Croquet Is The Old-School Lawn Game We're Bringing Back This Summer

Find a patch of green grass and have a ball.

There's no better way to spend a leisurely summer afternoon than playing a lawn game. While our cornhole sets and giant Jenga blocks get a workout during the summer, there's an old-school backyard game that we're ready to try out. Croquet, anyone? To avoid visions of Alice in Wonderland playing croquet with flamingo mallets springing to mind, let us bring you up to speed. On a sunny day, we can't think of anything nicer than whacking croquet mallets around the grass with a glass of lemonade in hand. It's also great for parties, as it's an ideal activity for entertaining guests at picnics and backyard barbecues.

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Croquet History

According to The Croquet Foundation of America, croquet originated in medieval France, and a more recognizable (to Americans) version of the game developed in nineteenth-century England. Several versions of the game, each with its own rules and format, have become widely accepted, though variations abound. While the game's popularity has ebbed and flowed over the decades, it became a competitive sport during the 1970s and has become a fun backyard activity for all ages.

How To Play Croquet

As for the rules, The Croquet Foundation of America says, "Many people are familiar with the informal backyard version of croquet." Friends and family play this version under "house rules" on back lawns with nine wickets and two stakes. The Foundation says, "The nine-wicket game continues to be hugely popular. One retailer estimates that well over 100,000 backyard croquet sets are sold each year."

For a run-down of exactly how to play and maps for setting up the lawn, check out the guides offered by the United States Croquet Association, which breaks down the American rules as well as the instructions for Golf Croquet, Nine-Wicket, or Backyard, Croquet, and Gateball, all of which you can play with a standard croquet set.

Croquet Sets

A typical croquet set includes balls, mallets, pegs, and hoops (or wickets), which you knock the balls through. They are available from various retailers, including a wood set from Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia (BUY IT: $99.99, You can also find croquet sets of varying prices and styles at Many have stands and carrying cases, so you can enjoy the fun wherever you go.


If you feel like playing a game of croquet, choose a sunny day, find a patch of green grass, and have a ball. For more ideas for backyard fun, check out our list of backyard games—including giant Jenga, cornhole, lawn darts, and spike ball—to keep your family entertained all summer.

Have you ever played croquet? What's your go-to lawn game for summer afternoons and backyard picnics?

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    1. The Croquet Foundation of America. History of croquet.
  1. The Croquet Foundation of America. History of croquet.

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