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Croquet: A great Way To Enjoy A Holiday

Croquet - mallet, balls and hoop

Croquet clubs make for great travel destinations

Have you ever played croquet? No?! Well, it’s definitely time to add it to your bucket list!

While visiting the Queensland city of Bundaberg, members of the Bundaberg Croquet Club introduced me to the classic game and I have to say, it was a lot of fun.

The club members were friendly and happy to show me (pictured right below) basic moves of the game that date back hundreds of years.

Bundaberg Croquet Club president Jennifer Lee said not only was croquet a lot of fun, but it was also the perfect addition to any holiday, whether in Bundaberg or anywhere else.

“Whether playing on your own or with friends, croquet is a great way to enjoy leisurely days outdoors,” Jennifer said.

“It’s a fun and challenging game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.”

 

Croquet

Newbies learn about croquet at Bundaberg.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Australia Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through Amazon links in this post.

A brief history of Croquet

Croquet has been around for centuries, having become popular in Europe in the 1800s.

Its roots can be found in Ireland. The name “crookey” comes from crook + oy ( hooked stick).

A Dutch folktale mentions how players would use an indoor clay court with football-sized wooden balls and one metal ring to play Beugelen or Maillette–two different games that emerged in Europe as well.

Introduced to England by John Jaques, the game of croquet became an instant hit with middle-class attendees at The Great Exhibition of 1851.

Croquet played an important role in the lives of Victorian aristocracy, with many wealthy individuals building courts within their expansive estates.

Over time, different variations of the game developed for different audiences.

For example, there are now games specifically designed for children and seniors.

Today, the game remains a popular game enjoyed by all ages, and it is still associated with elegance and refinement.

The Bundaberg Croquet Club at 29 Quay Street, Bundaberg West, is as busy today as it was when founded in 1900.

croquet - postcard scene

A card depicting a game of croquet on the beach, by Lucien Tanquerey, 1910-1919, Wikimedia Commons.

How to play

Croquet is typically played on a lawn or other open space, and involves hitting balls with mallets through hoops.

The game is relatively easy to learn, but it takes practice to master.

The basic rules are as follows:

  • Each player starts with two balls, and the first player to get both balls through all the hoops wins the game.
  • There are many different ways to score points, and players can also knock other players’ balls out of bounds.

Court etiquette

Croquet is an engaging sport that requires skill, strategy, and tact.

Whether you’re an experienced player or a newcomer just learning the rules, it is important to be mindful of the proper etiquette when playing a game.

Some basic tips for maintaining good etiquette on the court include following the correct order of shots, staying alert during your opponent’s turns, and knowing how to give and receive compliments.

With these simple guidelines in mind, you can ensure that every game is enjoyable, both for yourself and everyone else on the court.

The benefits of playing croquet

Croquet is a recreational activity that offers a wealth of benefits.

First, the game requires players to exercise both their bodies and their minds.

Whether you are playing singles or doubles, Croquet requires you to balance, coordinate your movement, and think strategically in order to succeed.

No matter your age, skill level or fitness level, you can enjoy the sport at your own pace while exercising your body.

Additionally, Croquet is a sociable activity that encourages good sportsmanship and interaction between players.

How to get involved

If you’re looking to get started with this exciting game, there are several ways to get involved.

One option is to find a club in your area and sign up for lessons or training sessions.

Another way to learn about the game is by watching instructional videos online.

You could also use resources like books, magazines, and other Croquet-related materials to gain a deeper understanding of the game.

Pack a Croquet set for your next trip

When planning your next trip, consider packing a Croquet set along with your other supplies.

Croquet is a great game to play while travelling throughout Australia.

It’s a great way to meet new people and can be easily set up and played in a variety of locations, wherever there is open space in parks or open areas.

To set up the game, simply place the hoops in a square formation, with each hoop placed about seven yards apart.

The first player then hits their ball through all the hoops, in order, before returning to the start point and hitting the ball through the hoops again.

You can find croquet sets at Amazon Australia or most local sports stores, so it is easy to get started.

Just be sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated on those hot days.

croquet - modern equipment

Modern croquet equipment. Photo by Winnywinn, 2008, Wikimedia Commons.

Visit Bundaberg Croquet Club

And, if you’re passing through Bundaberg, be sure to visit the Bundaberg Croquet Club and meet the friendly members who are keen to introduce new people to the game.

Visitors can play a casual game for just $10.

President Jennifer Lee said local members were always happy to help beginners, so you’ll be up and playing in no time.

There is also a clubhouse, which makes for a perfect place to relax after playing. It’s also available to hire for events.

Croquet is also the perfect way to enjoy the Australian sunshine and take in the beautiful scenery near the Bundaberg Croquet Club, right next to the picturesque Burnett River.

Who knows, you might just get hooked on this historic game and make some wonderful new friends.

To find out more about the club visit https://www.croquetqld.org/clubs/wide-bay-burnett/bundaberg-croquet-club, phone (07) 4152 8472, or email bundaberg@croquetqld.org

croquet - card depicting children

A card depicting children playing Croquet. Photographer unknown. Source: University of British Columbia Library. Wikimedia Commons.

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