While out looking at croquet sets, you may have noticed the price range can vary wildly. But what’s the difference, and why are croquet sets priced this way? Well, in this guide I’ll cover the major difference that can change the price of a croquet set.
The factors that affect the price of a croquet set are mainly; the material the balls and mallet are made of, the number of mallets and balls included, and how the mallet attaches to the handle. Professional quality croquet sets can cost over $400, while a recreational set will typically cost less than $100.
But which features are actually worth the expense and are important to playing a game of croquet? Lets look at the most important aspects of a croquet set, and which features are really worth a little extra on the price tag.
Croquet Set Costs
A typical croquet set that an average recreational backyard player would buy, can be found for anywhere between $30 and $120 dollars. The more expensive sets can be up to $300, but are really focused on the high-end backyard player.
The set we use and recommend was around $100 on Amazon when we got it. Here’s a link to the Baden Deluxe Series Croquet Set we use.
For a professional quality set, you could be spending anywhere above $400 to $500 dollars. Those sets are most likely to be seen at tournaments and croquet championship games. Sometimes a country club or similar place will have a set of that quality as well.
For an in-depth review of the most popular backyard croquet sets, check out our Croquet Set Cost and Compare Guide.
Croquet Ball Material
Croquet balls are mostly made of a colored poly-resin material with a milling pattern engraved on the outside of the ball to increase ball grip. Older croquet balls were made of hardwood, but today most croquet balls are made out of a hardened plastic, even tournament quality balls.
Although most croquet balls are made out of hardened plastic material, not all balls are the same hardness. I hope that makes sense. For example, most of the sets we compared under $60 would leave large dents in the balls after just one game.
Look for a quality ball made of poly-resin or polymer (hardened plastic) that will not dent so easily over time.
Most croquet balls will end up with nicks and divets after a while, but your croquet set should last you for years. I recommend checking out any reviews you can find on a set before making a purchase.
Here’s an interesting video that shows a bit about how croquet balls are made.
Croquet Mallet Material
Croquet mallets are mostly made out of a cylinder of hardwood, especially in recreational use backyard croquet sets. Tournament quality croquet mallets will be square hardwood, hardwood with a plastic face, or carbon fiber with a metal face.
Even in competition croquet there are no rules about the size, weight, or length of a croquet mallet. But still, you want something that will last you a long time. The cheaply made mallets are prone to splitting, and it’s very difficult to fix a split mallet.
A decent backyard croquet set will have a mallet that’s made of hardwood. There are sets with mallets made of polyethylene, but they are rare and don’t offer any advantages.
How Many Mallets Are In A Croquet Set?
Most croquet sets will come with 6 mallets which are color coded to match up with 6 balls. Blue, red, black, yellow, green, and orange. We find six players to be the perfect number of players on the court at a time.
Some of the cheaper children sets will come with only 4 mallets and balls, and some other sets come with 8.
The sets that allow for 8 players are better suited for larger croquet courts. We use a smaller court with our own dimensions to fit in a normal backyard, so 6 players is plenty for most people. For a free print-out of the court dimensions check out our How To Set Up A Croquet Court article.
Mallet Handle Attachment
This one was a big deal for me personally, you’ll have to decide for yourself what type of mallet/handle connector you’re ok with. What I’m talking about here is how the mallet attaches to the handle.
A majority of croquet sets will have the mallet detach from the handle for easier storing. Which is good. The problem for me, is how they attach together. After testing a number of sets, I prefer the brass fitting type over any other.
- Wooden Screw – The wooden handle itself has a corkscrew type end that screws into the mallet (splits and breaks)
- Wedge Type – The handle is supposed to be forced into the mallet and stay in by being wedged into place, seen on cheaper children sets (falls out)
- Brass Fitting – A brass fitting on both the mallet and handle that screws together nicely, eliminating wiggle (preferred type)
- Permanent Install – The mallet and handle are constructed as one single piece (solid and nice, but harder to store conveniently)
Typically, the croquet sets with the nice brass fitting are going to be a bit more expensive than the other types. You’ll have to figure out if that feature is worth the extra cost to you.
How Many Wickets Are In A Croquet Game?
The most popular version of croquet in North America is 9-Wicket croquet. That’s what most people play in the backyard. 6-Wicket croquet is another style of croquet, but it’s mostly used in the UK, in competition, or international tournaments.
Your croquet set should come with 9 wickets so you can play the most popular 9-Wicket croquet, as well as, 6-Wicket croquet if you ever decide to do so.
A full set should come with 6 mallets, 6 balls, 9 wickets, and 2 stakes. Plus it’s nice if the set comes with a carrying case.
Here’s a quick video I made showing how to set up a croquet court in the backyard. That way you can see why you need 9 wickets, and where they go.
How Do You Choose A Croquet Set?
You choose a croquet set based off your needs, what quality of set you want, and the amount you can spend on a set. Mallet and ball material, mallet/handle connection type, number of mallets included, set design, and carrying case type will all be included in your decision.
I’ve compared a number of sets and was able to come up with a list of best backyard croquet sets by categories such as best for gatherings, best for kids, etc. Check out our Croquet Set Cost and Compare Guide to find a set that’s right for you.
If you plan on just buying a cheap croquet set that the kids are gonna use, and probably abuse, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a set that you would like to use, and one that will last a long time, you should considered buying a higher quality set.
Is Croquet A Rich Person Sport?
Croquet is not a rich person sport. For under $100 anyone can get a decent croquet game set up in their backyard. Croquet is popular among a variety of people. At one time, croquet was a game for nobles and well-off individuals. But today, croquet is played in backyards all across the country.
A majority of croquet sets sold today are between 50 and 100 dollars. It’s a fun addition to a backyard cookout, or used as a recreational activity at functions or gatherings.