The earliest origins of croquet have not been established with certainty, but it is known that the game of "pall-mall" was played in the court of Charles II of England in the mid-17th century. The object of this pastime was to employ the minimum (or agreed) number of strokes of a mallet to propel a wooden ball through two iron hoops at either end of an alley.
The modern game of croquet emerged in mid-19th century Ireland and England with the first set of rules being formally registered in 1856. Croquet was one of the primary pastimes of the British "leisured class" for many decades, until it was supplanted by lawn tennis in the early 20th century.
After the Second World War, toy makers miniaturized the standard croquet set, simplified the rules and marketed croquet as a backyard "children's game." This is the version that most people are familiar with. However, as you will see below, this version offers but a shadow of the challenge of the modern competitive game played at Dunbar.
An interesting summary of the history and rules of croquet can be found at the link here.
Croquet at the Dunbar Lawn Bowling Club
Croquet is the only sport that propels two balls in different directions at the same time to score points. And, as we said, this isn’t the backyard croquet that you used to play in your youth! The playing surface is a manicured, 105' x 84' green. The wickets are made of iron re-bar with only a 3/16 inch tolerance for the one-pound balls to pass through. The mallets are made of carbon fibre, hardwood, and brass.
Our beautifully manicured lawn enables us to play every day and evening and our green is large enough to section off areas for both both croquet and lawn bowling at the same time. Weather permitting, we can play 7 days a week, 12 months a year.
Croquet is less strenuous than lawn bowls but is mentally challenging in both the planning and playing of the game. We play both American rules and Association rules (English) as well as popular Golf croquet, which is easy to learn but difficult to master. We are affiliated with Croquet Canada and hold club tournaments as well as tournaments with other croquet clubs in Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle.