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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Snooker on Grass

Ever played Croquet properly, nope, me neither.
However, it appears that a number of Milford on Sea residents do play the game with Lymington Croquet Club, and the club is very interested in welcoming more members from the village.
 
Croquet is an extremely sociable sport and is now very egalitarian. It is relatively inexpensive and appeals to a wide range of abilities and ages.
 
At Lymington Croquet Club, which has its lawn in Woodside Gardens, club sessions are held several times a week from spring to autumn, often with a tea break in the middle, and new members soon feel at home. Free tuition in both variants of the game is available and new members can use club mallets until they find out what weight and length suit them best
 
If you fancy trying your hand with a mallet and ball, please contact Sheila Ward on 01590 671205 - sheilaward@talktalk.net
 
About Croquet: The origins of croquet are obscure. However we know that it was introduced to England from Ireland in the 1830s. From the late 19th century it grew very rapidly in popularity, being an agreeable pastime for the upper classes, while being played on equal terms by men and women, the old and the young. At the height of its popularity croquet spread throughout the Empire. But when lawn tennis took off, croquet declined in popularity and many courts were turned over to the new game. Indeed, the dimension of a tennis court owes itself to two fitting snugly within the area of one croquet court.
 
It is said that snooker probably owes its origins to croquet. One description of croquet in common use is 'snooker on grass', since the range of skills and tactics, allied to superb hand-eye co-ordination, is similar to that of snooker. A theory, supported by strong circumstantial evidence, suggests that in the rainy season in India, when croquet could not be played, an indoor version was devised. Based on the already established game of billiards, it had green baize instead of grass, six pockets instead of six hoops, multi-coloured balls were retained and the two games have much in common in terms of estimating angles, devising breaks, etc.
 
Croquet is played on a lawn or 'court' of flat, closely-mown grass (similar to bowls). There are six cast-iron hoops set firmly into the ground, and a peg. Balls, four to a game, each weigh one pound and have a diameter which, in top-class competition, is only 1/32" less than the inside width of a hoop. Mallets typically weigh three pounds.
 
There are two main variants of the game played in the UK: Golf Croquet and Association Croquet. In Golf Croquet the objective of each player is to get his ball(s) though each hoop first. When the first hoop is scored, all players move on to the second hoop, and so on. Each turn comprises only one stroke. The merit of Golf Croquet is simplicity, and an analogy between it and 'Association Croquet' is like that between draughts and chess.
 
In Association Croquet a large number of different strokes are used to achieve various aims. Once one ball is struck ('roqueted') it allows two further strokes - the croquet stroke, where the player's ball is placed next to the ball roqueted and both are struck, and a continuation stroke, in which another ball may be roqueted or a hoop run. In this way ‘breaks’ are established and a good player may take a ball through several hoops in one turn. In Association Croquet both of a player's balls have to go through every hoop (that is twelve - each is run in both directions) and hit the peg to win.
 
Lymington Croquet Club
Woodside Gardens
Rookes Lane
Lymington
SO41 8FP
 

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