Croquet is a classic yard game that dates back to the 19th century and is still plenty of fun to play today. With a croquet set, you can get up to six players competing fiercely as they race through the wickets. Croquet sets can range greatly in quality with the balls and mallets made of many different materials that often range in durability. In addition, the size and weight of the included mallets will vary from one set to the next.
Our favorite set by AmishShop.com features durable hardwood construction that is meant to last. To learn more about croquet sets and their features, continue reading our shopping guide.
Considerations when choosing croquet sets
The parts of a croquet set
The mallets are usually made of hardwood and are the most important component in any set since they are the tools the player uses to strike the balls. Mallets vary in their length, weight, and head size, as well as their material. A length of around 36 inches is common and comfortable for most adult players, though children need shorter mallets. The head sizes vary from nine to 12 inches, with shorter heads being more beginner-friendly. Mallets often weigh around three pounds, though they may weigh more or less depending on the material. Most mallets are made of hardwood, though carbon composite options are available as well.
Most croquet balls are made of wood and weigh 16 ounces, though lighter 12-ounce balls are available as well and may be better suited to children. Some less expensive sets may have resin balls, which work just as well but may have a less authentic feel. A croquet set includes one ball per mallet to allow multiple players to play.
The wickets are the metal hoops that players must hit the balls through. They are made of steel, which varies in its diameter. The thicker the steel, the more durable the wicket. Most sets include nine wickets, but some sets may have only six. Tournament croquet sets have narrow wickets that are only slightly wider than the balls, while casual sets have wider wickets that are more forgiving.
The wooden stakes that mark both ends of the "pitch" are a vital part of any croquet set. Sets should include two stakes.
Stands or carrying cases
Croquet sets generally come with an easy way to keep your mallets, balls, wickets, and stakes in one place. Some more expensive sets may include a stand, which allows players to easily grab their mallets and balls.
Croquet set prices
Most croquet sets cost from $40 to $80 and include enough mallets and balls for four to six players. Sets for $80 to $300 are usually handcrafted and made of quality materials, and professional sets can cost up to $1,000.
Q. How do I set up a game of croquet?
A. Your set may include a diagram, but you can set up your wickets in a 50- by 100-foot space, assuming you have a nine-wicket set. Put one wicket in the center of the field, then place the remaining wickets to make a figure-eight shape, with two wickets on the top and bottom of the eight. These two wickets should be spaced about six feet apart, with a stake marking each end of the pitch.
Q. How long do croquet sets last?
A. This usually depends on the mallets more than anything else. If your mallets have end faces, they can be expected to last for several years without splitting or showing significant wear.
Croquet sets we recommend
Best of the best: Amishshop.com Amish-Crafted Deluxe Pro Eight-Player Croquet Set
Our take: For those who are looking for an elegant croquet set that will last, this Amish set is a great option.
What we like: The wooden construction is as sturdy and durable as it is attractive. Available in several size options.
What we dislike: This is one of the more expensive croquet sets available, and the balls are prone to losing color over time.
Best bang for your buck: Baden Deluxe Series Croquet Set
Our take: For the price, this is a good set that will keep up to six players entertained for hours.
What we like: The 27-inch mallets are a good length for younger players. This set includes a rulebook and a convenient carrying case.
What we dislike: The resin balls don't have quite the same feeling as traditional wooden balls.
Choice 3: Hape Colorful Croquet Set
Our take: This colorful croquet set is a great option for young children.
What we like: With four wickets and two short, lightweight mallets, little kids can get in on the fun with this basic croquet set.
What we dislike: The plastic wickets are flimsy and can be frustrating to set up.
Peter McPherson is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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