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(krōkā`), lawn game in which the players hit wooden balls with wooden mallets through a series of 9 or 10 wire arches, or wickets. The first player to hit the posts placed at each end of the field wins. The game developed in France in the 17th cent. Though the American public identifies it as a casual picnic sport, higher levels of play that feature manicured playing surfaces, skilled shotmaking, and cutthroat strategy increased in the 1980s. An annual contest between the United States Naval Academy and St. John's College of Annapolis is a growing rivalry.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a sport in which each player uses a wooden mallet to knock a ball through a number of wire wickets in a specified order, and as fast as possible, to hit the goal—the opponent’s peg —and then to return the ball to its own peg.

Croquet was played in France in the 17th century and spread in the 19th century to many countries, including Russia, primarily as a means of relaxation and amusement. The game is played on an even earthen or grassy court of arbitrary size (24–90 m long and 13.5–45 m wide). The balls are 8.28 cm in diameter; the mallet handle is up to 1 m in length; the wickets are of no set size (approximately 25 × 25 cm). In the late 19th century roque, a variant of croquet, appeared; played on a clay court 18 × 19m with fixed wickets only 2.54 cm wider than the ball, it was included in the Olympic program in 1904. Official croquet and roque competitions are not held.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


In Gothic architecture and derivatives, an upward-oriented ornament, often vegetal in form, regularly spaced along sloping or vertical edges of emphasized features such as spires, pinnacles, and gables.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a game for two to four players who hit a wooden ball through iron hoops with mallets in order to hit a peg
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The pictures show Mr Prescott wearing sunglasses and leaning on his croquet mallet on the lawn at Dorneywood in Buckinghamshire in the middle of Thursday afternoon, shortly after he took charge of running the country during Tony Blair's holiday in Italy.
Tyneside's John Moore swapped his usual croquet mallet for a putter and headed to the World Crazy Golf Championships in Hastings.
It is a special, time-warp experience to sit in the sunshine in this garden, with the background scents of flowers and birdsong which merges with the dull "thwock" of croquet mallet on ball.
Now Camilla Parker-Bowles, the most high-profile mistress in the country, has stepped out of the shadows and you'd have to club her with a croquet mallet to get her back in there again.
Neill Collins swung his leg like a croquet mallet as Steve Kabba jinked past him, and referee Neil Swarbrick pointed to the spot.
As a scrum of European media descended on this exclusive venue set in acres of pristine lawns and lily-padded ponds, an elderly lady strode purposefully through the grounds carrying a croquet mallet in its wooden case.
There now seem to be so many polo clubs opening up and down the country that, just like any humble jockey born in the back streets of Belfast, if you prove to have a yen for galloping up and down on horseback at speed with what looks like a croquet mallet in your hand, then there's still a place for you.
"I have my croquet mallets in the corner," Geoff said.
In the children's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, which birds are used as croquet mallets? 6.
We had a large barn, where previous owners had stored away all kinds of things from postcard albums to croquet mallets and rusty ice skates, much of it dating from a century before I was born.
Other reclaimed materials include pool decking purchased on Craigslist, wire fencing used as a trellis and, inside, repurposed croquet mallets used as hooks for hanging garden hoses.
The games will be played with antique croquet mallets and balls.