There was a small gathering of die-hards today on the frozen lake at Genval, trying out 'ice croquet' in which thin wire hoops, corner flags and peg were drilled into the thick ice. Canadians and others will no doubt have tried this many times, but it was a first for Belgium. The surface - predictably - proved flat and true, but even trickier than the carpet at the recent Indoor, as the lack of friction seemed to mean that shot-lines bent whenever the ball was not hit plumb through the middle. Pull was very noticeable. After a brief appearance from Bruno Eeman, John Swabey took to the ice and was soon in full flow, beating Jonathan Lamb +2 to become Belgium's first-ever ice croquet champion. A photo or two should soon be sent to www.centrepeg.org, the website of the Brussels Croquet Club at Genval.
Owen Edwards adds: have you tried pucks instead of balls? A supplier in Melbourne, Australia sells sets of ""Puck Croquet'', which are used on carpet and other hard floors. The pucks weigh approximately 250g, are about 25mm thick, are the same width as balls and have bevelled edges [optional]. Normal mallets are used and the pucks react just as balls would, even in croquet strokes. We cant try to use them on ice here - no ice available - try it you may be pleasantly surprised.