Updated: October 14, 2016
Croquet Set Reviews:The game of croquet started in England in the mid-19th century and quickly made its way across the Atlantic to America. Croquet is a game played on lawns (often referred to as backyard croquet) with lightweight equiment, 9 wickets, 2 stakes, and the course is layed out in a traditional double diamond shape. I remember playing croquet growing up in my family, we played in our backyard and always had fun. We were constantly trying to knock the opponents balls off the course. Another name for the croquet wicket is a hoop and some people call the stakes "pegs". The wickets are metal or wire pieces that look like miniature arches and are located throughout the croquet course. You must move your ball along the course and hit it through the various croquet wickets. You eventually win the game by being "pegged out" which means your ball(s) have hit the finishing stake. Other croquet equipment includes the mallets, balls, and flags. We will discuss those below.
A standard croquet mallet weighs 3 lbs and has a 36-inch shaft with a 9-11 inch head length. The mallet shaft should be lightweight with all the weight centered in the head. Modern mallet shafts are made of fiberglass, carbon fiber, or wood and the face of the mallet (where you hit ball) are composed of metal or hard plastic. The croquet balls are blue, black, red and yellow. Croquet is a great outdoor game that you can play individually or as a team. With many homes being built today that have little or no yard, the game of croquet may not thrive as well as did in the 1970s' and 1980's. Even if you have to take your croquet set to a park to play, we recommend getting the family out of the house and enjoying a classic lawn game. CroquetAmerica.com is the official website for the United States Croquet Association and is a comprehensive guide to the sport and the game. It covers the rules, equipment, events, clubs, resorts, rankings and publications. We wanted to review the best croquet sets on this page and we researched the top selling sets listed on sites like Croquet.com, Amazon.com, DicksSportinggoods.com. See below for the results. You can browse the top selling croquet sets online here.
Best Croquet Sets:Finding the best croquet sets for your needs is important since some are too cheap while others cost more than $2000. There are croquet sets for the professional player, the enthusiast, the weekender, and the family. Sets are made for 4, 6, or 8 players and the top brand names are Franklin, Forest, Halex, Jaques, and SportCraft. All sets come with the standard equipment - balls, mallets, pegs/stakes, wickets (hoops), and some kind of storage or carrying case. The best selling weekender croquet set is the Franklin Advanced Deluxe Croquet Set ($60) - designed for 6 players, you get 6 deluxe, all-weather plastic balls, 6 hardwood mallets with rubber caps, 2 painted stakes, and 9 plastic covered wire wickets. The rules and instructions are included for any beginners to the sport of croquet. The Eastport Personalized Croquet Set is made for the avid croquet player and is priced between $169-$189. This Forest croquet set offers a classic English-style pine box with lock corners and rope handles for easy storage and carrying. The 6-player set comes with 6 mallets, 6 unbreakable poly balls (lifetime guarantee), 9 poly-coated wickets and a pair of 24-inch goal stakes. The Holmwood Croquet Set by Jaques is another "weekender" set that is great for the family. The price is a little more expensive ($299) than the Franklin listed above, but the intermediate mallets make learning the game much easier. It's a 4-player set with four 33-inch mallets, 4 Holmwood balls, Holmwood hoops, winning post, and croquet clips. The SportCraft Heritage Croquet Set ($119) is another family focused set made for 4 players. You get a durable wooden crate for storing the croquet equipment. The best budget croquet set is the Halex Classic Family Croquet Set ($35) - different sized mallet handles and heads for players of all ages, this set will surely keep the family busy during those long summer nights. The best professional croquet set is the Cheltenham Croquet Set for $1554.99 - excellent quality and craftsmanship from Jaques that is designed for competitive garden croquet. It's a 6 player set - 3 Oxford mallets, 3 Challenge mallets, 6 Challenge balls, heavyweight Hampton hoops, ball markers, hoop smasher, and croquet clips. The Hurlingham Croquet Set is another Jaques croquet set that prices out at $3589.99 and is stocked with the best equipment. Made for professional players. Our overall opinion on the best croquet set for the money is something between $100-$150 - you want the set to last more than a few years and it should be able to handle the rough play that kids will put it through. RECOMMENDED - It's a top seller and a great starter set - the Halex Select 6 Player Croquet Set in Deluxe Carry Case. At around $30 the Halex set includes six 24" hardwood handles, six 7" hardwood mallets with caps, 9 steel wickets, 6 balls, and a carry case.
Croquet Rules:Croquet rules vary depending on the game you are playing - competitive or backyard. We have listed quite a few sites below that go over the rules of croquet for various formats. Take a look at the general article first and proceed to more in depth and official rules:
- General Croquet Rules and Regulation - HERE
- North American USCA 6 Wicket Rules - HERE
- Association Rules (Oxford site) - HERE
- Golf Croquet Rules - HERE
- 9 Wicket Rules (Backyard play) - HERE