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GARTH ELIASSEN,
EDITOR, NATIONAL CROQUET CALENDAR (U.S.)


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"It is evolution, more than individual personalities, that drives our group behaviors and forces us would-be hunters onto the greenswards of life."

The real reason why women are not in croquet in large numbers is the same as it is in other competitions and sports: They've grown up, men haven't.

Millions of years of evolution and the need for survival have broken the species into two personalities, based on differing sex. Women are nurturing, doing the important work; men hunt. But in order for men to hunt they must be willing to take more physical risks. That results in intense drive for competition, the prolonging of childhood, and a willingness to suffer injury in pursuit of perceived or real supremacy. Gamesplaying is preparation and practice to those ends.


"If we had to spend all day in the forest searching for food and battling to protect our territory, we would not, I assure you, be playing croquet, or even baseball or football."

Women do mature, in order to nurture, and the need to compete rarely exists, or exists to a lesser degree. Croquet, as well as other competitive sports, is symbolic of competition and the hunt. I can assure you that if we had to spend all day in the forest searching for food and battling to protect our territory, we would not be playing croquet, or even baseball or football.

All this is, of course, a gross oversimplification; the truth is far more subtle but far more widespread, reaching into all facets of our behavior. There is a basic personality difference between men and women (it is also plainly clear in most other species), and without it we would not have survived. It is evolution, more than individual personalities, that drives our group behaviors and forces us would-be hunters onto the greenswards of life.

--Garth Eliassen

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