Our world is consumed with rough and fast paced sports, this one is more relaxed and it is not unheard of enjoying a cool alcoholic drink between turns. It is a refined sport that is silent interrupted only by the sound of wood on wood. The mallet tucked between your legs hitting a ball between your legs to aim at getting that ball between the metal arch pierced into the ground. It is a sport for the well mannered. Is that why it was cut from the Olympics ? Are there any well mannered people left?
The rules of Croquet were first formalized under the all England Pro Croquet Club in 1868. The Game mixes the skills of pool and the strategy of chess. So, it is the perfect sport for geeks and the elderly or the smart . The game is that you hit 4 wooden balls through a series of metal wickets first; and then to win, you have to hit a large wooded stake.
His son remembers those days where players and clubs were popping up everywhere. The growth of the sport then was huge. It was popular as both a competitive and backyard game. Yes, forget Disney, tell the kids to hit a ball around the yard and don’t let the ball do anything but roll around. Sounds good to me! Except these days I’m sure they would prefer to be tossed and spun around somewhere.
Things have changed . Now anyone can join a club; they would be glad to have anyone. When his father founded the New York Club it was promoted as a sophisticated, high class, if you are trying to promote beer get lost kind of club. They said, “We are the Champagne sport.” But it was that elitist attitude that made so many people try to get in the club.
The growth of the sport has leveled off in recent years. It does retain it’s popularity among retirees maybe because they are the only ones who remember rich elitists people playing the sport. Or maybe because it is fun and low aerobics not like tennis that can be hard on your ankles. But it does have a very strong and enthusiastic following.
Croquet became an Olympic sport in 1900 but was then discontinued for lack of interest.
Source: The International Olympic Committee