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The Physics of Croquet.

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by: PlayCroquet Column
“Your mother is so lacking in poise, she can't even play croquet in heels!”—Albert Einstein. A>croquet set consists of a wooden mallet, some wire wickets, and some heavy balls, each differing in color. Croquet, originally a social game for ladies and gentlemen, is played by lightly “putting” a ball through metal hoops, called wickets, in a simple course. This game, so lavishly celebrated in the late 1800's, and played by the upper-crest, had such a profound lesson for me, not only in science, but in life.

It all starts with Newton's Laws of Motion. Remember number 1? Every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change by the forces impressed upon it. I learned that the hard way on my worst, yet best date.

There we were in the park. I was wearing a cute sun dress with matching hot-pink high heels. My mallet was gripped firmly in my hand. I took off my pumps, which kept digging into the grass, and got ready to swing my mallet to victory. That's when the most terrifyingly embarrassing thing happened. It was now my turn, and, this is where the date peaks, I decided to take a good ol' David and Goliath attempt at Croquet. (I wanted him to think that I was good at sports, but honestly, I knew of nothing more excruciating than sports—regardless of whether it was a dainty game of croquet.)

I was David, the wicket was Goliath, and my date was about to become target practice. SMACK! I took a swing and saw my mallet slip from my grip. It went swinging toward my date's face. I have made a lot of guys run away from me before, only this time it was literal. That's when he said, “You're so lacking in poise that you can't even play croquet in heels.”

Towards the end of the game, we were now playing cut-throat Croquet. His ball was what the croquet player's call “poisoned.” If his ball collided with mine then I would be finished and he would win the game. I tried to get away from his ball, but he was getting close on purpose so the game would end. So, my squabbling was finally put to rest when he knocked his ball against mine.

I can't remember exactly what happened the rest of the night. He took me home as soon as he could and I never heard from him again. Webster's dictionary defines Croquet as “the act of driving away an opponent's croquet ball by hitting one's own ball when the two are in contact.” Maybe this guy had made contact with me just to drive me away. Pretty cruel, huh? Actually, it was a good thing for me. I needed to realize that sometimes you have to get rejected in order for you to stop rejecting yourself. The laws of dating had come to me that night in the simple physics of Croquet. Marion Crawford is a writer for Yard Game Central, a game resource for families and friends. For more information on>croquet and>croquet sets please visit


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