Letters ... We get Letters ... We get lots and lots of Letters !!! We are constantly getting terrific letters from avid eXtremists commenting on the various and wonderful aspects of eXtreme croquet. We thought we'd share some of them with you.
Several weeks ago, I attended a women's potluck and foolishly attempted to participate in a volleyball game. Although I did escape serious injury (this time), I believe that croquet would a far more appropriate activity for me and my forty-fiftyish friends . We'd be able to enjoy good, mean-spirited fun and exercise without needing immediate arthroscopic surgery.
I grew up with parents who played a regional variation of croquet (pronounced "croaky) on Cape Cod. I cannot remember all the specific rules now, but the game was played on a nine wicket court of variable size (averaging about 200' square). Holding down your ball while driving away an opponent was not allowed, and there were no poisonballs. The very handsome wickets were custom cast in bronze & very narrow, so that the balls often did not clear (were thus said to be wicketed).
My brother and I were not allowed to play in real games: it was absolutely not a child-friendly activity that was taken VERY seriously (tournaments, lots of alcohol and major fallings-out). All somewhat humor-impaired, in my opinion...
When I discovered your site and the article in Salon.com, I realized that eXtreme croquet would be an ideal game for us! If possible, I would like to get some advice in designing a course and starting a chapter. If you actually do offer consultations, what do you charge? (CeCS reply: If you're rich, we charge a lot. If you're not, it's free).
I live on a 30+ acre farm with very promising eXtreme croquet terrain and potential hazards: lots of hills, briar patches, ditches, marshland, an abandoned swimming pool, a large enclosed sand arena and assorted dead farm machinery. I could probably make a short DVD tour for you.
A final question: would it be possible to adopt some site-specific rules? I strongly feel that extra bonus points ought to be awarded to any player who permanently disables a groundhog or rat, but harassment/injury/death of other wildlife and/or livestock would be severely penalized.
I will look forward to hearing from you,
I'd like to tell you that your website is absolutely terrific. My friends and I have been playing extreme croquet for a couple years now without having any knowledge of organizations like yours.
I first saw your website a couple of weeks ago when researching croquet mallets online. A friend and I were thinking about building "chipping mallets" for going over obstacles and it led me to the Wedge-Face.
Eventually I'd love to buy one, but for now my wallet says that all I can do is try to make a wooden one. Any recommendations or advice? (CeCS reply: Don't use wood, use nylon, polycarbonate, or even UHD polyethylene.)
I'd love to become a "guest member" of your Society; does that mean I can play with you if I'm in Connecticut? (I can't say when that would happen-- I'm in California-- but the prospect of it is pretty exciting...)
It’s good to find out that there are other people doing this kind of thing.
A few years ago for Christmas I gave my siblings mallets made with sledgehammer handles and heads made of 3” x 3” x 10” blocks of Cherry wood, which I had trimmed to make them octagonal in cross section.
There are several shots I remember with fondness, the tricky wicket at my sister’s wedding reception that was placed sideways a foot off the ground in a crack on a vineyard pole, that stopped most of us, my nephew finally made it through to take a win.
There was the night that cats and their movements were ruled to be a course hazzard, the win was stolen from my brother by an especially large fat cat that sat on his ball as if nesting on it, then pushing and chasing it for several feet, taking him out of a perfect setup for the final stake.
Then there was the time that another brother broke his ball into two pieces when he tried to make a 50 yard carry over tall grass, an argument ensued about which half he should continue to play, or if he should have to play both parts of his ball…
On a cold winter night the game of Barn Croquet was invented, starting in the empty hay loft, dropping down to the first floor, up a set of stairs to the garage… alcohol may have been involved during some of these matches, it’s hard to remember them precisely…
Cherry heads don’t hold up real good, but the way we play I don’t know if Ebony would either…
Well keep playing and be good…
My dear Bob,
On Saturday, I met with about 18 or so players in at the sunny, if windswept, Sheepfold of the Middlesex Fells outside Boston before heading to Chiltern's (Mountain Club) annual meeting in Cambridge, where there were 160-170 people.
I was armed with copies of the Smithsonian article as well as a print-out of your rules and whatnot. There were some fish interested in the bait, but most seemed to smile politely and then move away.
We had a an afternoon of pink-skirt croquet with army boots in that the level part of the Sheepfold had been taken over by about a gazillion dogs and their owners, so we played on the slope (with enough reminders of the canines for someone to aptly call our games a crap shoot).
You could tell the people who were really interested in eXtreme as they looked into the rocky oak woods enviously. But there were, even now, some who had either never had a croquet mallet in hand or had only played politely as children and never tasted blood, so we had to keep it approachable for them.
However, there are at least three of us, perhaps four, who are interested in a "fieldtrip" to the Hartford area. I am proposing Sunday the 7th of December as the day that will live in infamy. Please let me know if this would be agreeable, and I will start e-mailing or otherwise cajoling the others about the date.
There actually were several more people interested, but whose priorities were completely wrong, like not willing to give up the Patriots/Marlins game--geesh!
I do wonder yet at the equipment issue. Do we bring crappy mallets and balls to sacrifice to your lust for our complete humiliation, or is there a lend-loan policy on your part for prospective suckers?
Looking forward to soon meeting like-minded, croquet-obsessive, alternate-world-view people like yourselves. Best wishes for the holiday.