Monday, 21 April 2008



Did you know:–
Croquet was first (and last) played as an Olympic sport in 1900.

It was the first Olympic sport to involve women.

There are not enough countries who play it for it to be accepted for London 2012.

The first recognised organisation in England was formed in 1868 when the All England Croquet Club was set-up in Wimbledon but it was not long before tennis muscled into the scene and it was renamed the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

The weekend after Wimbledon's tennis finals, players representing countries as far afield as the USA, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand compete at the nearby Hurlingham Club for a prize fund that would not even cover their air fare. The average crowd for the final is 50 despite free admission.

Britain has won the last six MacRobertson Shields - croquet's equivalent of golf's Ryder Cup

England's Robert Fulford is the defending British Open champion
Golf croquet is popular in Egypt, who have two of the best players in the world.

Croquet probably originates from palle-maille, popular in 17th-century England whilst billiards and pool evolved from a lawn game similar to croquet played sometime during the 15th century in Northern Europe (probably in France).

Pictures of John Prescott playing croquet last year led to a 300 per cent increase in sales of croquet sets at Asda, but he isn't the first politician hit by a croquet-related scandal. US President Rutherford B Hayes caused a furore in the late 19th century when he appropriated $6 of government funds for the purchase of croquet balls.

In Disney's Alice in Wonderland, when Alice is playing croquet with the queen and Alice gets a point you hear someone shout "Hooray!" if you listen closely, the voice is that of Mickey Mouse!

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