Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Game for a Country Setting

Croquet - a throwback game that is fun for the whole family.  It is a physical game that will get everyone off the couch.  But its a physical game that even my great-grandma had 2 hip replacements and 2 knee replacements and walked with a walker and she could still play this game with us when we were kids.
The girls at my daughter's birthday party had never seen it or played before but they caught on quickly and had a great time.  Even the ones who were losing by far had a lot of fun cheering on the others and trying to get to each little hoop.

It is a very simple game that even toddlers can join in.  And it can be played by 2 players or as many as you have balls for.  Guys and girls are on an even playing field here and size does not matter.  The second place girl at our party was 3 years younger than all the other girls.  Guys even find this fun - its actually similar to putting for those golfers.
It is inexpensive.  You can find old sets at garage sales or auctions all the time for very little.  Sometimes you might need to do minor repair with a little wood glue to the stick handles or make new wire hoops.  I have also seen them for sale at sporting goods stores in more recent years as these old family lawn games have been making a comeback.
The rules are very simple:

  • Set up a pattern with a wooden marker on each end of the course.  This is your start, turnaround and finish.  
  • To start, you must have your ball touching the first wooden marker when you hit it the first time.  
  • One hit per turn unless you go through a hoop - that earns you an extra swing.  
  • You must follow the course - meaning you have to enter through the right side of the hoop each time - you can't go backwards through a hoop.
  • Your ball has to hit the wooden marker at the other end of the course before you can head back to the other end.
  • First person to go all the way through the course in order and make their ball hit the wooden marker back at the beginning wins.

This is not usually a fast game - especially if you have a lot of players.  But it is a great opportunity to interact with your family and friends and get your kids engaged and outside for an afternoon.

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