The following article was posted on the Nottingham Croquet list on February 21, 1998
My three sons all played croquet in our garden from the age of about seven. The only modification to equipment was to shorten the handle of an old mallet.
No modification to rules - kids learn much faster than adults! Although I started them off on golf croquet they quickly wanted to play "Dad's game", with croquets and breaks, so we progressed, via one-ball, to the full Association game.
Only one was interested enough to want to play in a tournament, at the age of 12, and I consider it key that we chose a handicap doubles (which we won) at a small friendly club - and from then on there was no stopping him.
The great problem in encouraging youngsters is croquet's lack of 'street cred'. My son cringed when his photograph was printed in a local newspaper and his schoolfriends saw what he had been up to in the summer holidays.
Surely experience in the UK shows that you generally need a critical mass of youngsters in a school (Blackburn, Colchester, Ludlow, Nailsea, Wolverhampton all spring to mind), under the guidance of an enthusiastic teacher/coach to produce a steady stream of youngsters into the game. And some of them go on to be quite good ...
of the United Kingdom