I have always thought of croquet as a boring, poncy, old fashioned sport, but having just come in from an (almost summer’s) evening of garden croquet in the backyard, I would like to declare it the perfect summer barbecue sport.
To play croquet, all you need is a bit of backyard space and a croquet set, which can be bought quite cheaply from your department store. Just shove the hoops into the ground and use the mallet to hit the balls through the hoops. There are various official garden croquet rules out there, but I won’t pretend to know them… I would guess that a lot of people make up their own rules anyway.
Croquet is perfect as a garden party activity. Here’s 6 reasons why:
1. You aren’t going to sweat
Unlike other traditional summer sports (like tennis or touch rugby) croquet isn’t going to turn you into a sweaty and red-faced mess. You can wear a dress and don’t need to worry about your carefully crafted curls going frizzy.
2. Sneakers are not required
You don’t move much. In fact, unless you have a massive backyard, you barely have to move at all, so you can wear heels or jandals or whatever you desire. I would advise against going barefoot however, as rogue balls travelling at a decent enough speed are a hazard to naked feet.
3. You don’t have to put your glass of wine down
Because croquet isn’t too strenuous, you can play while enjoying a glass of bubbles or eating your sausage and bread.
4. It’s social
You can have any number of people playing the game at once. Simply assign large teams to a mallet and take turns at hitting the ball. Croquet does not discriminate; it is one of the few sports where men and women can play on a completely equal basis. Even the typically non-sporty can find it easy enough to play and even win!
5. It’s a good way to relax
In order to efficiently get the ball through the hoops, the game requires a certain degree of focus and strategy, so things things like tomorrow’s important meeting are going to have to take their place at the back of your mind while you play.
6. It’s fun!
Self-explanatory. Croquet is a chilled out leisure activity that will add some more fun to any summer barbecue or lazy Sunday afternoon.
Jodhi wears THE UPSIDE’s latest Black Arrow Midi Pant.