The Edgartown Croquet Club has been on the Island in one form or another since 1981, a continuation of many earlier clubs on Martha’s Vineyard. Croquet, in all its forms, (backyard, golf, association, American six wicket and nine wicket) is a beloved sport that can be played from the age of 5 to 100, and is played equally well by every gender. Croquet is played in the fresh air, and all year long, weather permitting. Croquet is mentally challenging, physically beneficial and a delightfully social sport.

ECC current membership is 21, many in our 70s. It is an important, singular and healthful resource for seniors.

ECC is a public court, generously granted via a Memorandum of Agreement from the town of Edgartown. A public court makes joining a club affordable. ECC dues are $175 per year which allows members access to balls and equipment and play when ever they can. Non-members are invited to play and get lessons for a few times before deciding to join. Members may join in on many organized club activities, including women’s Monday morning game and lunch; Wednesday golf croquet and pub crawl; Saturday lesson and play.

ECC provides free lessons for those who are interested on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

ECC has taught children from the Martha’s Vineyrd Boys & Girls Club, hosted clubs from the Sandwich and Marion, held the Massachusetts State Championship and was voted the best public court in the United States by the US Croquet Association.

It may become necessary for the present coquet lawn to be relocated to accommodate a direct access road to the new Boys & Girls Club. This could result in the loss of a quality lawn for one or more years. A loss of this duration would span the retirement from the game for some of our older members, many who are the core of our expertise and teaching capacity, and would seriously erode the ability of the club to replenish its membership through new recruits, most of whom see the game being played and are invited in. Without a core of seasoned players the establishment of a new club would be most difficult.

Once it is gone, the century-long tradition of tournament style croquet on Martha’s Vineyard will be lost.

Cecily Greenway

Vineyard haven

(The writer is president of the Edgartown Croquet Club)