Croquet Winning Peg

The croquet winning peg is key in the game of croquet, and it has a special significance when playing croquet as a family. There’s one thing more thrilling for adults playing croquet than hitting the winning peg to win the game: hearing the shrieks of excitement when the children do the same thing, as they beat their friends or the grown ups!

As croquet players know, the croquet winning peg is the multi-colored striped stake that the winner strikes with their croquet ball to become game champion. Players place a croquet winning peg (sometimes called a “stake”) at each end of the court in traditional croquet. (There are many versions of the game, with some variation in stake placement.) Croquet is played by hitting the balls through hoops (called “wickets” in America) with mallets, until one person or team hits the croquet winning peg before their opponent(s).

The stripes are one of the most colorful aspects of any croquet set, but they are not mere decorations. The stripes’ color order is the indicator of player order, with the first colors denoting who plays first with the corresponding colored ball. In other words, the hues of the croquet winning peg start with the “first colors” of croquet - blue, red, black and yellow - to indicate that the player with the blue-colored croquet ball starts the game, followed by the one holding the red ball, and so forth.

As the most casual or backyard style of croquet is played with four players, many sets have the standard four-color croquet winning peg. However, the number of players can vary up to six or eight players, so some sets come with croquet winning pegs that have six or eight colors of stripes. In this case, the “second colors” on a six-player set will be green and brown, with and eight-color croquet winning peg having the additional colors of pink and white.

Croquet is often played as a team sport - with different families playing against each other, or sometimes with the kids competing against those darned adults, maybe their own parents. In teams of six, the order of colors would be blue, red, black, yellow, then green and orange, and followed by pink and white in games of eight players. Also, some games are played with two players using two colors, and so forth.

Croquet has many forms, as it is played in almost every country of the world, and rules vary according to countries and their corresponding rules, as well as different styles of the sport. In association croquet, an advanced version of the game, four balls are teamed in pairs, and players must go through every hoop for a team to win; one side takes the black and blue balls, with red and yellow going to the opposing team.

When the children play their own “adult-free” game, it’s a great opportunity to learn teamwork and good sportsmanship, starting with knowing the order of play...and, kids always love the colors of the croquet winning peg. Some croquet sets for children even have colored stripes on croquet clubs (or “mallets”), to remind the kids which mallet is “theirs” for the game. Adults often have their own favorite mallet or can remember which one they were using, so it’s not common to see this in adult sets and more professional settings.

It is best to use a well-made croquet winning peg, such as those made by Jaques of London. Jaques winning pegs are constructed of the finest hard wood, for durability and long life. Each peg comes with a durable removable plastic tip to extend the accessory’s life even more, and to protect against chipping or breaking. While croquet winning pegs can be placed into the ground using a croquet mallet, it is not recommended as it might damage your mallet. Sets that are more sophisticated in design or especially made to celebrate famous croquet games, events or clubs, include a hoop mallet (or “smasher”) just for this purpose.

The Jaques family has been making quality handmade croquet sets in England - just as they have made invented and produced numerous games such as Ping Pong, Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, The Staunton Chess Set, Tiddledy Winks, Snap, Happy Families, and others - before John Jaques introduced the game to England and the larger world audience in 1795 at The Great Exhibition in London. So, when shopping for that perfect croquet winning peg, or getting an extra one to keep at hand, be sure to get the best, from a superior maker.

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