Below is a list of frequently-asked questions. If you would like to refer to a glossary of terms, then this is available on a separate page, here:

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The basics

The sport of "association croquet" is usually referred to simply as "croquet". There are a number of other mallet sports which can fall under the umbrella term of "croquet" too, however association croquet (along with its very similar US cousin known as "US Rules Croquet") is the only mallet sport which utilises the "croquet" stroke with which the sport shares its name.

Starting croquet is very easy indeed! Simply find your local club and either phone them to arrange a time for a lesson (normally free), or even pop in to the club when players are present and enquire about the game. The croquet community is friendly and welcoming, and the sport is very much not-for-profit.

Croquet is a very reasonable sport to play. Initially you will require nothing more than a good pair of trainers (spikes / heels are not allowed on the court). For your first few months in the game, you will be able to use a club-supplied mallet free of charge.

After a while playing the game, you will get a feel for the type of mallet you prefer, at which point you will probably choose to purchase your own mallet. Mallets range in price from around $200 (NZD) to over $800 for a top-of-the-line Carbon Fibre model.

Club membership fees are very reasonable when compared with other sports - you are looking at around $200-$600 per year for subscription fees.

That's it!

If you are new to croquet, don't buy a mallet immediately. Experiment with different techniques until you find what works for you, and with different mallet lengths and weights. Most club mallets are free to borrow for extended periods of time. Club mallets will also mostly be wooden, without particularly fancy concepts like peripheral weighting. My advice is to learn to hit a ball in the centre of the mallet regularly and to play a range of strokes with a wooden mallet - this is a great way to learn initially, as any off-centre strike with a wooden mallet will be more pronounced and will teach you to hit more consistently.

I currently play with a Dave Trimmer mallet and I highly recommend them once you have established your technique.

Check out the Links section of this website and visit the homepage of your country's croquet organisation - it should have links and contacts to your local club.

Not at all. While a high number of older people play croquet (just as they play golf, bowls, tennis etc.) it is by no means simply a sport for old people. Like most sports, croquet at the elite level is dominated by players in their 20s and 30s; however, because croquet is a game of strategy as well as skill, with no requirement for speed or reflexes, there are a number of players over 50 and even over 60 who still compete at the highest level. Stephen Mulliner became world champion for the first time at the age of 62 after starting his croquet career in his 20s!

Croquet is a serious but fun sport played by all ages and genders, all around the world. It is easy to learn but challenging to master. It provides excellent mental and physical exercise and a fun yet competitive environment.

In New Zealand, the name of the sport is often pronounced "CROAK-ee", whereas in the UK it tends to be pronounced as "CRO-kay". In the USA, the emphasis is generally placed on the second syllable - "cro-KAY".

The game

A triple peel (or sometimes a TP for short) is a manoeuvre performed by experienced players whereby they make all their hoops for their own ball, and score the final 3 hoops for their partner ball in the same turn, and win the game.

The winner of a game is the first side to reach 26 points (or the side which has scored more points after the time limit has elapsed). In most countries the score is denoted fully e.g. 26-0 or 26-17. In the UK alone, the score is denoted in a way to show the winning margin e.g. +26 is the same as 26-0 and +9 is the same as 26-17.

Croquet hoops at club level have a 3-3/4" (three & three-quarter inches) gap for the ball to pass through. A croquet ball is 3-5/8" (three & five-eighths of an inch) wide, meaning there is 1/8th of an inch of clearance between the hoop and the ball. Hoops at championship level (regional / national etc.) are normally set to have a 3-11/16" (three & eleven-sixteenths of an inch) gap, leaving 1/16th of an inch clearance for the ball. Depending on the age of the balls used, there could be slight differences in the sizes, and therefore the hoops are often not set to a specific width, but are instead set to the size of the largest ball +1/16th of an inch. Sometimes this is even reduced to +1/32nd of an inch.

Croquet courts are measured in seconds (or "Plummers") to denote how fast or slow they are. A court will be timed to see how long it takes for a ball hit from the south boundary, coming to rest on the north boundary. A fast court will only require a gentle tap of the ball to reach from one end to the other, and hence the ball will roll more slowly and take longer to reach its destination. For a slow court, the opposite is true. Most average courts are about 10-11 seconds. A slow court would be 8 or 9 seconds; a fast court would be 12 or 13 seconds. Some may be even faster than this. A court in the range of 9-12 seconds is generally regarded as "easy". Courts above 12 seconds are less forgiving of poor strokes, and as such tend to reward more skillful players.

This site

CroquetDev was the name for this site in the "dev" environment. I intended to change the name, but I actually kinda grew to like it, so it has stuck.

I fully appreciate that this site doesn't cover all aspects of association croquet (at least not yet). My intention is to add far more content over the course of time. If you have a request for a specific article, please contact me using the link in the menu and I'll see what I can do.