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Reasons for Playing Croquet

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By Dr Ian Plummer

A straw poll on the Nottingham Croquet Newsgroup elicited the following replies to the question below. Whilst not a statistical survey it does give a few recruitment bullet-points for your next club flier.

"My challenge to all of you is to come up with the 'Top 10' reasons for one of these people to take up croquet this season."

Elizabeth Bent, NZ replied:

  1. Having fun with friends of like mind
  2. Challenge to my mind
  3. Fresh air - our lawns have no shelter from the southerlies!
  4. Exercise - if I was better I would not get as much!!
  5. Competition - Club, Inter-club and National - I get around
  6. Afternoon teas - yummy
  7. Coaching - give and take
  8. Opportunity - new faces - new places
  9. Satisfaction - doing the best I can
  10. Cost per annum - cheap at the price for all the above

Probably in the above order.

John Wall, NZ replied:

  1. You make lots of new friends ...
  2. ...but not so many that you lose track (because of the total numbers who play croquet)
  3. It's a game for anyone, male or female, from age 10 to age 90.
  4. The vast majority of croquet players are warm friendly people.
  5. It's a game of skill and strategy rather than brute strength - some have likened it to a cross between chess and billiards played outdoors so ...
  6.'s a great game for one to play along with one's partner with no expectation that the male will necessarily be better than the female (to my annoyance sometimes - but don't tell my wife!)
  7. You can play at any level from purely social to highly competitive - and still be warmly welcomed at one's club.
  8. You have the opportunity to go around the country playing in day, weekend or week-long tournaments.
  9. Once you're a member of a club you can go down and play as often or as little as you like - provided the lawns aren't being mown or otherwise out of action for repair or maintenance.
  10. Here in Palmerston North our season is a full eight months long, and at one of our city clubs there's usually one lawn available for winter play for the mustard keen ones.
  11. It's cheap!! At least, here in New Zealand it is; annual subs round about $NZ100 - 130, a mallet ... at least, to start with, $50 or so (usually good second-hand) and then when one gets into serious play, anything from $150 to no more than $300. (I have the latest Ray Puckett head and a weighted carbon fibre handle for that sort of price. Compare the price of a set of golf clubs!!) And one doesn't in this country have to wear whites (though most people do because it's convenient in our sunny summers.)
  12. Association and club tournament fees $10 - $20 per event (sometimes for doubles just $5 per person). NZCC events up to $50, but for that you get lots of play ... against many of the top players in the country ... and at many tournaments billeting is available for the extremely reasonable cost of $20 for b and b, or $30 for dinner, bed and breakfast.
  13. When you are overseas, you can go and play in many of the countries we Kiwis normally like to visit, namely the US of A, Australia, and Britain - and you will be warmly welcomed, as I was at Budleigh Salterton last May.