Croquet and a boy’s toys


Hello

Today we are going to Muse about Croquet again.  If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.

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Croquet and a boy’s toys

For our anniversary Jeanette got me a new croquet mallet.  It’s a beauty.  Here it is.

New Mallet

New Mallet

I had it custom-made by Wood Mallets, a company in New Zealand.  The head is detachable to make it easier to travel with.

Two Mallets

Two Mallets

Here you see it with my other mallet.  The new mallet is the one in the back.  As you can see, there are several differences. The handle is two inches taller which allows me to stand straighter during play.  The handle is fiberglass with a synthetic rubber like covering.  The fiberglass allows a little flexing when the ball is struck and the covering prevents my hands from slipping even when wet.

Mallet Head

Mallet Head

The major difference is the head.  The striking surfaces are metal and ribbed.  This sends the ball further and imparts more spin.  The head is also two inches longer which is a plus and a minus.  On the plus side, it is much more accurate on long shots.  On the minus side, it may be hampered when a ball is close to a wicket.

The markings have function also.  The long line running the length of the head is a sighting aid.  The vertical line on the side is 9 inches in from the right edge.  When a ball goes out-of-bounds, it is placed exactly nine inches into the court from the boundary line.  The marking on the head is used to measure the nine inches.  My old mallet does not have this marking because that head is nine inches long and therefore the entire length of the mallet head was used to measure a ball into the game.

And the head is weighted near each end.  Mine is a 3 pound head which is fairly standard.

As an aside, in croquet a player has one mallet which he must know how to hold to execute a variety of shots:  drive shot, roll shot, half roll shot, 3/4 roll shot, pass roll shot, stop shot and jump shot.

I am quite happy with my new toy and my game has definitely moved up a notch or two.  Unfortunately this has been the rainiest summer I have experienced in Florida.  The mosquitos and the rain that brings them  have caused many games to be cancelled.

Rainy Days

Speaking of rain I came across these photos of myself and a friend, Warren Phillips.  We were playing at the club a year ago when we got caught in a deluge.

Warren and Tom

Warren and Tom

Croquet is one sport that is not called when it rains.  Games are only stopped if there is lightning or the courts become unplayable.

Shooting the wicket

Shooting the wicket

Warren and I eventually conceded that the court was unplayable.

Tom in the rain

Tom in the rain

With all that water the balls would not roll more than four or five inches.  We were just goofing around.

National Croquet Center

This time of year the snow birds head home where they expect it to be cooler.  Fooled them this year!  Actually Florida gets a bad rap about hot summers.  It rarely gets into the 90° s down here and it has not hit 100° in the twenty plus years I have lived in Florida.  Just the same, many people head north.  As a result there are few people around with whom to play.  So Jeanette and I have joined the National Croquet Center.

National Croquet Center

National Croquet Center

It is actually only five minutes from where we live.  Gives us many more people with whom we can play.

more to come

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About Thomas L. Tribby

Professional artist: painter, sculptor, print maker. Maintains a studio in West Palm Beach, Florida
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