How to Select and Buy Croquet Equipment
Equipment comes in three broad categories of size/weight/quality/longevity/price.
Lightweight and Inexpensive Toy Sets
Scaled for children, these sets are typically found in toy stores and discount outlets for $30 to $150 or more. They include nine wickets (for the traditional backyard-style game), six mallets, six balls, and two stakes. Most of these sets are not very durable and may soon break, even in normal play, and have to be replaced. And child-sized sets are not suitable for adults.
These sets typically cost between $300 and $500, and include four balls, four mallets, nine wickets, two stakes, wicket clips, and rule book. Bridging the gap between the lightweight toy equipment and tournament-class components, these sets can be used either for either 6-wicket USCA-style play or for nine wickets croquet.
Class “A” Tournament-Quality Components
If you’re serious about the sport of croquet, you’ll want the kind of equipment used in croquet clubs around the world — components designed and manufactured to serve the requirements of the top practitioners of the sport. There are many manufacturers of quality equipment (much of it virtually handmade), and almost all of them sell separate components rather than sets. The prices of the components you would need for one lawn fall roughly in the following ranges.
Wickets (6 or 9): $40 to $600 per set
Other accessories will also be necessary, but they are very inexpensive and can be manufactured at home or bought cheaply at your local hardware or variety store: string and boundary settings; game clocks; wicket clips, and a rubber hammer for driving the wickets into the ground.
WHERE TO BUY