Croquet Sets

Choosing a croquet set for your recreational needs should be a fun experience, and having loads of choices makes it easier. First off, you need to know where you’re going to play, indoors or outside. If you’ll be playing outdoors, which is the most common way to play the game, on a grassy area called a “court” (though many people just use their backyard or any open field, which is fine), the croquet set you choose should fit that setting. If you’re going to play croquet indoors, you’ve narrowed your choice to a miniature set, which can be used on top of a pool table, and it’s an entirely different type of croquet set, indeed.

In any event, using a good manufacturer that supplies a wide array of croquet set options is the best starting point to find your perfect tools for fun, which means selecting specific mallets and other accessories depending on what you desire. Let’s stay with the indoor setting for a moment. Indoors, you realize that the hoops (or “wickets” if you’re American) - the things through which you strike the croquet balls to win a point - and the winning post (which one strikes with the ball to shout out how they’ve conquered their opponents) are all weighted, self-standing units that can be used on carpet or other indoor surfaces without marring them.

An indoor croquet set is also a secondary option used by outdoor enthusiast who might get hampered by rain or snow, but still want to spend a sunny day at play with friends or enjoy an after-dinner family event more exciting than watching TV. Of course, since indoor play will involve less area than a game outside, sets are less involved and a bit smaller, but accessories are basically the same, wooden mallets and balls - balls of different colors for different players, with the winning post multi-colored with blue on top, to remind players that the blue ball is struck first. Having brass hoops means less likelihood of scratching indoor surfaces, so a quality croquet set maker might opt for this material for hoops.

Buying from a long-time croquet set producer like The Croquet Store means you’re getting the same fine handmade Jacques of London sets and accessories that have been used for years by casual and professional players for over 200 years. After all, it was John Jaques II who introduced croquet to England at The Great Exhibition, a world-famous event made all the more special by discovering a new sport, one which is still popular world-wide today. Since its initial appearance in 1795, croquet has grown from a primarily English and European sport to one which is played and fiercely competed in in New Zealand, the United States, Asia, Australia, Canada, South Africa and numerous other countries. Croquet was an event in the Summer Olympic games of 1900; a sister game, roque, appeared at 1904’s Summer Olympics, so the game has become quite well-known since these notable appearances.

There are as many types of croquet sets as there have become styles of playing, and sets also correspond to the number of players, personal tastes of the participants and owners, as well as often coming in distinct variations that match historic sets used on various occasions throughout croquet’s colorful history. For instance, there are 4-player sets as well as 6-player and 8-player ones. One can get a simple set to satisfy all the basic requirements, of course, and not be limited in enjoyment or suspense as you “rogue” or knock other players’ croquet balls to get extra game points. Your tastes might call for a set that stands up in its own rack, comes in a carrying bag, or one in a fine wooden box for greater protection.

Should you want to own or gift someone with a set that smacks of royalty and history, The Croquet Store sells a stunning set that celebrates the game’s initial appearance. The appropriately named “Jaques Great Exhibition Croquet Set” contains exquisitely finished wooden mallets of the finest construction. They come in several varieties, including two brass-ringed Oxford mallets with scored faces, two Challenge models, two square Hampton models and two polished hardwood intermediate mallets suited for younger players. The refined set includes not only superbly colored composite balls and winning stick, as well as all the minor accessories such as ball marker pegs to record a ball’s position, but has the famous book that informed the world of the sport, “Jaques Basic Laws of Croquet,” as well as Anon Gill’s Complete Guide, with its myriad best-play tips, engaging historical facts and illustrations and more...all in a stained deluxe pine box.

But, it doesn’t take a top-tier set to make a top-notch game, so you can opt for many other sets to suit your needs. Shop around for sets that fit smaller hands and shorter arms if it’s the kids that want to play, as they’ll appreciate having their own set, with mallets and balls weighted and sized for younger players. Many families pass on sets to their children, and croquet is known as one of those sports that stays in some families for generations. Sets have different sized balls to meet different needs, so the smaller Sussex balls might come in croquet sets in bags, again, to handily meet younger players needs, and for easier carrying.

Croquet sets on stands are a favorite of many people, as they contain all accessories neatly in an organized rack that can be accessed on the porch, gazebo in the middle of the lawn used for playing, or kept in pleasing view in the living room as a reminder to guests that there’s something to do after that pleasant brunch besides merely lounge on the patio...croquet awaits the young and the young at heart, so let’s get playing!

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