Image via Wikipedia
Due to the inclement weather I am going to have to cancel High Tea and Croquet this afternoon. Dreadfully sorry, I know we do need the rain, but it is dashed inconvienent sometimes!
I will be rescheduling for early December and will announce the new date shortly.
In the meantime, a little information on the history of croquet for you to ponder:
The game of hitting balls through hoops can be traced back to 14th century France. There, peasants fashioned hoops from willow branches and used shepherds crooks to hit the balls. It showed up again in 17th century Ireland where a British sports equipment maker, John Jaques first saw it. As their company history tells the story, he then took the idea home, equipment was produced and it quickly became the sport of the elite class. A governing body was established around 1870 in England. By mid the 1880's, its luster was tarnished by gambling and other social concerns of the Victorian era. Even the first known club The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, at Wimbledon, ejected the sport and dropped its context from the club's name. Croquet's survival was in the immense popularity as a backyard game. With the influence of the British Empire, croquet found its way to most of the Commonwealth countries.
The English players, not to be banished to their gardens forever, formed the Croquet Association (CA) in 1897. On the other side of the Atlantic, croquet's popularity grew in the 1930's and 40's. It was taken to especially by the rich and famous of the United States. Many of Hollywood stars found croquet the sport to be playing. This short resurgence in the United States plateaued until the mid-sixties when a group of players on Long Island and another in Florida started playing again. From these beginnings, the USCA was formed, and along with it, formal rules and regulations governing play, American-style.