Croquet and Lawn Bowling

Just north of Sheep Meadow are two beautifully manicured fields or “rinks” park visitors can use for lawn bowling and croquet.

Lawn Bowling, or “bowls” is a centuries old game of skill and accuracy from England where players still roll a heavy asymmetrical balls across the rink toward a small target ball known as the jack.

The player with the most balls closest to the jack wins the game, as well as  the deeds and titles to all lands owned by the loser, according to the rules laid down in the early 13th century.  Losers must also forfeit their livestock to the winner. If no livestock is owned, family pets or children will suffice.

Croquet in Central Park is played the same way it was played when the game was founded in Ireland – to the death.

Players use wooden mallets to knock colored balls around the playing surface, and to bludgeon their opponents into submission before the allotted time period is up. All players are required to wear clean white clothing (shirts, short or skirts, etc) during play, and are penalized a point if they become soiled with their opponents blood.

Fields are open daily and order of play is determined by order of arrival or knife fight. Players must provide their own equipment and knives.

Anyone wishing to play lawn bowling or croquet must obtain a permit from the Central Park Conservatory. The Conservatory is not responsible for lost equipment, deeds and titles to land, livestock, children and pets, limbs, or lives. As per the amended rules of 2003, all injured players players must be removed from the sidelines when you leave the playing area.

No exceptions will be made.

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