Is Croquet a dying sport?
Is Croquet a dying sport? Probably a harsh question but, have a look at some of the reasons why it could be.
- The common thought is its a sport for old people,This is a theory that cannot be dismissed easily, when driving past my local club.
- There is a severe lack of coverage both on television and in the press. I am sure you will struggle to find a mention in your local paper, too.
- Do you know anyone that plays the game? How many people actually play the game?
The first thing to comment on is the misconseption that it is an old persons sport. Social Croquet is usually played during the day, so would attract an older playing membership,as most are retired. Clubs, do however, play evening, competiton and League Croquet, which does have its fair share of younger players.
It is true that press and T.V. coverage is minimal. That is common with most minority sports, although, Bowls does seem to attract more than its share of television air play. I do not personally know of anyone that plays the game but, surely that just means i move in different social circles.
Most sports seem to have embraced a shorter version of their game. Cricket with 20/20, Football with 6 a side tournaments, Rugby with the Sevens competitions and other sports have adapted the rules to allow the game to flow quicker. This in turn makes the game more entertaining for players and spectators, alike.
Croquet already has this game available, its called Golf Croquet. It is a quicker version of the original game. When one player has gone through a hoop, all other players pick their ball up and they all continue from the lead players position. This ensures more players are involved in the game for longer.
I believe this version of the game should be promoted more. Clubs could invite the local press and advertise the Open day, to encourage new players into the Sport. Local buisnesses could be challenged to enter teams into a competition with fun prizes on offer. Give the players a free barbeque to encourage them to see the social side of the game too.
So, NO, in my opinion, Croquet is not a dying sport but, a lot more could be done to encourage more people into the sport.