Wicked Wickets Croquet - Unsanctioned Since 1962
The World Croquet Federation encourages and promotes croquet in all its forms internationally - except Wicked Wickets. But for one glorious day that wasn’t so. A bit of back-story is in order.
The original rules of Wicked Wickets Croquet were penned by three of the best mallet wielders in England during the early part of “the decade of change” before much had changed at all. The authors were Scott Chansoder II, Phil Maglossop III, and Enid Addrink. Their idea - make a game that is played outside in the summer quicker. This faster pace would allow more time for imbibing, eating to sufficiency, and let players spend as little time in the sun lest they tan. (In 1962 a pale to cadaverous complexion was an essential signet of the upper class.)
The rule changes were minimal. “Each player, when his turn, and if needed, can have a teammate bend the wicket as to create an easier shot.” Also, “if any shot is too precarious, negotiations with fellow players shall be entered with the goal of speeding up play and getting to the clubhouse post haste.” The effect these rules had on the game was transformative.
On a glorious day in July of 1962 at the All England Lawn and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London England the rules of Wicked Wickets were used for the first and only time in a Cup Match between the teams from Pucklechurch in South Gloucestershire and Upton Snodsbury in Worcestershire, near North Piddle. Snodsbury jumped to an early lead that the Pucklechurch team could never close. Snodsbury struck the centre peg and completed the circuit in 27 minutes - winning the Cup in record time. The Pucklechurch team was more than good sports about it because they and the lads from Sondsbury had had a match of unrestrained fun.
Unrestrained fun wasn’t something the World Croquet Federation was keen about. For them for more than128 years, restrained fun was what Croquet was all about. Sober, steady, unemotional, undemonstrative barely perceptible fun. Wicked Wickets was banned immediately from Cup Play.
Flash-forward to today and Wicked Wickets Croquet is back in play, in Kenilworth for its seventh annual match. We hope to see you out on the lawn of the Kenilworth Club on the evening of August 31 to enjoy an evening of lost to history unrestrained fun.
“It’s time to split the delicate air asunder with the crack of croquet balls and the laughter of happy players.”
- Arnie Dadrink -
Tournament Director 1962
All England Lawn and Croquet Club