It's short, matter-of-fact, includes some helpful diagrams, and describes several considerations for the game I'd never considered--such as the best croquet surfaces for playing at the seaside. Beach croquet, how neat! (I'd end up with balls in the water...oh, well.)
|preparing to play|
I decided this spring that I wanted to purchase a croquet set, and if I was going to do so I really wanted it to fit into my generally fabulous pseudo-historical picnic aesthetic. I started flipping through croquet manuals to look for specifications. Several of them--like wood type--I couldn't try to match, but sizing started an interesting online search for the perfect set. According to Croquet: IIaLs, "the whole length of the mallet should not be less than 2 feet 9 inches (except for children), nor more than 3 feet." That's quite a bit longer than most modern commercial sets. The mallet head has four choices, "1st the most common form; 2nd the barrel head; 3rd the plano-convex; [and]4th the cue-shaped head, in which the two ends are on the principle of the billiard cue, one being , like it, tipped with leather." I went with the barrel head (sort of), because it was available. Balls also offer several choices, but modern sets mostly just have one: solid colors. Most interesting, though, was the third option for balls: "one-half the set should be of a dark colour, and the other light, each ball being marked with one, two, three, or four rings upon the light or dark ground, or with the corresponding numerals on each face. The object of these colours and rings is to distinguish each ball and its order of play." I've never seen a set marked that way, but it's really interesting.
|diagram of acceptable mallet heads, from C: IIaLs|
|taking a shot in the middle of the course|
|C: IIaLs's "Improved Arrangement" of the course. The dots at the top and bottom of the diagram are the "starting and ending" and "turning" sticks|
|croqueting an opponent's ball|