In its early days in Victorian England croquet was a game for the wealthy but competition from other sports - most notably tennis - the onset of two world wars, and a century of social change forced the game to adapt. Modern croquet is an intricate game of strategy, played socially within clubs and competitively at national and international level. The object of the game - to guide two balls round a circuit of loops - has changed little over the years but tactically, croquet has become much more complex, elaborate and fascinating.
James Hawkins started playing competitive croquet in 1985, at the age of 17. He has played for many years at championship level throughout the UK and is qualified as an official handicapper, tournament referee and championship manager. James has held the title of the Croquet Association's Coach of the Year, has served on the CA's National Coaching Committee, and now has responsibility for the training of new coaches around the country. He spent four years as editor of the Croquet Gazette, the official magazine of the Croquet Association, and is co-editor of the online magazine croquetworld.com