4 Player Croquet Sets

Since 4-player croquet sets are probably the most commonly used ones in America and often the first croquet sets families in almost any nation choose to use, they are frequently the first choice for a purchase. While sets also come in 6-player versions and 8-player ones, 4-player croquet sets fit the American style of croquet and are perfect for backyard, casual use, as well as for some more serious play. As with all sets, 4-player croquet sets contain the basic elements, including: croquet mallets, used to hit the balls through the wickets (or “hoops”); croquet balls, which come in set colors and are played in a definitive order; wickets, through which players hit the balls to gain points; and, a winning peg, which has colored stripes matching the balls to indicate the starting and playing order of participants. The winning peg is also the end-point for the game, as the first person or team to strike it with their ball wins the game. The wickets are usually made of steel for outdoor use (there are different materials for indoor playing, a great variation of the game for families kept indoors during winter, rainy weather or at nighttime), as they can take the constant tapping of balls as players attempt to go through (also called “break”) them...with only about an eight of an inch to spare, that’s a fun and thrilling challenge. In any 4-player croquet set, the “first colors” of croquet balls, striped onto the winning peg in that order, are blue, red, black and yellow - so, the player holding the blue colored croquet ball starts the game, then the player with the red ball, and so forth. Croquet can be played in many ways, so if only two players are at hand, two players can use two balls; then, they would pair with black and blue versus red and yellow. One of the many reasons children are drawn to play croquet is the bright colors of the balls, although it is the fun of the game that really draws them, Seeing their own parents and friends having such a good time at it, of course, is another attraction. It’s always fun seeing the kids scramble for colors, as they jockey for position of play. Starting position can be determined by a coin-toss, drawing straws, or whatever creative manner the children or adults choose. In some game versions, starting color is not key, but order is kept by colors once begun.

Whether using 4-player croquet sets, 6- or 8-player ones, croquet is a great family game. The game and spirit of croquet has traditionally been handed down from generation to generation in families since its inception. Parents can pass on a croquet set and accessories to their children if it is a sturdy, quality set that has been well-kept for years. Though mallets and balls are constructed of many materials, including composite metals and plastic, the long-time favorite for most people is good, solid hard wood.

This is because superbly engineered and constructed wooden mallets and balls offer a good “feel” when hitting the ball, and they provide a resilient stroke. In addition, since most players worldwide use wooden croquet equipment, you can jump in easily at a croquet club almost anywhere you go, or feel comfortable with most of your friends’ sets. Wiser fans, and even the most serious players at a competitive level, look for hand-made hard wood mallets, balls and even wooden carrying and storage cases, to keep their croquet accessories in.

The wooden case protects the set from moisture. A set can be kept in a bag, or openly shown in all its beauty (and as a great hint of fun to come) when you get croquet sets on a stand, as well. Keep any of these readily available to jump into a game when a sunny day allows, but store them where moisture is at a minimum, for longevity. Always shop and consult with a professional, like Jaques of London, when considering a 4-player croquet set manufacturer. As the creator and producer of many of the world's most popular games - including table tennis, Happy Families, Tidledy-Winks, Snakes and Ladders, and Ludo, to name just a few - the company is renowned for making fun, family entertainment goods.

The Jaques family, known around croquet circles worldwide for manufacturing superb, top-quality handmade English croquet sets for over 150 years, still produces all the necessary ingredients for a great family game, one for the kids alone, or a group of fun-loving adults. Jaques has an amazingly wide variety of sets and accessories. Their 4-player croquet sets include simple stand-out sets in stands, like the handsome and basic Jaques Holmwood Croquet set. Or, move up to the stunningly crafted Jaques Hurlingham Croquet Set; it is similar to the one the company supplied to Indian potentates, who would transport them to their private croquet lawns in Rolls Royce limousines in a box similar to the one you can buy today, made of lustrous polished solid mahogany wood.

Whatever 4-player croquet sets you sort through to get your family going, to upgrade your team’s equipment, or to replace a well-used but gracefully over-aged set, be sure to look for top-notch construction, a reputation that backs up the purchase, and all the excellent advice professionals can offer. That way, you’ll be in good hands, and have a croquet set that will last a lifetime...or, if your children take up the game, maybe several lifetimes!

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