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California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Croquet: Life’s Leisure Sport

Overshadowed by the popularity of more common sports, like favorite American pastimes football and baseball, The San Francisco Croquet Club represents croquet, a lesser-known sport that has been lost in time.
Croquet, not to be confused with cricket, is a much simpler sport than many would assume. Players must simply hit plastic balls (roughly the size of three golf balls), with a mallet through some rectangular hoops embedded in the grass. From an outsider’s perspective, not much athleticism is involved. However, perfect coordination, a precise application of strength and concise calculations of angular directions of the balls are all necessary for success in the game.
“The SF Croquet Club is organized to support the development and maintenance of public croquet facilities for tournament croquet and to popularize croquet in the Bay Area,” is stated on their homepage.
The SF Croquet Club provides people with the opportunity to play on fields in San Francisco, located between 19th Avenue and Wawonna Street.
Memberships are required in order to access the facility, and a variety of options are offered, including a year-long membership or cheaper options for those who are looking to play once in a while.
Retired San Francisco resident Douglas Bowden, a former recreational croquet player, believes that croquet has been decreasing in popularity and the chances of it gaining significant popularity are very slim.
“Back when I played with friends, we simply set up our game in the green fields of nearby parks down in Alabama and the joy in the sport is unlike any other sport,” Bowden said.
“Golf is too complicated to play, techniques and form are too important and they don’t allow people to enjoy it enough. That’s why using a mallet is simpler and we just had a blast with it [croquet].”
While San Francisco residents can access the SF Croquet Club most easily, residents of the East Bay have a closer option. The Oakland Croquet Club is located at Lakeside Park, which is in the Lake Merritt area, and it offers several bowling greens.
Both of these Bay Area establishments provide a wonderful alternative to the more common sports that many people have grown up playing.

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California State University East Bay
Croquet: Life’s Leisure Sport