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Croquet Sets

Many types of croquet sets exist for you to select from, and keep for life. Most people use a croquet set made for outdoor use, as the game is usually played outdoors, on a set croquet “lawn” designed and groomed for the game. However, as the game is mostly fun entertainment for friends and family, many people simply play in a suitable backyard, especially since the playing area is so quick and easy to set up. YOu can opt for an indoor croquet set for bad weather, or if you feel like a nighttime game with guests or the kids after dinner.
Since many types of sets abound, you can choose a croquet set to suit your particular tastes and needs. Consider style elements, combined with functional attributes and your plans for where, how and who will be using the equipment. However, always consult with and buy from a quality manufacturer of croquet equipment to get the set that’s the best and longest lasting available. More on this later.

What is croquet?
As most people know, croquet is a game involving using mallets to hit balls through wickets, or arched “hoops” to gain points, with the winner being the first person to hit the winning peg or gain the set number of points. It’s simple, fun, and has been around since the early 1600s in Europe, where it grew in popularity as a pastime for poorer people, then took its place in the pristine and prim courtyards of royalty.

Nowadays, however, the game of croquet is enjoyed worldwide, with fans in almost every nation around the globe. Part of what makes it entertaining is that children and adults can play together, women and men can join in games and competitions, and the many croquet sets available give everyone the chance to select a look and feel they can claim as their own.

Some of the game’s appeal is competitive in nature - involving “roquet” shots where one knocks other players’ balls about - but, it’s usually all in good fun. Styles of croquet vary in different countries and within particular clubs in some countries, with variations of rules, number of wickets used and how they are set up. Most Americans play croquet in the “backyard” style, with this more casual US version using nine wickets.

Who’s playing?
If it’s mainly the kids playing, the croquet set you choose should have shorter mallet shaft lengths, say, around 28 inches, possibly usable by adults but much easier for kids’ shorter arms and body builds. Smaller folks will appreciate using shorter mallet heads, closer to 9 inches rather than the 9.8 inch scale of the grownups. Children and teens will prefer slightly lighter mallet heads - towards the bottom end of the overall range, which is 2lb 12oz to 3lb 4oz.
This is because of the ease with which they’ll be able to hoist and carry the mallet around, as they’ll likely be at the game for hours. Once kids see how much fun mom and dad have with their friends, they usually want to play. While croquet is not difficult to learn, there’s enough strategy to it to keep tots and teens entertained for hours.

Adult players will, of course, want one of the more suitably sized and possibly sophisticated croquet sets. Most players select a mallet with a weight of around 3 pounds. Square-faced mallets are often selected by serious players, but many still prefer a round-faced one. Mallets with rounded face edges will not chip easily, and retaining metal rings near the face further reinforce the strength and life of a mallet. Competition mallets and accessories are built to last for years.

Croquet is a game that has typically been passed on for generations in families. Often, the croquet sets in the family have been passed down, too, but this applies only if they are sturdy and made with long-lasting, quality materials. One of the “founding fathers” of croquet - indeed, the first to popularize it in England and initiate the wildfire spread of the game around the world when he introduced it at The Great Exhibition of 1851 - was John Jaques II.

Choose a quality manufacturer
Jaques won a Gold medal for that accomplishment, but he also wrote the book, literally, on croquet, with his “Croquet: The Laws and Regulations of the Game,” printing an amazing 65,000 copies by 1867. The Jaques of London company is still run by the family over 200 years after its establishment. It still produces superior croquet sets, accessories and books on croquet, including an updated version of the book in many of their handsome quality hardwood, handmade-in-England croquet sets.

Jaques croquet sets come in an exciting variety, including croquet sets on stands (a favorite among the kids, with an adult version, too), croquet sets in bags or in sturdy wooden boxes, with numerous stunning sets named after famous events, places and players of the game. Price points vary, as do the style and size of sets. You can select a croquet set for four players, or choose one that has a wide selection of Challenge, Oxford and Hampton mallet models to match your desires and playing style.

While selecting from the Jaques collection of croquet sets, be sure to get several of the many fun board games the family has invented or produced over the years, including Table Tennis, Ludo, Chess, Snakes and Ladders, Bagatelle, Shut the Box, Draughts, Happy Families, and many more.

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