Roque is a variant of croquet, the name derived by dropping the leading “c” and trailing “t” from croquet. The name was devised in 1899, when the organizers of roque in the United States believed their game was faster and more scientific than the European game. The equipment and basic rules and scoring for the two games are similar, but roque has much tighter, smaller hoops, requiring the balls to be hit perfectly to pass through. It was contested only once at the Olympics, with a men’s single event at St. Louis 1904.
Croquet is of European origins, with the name derived from the French word “crochet”, for crooked stick. It was played in France in the 17th century, at about the same time that the English played a similar game called “pall mall.” The game lapsed in popularity, however, until the mid-19th century, when Edmond Routlege of England published the first rule book – Routlege’s Handbook of Croquet. In the United States, the National Croquet Association was formed in 1882, with the new name of roque being used starting in 1899. The American Roque League was formed in 1916 to govern the game.