Maui Croquet Club
International Rules on the Island of Maui
Maui Croquet Club United States Croquet Association
 

Maui Croquet Club CROQUET HISTORY

Don't miss the Laws of Croquet, published in 1901 by John Jaques for the Croquet Association; or Laws of Association Croquet, published in 1957 by the Croquet Association. 

For the history of croquet in the movies, see Croquet in Celluloid -- It's Not a Pretty Picture.  For lengthy historical narratives, see The Backyard Games, The Wicket Way, Croquet and Cousins, When Cotswolds Became the Birthplace of Croquet, and the 1911 Encyclopedia. For the history of championships, see First MacRobertsion Shield, and Tony Hinchliffe's Sports Facts. For the history of the Croquet Association's Croquet Gazette, see Back in Time's Deep Shade. Also see Unsolved Mysteries of Croquet History and Ralph Hickock's Sports History. For an excerpt of Modern Croquet Tips & Practice by Lord Tollemache, see Croquet History and the Clip Game. See an excerpt of The History of Croquet by D. M. C. Prichard.

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Chronology
BC

Romans play Paganica where they walked across fields and hit a small leather ball with a curved stick and aimed to strike certain trees.  The winner was the person who hit all the trees in the fewest possible strokes.  This sport developed in two ways.  In country areas where there was adequate space, courses were laid out and the target became a hole.  Thus the game of golf evolved. 

In towns where space was limited, the game of Paille-Maille became popular.  In this game, a box-wood ball, a foot in circumference, was played down an alley, passing through a number of arches or hoops on the way.  The winner was the person achieving this in the fewest hits.

The name "Paille-Maille" comes from the Italian pallamaglio, which literally means ball-mallet, ultimately derived from Latin palla and malleus meaning ball and maul, hammer or mallet, respectively. [Wikipedia]

1300's

Peasants in Languedoc (southern France) played a game where they hit balls with shepherd crooks through bent willow branches. The word "croquet" may come from the French word "crochet", which means hook. The French thought the game’s wickets looked like the crochet hooks used for making laces and other items with string or yarn.

The game of le Jeu de la Crosse (or la Crosserie) was immensely popular in Normandy, especially at Avranches, but the object appears to have been to send the ball as far as possible by driving it with the mallet. [1911 Enclyclopedia Britanica]

1351 Royal pardons in France describe nobles playing Ground Billards.
1450 Tapestry shows people playing Paille-Maille.
1500's Dutch manuscripts mention Klos (also Closh, Cloish, Claish and later Clash).
1568 Cal. Scot. Papers - [Mary was playing at Seton] "richt oppinlie at the feildis with the palmall and goif".
1600's

Louis XIV played Jeu de Mail at Versailles, France.

Charles II of England and his courtiers played Pall Mall at St. James's Park in London. The walk in the park, now called the Mall, received its name from having been appropriated to the purpose of playing. [Wikipedia]

Pall Mall was played on a 1000-yard long strip of clay, covered with powdered cockle shells.  The balls were smaller (as in golf), and the object was to hit the ball from the hole at one end of the lane to the other in as few strokes as possible (as in golf).  Superficially, the playing equipment looks a bit like that used for croquet, which stands to reason, as it's the most practical design if you want to use wood for your clubs rather than iron.  That, as far as I can see, is the only connection between the two. [James Hawkins ]

1604 James VI of Scotland became James I of England and brought Paille-Maille equipment as well as golf clubs to his new court. 
1611 Joseph Strutt wrote in his book The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, "Pale-maille is a game wherein a round box ball is struck with a mallet through a high arch of iron, which he that can do at the fewest blows, or at the number agreed upon, wins. It is to be observed, that there are two of these arches, that is one at either end of the alley." [Wikipedia]
1650 Jan Steen paints Country People Playing a Ball-Game showing people playing Beugelen.
1701 Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary, "'To St. James's Park, where I saw the Duke of York playing at Pelemele, the first time that I over saw the sport".
1717 Lauthier printed rules of Pall Mall.
1827 Lawn MowerEdwin Beard Budding invented the lawn mower, in Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, UK.
1830 French doctor developed a new version of the sport as a form of outdoor exercise for his patients. He named it Croquet, from the French word for a crooked stick, and it was widely played at spas in the South of France.  [This is probably a myth because medical treatment at spas in Europe did not come into fashion until well after the middle of the 19th century.]
1831 Walter Jones Whitmore born in March at Chastleton House in Moreton-in-Marsh, England, United Kingdom. [Guy Stapleton, of Moreton Historical Society, in When Cotswolds Became the Birthplace of Croquet]
1851 Click for MoreJohn Jaques II, famous toy and game manufacturer, introduces croquet at the Great Exhibition of England. His display there attracted such wide attention that the game speedily became the vogue, not only there but in Europe and throughout the British Empire.  [Prichard, in his history of croquet, says he read through the catalogue of the great exhibition and found no mention of croquet.]
1852 Crookey, a game played in Ireland from the 1830's, was brought to England where it quickly became popular.

Paille-Maille was brought to Ireland from the south of France, and was first played on Lord Lonsdale's lawn, under the auspices of the eldest daughter of Sir Edmund Macnaghten. [1911 Enclyclopedia Britanica]
1853 Croquet first played in Hawaii at Punahou School in Honolulu.
1856 Isaac Spratt, a fashionable London toy maker and retailer, signed application for registration of the title Rules of the New Game of Croquet at Stationers' Hall, dated 15 November 1856, but recording the date of first publication as 2 August 1853, may be seen to this day in the UK Public Record Office. This is the oldest document to bear the word "croquet" with a description of the modern game. [Wikipedia]
1858 A set of rules for the Oatlands Croquet Club, Ireland, were set out by 'Corncrake' in The Field of 21 August 1858.  The first three grounds referred to in the columns of The Field - namely Oatlands, Philpotstown, and Dormstown - were closely clustered within a few miles of Navan, the county town. And all three properties were extensive private estates, not towns or villages.  Meetings between the clubs which played at those venues were reported in The Field.

John Jaques published Rules and Directions for Playing Croquêt — a New Outdoor Game in England.
1859 First record of a croquet court in the USA at Nahant, MA.
1860 Sir MacPherson Robertson, namesake of the Mac Robertson Shield, born on September 6th in Ballarat, Australia. 

Sir Walter Peel, namesake of the peel, started playing croquet.

1861 Athletic Sports and Recreations for Boys: Comprising Cricket, Croquet by Rev John George Wood was published by Routledge, Warne, and Routledge in London, England.
1862

Ye Game of Croquet published by Cremer in England.

Mr Punch's Pocket Book contained a cartoon by John Leech with the caption "Fanny, her eyes on him, placing her pretty foot on the ball, said 'Now I am going to croquet you.' And croqueted he was completely!" [Sport and the Making of Britian by Derek Birley]

1863

Captain Thomas Mayne Reid wrote Croquet: A Treatise and Commentary, in which he argued that croquet was a character building alternative to actual warfare.

Croquet by Captain Mayne Reid published by Charles James Skeet of London, England, UK.

The sixth Earl of Essex wrote The Rules of Croquet Revised and Corrected by an Old Hand.  This work was produced to support sales of his Cassiobury Set of croquet equipment, was promptly snuffed out by the vice-chancellor in response to an action for breach of copyright brought by Captain Mayne Reid.

Thompson wrote The Rules of the Game of Croquet.

1864

John Jaques bought the rights to the rules of croquet from Isaac Spratt, and printed 25,000 copies of Croquêt: Its Laws and Regulations.  Mysteriously, the first edition of this work is described as "thoroughly revised".

Click to Enlarge Croquet by Mayne Reid

Croquet by Captain Mayne Reid was published by James Redpath, Boston, Massechusets, USA. Read entire book scanned by Bob Kroeger, and transcribed by Dr. Ian Plummer. Read entire book at scanned by Google.

The Park Place Croquet Club of Brooklyn organizes with 25 members. "Croquet is probably the first game played by both men and women in America."*

Peterson's Magazine described the game of Troco, Beugelen, or Lawn Billiards.

Here's a video clip of Beugelen, which has been played in parts of the Netherlands since the 17th Century (around the same time and place as the origin of Pall Mall).  It's nearly, but not quite obsolete, and survives only in the south-eastern province of Limburg.  Superficially, there's no similarity in the equipment to that used for croquet.  But if you watch what they're doing, the game is almost identical to Golf Croquet doubles. [James Hawkins ]

Walter Miller wrote Laws of Croquet.

The Laws of Croquet as Played by the Medes and Persians by ‘Rab-Mag’ was published by Hatchard in London, England.

Routledge’s Handbook of Croquet by Edmund Routledge was published by Routledge, Warne, & Routledge in London, England.

The Rules of the Game of Croquet, as Played at Sheriff Hutton Park by Leonard Thompson was publish by Cordeaux & Ernest in York, England.

The title Croquet Polka was registered at Stationer's Hall on May 14th by London music publishers Addison & Lucas.

1865 John Jaques published 50,000 more copies of Croquet: Its Laws and Regulations

R. Fellow of Boston, MA, USA, wrote The Game of Croquet, Its Appointments and Laws.

The Game of Croquet, Its Laws and Regulations published by Dean & Son in London, England, UK.

Laws and Regulations of the Game of Croquet by James Soutter & Son published by James Soutter & Son in Edinburgh, Scotland.

How to Play Croquêt by S. Kramer published by Adams & Co in Boston, Massechusetts, USA.

The Newport [Rhode Island] Croquet Club handbook Croquet as Played by the Newport Croquet Club said, "Whist exercises the memory and the power of calculating probabilities; chess the imagination and the faculty of abstract reasoning; but croquet, though it taxes these mental capacities less, combines them with the delights of out-of-doors exercise and social enjoyment, fresh air and friendship -- two things which are of all other most effective for promoting happiness."

Hand-Book of Croquet published by Milton Bradley & Company in USA.

Walter Jones Whitmore's rules of croquet published in The Field. [Guy Stapleton, of Moreton Historical Society, in When Cotswolds Became the Birthplace of Croquet]

Croquet. A Treatise by Captain Mayne Reid published by Houlston and Wright of London, England, UK.

1866

Winslow Homer paints The Croquet Game.

Croquet: Its Implements and Laws by A Committee of Players published by Horace Cox of London, England, UK.

Handbook to the Game of Croquet by Cassell's Sixpenny Hand-Books published by Cassell, Petter, and Galpin of London, England, UK.

Halifax Archery and Croquet Club established on May 14th.

Croquet: The Toronto Laws published by W. C. Chewett of Toronto, Canada.

1867 The Grand National Croquet Club held the first open croquet championship at Evesham (at what is now the Evesham Hotel) on a 45x60-foot court with 8-inch wickets.  It was won by the club's founder Walter James Whitmore (actually W. T. Whitmore-Jones, or Walter Jones Whitmore, 1831-1872). 

The Oxford University Croquet Club was formed.

Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, alias Lewis Carroll, published the rules for Castle Croquet: For Four Players in August in Aunt Judy's Magazine.

French dictionary for the first time defines croquet as a game.

Both men and women in the Christiania Boldlag (Oslo Ballteam) started playing croquet at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, Norway. [Tore Gulbrandsen]

The Game of Croquet; Its Appointments and Laws by R. Fellow of Boston, Massechusetts, USA, published by Hurd and Haughton of New York City, New York, USA.

1868

The All England Croquet Club (AECC) was formed by the merger of the Grand National Croquet Club and two other rival clubs. Six gentlemen headed by John H. Walsh mett in the offices of Herbert Cox, the publisher of The Field magazine at 346 Strand in London, England.  It later (1877) changed its name to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. 

Click to EnlargeThe Gentleman's Magazine published two articles by Cavendash entitled Croquet, and The Science of Croquet.

Croquet Tactics by Walter James Whitmore (actually W. T. Whitmore-Jones, 1831-1872) published by Horace Cox of London, England, UK.

First All-Comers Meeting was held at Moreton-in-the-Marsh, England. [1911 Enclyclopedia Britanica] Walter Jones Whitmore held the Grand Open Tournament on Moreton cricket ground. The croquet courts were about 45 yards by 35 yards with 8-inch hoops. 16 gentlemen played heats, quarter- and semi-finals before the final. Whitmore lost in the quarter-final to the ultimate winner Walter Peel. [Guy Stapleton, of Moreton Historical Society, in When Cotswolds Became the Birthplace of Croquet]

1869

Walter James Whitmore (actually W. T. Whitmore-Jones, 1831-1872) was barred from the AECC, and formed the National Croquet Club.

The first women's croquet championship were held at Crystal Palace in England, and won by a Mrs. Joad.*

The All England Croquet Club rented four acres at Wimbledon, England, for three years, charging men £1 1 shilling and ladies £1 11 shillings for an annual subscription.

Chambers Book of Days published a picture of King Charles II attempting to knock the ball through the hoop. He was apparently very good at the game.

Click to EnlargeSixth edition of Croquet: It's Principles and Rules by "Professor A. Rover" published by Milton Bradley.

Croquet: The Laws and Regulations of the Game by West Essex Croquet Club published by Walter Brettell of London, England, UK.

1870 Alfred Concanen illustrated the sheet music for Croquet Schottisch by Lawreen and Davis, and arranged for piano by C. H. R. Marriott.

Wimbledon held the second croquet championships, five years before lawn tennis was played there.  The All England Croquet Club setting of ten wickets and two pegs was used.

The General Conference of Croquet Clubs drew up the laws of croquet.

Tight Croquet, in which a player puts their foot on their ball when croqueting another ball, was outlawed. [Dr. Ian Plummer in Oxford Croquet.]

The city father of Boston, Massachusets, USA, banned croquet as a dangerous occupation conducive to moral corruption if not as a threat to the very structure of civilisation. A councilor commented "The lady, placing her foot upon one of two closely juxtaposed balls and administering a sharp thwack with her mallet gives a thinly-disguised symbol of female aggression against male society. Where will it all end?"

Hand Book of Croquet by Octave Vital Goulette was published in Gananoque, Ontario, Canada.
1871 Croquet Terms, Suggestions, and rulesCroquet Terms, Suggestions, and Rules by American Croquet Company of Geneseo, New York, USA, was published by Scrantom & Wetmore in Rochester, New York, USA.

The National Croquet Club held an extravagant tournament in which 17,000 troops paraded around the courts; spectators were packed five deep; and there was a full-dress ball. 

The handbook in the Milton Bradley croquet set said, "When we [Americans] work or fight, we work and fight harder than any other people.  We should be as enthusiastic in our play."

1872 The Hale Setting of six wickets and two pegs was introduced. 

Arithmetical Croquet invented by Lewis Carroll.

Notes on Croquet and Some Other Bat and Ball Games by Dr. Prior was published, in which Pall Mall was described to highlight its dissimilarity with croquet.

1873 Click to EnlargeHow to Play Croquet — Field Croquet, Parlor Floor Croquet, Parlor Table Croquet published by Adams in Boston; included engravings and diagrams, hints on floor and table croquet, and definitions of technical terms.

Croquet as Played by the Philadelphia Croquet Club published by Claxton, Remsen, and Haffulfinger in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Victoria Fogelby was awarded the Rose Cup. The Rose Cup was recently [2010] discovered in a Pasadena, CA, USA. [Michael Rimbin]

Croquet: Its Implements & Laws by the Committee of the All England Croquet Club published by Copp, Clark, and Company in Toronto, Canada.
1874 Twelfth edition of Croquet: Its Principles and Rules by "Professor A. Rover" published by W. B. Keen, Cook, and Company in Chicago, Illinois, USA. [Library of Congress ]

The Complete Croquet-Player by James Dunbar Heath published by George Rutledge and Sons of London, England, UK.

1875 Henry Cavendish Jones convinced the All England Croquet Club to replace a croquet court with a lawn tennis court.

The Convention of Croquet Players met in April in Brooklyn, New York, USA, and compiled a rulebook entitled Croquet, the copyright of which was vested in the secretary, I. Bedwin.
1876 Issac Spratt, author of the first croquet rule book, died.
1877 The All England Croquet Club changed its name to the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.
1878 Ckick to OpenCroquet: Its Rules and Regulations by "Professor A. Rover" published.

How to Play Croquet by S. Kramer published in Boston, Massecusetts, USA. Much of the text is identical with Croquet: Its Principles and Rules.

President Rutherford B. Hayes spent $6 of American taxpayer money on a set of fancy boxwood croquet balls.  "Croquetgate"?

The Oxford University Croquet Club holds its first tournament.

The Convention of Croquet Players met in August in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, USA, and "amended and accepted" The Revised Rules for the Game of Croquet.
1879 Ckick to OpenCroquet: Its Principles and Rules republished.

The National [American] Croquet Association (NCA) was founded. It later became known as the National Roque Association.

The National Croquet Congress met in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on September 23rd-24th, and adopted Spalding’s Official Croquet Manual (including the American Rules of Loose Croquet, and the Spalding National Rules of Tight Croquet), "the only book of rules on croquet ever published under national authority".
1880
  Click to Enlarge   Click to Open
Rules and Regulations for Playing Field Croquet by "Professional Players" published, apparently in two editions.

Rules for the Standard Game of Croquet by the National Croquet League (along with the league's Constitution and By-Laws) published by J. B. Lippincott in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
1882

The National Croquet Association [of England] (NCA) formed.

The NCA held its first national tournament. 

The NCA held a convention of 25 clubs on October 4th at the New York Croquet Club, and adopted a standard set of rules for the nine-wicket game.

South Bend Toy Works, OH, USA, begins manufacturing toy croquet sets.

1883

R.B. Bagnall-Wild, Hon. Secretary of the Bath Lawn Tennis Club, proposed in The Field a simple formula by which byes were allotted in the first round to reduce the number of players in the second round to a power of two. The original system of compiling the draw was rudimentary. The names were bracketed in pairs as they came out of the hat. Unless the entries happened to be a power of two, it was inevitable that in the later rounds the competitors were reduced to an odd number,
which led to byes as late as the semi-final. [History of Croquet by David Prichard]

1884 The Oxford University Croquet Club changed its name to The Oxford University Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.
1887 The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club decided that croquet was so unpopular that it ordered the placards inscribed with the names of the club's croquet champions taken down and thrown in the Thames, but the groundskeeper hid them instead.

Manuel et Reglement du Jeu du Croquet published by A Coté in Québec, Canada.
1890 Boston bans croquet for moral reasons because young couples might disappear into shrubbery together to look for balls.
1891

Pall MallPeter Hampson Ditchfield's book Old English Sports, Pastimes, and Customs contains an illustration of Pall Mall.

McLoughlin Brothers copyrighted the rules for Tiddledy Wink Croquet, and E. I. Horsman came out with Lo Lo the New Parlor Croquet Game where "colored disks represent the [croquet] balls and the ‘mallet disks’ are used to snap them into positions or through the arches". The Horsman set is copyrighted by L. E. Lawrence.

1893 The Reliable Book of Outdoor Games published by F. M. Lupton in New York City, New York, USA. Croquet appeard on pages 42-44.

Croquet Guide and Official Rules Governing the Game by National American Croquet Association published by American Sports Publishing in New York City, New York, USA.
1894 Frederick Douglass builds a croquet court at his Anacosta, Virginia, USA, home named Cedar Hill, overlooking the capital of the United States. An article in The Washington Post on 18 September 2005 entitled Restoration Will Let Visitors See How Frederick Douglass Lived said, "As if completing the image of the proper Victorian-era gentleman that Douglass sought to project, a croquet court spread across his expansive lawn just outside his library window, near the grape arbor and the peach trees. The former slave loved croquet. If there's some dissonance in that fact, well, that's Douglass."
1896 The United All England Croquet Association (UAECC) was formed by Sir Walter Peel, and AECC champion in the 1870s, because the AECC had switched from croquet to tennis. [1911 Enclyclopedia Britanica]

Cassell's Book of Illustrated Sports quoted, "both sexes could join on terms of equality, ... Old and young could take part with equal chances."

The Complete Croquet Player published in London, England, UK.

The Gold Medals competition was instituted by the nascent Croquet Association, and played for the first three years at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon. [Chris Williams]

1897 Arthur Lillie wrote Croquet: Its History, Rules, and Secrets

Sir Walter H. Peel, name sake of the peel, died in December.

C. E. Willis is Champion of England.

The Present Position of the Game of Croquet by Leonard Williams published by Badminton magazine.
1898

How to Play Croquet: With Hints and Suggestions for the Management of Croquet Meetings and Public Tournaments by Sir Walter H. Peel published (ISBN-10: B0008C82UA) by John Jaques & Son of London, England, UK. The preface by A. Law is dated February 1898. In his preface, A. Law explains that the author having died the previous October [sic] with the book completed save for the preface, he was then asked to write it to complete the book for publication. [viaLibri]

The UAECC adopted the first Laws of the Game.

The Peel Memorials, separate handicaps [events] for men and women, were instituted in [Sir Walter] Peel's honour. Jaques offered a 50 guinea cup, but it was thought more fitting that the memorial trophies should be subscribed by associates. Two large silver bowls were bought and have been played for ever since. [The History of Croquet by David Prichard]

1899 A new set of rules was standardized (perhaps in Norwich, Connecticut, USA) for the American version, which was given a new name: roque, formed by clipping the first and last letters from croquet.  It was played on a court of hard-packed dirt, with hard rubber balls, very narrow wickets, and short mallets. The court was enclosed by a wooden barricade to keep the lively balls on the field of play. 

The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club changes its name to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, but rehangs the placards of croquet champions taken down in 1887.

Lily Gower, the "Championess" of England, wins her first of three English national women's championships after only playing for one year.

First annual Charnwood Forest tournament held at Charnwood Forest Archery and Lawn Tennis Society in Swithland, Leicestershire, England.

1900 The UAECC changed its name to the Croquet Association (CA).

Cercle du Bois de BoulongneOlymic Games in Paris, France, as part of the Exposition Universelle Internationale — the Paris World's Fair — includes croquet at Cercle du Bois de Boulongne; all players were Frenchmen.

  Singles Doubles
One Ball Two Ball
Gold Aumoitte (21-15) Waydelich Johin & Aumoitte
Silver Johin Vignerot  
Bronze Waydelich Sautereau  

There was only ever one croquet competition in Olympic Games history, held in 1900 in Paris. France won all events, which is not surprising as mostly French competitors took part. There were three women competing, but they did not win any medals. These were some of the first women to take part in the Olympic Games. This tournament was also not a success with the spectators. Only one fan watched the events - an Englishman who had travelled from Nice especially for the occasion. No wonder we have not seen this event at the Olympics again. [Top End Sports]

  1. There was one spectator, an Englishman living in Cannes, who travelled by train to watch.
  2. All the participants were French (and probably all Parisian), except for one Belgian, who may/may not have turned up at all. Unsurprising, as the event was played on successive weekends throughout the summer.
  3. The doubles winners were awarded gold, but there's no surviving record of any other entrants, or any games having been played.
    [James Hawkins]
  1. There is just the one paying spectator recorded, an Englishman from Nice (though I would be very surprised if there were not some non-paying locals, too!).  At that time, there was a strong croquet presence on the French Riviera, where wealthy Britons could winter and continue their sports at the hotels.
  2. There was indeed one Belgian, Marcel Haëntjens, who was there because he was also in the equestrian events (presumably the then equivalent of the three-day event) but he didn't win anything. It would be difficult for anyone else to enter as the events ran from 24 June to 15 August.
  3. Apart from the doubles, where yes there was just a Gold awarded (can we assume only two pairs entered?), there were also Gold, Silver and Bronze awarded in both the One-ball and Two-ball singles.  As you say, these were all French, and probably Parisian, competitors, of which there were ten in total, including at least two (possibly three) ladies, the first ever to take part (albeit probably unknowingly) in Olympic competition.
    [Alex Jardine]

The first 19 women to compete in the modern Olympics Games play in just three sports: tennis, golf, and croquet.* The first to compete were Mme. Brohy and Mlle. Ohnier of France in croquet.

Arthur Lillie publishes Croquet up to Date containing an article entitled Cowardly Tactics by Aunt Emma.

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential CenterRendell Rhoades Croquet Collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio, USA. Dr. Rhoades' enthusiasm for croquet led to the development of an esoteric collection of nearly 1,000 books and materials on croquet. From 1956 until his death in 1976, he operated a small private press, Rhodopress Publications and Rhodopress of Ashland, reprinting nine pamphlets on croquet. The collection includes a variety of books, pamphlets, periodicals, catalogs, trading cards, newspapers, photographs, postcards, scrapbooks, art prints, and advertisements, appearing in their original form and as photo duplicates and Rhodopress reprints. Also, see Croquet: An Annotated Bibliography from the Rendell Rhoades Croquet Collection by Nancy L. Rhoades.

1901 Lily Gower wins the English gold metal, beating England's best male players, including G.H. Woolston. The game was only slightly marred by a dispute concerning a tactical manoeuvre called double tapping about which Woolston complained. Ladies, and even men, had been known to double tap before and, anyway, it was felt that Mr. Woolston was not a gentleman for mentioning it.

Cyril Corbally of Ireland first swings the mallet between his legs, rather than a golf swing.

John Jaques publishes the Laws of Croquet for the Croquet Association.

1902

Engraving of a match between C.E. Willis and a Mrs. Thornton entitled The Croquet Association Challenge Cup Competition at Sheen House Club, Richmond.

Judge Barlaine Deane in the London Divorce Court adjudicated a case of cruelty brought by the wife of the Reverend Fearnley-Whittingstall. He heard the lady explain that during a game of croquet her husband became so infuriated because she claimed that his ball had not properly passed through the hoop that he refused to speak to her for a week. "I do not think," said Judge Deane, "that there is a game so liable to put one out of humour as croquet."

1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, America, includes American nine-wicket roque; American Charles Jacobus took the gold medal; other players were Americas Smith Streeter, Charles Brown, and William Chalfant.

The Championship of Oxford Open Singles Challenge Cup was first played.

The first issue of the Croquet Association Gazette appears on Wednesday, April 27th, edited by C. D. Locock.

1905 The Champion Cup won by R. C. J. Beaton at Roehampton, England; it claimed to have the "top ten players in England".
1906 Click to EnlargeNina E. Coote appeared on the cover of August 15th issue of The Bystander as "Lady Croquet Champion of the United Kingdom".

The Croquet Championship won by C. Corbally at Roehampton, England.

The Champion Cup won by G. H. Woolston at Roehampton, England.

A Baulk Line introduced into the game.

1907 Croquet and Its Rules by Charles Jacobus published by American Sports Publishing Company in New York City, New York, USA, for Spalding's Athletic Library.

C. D. Locock publishes Modern Croquet Tactics.

Lily Gower wins the Men's Open! The rules had been very loosely drafted by the Hurlingham Club, and Lily had taken advantage of a tactical loophole which enabled her to enter. The rules were immediately tightened up.

1908 Croquet Association holds its first tournament.
1909 A Gold Challenge Casket was added to the Gold Medals (of 1896) by the Croquet Association. [Chris Williams]
1910 Croquet and Its Rules by Charles Jacobus published by American Sports Publishing Company in New York City, New York, USA, for Spalding's Athletic Library.

Mr. Punch's Book of Sports: The Humour of Cricket, Football, Tennis, Polo, Croquet, Hockey, Racing, etc. published. Croquet appeared on pages 113-122.

B Baulk Line introduced into the game.
1911 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica contained article on croquet.
1913

Alternate A (the ability to play either ball) introduced into the game.

H. F. Crower Smith wrote A Croquet Alphabet.

The Relation of Billiards to Croquet published in the September issue of the Billiard Monthly.

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge

Modern Croquet Tactics by C. D. Locock is published by E. J. Larby of London, England. Illustrated croquet advertisements to the end papers. 63 colour diagrams, monochrome photographs. 19cm x 13.2cm, 226 pages.

1914
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge
Lord Tollemache, croquet's premier instructor, publishes Croquet with an inspired picture-and-text approach. Arguably the definitive work on croquet technique. 61 fantastic photographic illustrations by Harold Haines of Tarporley, plus diagrams. With rear endpocket containing Diagrams I - VI (all about 9 x 8 inches), and an envelope containing four coloured counters (red, blue, yellow, and black). The first edition is published by Stanley Paul of London. 195 pages.
1916 American Roque League was formed.
1920 Croquet: Rules of the Game, and Official Laws of British Croquet Association by Spaulding's Athletic Library published by American Sports Publishing in New York City, New York, USA.
1922

The Willis Setting of six wickets and one peg devised by C. E. Willis was adopted by the CA, and became International Rules or Association Rules croquet.

Either-ball law added to Laws of Association Croquet. [David Maugham]

Herbert Bayard Swope returns from being a reporter for the New York World in England, where he saw croquet, and starts playing at his home in Great Neck, Long Island, New York, USA. His version of croquet had nine wickets, four balls, strict sequence, and carry-over deadness.

1923 The first glimmering of Draw and Process or the Two-Life [tournament format] system was propounded in an anonymous letter to the Gazette, as a means of limiting the amount of time that the courts were occupied by the A-class players. [History of Croquet by David Prichard]
1924 Rev. G.F.H. Elvey proposed lifts, but didn't specify which hoops.[History of Croquet by David Prichard]
1925

First MacRobertson Shield held in England between England and Australia.

Herbert Bayard Swope moves to Sands Point, Long Island, New York, USA.

The Algonquin Round Table of Herbert Bayard Swope, Alexander Woolcott, George S. Kaufman, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Heywood Braun, Jack Barrymore, and Dorothy Parker popularize nine-wicket croquet on the East cost of America.

1926 Test Matches started between England, Australia, and New Zealand.

The term "peel" recognized in the Laws of Association Croquet. It was named after Sir Walter Peel (died 1897).
1927 MacRobertson Shield held in Australia and New Zealand. Gazette published English team's itinerary. [David Maugham is "reasonably confident that the Willis setting and lifts were both used in the first Macrobertson Shield".]
1928 Lift at #4-back (but not #1-back) introduced into the game, and called Variation B. [Prichard]
1929 Arthur Ross, father of the triple peel, published Croquet and How to Play It.
1934 [The Draw and Process tournament format] was given a trial in [Australia] at the Camberley Heath tournament, but it was not popular with the players nor the managers whom it was intended to assist, the latter complaining "You never get rid of anyone." [History of Croquet by David Prichard]
1935 The National Recreation Association approved and adopted Official Croquet: Rules of Play, published by the Croquet Association of Kentucky.
1936 The Gold Medals competition (started in 1896) was merged with the Men's and Women's Championships by the Croquet Association. [Chris Williams]
1939 Gold medals (started in 1896) and gold challenge casket (started in 1909) awarded for the last time in the Men's and Women's Championships by the Croquet Association. [Chris Williams]
1940's

Holywood stars Harpo Marx, Louis Jordan, Darryl Zanuck, Tyrone Power, George Sanders, Gig Young, Prince Romanoff, and Samuel Goldwyn popularized nine-wicket croquet on the West coast of America.  Bets of $10,000 were made.  The level of play was high: at the start of a game, Louis Jourdan would light a cigarette, take a deep puff, and place it on the stake; then he would do an all-round run in time to pickup his cigarette for one last puff.

Roehampton experiments during the 2nd World War led to the Wichelo variation,
namely lifts at 1-back and 4-back and the contact. [Prichard]

1945 Sir MacPhearson Robertson, namesake of the Mac Robertson Shield, died August 20th at 85 years of age.
1946

East-West Croquet Match held on July 6-7 at Howard Hawks home in Hog Canyon, Plam Springs, California, USA.

Advanced Rules added to Laws of Association Croquet.

1947 Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki expedition was delayed by a game of croquet in the garden of Captain Gulbrandsen in New York. [Tore Gulbrandsen]
1949 Lord Tollemache wrote Modern Croquet Tips & Practice, and it was published by Strange The Printer Ltd, York Road, Eastbourne, Sussex, England, UK. [Croquet History and the Clip Game]
1951 Click to Enlarge The Official Handbook of the Laws of Association Croquet and Golf Croquet, and the Regulations for Official Tournaments published by the Croquet Association. 48 6-1/2"x4" pages,
1953 Click to Enlarge The Official Handbook of the Laws of Association Croquet and Golf Croquet, and the Regulations for Official Tournaments published by the Croquet Association. 48 6-1/2"x4" pages,
1954 Sports Illustrated published article The Ladies Loved It.
1956 Sports Illustrated published article The Wicket Men Of Hollywood.
1957 Green Gables Croquet Club formed in Spring Lake, New Jersey by Suzie Oakes (now Linden); now the oldest continuous club in the USA.

The Championship of Oxford Open Singles Challenge Cup was last played because the cup then "went missing".

Laws of Association Croquet published by the Croquet Association.

1960 Tom McDonnell starts playing nine-wicket croquet in Coldwater Canyon Park, Beverly Hills, California, USA, after Samuel Goldwyn's croquet court was lost.

Tackle Croquet This Way by E. P. C. Cotter published by Stanley Paul, London, England, UK. 124 pages.

1961 Varsity Match first held at Hurlingham by Oxford University and Cambridge University.
1965 Click to EnlargeCroquet Instructions to Beginners by J. W. Solomon with the authority of the Croquet Association published. Eight pages with advertisements by John Jaques, Atlas Company, and Charles Webber.
1966 Croquet & How to Play It by David Miller and Rupert Thorp published by Faber & Faber in London, England, UK.

Westhampton Mallet Club visits Hurlingham Croquet Club in London, England, and is summarily and severely thumped in open competition played under International Rules, and on short grass. "... Hurlingham's peaceful and traditional calm was slightly shaken when a challenge was received, at very short notice, from the Westhampton Mallet Club. The initial overtures indicated that there was some difference in the game as played here and in America, but the emissary from the U.S. was not of the opinion that this would be insurmountable. As a result, within a very short time, a team arrived to play croquet under our rules, and it soon became apparent that the differences were such that a serious contest was quite impossible. The game played by our visitors was similar to that played here between 1867 and about the turn of the centrury, It was apparent that although the U.S. has a reputation for being considerably in advance of us in many fields, on the croquet field the recerse is the case." [John Solomon in 1968 Croquet Gazette]
1967 Click to EnlargeHurlingham Croquet Club visits Westhampton Mallet Club in Long Island, New York, USA. Hurlingham sent Ian Baillieu, John Solomon, Douglas Strachan, and Gerald Williams; Westhamption fielded Bill Bohner, [Al] Heath, Peter Maas, Walter Margulies, Jack Osborn, Ned Prentis, David Seineger, and Henry White. The result, played under American Nine-Wicket Rules, and on long grass, was a tie. See complete story in 1968 Croquet Gazette. See Mallets Across the Blinkin' Sea in Sports Illustrated magazine.

Queen Elizabeth of England celebrates the centenary of croquet.
1968 Westhampton Mallet Club revisits Hurlingham Croquet Club in London, England. Westhampton sent Bill Bohner, Walter Margulies, Jack Osborn, David Seineger, and Henry White. Hurlingham fielded Robin Godby, Alex Karmel, John Solomon, Jocelyn Sundius-Smith, and Jim Townsend. Hurlingham won every game. See complete story in 1968 Croquet Gazette.
1969 The New York Croquet Club and Palm Beach Croquet Club play the first six-wicket tournament at the Colony Hotel in Florida.  The finals were delayed to watch the New York Jets with Joe Namath upset the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl, but the New York Croquet Club lost the next day.
1970 John Prince becames the first player to complete a sextuple peel in
competition
on March 30th in Hastings, New Zealand. [1990 Townsend's Croquet Almanack]
1971

Keith Wylie (1945-1999) becomes the first player to complete a delayed sextuple (where the first peel, through 1-back, is not completed until after the first hoop has been scored by the striker's ball). This he did in the second game of the final in the 1971 Open Singles Championship at Hurlingham against Nigel Aspinall. [1990 Townsend's Croquet Almanack]

1974 Jeløy Croquet Club (JCC) and Croquet-selskabet (The Croquet Society), introduced Association Croquet into Norway on June 8th. [Tore Gulbrandsen]
1975 The Tribune, Norway's croquet periodical, first published. [Tore Gulbrandsen]
1976 New Oxford University Croquet Club formed.
1977 Jack Osborn organized six Eastern clubs (including the Westhampton Mallet Club, Croquet Club of Bermuda, Green Gables Croquet Club, New York Croquet Club, and Palm Beach Croquet Club) into the United States Croquet Association (USCA), and wrote a new rule book for an American version of the six-wicket sport called American Rules croquet. 
1978 Sue Foden of Oxford University is the first woman to play in the Varsity Match at Hurlingham.
1981

Read ExcerptThe History of Croquet by D. M. C. Prichard published by Cassell of London with ISBN 0304307599.

Rudolph "Foxy" Carter holds New England Regional Tournament at Newport Croquet Club.

Nigel Aspinal, John Solomon, Bernard Neal, and William Omerod come from England to Palm Beach, Florida, USA, to play American Rules Croquet against Jack Osborn, Archie Peck, Teddy Prentis, and Ned Prentis. The British spent much of their time sticking the American's balls in hoops. This was before the wiring-lift rule was in effect in the US, and the rule change was put into effect shortly after.

1984 The fourth edition of the Basic Laws of Croquet published by the Croquet Association. It included the basic laws of both Interntaional Croquet and Golf Croquet. 16 6"x4" pages.
1985

Keith Wylie writes Expert Croquet Tactics.

John Prince becames the first player to score two sextuples in one day,
on the November 8th during the President's First Eight at Gisborne,
New Zealand. [1990 Townsend's Croquet Almanack]

Jim Bast of Texas because the first American player to run a triple peel in an international tournament on May 25th during the Great Britian versus United States (Solomon Trophy) at Nottingham, England, UK.

1986 First Croquet Classic held by the CA for "garden players"; handicapped players are not allowed to play. 

World Croquet Federation (WCF) was formed as an "international governing body".

American Croquet Association (ACA) was formed by Stan Patmor of Arizona to "promote International Rules croquet in America".

Hans Peterson publishes Croquet Magazine co-edited by Bob Alman and Mike Orgill.

First Sonoma World Championship held at the Sonoma-Cutrer Winery, Winsor, California, USA by Brice Cutrer Jones.  It has since become the site of the World Croquet Championships.

1988 Click to EnlargeCroquet: The Complete Guide by Anton E. Gill published by Heinemann Kingswood of London. Includes the history of croquet. 200 pages, ISBN 9780434981007 (paperback), 0434981001 (hardcover).
1989 First World Croquet Championship held in London, and recognized by the WCF.  80 players competed from England (46), Scotland (8), New Zealand (6), USA (5), Ireland (5), Australia (4), Wales (4), Canada (1), and Japan (1). The eight from Scotland were Keith Aiton, David Appleton, Ian Bond, Andrew Hope, Martin Murray, Duncan Reeve, Rod Williams and Stephen Wright.

Croquet was a "demonstration sport" at the World Games in Karlsruhe.

A Leisurely Game With Some Wicket Action published in Sports Illustrated magazine. It was about the Sonoma World Championship held at the Sonoma-Cutrer Winery, Winsor, California, USA.

1990 Windsor, California Such Splendor On the Grass published in Time magazine.
1991 Queen of Games: The History of Croquet by Nicky Smith published.
1992

Click to EnlargeCroquet: An Annotated Bibliography from the Rendell Rhoades Croquet Collection by Nancy L. Rhoades published by Scarecrow Press in Metuchen, New Jersey, USA. The bibliography describes 679 croquet books, ephemera, pamphlets, and other items from this unique collection housed at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio.

Charlie Smith of Santa Rosa, California, USA, played a seven-and-one-half hour game at the World Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, USA; the longest in World Croquet Federation history.

1993 European Croquet Federation (FEC) was formed.

World Croquet Championship held at the Casino in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, and sponsored by Jaguar Cars.

The United States first competes in the MacRobertson Shield.

1997 Click to EnlargeThe Croquet Association Centenary Year Book 1897-1997 together with A Concise History of the Croquet Association by Colin Prichard published by the Croquet Association. It included winners of principal events and officers of the Association. 146 8-1/4"x6" pages.
1998

First sextuple peel performed by an American in a sanctioned tournament: Jacques Fournier in the United States Open at Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

Cheating, Gender Roles, and the Nineteenth-Century Croquet Craze by Jon Sterngass published in the Journal of Sport History by the North American Society of Sports History.

Maui Croquet Club (MCC) formed in Kihei, Hawaii, USA.

1999 Jacques Fournier become the first American, and at 17 perhaps the youngest person, to win the World Croquet Championship.
2000 The United States places third in the MacRobertson Shield held in Christchurch, New Zealand.

San Francisco Open discontinued after 15 years.

Maui Croquet Club (MCC) joins the USCA.

2001 The Lodge at Koele hosts first tournament with the Maui Croquet Club.
2004

Croquet Fever held it's first International Rules tournament at The Lodge at Koele.

Jeløy Croquet Club (JCC) and Brevik Croquet Team (BCT) form the Norges Croquet Forbund (Croquet Association of Norway) in July. [Tore Gulbrandsen]

2005

Croquet: A Bibliography -- Specialist Books and Pamphlets Complete to 2002 by David H Drazin published by Oak Knoll Press in USA, and Roefield Press in England.

Reg Bamford sets the world four-game peeling record runing two consecutive sextuple peels followed by two consecutive octuple peels in his last four games at The Resort at the Mountain Invitational. These were also the first octuple peels every completed in American tournament play.

Jeløy Grand Tournament played in May; the first international croquet tournament in Norway. [Tore Gulbrandsen]

2007 First Norway Open and Nordic Open held at Holmsbu Golf Course, Hurum, Norway, in August. [Tore Gulbrandsen]
2009 The Solomon Trophy won by the United States of America for the first time; Great Britain won the preceeding fifteen times. Team USA consisted of Jim Bast (TX), Doug Grimsley (VA), Danny Huneycutt (NC), Ben Rothman (CA), Jeff Soo (NC), and Jerry Stark (CA).
2010 The Grand DesignThe Grand Design by Stephen Hawking (the physicist) and Leonard Mlodinow published by Random House Digital. When writing about miracles, Hawking gives three examples: "to heal the terminally ill, to bring premature end to droughts, or to reinstate croquet as an olympic sport".