How to Play
Croquet is a fascinating game combining skill and tactics. The tactics are not unlike those of snooker, but the game is played in the healthy sea air rather than in smokey halls. There is no money in the game, so everyone who plays does so because they enjoy it. This produces a very relaxed and friendly environment. The game is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Sidmouth has seen a top level national final between a twenty year old and a seventy year old. Croquet is played in many forms, some purely as social entertainment and others as competitive sport. The game can be played by men and women on equal terms and uses a handicapping system that allows for good croquet between players of unequal abilities. It provides light, healthy exercise with no particular physical stress.
A very useful introduction to many aspects common to both formats. Holding the mallet, hoop and ball information, how to strike the ball and so on. it also gives the basics of Golf play. It only takes 11 minutes - Basingstoke Introduction to Golf Croquet
A full-size lawn is 35 by 28 yards. Size can vary, especially for garden croquet, but it is a good idea to keep the 5:4 ratio.
Who Can Play?
Everyone. It's a sport suitable for all ages and both sexes and one of the few sports that men and women can play on equal terms. It has a really good handicapping system which, more than any other sport, is a genuine leveller. A weaker player can play an international and have an equal chance of winning. Not even golf can offer that with its handicapping system. Although, to be fair, croquet is one of the entirely amateur sports and therefore does not suffer the enormous gulf that separates amateur from professional - and it's all the better for that.
How Did it Begin?
Croquet is believed to have arrived in England from Ireland in 1850 and has developed in various stages ever since. Its first headquarters were at Wimbledon and there are now more than 120 clubs throughout England that are members of the Croquet Association.
The Croquet Association was formed in 1897 and can help you to get the most out of the game. The Association governs the laws of croquet and co-ordinates players, clubs and nine regional federations throughout the country. It provides coaching courses, competitions and a national handicapping system. A bi-monthly magazine is issued to members and a number of leaflets are available to explain the game. The Association also provides equipment and books at discount prices.
What Does it Cost?
The Sidmouth Croquet Club offers beginners provisional membership and coaching to introduce potential members to the sport and allow then to see if they enjoy the social and sporting aspects of croquet. You must have flat-soled shoes* but most clubs only require white clothing for tournaments and inter-club matches. Beginners are encouraged to borrow club mallets for the first season so that when buying their own they will know the weight and dimensions to suit them. This is the only real expense apart from the club subscription which is currently £178. There are no lawn fees, so this covers unlimited croquet throughout the whole of the season.
*Footwear is a matter of choice but the Club strongly recommends trainer type shoe rather than sandals.
What To Do Next?
Telephone, write or email us for more details. See contacts page. We will get in touch with you promptly.