Croquet has been described as "outdoor billiards". Indeed early forms of croquet-like games were called "lawn billiards"
Ball and stick" games have been around since before bored soldiers started hitting stones with their spears and croquet-like games (hitting balls through hoops) go back hundreds of years.
Early croquet-like game from
The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England
first published 1801.
Sometime around 1630, a Frenchman named John Bonnealle laid out a court for playing Palle Malle (Ball and Mallet) on the south side of London, in an area now known as Pall Mall. Despite its obvious similarities to croquet, it is most likely that that was a precursor to golf.
Paille-maille (Pall Mall)
Original image by Lauthier 1717
Modern croquet is more likely to have arrived in England in the 19th century from Ireland where shepherds played a similar game with their crooks called (not surprisingly) "crookie." The more chic spelling, "croquet", seems to be bestowed on the game by the Irish Daily Mail in 1835
The All England Croquet Club was formed at Wimbledon, London in 1868. One of Wimbledon's croquet lawns was set aside for lawn tennis in 1877 so it is no coincidence that a tennis court is about half the size of a croquet lawn.
By 1882, the Club’s main activity was lawn tennis and within a few years, the All England Club dropped Croquet from their name. But in 1899 it was restored to the Club's name for sentimental reasons, and the Club's name became The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Croquet was included in the 1900 Olympic Games. It only attracted one spectator.
Croquet continues to evolve with quite a few forms being played In various countries.
Of the various forms of croquet played throughout, Golf Croquet and Association Croquet are the most common. Gate Ball, a faster multiplayer "mallet sport", is increasingly popular,especially thoughout Asia.
Croquet at Coogee
Croquet was begun at Coogee by a group of entusiasts playing in various backyards.
The present clubhouse and lawns were provided by Randwick Council in 1950.
At Coogee we play Golf Croquet, Association Croquet and Ricochet.
These forms of croquet are played on a court 32m x 25.6m. (If on a smaller lawn, the sides are still in the ratio 7 : 5).
Click below to find out more
We play in two teams of one or two players (singles or doubles), one team taking the blue and the black balls, the other the red and the yellow.
In all forms, the aim is to put your ball or balls through the hoops in a fixed sequence. See animation below.