opponent waits their turn!
In golf croquet, both sides compete to be first to get one of their balls through a particular hoop. Once that has been achieved and one side has "won" the hoop, play moves on to the next hoop. The winning player or pair is the one that wins more hoops over a set course of thirteen hoops.
click here for the Croquet Association website. This gives more information about both golf and association croquet.
click here for club fees and membership form
click here for committee
click here for how to find us
click here for the Constitution or
click here for Terms of Reference