The Bros are Back in Town: PSU Club Croquet
Penn State Club Croquet is a club shrouded in mystery. We’ve all seen them on campus, in their light blue pinnies, or at football games in their cutoff jean shorts and faux mustaches. Many of us have even come across the infamous “Croq house” also known as the “Bro-quet house.” These dedicated members have created quite a stir on campus, priding themselves in going over the top in everything they do– the sillier, the better.
So what is it about these club members that makes other clubs want to have mixers with them? What’s all this hype about? Do they really play croquet? And most importantly, why are they dressed like that? I’m sure many of you have asked yourself these same questions.
I had the opportunity to sit down with a few of the founding members, and I’ve found that they are down to earth, chill bros that just want to play some lawn games and hang out– but don’t let their laid back demeanor fool you. This club has come a long way since its inception in the spring of 2010, when the idea was first conceived by a group of friends living in East Halls.
Although they only had about thirty members their first year, Club Croquet now has a solid roster, and has gained recognition through their participation in other club sports, THON, and homecoming festivities, just to name a few.
Here are a few questions that I had for club founders John Bauer, J.J. Hue and Kevin Hulbert:
OS: Why croquet?
JB: It started kind of as a joke. There’s all these clubs on campus and we wanted to start our own club sport, we wanted to start our own thing. We found out online the regulations that we needed to make a club sport and then contacted the head of club sports. This was over the summer of our freshman year going in to sophomore year. And from there we set up practice space and started advertising.
OS: How long did it take to get the club up and running?
JB: We started the idea in early spring of 2010, and then all throughout the spring we wrote up our constitution and got our paper work in. Throughout the summer we talked to club sports about our budget, when and where we could set up, and official practice space. We then had a practice set up early fall.
OS: How did you guys learn the game of croquet?
JH: I’ll speak for myself; I definitely don’t know all the rules. It’s not well known. It’s so obscure that people want to get involved in it.
JB: We definitely made the club before we knew the rules. It was something new for us to learn. None of us played croquet in high school or anything. We would google how to play croquet and we came across all different types of styles on YouTube. We don’t know fully how an actual tournament goes on. We know the basics. We haven’t been to a full tournament.
When other people see how involved we are, they see that it’s a social thing, and we are much more than just croquet.
OS: How did you advertise?
JB: It was a lot of word of mouth.
JH: We take everything really over the top; we took our mallets to the involvement fair and played croquet in heritage hall. We showed up to the 5K in jean shorts and 4 or 5 of us ran the 5k with croquet mallets; we also have a twitter account and facebook page.
KH: Wearing the gear, we have tshirts and pinnies. The involvement fair really helped us out.
JH: We basically go over the top for everything, and that makes people curious.
JB: We will have these different, random clubs ask to have socials with us, it’s surreal.
KH: Yeah, a girl told me her sorority was talking about us.
JH: People see us wearing our pinnies and they’re like, “we have a croquet team?”
OS: What’s some sweet croquet lingo?
JB: Smackin’ a ball through the wickets. A “sextuple peel” is another term.
JH: There’s actually a wiki page for croquet lingo.
JB: We throw the term “bro-quet” around a lot.
KH: A lot of times when I’m referring to it, I say im chilling at the croq house. We use a lot of “bro language.”
JH: #croq-bro swag, and croqbroswag points.
JB: Honorary bro member.
KH: I take pride in our silliness.
JH: If you see us at the football games we are wearing booty shorts and fake mustaches for no reason.
OS: So do you just stick to croquet, or do you play other lawn games?
JB: We only have so much of a budget, so we don’t have enough croquet equipment for everyone, so people will bring other games. We wanted to incorporate outdoor lawn games in general; We play cornhole, bocce, soccer… We open it up to any games that people want to bring. We play leisurely, friendly backyard games.
How do you think that the club will fare after the three of you graduate?
JH: Whenever we started, most people thought we weren’t going to do much and thought we would die out. A couple of our freshman members have a few fundraising ideas and we let them take the lead on it and take initiative. A couple of them are going to set up a fundraiser and they are looking forward to carrying out the legacy of Club Croquet.
JB: We are trying to find ways to bring in more underclassmen.
JH: We are trying to get them involved as early as we can.
JB: I think we are more optimistic now. We were skeptical last year.
KH: We would like to get a THON child too.
JH: And we don’t want to get one and then have the club die out.
OS: How did you get THON dancers with such a small amount of people fundraising last year?
KH: Lots of hard work with a few people, there were no more than 15 actually fundraising.
JB: A lot of us were already involved in THON. We went on all four canning trips with as little as 5 to 6 people. It was a struggle to get the word out when we first started. It was basically through word of mouth through our friends. There were enough of us that had different groups of friends to bring some numbers.
JH: It started as a just for us thing but then when we started fundraising we realized we could make it bigger. Kevin and I were selected for dancers last year. We raised money and were put into the lottery and were waiting for an email for dancers.
JB: THON was a big thing for us.
OS: Do you do any conditioning for croquet?
JB: As a member of club sports we do get special privileges to weight rooms on campus.
JH: I don’t think any of us have actually gone to the weight room…
KH: Yeah, I want to figure out where it is. I’m trying to get in there.
JH: We actually have at least 15 minutes of stretching before practice.
OS: … Is that true?
OS: How do we join?
JH: We are co-ed, open to anyone, as long as you’re a good person. We are very laid back, if you want to do one canning trip and that’s it, that’s fine.
JB: It’s a $20.00 dollar fee and you get a tshirt with it, and you have to sign a club sports participation agreement along with a copy of your medical insurance. We don’t have many regulations. You can do as much or as little as you want.
KH: We’re chill.
OS: The Staff at Onward State would like to challenge you to a game of Croquet, are you up for it?
JH: Yes, hands down.
OS: If you could leave any words of wisdom for the students of PSU, what would they be?
JH: Mine would have to be, just because you think something is unattainable, don’t be afraid to go for it.
JH: Oh, and also, the more goofy your denim, the more you fit in.
JB: Have fun and enjoy every aspect of your life, don’t take life too seriously.
KH: The great thing about croquet is that you can play for life. It’s a sport that you can enjoy into old age.
The Penn State Club Croquet team is always welcoming new members. If you’re looking to have a “chill bro time,” check out the club’s facebook and twitter pages for more information.
Facebook: Penn State Club Croquet
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