Paille-maille (Pall Mall)
Original image by Lauthier 1717
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.
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. It is most likely that that was a precursor to golf.
Modern croquet is more likely to have arrived in England in the mid 19th century from Ireland where shepherds played a similar game with their crooks called (not surprisingly) "crookie."
Croquet was included in the 1900 Olympic Games. It only attracted one spectator.
Of the various forms played today, Golf Croquet and Association Croquet are the most common and are what we usually play at Coogee.
Other "Mallet Sports" include Ricochet, Gate Ball and others.
The common forms of croquet are played on a court 32m x 25.6m (or, 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.