The game is actually quite complex. A master
player understands that the strategy is just as
important as execution, which is why it is
commonly compared to chess and pool billiards.
The origins of the modern game have been
traced back to 1852 when a game called "crooky"
was introduced to England from Ireland where it
had been played since the 1830s.
After World War II, toy makers miniaturized the
standard croquet set, simplified the rules and
marketed croquet as a backyard "children's
Six-wicket croquet uses four balls and two to
four players. Players hit the balls through six
wickets in one direction, and again in the reverse
direction, and then hit the center stake. Each ball
has a similarly colored clip, which the players
attach to the wicket that they need to go through
next. The side that completes the course first
wins. The game is also called American Croquet
because it became popular here in the 1960s.
The Sarasota County Croquet Club (SCCC) is
the largest public croquet facility in North
America. The club was founded by in 2000 by
Fred and Jackie Jones, and was formed on
property owned by the City of Venice and
maintained by Sarasota County Parks and
The membership, now totaling more than 200,
attracts players from all over the United States,
Canada and Europe. Several members of the
Boca Grande Croquet Club are also members of
Newcomers are welcome to play on Tuesdays
from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information
on the Sarasota club call (941) 900-4081.
"Some of the best players in the world travel
here to compete," Mark said. “It’s really a unique
game and the clubs welcome all newcomers.”
For more information about the Boca Grande
Croquet and Mallet Club, contact Tina
Malasics at (941) 964-4500. G
July/August 2019 GASPARILLA ISLAND 25