The history of croquet dates back to 1856 when the first rules were officially registered in London. Not many know the famous Wimbledon tennis club was initially established as a croquet club back in 1868. Croquet was played in 1900 Olympic Games.
There are a number of variations of the game, with rules that can differ significantly. Out of those, two enjoy international recognition, where European and World Championships take place – Association Croquet (AC croquet) and Golf Croquet (GC croquet).
The governing body of world croquet is the World Croquet Federation (WCF), which comprises 30 Member States. The most active croquet playing nations are England, New Zealand, USA, Egypt and Australia. In mainland Europe, Spain, Germany and Sweden have the top players. The estimated number of competitive croquet players in the world is perhaps around 10 000, but many more play it as a social game. More than 2 000 players are included in the official world ranking list run by the WCF. There are hundreds of croquet clubs in each of the most active countries, with the number of lawns in each club ranging from one to fifteen and more.