by Bob Stephens - Mallet

The Mallett - Fall 1993
By Bob Stephens, Tournament Manager

This little poem was on the back page of the Hurlingham Tournament brochure this summer. As the poem indicates, croquet is a 'ladies and gentlemen's" game, and should always be that way.

Expedition in Play

a) Dear striker, put your balls in place
And play your stroke with speed and grace.
Anticipate which ball to play
At start of turn; Don't cause delay.

If taking bisque, then indicate
With all dispatch; Please do not wait.
It really don't solve no one's troubles,
Prolonged discussion during doubles.

b) If wiring test you wish to try,
Then do so with unaided eye.
Don't ask the ref., he'll give short shrift,
Save start of turn when claiming lift.

When games are limited in time,
Remember, please, this little rhyme.
So all our chances be the same,
Play up, play up, and play the game.

The Gentle Game

Croquet is all very well, in its way,
If you hate all the people you happen to play.
But don't be discouraged - though starting as friends,
You'll hate them like poison before the game ends.

This quarrel, this squabble, this shambles, in fact
With envy and hatred and mallets is packed:
A series of bickers and bruises, and bangs
The venom of vicars will drop from their fangs.

There's something about it that poisons the spleen;
It makes you dogmatic, malicious and mean;
It plumbs, to the depths, every possible vice;
It's callous, it's cruel - it's ever so nice.

- By Bob Stephens, Tournament Manager