Garden game CROQUET

Have you ever played croquet? And do you know that there are three different types of croquet? Have you heard about the history of the game that actually did not originate in England, as you may have thought? Did you know that croquet became an Olympic discipline in 1900 for the first time? You may be asking how difficult it is to adapt an existing garden game to make it more interesting and enjoyable… Let us take a look at it together. We will start from the very beginning.

THE HISTORY OF CROQUET

The origins of croquet are a little cloudy. The game dates back to the turn of the 19th century. Some say the game developed from the French game paille-maille, or Pall Mall (pronounced /ˌpæl ˈmæl/; meaning chaotic), others believe it was a game of French countrymen. Irish tourists then brought the game to the British Isles. Croquet gained popularity during the second half of the 19th century, and you may be familiar with movies, or literature examples that prove how important it was for honourable citizens to be able to play it.

Croquet was also featured during the 1900 Olympics in Paris as an official sport. The interwar period is generally considered to be the golden age of croquet.

After WWII, the game spread among the lower class. Queen Elizabeth II became the patron of the British Croquet Association, and soon the world learned about a number of star croquet players. Since the 1990’s the game has spread all around the world including the Czech Republic.

THE BASIC IDEA OF THE GAME

Croquet is basically a race between two sides (two players, or two pairs) each of whom has a pair of balls. They play on a court, or a lawn in the garden. The course consists of hoops through which each ball must pass. Each ball must be knocked against the peg at the end of the route. The first side to peg-out both its balls is the winner.

THREE FORMS OF CROQUET

Croquet combines three completely different games.

Garden croquet – nine or ten wide hoops, light wooden balls smaller in diameter, relatively short mallets with a tiny head. It can be played on any kind of surface.

Association croquet (international croquet) – it is played on carefully cut lawns. Oftentimes the court is so flat that its quality exceeds the best golf courses. There are six rather narrow hoops and one peg. The game is played with plastic balls that weigh about 0.5 kg and mallets that weigh up to 2 kg.

Golf croquet – the equipment is similar to the equipment used for association croquet. However, unlike association croquet, there are no additional turns for hitting other balls. The main idea here is to hit a ball through the hoops. This form of croquet is faster, players spend less time waiting, as they take turns one right after another. The game is becoming more and more popular nowadays.

CROQUET IS NOT CRICKET

When pronounced, croquet and cricket sound almost the same, but they are two completely different sports. Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of twelve players on an oval field. There are about 120 million cricket players all around the globe, which makes cricket the second most popular sport in the world.

IVO MARTÁK became the ambassador of our Golf croquet

As a careful reader you will probably agree that changing a complex game with a long tradition and a large number of players is not an easy task to do. That is why we asked a professional croquet player for help. We wanted to create a croquet game set that would resemble association croquet, and Ivo Marták liked the idea a lot.

One thing led to another, and we started working on the first drafts. Feedback provided by Mr Marták guided us throughout the project.  As a result, we produced a semi-professional, carefully designed and manufactured croquet set made of jatoba and robinia wood.

The original vision of the designer then naturally transformed into a combination of association croquet and golf croquet. Why? Golf croquet is the number one leisure time activity nowadays. It is enjoying more and more popularity even among professional croquet players. Its rules allow for a faster and more enjoyable game.

We are grateful to Mr Marták and Tomáš Vrátný, who is the foremost Czech croquet authority and a member of the disciplinary and arbitration panel of the Czech-Moravian Croquet Association, for writing down the rules and instructions for our semi-professional variety of the game. Moreover, our mallets are designed so well that you could even use them to play against a professional croquet player.

As a result, there are two croquet sets with either one or two mallets, hoops, a peg, a bag, and game instructions.

Everything is HANDMADE and produced in small batches, as we believe no machine can replace true craftsmanship and skills.

Golf croquet with symbols

Golf croquet is easier to play than association croquet. The same equipment is used to play both. The main idea of the game is to pass a ball through hoops. Its rules are easier to follow and the game is faster and less time consuming. That’s why golf croquet became so popular among players and viewers not only abroad, but also in the Czech Republic.

The golf croquet set contains a semi-professional mallet, hoops, a peg and balls decorated with minimalist symbols. Everything is made of certified wood.

Golf croquet bag

Do you prefer a shoulder bag to a drawstring bag? You can have both! A shoulder bag could be more of your thing… If so, you may be interested in Katka Vavroušková’s design. She created the bag in several different colours, using a carefully chosen material and nice, clean stitches. The plywood bottom protecting against hoop spikes is a great advantage of this bag. There is also a lockable pocket with a water-resistant zip where you can keep the game instructions and other things.

“What are those things poking out of your bag?” a passerby is asking. “Well, they are croquet mallets, of course!”

UAX Golf croquet with cartoon characters

To make it a bit more interesting and to help you distinguish your mallets and balls, Radek Leskovjan, a graphic designer, created little cartoons that decorate the game equipment. You and your children will love them. UAX is a Czech clothing brand. They make cool casual clothing in their own sewing workshop. Now wonder they designed our golf croquet string bag.