Croquet enthusiast Mark Masselink became
enthralled with the game after moving to the
island several years ago.
"It's like a deck of cards," Mark said. "You can
play different games with the same deck, and you
can use the same equipment for a variety of
games with different rules and different strategies."
Oakley Johnson is the current director of the
Boca Grande Club. He teaches six-wicket instructional
croquet at the club on Monday afternoons
at 3:30 p.m., and golf croquet at 4 p.m. on
Bob Worrell helped organize the annual tournament
this past March at the club. Experienced
croquet players from eight different states and
Canada competed at the Blaine Davis Invitational
Croquet Tournament hosted by The Gasparilla Inn
& Mallet Club. The annual event, established 20
years ago, was renamed last year in honor of the
tournament founder and long-time Boca Grande
resident, Blaine Davis, who remains one of the
country’s best players. The overall winner was
Webster Bull of Beverly, Massachusetts.
About the game ...
Two, four or six players can play croquet. The
lawn game is played on a rectangular grass court
where singles or doubles teams use mallets to hit
balls through hoops (wickets). Once balls go
through all of the wickets in the correct sequence
and back again, the players aim to hit a peg on the
court to “peg out” their balls before their opponents
do. There are four colors of balls, with blue
and black balls playing against red and yellow balls.
Each type of croquet has slightly different rules. All
games start with a coin toss. Turns alternate
throughout the game. Either, but only one, of the
side’s balls may be used in a turn. Initially a turn is
only one stroke, unless in that stroke, the striker’s
ball scores it’s next hoop, or hits another ball.
There are a variety of foul strokes and faults, and
a player is expected to own up whenever a rule is
broken. To maintain etiquette, another player may
suggest that a rule may have been broken, but
never actually assumes or places any blame on any
"I think the etiquette of the game goes back to
the early days when the sport was invented,"
After making a fault, the striker’s turn ends and
no point is scored.
The adversary is entitled to choose either to
replace the balls where they were before the fault,
or to leave them where they came to rest at the
end of the foul stroke.
The team that completes the course first wins.
The official full-size court is a rectangle, 100 feet
long by 50 feet wide.
leader of the
Rob Worrell, Blaine Davis, overall winner Webster Bull with
Fred Jones at the Blaine Davis Invitational Croquet Tournament.