Croquet is a lawn game dating back to 19th century England. Its first appearance in the Olympic games took place in 1900. Although it’s known for a relaxed pace, it’s taken on a reputation as blood-thirsty and competitive. One needs only to look at the 1988 Winona Ryder film Heathers, or Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in which an unfortunate hedgehog is used in a game as the ball.
Despite this, it’s remained a popular sport for people of every physical condition and age group. In 2006, former British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who was not known as much of an athlete, was photographed playing the game on the Dorneywood lawn, and sales of croquet sets skyrocketed. A spokesman for the U.K. department store chain Asda reported a 300% increase in sales after the photo ran. "People have seen Prescott 'pegging-out' and have thought if he can do it, so can we," the spokesman said.