Extreme Croquet


Yes, another extreme version of a sport or hobby (extreme ironing being my favorite). The good people over at the Connecticut eXtreme Croquet Society have bonded together against the more milquetoast croquet aficionados; their mission statement declares them as "dedicated to enjoying eXtreme croquet, nature, and the near-death experience!™" Any extreme course will likely be channelling Herbert Swope, whose "course was so large that players had to shout to one another. It had sand traps, bunkers, rough, and Long Island Sound waiting in the distance."

In the United States, eXtreme croquet took a step forward in the late 1970's with the development of "Guerilla Croquet", invented by collegiate champion Hans Peterson and his partners at Croquet Magazine, Bob Alman and Michael Orgill. Another entry into the eXtreme category came from Nevada's Black Rock Desert, where trucks with oversize tires smash six-foot balls through giant hoops.

One extreme croquet group lists courses lovingly authored by their members. It's fun to see how we all have a different idea of the most frustrating way to wield a mallet...

For instance, some of these courses from the Ironman Croquet League wouldn't necessarily fit my definition of "extreme" but, hey, I should probably try before I judge:

  • Boat Shot, (Created by Jon) Yes, Jon used his rusty old boat as his course's starting point. You start on the far end of the upside-down boat and carefully aim to maneuver the ball into the right groove so it rolls through the wicket taped at the other end of the boat.
  • The Plum Shot, (Created by Jon) The Crawford's have a plum tree (why is beyond me). The wicket was placed below one of the tree's low-lying branches. You have to avoid fallen plums and those annoying leaves in your face.
  • Gasoline Alley, (Created by Jon) This shot is at the top of a small hill, against the fence. First you must make it up the incline. The shot is placed at an angle, so you have to hit it perfectly or the ball will roll back down the hill. An old gasoline can is there, too, causing problems if you get stuck behind it or if you hit it so hard it explodes! (The Ironman Croquet league does not support putting gas in the gas can before shooting this shot.)

If you want to raise the stakes & author your own extreme version, please do share...Mine would involve blazing wickets for extensive night-play.