On the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month throughout the rolling season (May to October) members of the public are invited to play croquet on the lawns from 6 p.m. to dusk at no charge. The necessary equipment is provided by the Club, together with instruction in golf croquet, the simplest form of the game. Players are required to wear flat soled shoes which will not damage the lawns.
Croquet playing members of WPLBC play all 3 of the main forms of the 6 wicket game.
Each form of the game uses the same court and hoop layout. There are 6 wickets, laid roughly out in a box, with the stake in the center. The wickets are just a small amount wider than the balls, making scoring a wicket more of a precision effort. But the flat, smooth, fast greens make reliable and precise shots easier.
The 3 main forms of the game are:
- Golf croquet.
This is a fast moving game which is a series of contests to be the first to score a given hoop. Each turn is a single shot, making it fast paced and easy game to start to learn.
- Association rules croquet.
This game is the international version of croquet where you earn extra shots for each wicket and for “roqueting” or hitting another ball. Because of our proximity to Canada, this version is popular at the club.
- American rules croquet.
This game is similar in spirit to “backyard croquet” as played in the United States.
In golf croquet a player’s turn is always a single shot. Play rotates in a fixed order between the 4 players in the game. This has the advantage that all 4 players are at all times fully engaged in the game.
In a game played under American or Association rules, a player may make a shot which gives a bonus of one or more additional shots. A skillful player may in this way secure a very long turn, known as a “break”. While the break is being run, the other players in the game can do nothing but watch and hope for an error which will end the break.
WPLBC is a member of the United States Croquet Association (USCA). From time to time it has tournaments. Usually a tournament has an entry fee. This pays for the refreshments served and other tournament expenses. A tournament may be:
- A club tournament, open to any member of the Club.
- An open tournament, open to any croquet player.
- A USCA sanctioned tournament, open to any croquet player who is a member of the USCA. (The club’s USCA membership does not give every croquet-playing member of WPLBC automatic membership in the USCA.)
When playing in a tournament, a croquet player is expected to follow the tradition of the game and to wear white clothing. This dress code is strictly enforced at the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. In the Northwest (British Columbia, Washington and Oregon) observance is more lax!