One enjoyable activity you might want to check out is croquet! Whether for random days in your backyard or a gathering with friends, this backyard game will surely have you enjoying it a hundred times more.
Croquet was said to have originated from French peasants in the 13th century where it was played by hitting wooden balls with wooden mallets through a willow branch croquet hoop. Then, it surfaced in Ireland in the 1800s and was then called “crooky.”
After that, it made its way to England where it became popular with the upper class. Then, it made its way to the American coastal upper classes until it was redesigned as a backyard activity for children in World War II.
Croquet is extremely easy to play, easy to set up, and conveniently portable. Plus, it’s a good means to get that sweat on.
Take note, though, that this game requires more skill and strategy than strength.
Playing this game holds health benefits as you can walk up to a couple of miles in a single game. Add to that the benefits of just spending time outdoors! Whether you’re a kid or an adult, you’ll surely enjoy this game.
Best croquet sets
GoSports Premium Croquet Set for Adults and Kids
An Amazon Bestseller is this set from GoSports. It is one of our top picks when it comes to mid-range croquet sets highly raved by its users. The set comes with:
- 6 durable hardwood mallets
- 6 textured polyethylene balls
- 9 plastic coated wire wickets
- 2 end posts
- Set of play rules
- Carrying case
You will also not go wrong with its vibrant colors. The GoSports premium set is available in two sizes: deluxe or standard. The deluxe set fares well for taller players while the standard one for shorter ones.
Another key difference is the mallet handle, with the deluxe being 35” in size with a padded leather grip as opposed to the standard one that’s 28” and without any special grip.
The deluxe balls are also quite bigger at 10 oz. and 3” diameter compared to the standard balls weighing 7.5 oz. and measuring 2.5”.
- Tall mallets to accommodate taller players
- Great customer service
- Lifetime guarantee
Oakley Woods Extreme 6-Player Croquet Set
If we’re talking long term, this set from Oakley Woods is worth looking into. While the price can steep, this one will surely last you a long time and you can even pass it on to your children.
It comes with:
- 6 extremely durable mallets with polyethylene heads connected to ash shafts with an octagonal upper grip
- 6 3-5/16” polymer balls
- Durable wickets with a steel rod core and a chip-resistant powder finish
- Goal stakes that are naturally finished ash with a steel ground pin for easy stacking
- 9 wicket rule book and instructions
- Nylon Cordura carrying bag
- Great customer service
- Indestructible mallets
- Great longevity
Six-Player Deluxe Croquet Set from Crown Sporting Goods
The Crown Sporting Goods’ Six-Player Deluxe Set features the following:
- 32” hardwood mallets with rubber caps
- 6 pieces 3” diameter all-weather polymer balls
- 2 pieces 21” hardwood goal stakes
- 9 pieces of vinyl-coated steel wickets
- Carrying case
This set comes at an affordable price but is sturdy enough to last through the use of children. In our opinion, this comes at a great value.
However, the mallets somehow won’t fit into the carrying case once assembled, so that’s quite a hassle. This doesn’t matter much if you use this occasionally, but for more frequent uses, you might want to check some portable options instead.
- Durable hardwood stakes and mallets
- Rubber-capped mallets lessen the risk of ball damage
Harvil 6-Player Croquet Set for All Ages
The company Harvil is a trusted brand when it comes to outdoor and indoor game products, so you can trust this croquet set to be reliable. This 6-player set comes with:
- 30” mallets with chip-resistant bamboo heads and hardwood shafts
- 9 steel wickets with a white vinyl coating
- 2 durable hardwood end posts
- 6 colorful and well-weighted polymer balls
- Carrying case
This is another great mid-range croquet set with some downsides: balls dent a little easier than others and require disassembling to have everything fit in the carrying case. But if you’re just playing for recreational purposes, this should be good enough!
- Sturdy hardwood and bamboo mallets
- Customizable color scheme
- Carrying case
Juegoal Six-Player Croquet Set
Another affordable option is this Juegoal croquet set. This is a good introductory set for kids, included:
- 26” mallets with hardwood and rubber-capped handles
- 6 weather-resistant molded balls
- 2 hardwood goal stakes
- 9 steel wickets with vinyl coating
- Carrying case
- Instruction manual
This wins our best for value and is perfect for occasional use. Just take note that the carrying case is not as sturdy as others. Otherwise, this should serve you well!
- Affordable price
- Vibrant colors
- Rubber-tipped mallets for protection of the balls
Buyer’s Guide for Croquet Sets
Now that you have a general notion of the greatest croquet sets available let us assist you in narrowing down your options. This buyer’s guide section will provide you with all of the information you need to choose the best croquet set for you.
What should you look for in a croquet set?
Before you buy a set, ask yourself the following questions to guarantee you get the perfect one for you and your garden.
What age group do you intend to buy the game set for?
One of the most significant factors to consider when selecting a croquet group is the age of the players that will use the group. If the entire family intends to use them, the Lawn Croquet Gaming Set is the best option.
It is not just a lightweight toy, but the handles, balls, and small bags weigh less than a full-size toy. Its purpose is to ensure that both adults and children can enjoy the game.
It is also an excellent alternative for novices since adults can feel more at ease with a steady, lightweight cricket game in order to obtain some experience moving around the ball by weight for a prolonged amount of time.
Although the Lawn Croquet Collection is more physically comfortable, it still produces a high-accuracy game.
The number of mallets in your set influences the number of players who can participate in each game. Large croquet sets include eight mallets, whereas small sets include six mallets.
Materials and construction quality
Croquet sets with wooden components are the best. Natural woods with colored finishes are widespread and create the greatest croquet sets, but they might be pricey for some players who only need a croquet set occasionally.
Other sets may include components made of plastic or vinyl. While this makes the bundle more affordable, it lowers the game’s quality.
Handles for mallets
The most important aspect of playing croquet is matching the length of the mallet handle to your height. Long mallet handles may be difficult for children to use, so keep this in mind when choosing a set for your children.
If you want your children to join in on the fun, a 28-inch handle is excellent. If you want a croquet set for adults, however, stick to handle lengths of 35 inches or more.
Mallet head safety
During the game, the mallet head is subjected to some blunt force injuries. After a few years of usage, certain mallet heads may begin to split.
As a result, we recommend that you select a set that includes rubber tips for the mallet head’s ends. These tips increase the life of the mallets and eliminate feedback when striking the ball through the mallet handle.
The greatest croquet sets employ copper rings on the mallet heads to keep the wood from cracking in the mallet head.
Balls for croquet
Croquet players used to utilize wooden balls in their games back in the day. Wooden balls, however, are not suitable, and most sets now include plastic balls.
However, after extended use, certain sets may experience warping in the shape of the balls.
Depending on the set, the diameter of the balls ranges from 2 to 3 inches. As a result, if the balls become out of shape, you may always replace them with balls of a similar size.
Wickets and Stakes
Depending on the company, the remainder of the components in your croquet set may be designed and manufactured with either wooden or plastic elements. For a more realistic feel, we recommend investing a bit more in your set and going with one that includes hardwood 24-inch stakes and wickets.
Check to see if your set includes a carry bag for easy transport and storage.
Other factors to consider when purchasing a croquet set
Croquet games are typically played in backyards or gardens. Surprisingly, the height of the grass might affect how the game is played. People have started playing on artificial surfaces where the temperature is cold in modern times.
Variations: Most people play in groups of four or six. If there aren’t many people playing, it’s a good idea to invest in a four-ball set. Extra mallets and balls can be purchased later if more players like to come.
Setting up your court
Once you have a good croquet set, the next thing you should do is set up your court. A standard court is 100’ by 50,’ but if you don’t have that much a space, you can scale it down to fit.
Set up the 9 wickets patterned into two diamond shapes that touch in the middle, with an additional wicket behind each diamonds’ endpoint. You can also add some markings in the outer edges of the field with a string.
For more information, you can check the guide provided by the United States Croquet Association (USCA).
How do I play croquet?
The main goal of the game is to hit the ball with your mallet through the wickets following the correct order and direction with your croquet mallet, the head part specifically. Whoever gets the most points and finishes first wins!
Order is dictated by colors, but you can decide however you want it to be. To start, have your ball halfway between the finishing post and the first wicket.
Try to be the first one to be able to move your balls through the wickets in the correct order and accurate direction. The maximum number of players is six, and whoever finishes first wins!
Remember that you only get one shot per turn unless if your ball goes through a wicket or hits the turning stake, then you will be given bonus shots. To make that better, hit one of your opponent’s balls, and you’ll get two bonus shots called a “roquet.”
If you’ve successfully hit your opponent’s ball, you’ll earn two bonus shots which you can do in two ways:
- Mallet head: placing a ball within a mallet head’s length from the ball you hit
- Foot shot: placing your foot on your ball to hold it steady, then hitting and knocking the opponent’s ball out of place. If the opponents’ ball goes out of bounds, it gets positioned one mallet-length back.
Not enough space to play this game? No worries! You can join a croquet club which has a standard-sized court with meetups and events you can join in.
How do you choose a croquet set?
The old saying “you get what you pay for” is often true regarding Croquet Sets.
The more expensive sets are often heavier, contain higher quality mallets and balls, and larger hoops that will not deteriorate as rapidly if left outside in British summer weather.
What is the best length for a croquet mallet?
Mallets in the 33” – 35” range are popular at the club level. Many players find that starting with a 36″ mallet allows them to easily reduce it if necessary based on their style and preferences.
Aside from a player’s height, the appropriate height of a mallet is determined by the player’s grip technique and stance.
Where should I play croquet?
Any flat and grassy field is a good place to play the game, whether in your backyard or a park somewhere. You may also join clubs and play in fields made for croquet!
What are croquet balls made of?
In the earlier times, they were mostly made of wood. But today, you can find some built with plastic for a more durable and long-lasting product.
What determines who will play first in croquet?
The Croquet Game Has Begun. The game begins with a coin toss (or mallet toss), with the winner having the option of playing first or second and the loser having the option of balls.
The first four revolutions are used to throw all four balls onto the court from any location on either side of the balkline.
How long does a game of croquet take?
With three gates and a center pole, the pitch is roughly half the size of a typical croquet grass. It is usually played in 30 minutes.
Can I play croquet if I don’t have a lawn?
Without a doubt! You can bring your croquet set to a friend’s house or the park. Croquet clubs can also be found all around the country.
There you have it! If you’re interested in playing croquet or just simply looking for a good set, you may go back to our recommendations and see which one fits your needs and your budget.
For a set to last you a lifetime or more, go for the Oakley Woods Croquet Set. But for occasional use without breaking the bank, the Juegoal Croquet Set should be enough.
Last update on 2022-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API