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Senior Member
Russian, Spanish
Doest "wicket-pole" refer to the stakes or stumps in the pitch of croquet or to the wooden sticks used in croquet? Thanks:
"Across the green of years
A croquet ball comes rolling in the tender moss
To kiss the bright-striped wicket-pole
A kiss of Time".
("Please to Remember the Fifth of November: A Birthday Poem for Susan Marguerite", Ray Bradbury).
  • Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I searched Google Images for "croquet stake" and found this photo of the bright-striped wooden fixture of croquet that I would call a "stake",
    located next to the curved wire thing called a "wicket".
    The wicket is one thing, and the stake (possibly also a "pole"?) is something else, and I don't see why they are hyphenated together,
    except that Bradbury may be using poetic license.
    With some difficulty I found this use of "wicket pole", referring evidently to one of three "poles" that are assembled together, end to end, and bent to form a very large wicket.
    But this is associated with something called a "super size kick croquet set" (meaning a large ball is kicked with the foot, not hit with a mallet),
    which may not even have been invented at the time of Bradbury's writing.


    Senior Member
    British English
    Bradbury appears to be referring to the "peg", which is a post in the middle of a croquet lawn which is hit by the ball to "peg out" after "running" the hoops in the correct order. "Bright-striped" because it is painted with four coloured stripes to match the balls - blue, red, black and yellow, in that order from the top.

    PS. The pole in the picture linked by Cenzontle is not a standard peg, and the "curved wire thing" is a hoop, not a wicket.


    Senior Member
    British English
    AE calls hoops wickets.
    I see. I have just read the American rules - they also call the peg the stake :eek: ... but the colour (color) scheme is the same :).

    So Ray Bradbury, being American, was referring to the stake, but presumably not being much of a croquet buff decided to call it what we would translate into BE as the hoop-pole :confused:


    Senior Member
    American rules - they also call the peg the stake
    In American croquet (who the heck taught you guys how to play? ;) ), the is no "centre peg," but rather two stakes:
    Nine-wicket croquet, sometimes called "backyard croquet", is played mainly in the United States, and is the game most American casual players call simply "croquet". This version of croquet varies from six-wicket croquet in that there are nine wickets, two stakes, and players usually compete individually with a single ball, with up to six players competing. The course is arranged in a double-diamond pattern, with one stake at each end of the course.
    It does appear, however, that stake and peg are the same thing.
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