Croquet Your Way Develops New “Pro Balz” for backyard croquet

by Steve Fluder · 3 March 2013

Girl and her dog. Photo by Michael Rumbin

With springtime coming soon it’s time to think about that old croquet set of yours. In January we talked about cleanup and repairs. Unfortunately most inexpensive backyard croquet sets provide balls that are unresponsive to a hit especially after a couple of seasons. Testing several sets, even on a hard steel or cement surface, revealed there was little bounce when dropped. Most balls made a kind of “thunk” sound. When dropped from 36”, they did not rebound more than a few inches. Playing croquet is like playing billiards on the lawn. There are drive shots, stop shots, roquets and split shots. The balls need to be lively when they are hit and hit by another ball. They need to be lighter than a regulation ball to move the desired distance through the grass without cracking a mallet shaft.

6 Pro Balz on burlap bag. Photo by Michael Rumbin

Croquet Your Way (CYW) searched the world over to find a croquet ball that is lively as well as an affordable replacement. They found a company, right in their own back yard able to develop a non- milled smooth surface ball that in resilience, and nearly match that of a billiard ball. These ProBalz have a superior 28 inch rebound when dropped from 36 inches onto a concrete floor, make a lively “crack” and provide great action on the croquet lawn. They weigh in around 11 ounces, and are 3 5/8” inches in diameter, making them the ideal ball for any version of the game played on less than “bowling green” professional surfaces. They are perfect for backyard 9 wicket and make it possible to play a lively game of Golf Croquet on a scaled down (4 or 5 yard block rather than the regulation 7 yards) court in any backyard. ProBalz are quite hard, scuff and dent resistant, and brightly colored. They work well on carpet indoors too. Best of all they are MADE IN THE USA!

Pro Balz in jaws of a 4 inch wicket. Photo by Michael Rumbin

Limited inventory from the 2012 season is still available on the Croquet Your Way website, www.croquetyourway.com at $54.95 for a 6 ball/6 color set and $37.95 for a 4 ball/4 color set, not including any applicable taxes or shipping. The Amish craftspeople who make our custom sets will also stripe these for a nominal fee. CYW anticipates a 10-15% price increase on the new 2013 season inventory. To view a short demonstration by Bob Kroeger go to www.youtube.com

9 Wicket Croquet as a Major Fund-Raiser

Croquet Your Way has been promoting and doing 9 Wicket charity fundraising tournaments nationally along with various teambuilding and recreational events since 2006. Most of these events have been done under the auspices of USCA for whose help and encouragement we are always grateful. The new, TurboTournaments Plus help non-profits by providing a unique signature event that is both upbeat and off beat. The fact that the game is not gender biased, not terribly age biased, familiar, and easy to teach make it a winner for all.

One of CYW’s premier events is the Annual Whack & Roll held at the Mennonite Heritage Center in Harleysville PA hosted the first weekend in June. This event promises to break its own record as largest 9 Wicket event in the country with regard to number of players this year. For 2013 we are projecting 200 players. A smaller but very classy, “Sticky Wickets” amateur event hosted by the Friends of the Amarillo Botanical Gardens in Texas the weekend of May 18.

Fall brings three events in a row, starting with the Manheim Library tournament (as yet un-named) August 24th and The Elizabethtown Kiwanis, “Random Acts of Croquet” Saturday September 28th. Both of these are in beautiful Lancaster County, PA. The former is a festive community day event while the latter is a large, multi-charity competition. The final in the Fall series is, “Bouquets of Croquet” in Tyler, Texas the weekend of October 12. This is part of Tyler’s Rose Festival (the Rose capital of Texas) and sponsored by the Christian Women’s Job Corps of Tyler.

Split shot. Photo by Michael Rumbin

All are amateur tournaments for players with a USCA handicap or equivalent at or above 11. These fundraisers are a new multi-charity model developed exclusively for Croquet Your Way clients. The model is gaining success for these non-profits in both raising money and enhancing community fellowship and cooperation. Some of the larger Croquet Your Way managed tournaments have cleared $40-60 thousand dollars! While most people only know of the 9 wick version of the game, we have had great success in adding Golf Croquet to our game offering. Golf Croquet is the fastest growing version of the sport today because it is fast paced and easy to learn.

If you have or work with a charity looking for fund raising and community awareness plus the coolest events ever, please contact Croquet Your Way at steve@croquetyourway.com . Special benefits or potential discounts are available for referrals by USCA or fellow members.

Steve Fluder
Croquet Your Way, LLC
3920 N Susquehanna Trail
York, PA 17404
Site: www.croquetyourway.com
Blog: crq.tumblr.com
717-676-0808

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