Croquet was played in Czechia more than 125 years ago, and even today there are remnants of croquet courts in the chateau parks of a few old stately homes. Interest lapsed with World War II and the subsequent change in the political system, and then when croquet became popular in the 1970s as a favourite game for family summer weekends away, it was backyard croquet--without any unified rules and no clubs or other organizations to regulate and standardize the game. The only available equipment was wire hoops, wooden balls and lightweight mallets.
In 2001 the need to found an integrated national croquet organisation in the Czech Republic took seed in several towns all at once. In Havirov, the Asociace ceskomoravskeho kroketu (The Czech-Moravian Croquet Association) was organized. Other clubs soon discovered Czech croquet through the Internet. By 2002, the first national competitions began. After a few seasons of increasing membership, the first National Championship was organised in 2005.
Coincidentally, all the Czech clubs have been established in towns and cities considered very attractive to visitors, so when you decide to visit, be sure to book a tour guide as well!
Championships for individuals or clubs within the republic are held regularly. Every year the only international competition in the Czech Republic--The Mill Cup--happens in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) in September--the ideal month to visit the country. Previous Golf Croquet Mill Cup Open tournaments have hosted players from nearby Germany as well as other countries, including Carole Jackson from South Africa and David Hopkins and Graham Thompson from England. The contact information for Mill Cup sign-up is: firstname.lastname@example.org . The most important Association Croquet event of the year is the Czech national championship in Prague in early July.
In the spring of 2013, the only purpose-built regulation croquet courts are in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), a world-renowned spa town near the western boundary with Germany, known for its treatment of various movement and digestive disorders. Although croquet is an ideal activity for convalescence, so far the two local croquet clubs are used mainly by club members. The club, on the grounds of the Karlovy Vary adjacent to a stylish hotel, has a predominantly female membership.
Not every competition has such good courts as Karlovy Vary, so players at most other venues have had to settle for lawns on improvised football pitches.
Another gorgeous town with a croquet club is Horice, in the far east of the Republic, about 200 kilometers by auto from Prague. The town is distinguished for its beautiful stonework. Artists who gather for festivals and workshops on sculpture and masonry often leave their works behind to grace parks and other public spaces. The local croquet club has the highest average age among Czech members, but it is the most active in participating in competitions and other club activities.
International cooperation began in 2005, when we established relations with Austrian player Leopold Walderdorff. Based on his recommendations, the Czech-Moravian Croquet Association in 2012 became an Observer member of the WCF and a full member of the European Croquet Federation. Recent amendments to the Statutes of the WCF has encouraged the Czech-Moravian Croquet Association to apply for Associate membership.
From year 2005 on, Czech players have established themselves in international competitions and are competing on a regular basis in European and world events. Among the achievements of the national team are a first place in the 3rd Tier of the MacRobertson Shield 2010, third place in the Golf Croquet World Championship Division 2 in 2012, and David Hajn's 2nd place at the European Continental Championship 2008.
Czech players often take part in competitions in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Players in those nearby countries have always been those who have supported us in the international arena, and we are indebted to them.
But now we are ready to welcome croquet players from everywhere. When you come to the Czech Republic, you can see the sights, get to know the culture, meet new friends....and play competitive croquet on fine courts. Check us out!
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