Roque

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Roque
Roque competition during 1904 Summer Olympics.jpg
The Olympic roque competition in 1904.
Highest governing body

American Roque League (1916-1970s?)
National Two Ball Roque Association (?-1970s?)
National Roque Association (1899-?)

National Croquet Association (1882-99)
First played1880s
Characteristics
Team members1-on-1
TypeOutdoor, croquet
EquipmentMallets, balls
VenueCurbed clay court, with arches
Presence
OlympicSummer 1904
ObsoleteYes
 
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For other uses, see Roque (disambiguation).
Roque
Roque competition during 1904 Summer Olympics.jpg
The Olympic roque competition in 1904.
Highest governing body

American Roque League (1916-1970s?)
National Two Ball Roque Association (?-1970s?)
National Roque Association (1899-?)

National Croquet Association (1882-99)
First played1880s
Characteristics
Team members1-on-1
TypeOutdoor, croquet
EquipmentMallets, balls
VenueCurbed clay court, with arches
Presence
OlympicSummer 1904
ObsoleteYes

Roque /ˈrk/ is an American variant of croquet played on a hard, smooth surface. Popular in the first quarter of the 20th century and billed "the Game of the Century" by its enthusiasts, it was an Olympic sport in the 1904 Summer Games, replacing croquet from the previous games.

Roque court and equipment[edit]

Roque is played on a hard sand or clay 30 by 60 foot (approximately 9 by 19 m) court bordered by a boundary wall, a curb bevelled at the ends to form an octagon. Players use this wall to bank balls similarly to how billiard balls are played off the cushions of a billiard table.[1]

The wickets, called arches, are permanently anchored in the court. The arches are narrow as in professional six-wicket croquet. The court has ten arches in seven points configured in a double diamond (or figure-8). The two farthest end points and the central point of the figure-8 are double arches (one after the other) while the four side (or corner) points have single arches. Each arch of the double arches at either end of the court count as a separate arch, but the double arches in the center (which are closer together) are scored as a single arch. While in nine-wicket croquet the single central wicket opens up to the length of the court facing the stakes, in roque the double center arches face the sides of the court. Roque uses two stakes: at the head of the court is the "head stake," the other stake at the far end of the court is the "turning stake."[1]

The mallets with which the balls are struck have a shorter handle (approx. 24 inches) than croquet mallets. One end of the mallet is surfaced with rubber, the other with wood, plastic, or aluminum.[1]

Notes on game play[edit]

The rules of roque are largely similar to those of croquet,[1] with some notable exceptions:

Roque developed sub-variants, including two-ball roque and royal roque.[1]

History[edit]

Historical roque[edit]

The name "roque" was suggested by Mr. Samuel Crosby of New York in 1899, who came to it by removing the initial "c" and final "t" from "croquet."[1] The National Croquet Association, formed in 1882, thereafter changed its name to the National Roque Association in 1899.[1] "Roque" is not to be confused with "roquet" /rˈk/, the term used in both roque and croquet for the bonus shot a player earns after striking another ball (on which he is not "dead") with his own.

The American Roque League was founded in 1916 and, after mergers with various other roque entities, became the centralized roque league on August 20, 1920.[1] It last published its rules in the 1950s; the National Two Ball Roque Association last published its revised rules in 1961.[2]

Contemporary roque[edit]

In 2004, the American Roque and Croquet Association suspended tournaments because the number of participants at the Nationals had shrunk to single figures.[3]

Roque is still played by a small number of people in the United States. A roque tournament is held annually in Angelica, New York, USA.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

Roque features heavily in Stephen King's novel The Shining. Where in the film adaptation Jack Torrance wields an axe, his weapon in the book was a roque mallet. The character Ullman tells Torrance that roque is the older, original form of the game and croquet is a "bastardized" American version. In fact, croquet is the original European game and roque is a later American variation.

A chapter in John Steinbeck's novel Sweet Thursday also describes a rivalry that arose among the town's residents over the game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h McGowan, B. C.; et al. (1959 [online reprint 2004]). "Official Rules and Regulations". Roque: The Game of the Century. Dallas, TX: American Roque League. Retrieved 2009-06-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ http://www.croquetworld.com/Letters/checklist.asp
  3. ^ http://www.croquetworld.com/Letters/mysteries.asp
  4. ^ http://www.angelicaheritagedays.com/hdevents.html

External links[edit]