Croquet’s Family of Leisure Games
Leisure games is a modern term for a world of game playing that has evolved considerably from its inception and has permeated modern culture in incredible ways. The families of leisure games all have a common thread and pedigree that is also linked to incredible families in human history.
One of the best known members of the leisure game family is the game of croquet. This is a game that was invented and popularized by a family by the name of Jacques who lived in France about the same time that the king of England was losing power over the American colonies.
A son in the Jacques family wandered off to find his place in the world and would up marrying into a family that was in the trade of working hard woods, bone and ivory. When this inventive young lad saw an old form of croquette being played in Scotland he carried the game’s idea back to his homeland and later to England where it was popularized in a gigantic tournament in the year 1851.
This family also set the rules for gameplay and was a key in keeping order in the game so that it could survive and become one of the most phenomenal leisure games today. The famous author and mathematician, Lewis Carroll, was also a relative of this prestigious family and his love for the game of croquette led to the game’s inclusion in some of his most memorable writing.
Even before croquette came of age as it were, its ancestral game that was viewed first in Scotland had given birth to a new line of leisure games that are still extremely popular today. These games evolved when royalty brought the outdoor games inside and substituted the green grass playing surface for the green clothed tables that were the first billiards tables.
A French king owned the first billiards table which was fashioned of cloth topped stone and featured only one hole in the middle of the table into which a ball could be sunk. The earliest of billiards games were played it mallets of a sort that were used to knock or push the balls into the holes.
These mallets are of the same origin as golf clubs and even shuffleboard sticks. The cue sticks that are common to the game of billiards as it is played today gradually replaced the mallets in most cases.
Since the green wool cloth was a symbol of the leisure game’s heritage many billiards players considered the cloth to be the chief element of the game. This fixation forbid women from using the cues which were more capable of tearing through the fabric and grounded the women of early billiards to playing with the mallets.