There is nothing that is more fun than involving the whole family in a good backyard game. Croquet is one of the many backyard games that families play together and has been steadily gaining traction all over the world for almost 200 years, but which countries is croquet actually played in?
The countries which play the most croquet are:
- New Zealand
- United States
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
Many people find croquet to be an enjoyable game because it can be played right in the backyard and family members of all ages can join in on the fun. Continue reading to learn more about the countries that play croquet and the types of croquet that are popular around the world. Maybe you’ll find a new type to play yourself!
Which Countries Play Croquet?
The image of a perfectly kept yard and hot tea with little finger foods is probably the first thing that came to mind when you read the word “croquet.” While there is a specific type of croquet that relates to that scene in your mind, it is certainly not only enjoyed in England.
Croquet is the most popular in European countries, but it is also enjoyed in many countries all over the world and its popularity is growing every day.
To get this list, we simply started by assuming that the countries in which croquet is most popular would produce the most professional croquet players who attend tournaments.
The countries above are ordered by the number of professionals from each respective country.
The Different Types of Croquet Games and Where They Are Popular
Croquet is a game that has been around for quite a while. It is believed to have been played for the first time ever in Ireland around the year 1850.
In 1851, the game was brought to England and quickly became very popular. Just 13 years later in 1864, people all over Europe were playing and manufacturers began producing the pieces required to play the game.
So, since croquet has been around for a while and is a common family game, many variations of the game have been developed throughout the years.
It should be noted that the games listed below are not every single type of croquet game that there is. Since family members at any age can play, you could probably guess that are tons of free-play versions that have been created over the years.
Nine-wicket Croquet: Popular in North America
The first type of croquet game that we are going to discuss is Nine-Wicket croquet because it is the most popular in North America and commonly referred to as “backyard croquet.”
This version of the game takes much longer to play than some of the others because there are nine wickets, which are the hoops that you attempt to hit the ball through. The wickets are set up in the shape of two diamonds that are side by side.
The objective is to finish all of the wickets and strike the finishing stake before the opponents do it.
Here’s a video showing how to play 9-Wicket croquet:
Golf Croquet: A New Style from Egypt
Golf croquet is one of the simpler forms of croquet, which coincidentally, makes it much more competitive among all age groups, and therefore, quite an addictive game.
In golf croquet, a wicket is won by whichever player gets the ball through it first. Each player takes turns trying to hit their ball into the same wicket, so there are not other balls to hit and no more than two players.
This version has been gaining a lot of popularity in Egypt, but is also quickly growing in many other countries, as well.
Here’s a quick video showing how to play golf croquet:
American Six Wicket Croquet
American Six-Wicket croquet is the type of croquet that is used for tournaments that take place in the US and Canada and is known to be the most dominant version in America.
This version is played with only 6 wickets, is always played in the same color sequence, and requires a score to be kept on the “deadness” of each ball which occurs when it hits another ball.
This can only be cleared when the ball has scored the next wicket.
Garden Croquet: An English Classic
Garden crochet is the type of crochet that you have likely seen in your favorite movies with an English setting and is mostly played in the United Kingdom.
This version is very popular among families in the United Kingdom because a big space is not required to play, and if your ball goes out of bounds, then there is no penalty.
You will simply place the ball back at its starting point.
Association Croquet: Tournament Croquet Rules
Association croquet is the version of the game that is played in international tournaments and has been recognized as the international version of the game. So, it is likely the most widely known version.
This type of croquet involves two players with two balls and the first player to get their ball through all of the wickets will win.
The professionals of this game will practice hard to get their ball through several of the wickets at one time.
Short Croquet: Tournament Rules at Home
Short croquet is simply the shortened version of Association croquet. This version was created for so that people could play like the pros in their own smaller areas.
Short croquet requires less points to win and couple of extra rules that the game a little more challenging.
Here are the two extra rules that are used in short croquet:
- Wiring rule– If your balls are in the way of your opponents’ balls, then they can claim a lift for their balls which is exactly what it sounds like.
- Mandatory peels– This requires players to do up to 3 peels on one of their balls.
These rules make a simpler version of the game a little more fun and exciting.
Extreme croquet is exactly what it sounds like. It starts with finding an area to play. The most common areas for extreme croquet to take place are in areas where there are many obstacles that will make the game very challenging, like the woods, railroad tracks, moving water, and so on.
This version has been gaining popularity all over the world to add some excitement to the traditional game. It is played most of the normal rules, except the boundary rule.
In extreme croquet, even if a child or dog moves your ball, you must still play it where it lies.
In conclusion, since croquet was invented, people have found it to be a very enjoyable game to play, whether that be to play competitively or with their 3 year old.
Countries all over the world play croquet, even if they do not compete in the international tournaments, but croquet is most popular in England, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada Australia, Ireland, and South Africa.
There are so many variations to choose from so that you can make the game easy for little ones, add extra excitement, or be played in a smaller area.