Off With Their Heads

The only thing I knew about Croquet came from Alice in Wonderland’s unforgettable Red Queen scene. Thankfully there are no Red Queens floating around the croquet arenas of SA and competitors don’t mind what colour the roses are that surround the playing fields.

The game is slightly obscure in today’s world but it seems to have made a remarkable comeback with many clubs memberships and teams approaching capacity. This is definitely the case with Unley’s two croquet clubs, one of which celebrates a happy 10th birthday today (Sunday the 16th of November 2014).

The history of the Hyde Park Croquet Club is a combination of the merger between Hawthorn and Unley Park Croquet Clubs. Unley Park Croquet Club is just over 90 years old.

To contact the Hyde Park Croquet Club just visit their website by following the link here.

Hyde Park Croquet

Or you might be closer to their cross town rivals the Millswood Croquet Club and you can find their contact details here.

Millswood Croquet Club

The two clubs have just started a competition now in its third year. I get the impression it may turn out to be a rivalry for the ages like France v England, USA v Russia or Australia v New Zealand, but time will tell.

With the winning team in the fiercely contested cross town croquet competition

With the winning team in the fiercely contested cross town croquet competition

There are all sorts of “laws” and at first it seems a little confusing. The sport to me it seems like a nice combination between snooker and hockey with the strategy of chess thrown in. There are a couple of types of croquet with a more popular version now the “Golf Croquet”.

Why play croquet? I rather liked this extract from a devotee,

“Firstly there is the sheer enjoyment of the game, which combines something of the intellectual puzzle-solving of a game like chess (or a cryptic crossword) with an element of physical activity in which skills such as precision and delicacy of touch come into play.  It is very satisfying when a break is going well (or in Golf Croquet when a jump shot or a lag to position works perfectly).  The times when you don’t play well are less satisfying, but there is still the enjoyable challenge of trying to play well.  [Sports psychologists would no doubt encourage the use of a different expression rather than “trying” – so perhaps I should say instead “the enjoyable challenge of improving your play”.]

Then there is the company.  Croquet players tend to be intelligent, positive thinkers and possessed of a good sense of humour – both because the game attracts people who already have these characteristics and because it encourages their development.  As with most games, the social side is an important part of the enjoyment.”

So I hope you give it due consideration as you contemplate which sports to take up.

Categories: Sports in Unley

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