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CATCHING ON Florida Golf Croquet Regional Sees Big Turnout

The Official Magazine of the United States Croquet Association | 2019 Volume 1

P ro A m Tou r na m e n t at t h e c h at toog a c l u b


Thursday, August 22, 2019 Opening Gala and Live Auction at 6:00 pm Friday, August 23, 2019 ProAm at The Chattooga Club at 9:00 am Saturday, August 24, 2019 Clinics with the Pros from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Sanctioned Golf Croquet Tournament (for Pros only) at 1:00 pm Sunday, August 25, 2019 Tournament play (for Pros only) continues at 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The 2018 ProAm Participants and Pros




NCLIVING.COM | 828-743-1999




Croquet Giants Are All Around Us

2019 Volume 1

11 | 2018 Grand Prix Results 16 | 2018 Seniors Masters 20 | Club Profile: Florida Yacht Club 22 | Member Profile: Jodie Rugart 32 | Event Reports

Departments 03 | Courtside with Sara Low 04 | The Clubhouse 09 | New Membership 23 | GC America 26 | Let’s Talk Tactics 29 | Backyard Warrior 45 | Events Calendar 46 | Time Machine


On The Cover: Jeff Soo took this photo at the 2019 USCA Florida Regional Golf Croquet held January 11-13, 2019. The players are Bill Taber, Amr Hamdy and Ellie Griffith (L to R). Publisher: Dylan Goodwin | uscacroquetnews@yahoo.com Editor: Julie Jantzer-Ward Art Director: Brandy Ferguson Contributors: Jim Bast, Cheryl Bromley, Bob Chilton, Anne Frost Robinson, Bob Kroeger, Stuart Lawrence, Sara Low, Brad Martens, Bert Myer, John C. Osborn, Jennifer Othen, Ursula Peck, Ben Rothman, Jodie Rugart, Eric Sawyer, Jeff Soo, Ruth Summers, Macey White

Inquiries Please submit all inquiries and stories to uscacroquetnews@yahoo.com. Text should be submitted as a Microsoft Word file and photos need to be FULL resolution (300 dpi). All content may be edited for length and photos will be adjusted appropriately. Croquet News is produced three times per year and is distributed as a benefit to USCA membership. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the expressed permission of the publisher. Views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the USCA.

© 2019 United States Croquet Association

It’s an exciting time to play croquet. Giants are in our midst: remarkable players who are part of our history and, the best part is, they are right in front of us. These are players who started when US Six Wicket was being created and who represent us in international competition. They are players whose game is so outstanding that you just have to watch. They teach and just love to be outside and play. A giant can be found on every croquet lawn. John Osborn was one of the children running around wickets and getting in the way until he put it all together to win matches and national championships. Today he also teaches and organizes tournaments for croquet enthusiasts of all levels. I wonder at Johnny as he wins a tournament using any old wooden mallet that he pulled out of a locker. That’s croquet talent. One of the players inducted into the Croquet Hall of Fame is Ben Rothman. One of the best Association players in the world, Ben also holds the lowest American Six Wicket handicap in the United States. Like others, he plays in tournaments, runs them and teaches the sport. The most recent Captain of Team USA, he can be found on the courts today. And there are Jeff Soo, Cheryl Bromley and Sherif Abdelwahab. Top Golf Croquet players: they play, they teach and they represent the US around the globe. They each add to the croquet world. A US Champion in American Six Wicket, Association and Golf Croquet, Jeff schedules, runs and plays in tournaments across the country in addition to being behind the USCA website. Cheryl runs and plays in tournaments while serving as GC Chair and ensuring that Golf Croquet is current in the USCA. Sherif is also a National Champion in American Six Wicket, Association and Golf Croquet. He has been the GC Singles Champion for the last two years and a GC Doubles Champion since 2012. At any time Sherif can be found somewhere in the USCA playing or teaching croquet. What about the newer players? Players such as Shane Hettler, who came in 2nd in the Collegiate American Rules Six Wicket Doubles Individual Teams Tournament and a few months later won the Championship Flight Singles at Merion Cricket Club in 2018. Or Blake Fields, Junior Player of 2017, winning First Flight Singles and Championship Doubles in his rookie Golf Croquet Nationals and one of two representing USA in the Under-21 GC Championship in England in July. These are just a few of the people who are visible on croquet courts around the country. Many others exist. Take a lesson from one of them. Play a game with one. Watch any of them. Whatever you do, don’t let them walk away without saying hello or paying tribute. Again, this is an exciting time to play croquet. Look around: you may see a giant of the sport…or you may be one.

Sara Low

USCA President | president@uscroquet.com croquetamerica.com | 3

TheClubhouse insider news from the united states croquet association

Rothman and Young Honored in Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

TOP ROW (L to R): Bob Chilton, Johnny Mitchell, Rich Curtis, John Currington, Dick Brackett, David McCoy, Anne Frost Robinson, Michael Gibbons FRONT ROW (L to R): Ruth Summers, Eugene F. Young, Ben Rothman, Jackie Jones, Fred Jones


he US Croquet Hall of Fame’s Induction Ceremony was followed by an entertaining and lively dinner dance on Friday, November 9, 2018, at the beautiful Charles P. Steuber National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. The event honored Ben Hunter Rothman and Eugene F. Young.

of the United States Croquet Association from 2009-2011 and Regional Vice President for the Southeast region from 2003-2008. Additionally, his efforts in promoting Golf Croquet in Lake Toxaway are largely responsible for the croquet boom in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Briefly, Rothman’s accomplishments on the croquet court are unmatched in the history of American croquet. He is ranked #1 in American Rules and is the only player to hold a -4.5 handicap. In Association Croquet, he is currently the top American player and is ranked fifth in the world. In 2016, Rothman became the first American ever to win the British Open Championship.

The gala evening began with cocktails and a high-end auction of unique items, followed by the official induction ceremony. The guests then moved to the upstairs ballroom for an exciting and fun Parisian-themed evening. The “Midnight in Paris” Gala featured gourmet French food stations, along with dancing to popular music and Paris supper-club songs.

Eugene F. Young helped transform North Carolina into a mecca for thousands of golf croquet players. Young’s lengthy service to croquet is highlighted by his term as President

4 | croquetamerica.com

As the CFA’s primary annual fundraiser, the Gala generated more than $54,000 net in support of the Foundation’s mission to promote and develop the sport of croquet in America. Eugene F. Young and Ben Rothman

USCA Management Committee

Return of National Croquet Day

________________________ President Sara Low president@uscroquet.com

The USCA is proud to reintroduce a program from the past: National Croquet Day is making a comeback this year! Created to raise awareness about the sport and the USCA, National Croquet Day will be held June 8, 2019. This is a way for clubs and individual members to utilize the USCA’s social media platforms to post a comment, photo or video of themselves, their clubs or anything croquet-related. Clubs and individuals will also have an opportunity to “like” and “share” to win prizes. This is all to raise awareness, create some media attention1000 and have fun. So, watch for more information coming soon.

First Vice President Damon Bidencope damonbidencope@bidencope.com Second Vice President Don Oakley Croquetdon@gmail.com Treasurer Steve Mossbrook steve.mossbrook@cerento.com


Secretary Carla Rueck cprueck@aol.com

2019 Golf Croquet World Championship Initial Selections 600 The World Croquet Federation announced the following list of 37 ranking places awarded for the 2019 Golf Croquet World Championship to be held in England, July 400 27-August 4, 2019. US players Sherif Abdelwahab, Danny Huneycutt and Ben Rothman made the initial list. Euan Burridge (ENG) and Jamie Gumbrell (AUS) were awarded 200 wildcard spots, which leaves 41 spots available for membership places, wildcards and four qualifier spots to round out the 80-player event. The qualifier will be held July 22-25, 2019. 1000

Tel. (561) 478-0760 Fax (561) 686-5507


The US has two Membership Places still to be awarded. The GC Selection FL NC NY CA SC MD MS NJ Committee is in deliberations at press time with a goal of making a final decision no later than 800 January 24, 2019.




OK VA CT PA Email: usca@msn.com Website: www.croquetamerica.com ________________________



Florida Gene Raymond (919) 612-3366 generaymond1@gmail.com

2018 V3 CORRECTION 400


There was a misleading error0 in the State FL NC NY CA SC MD Membership Trends feature in the 2018 Volume 3 edition of the USCA’s Croquet News. The two chart legends have the wrong regions relative to the colors on the charts. The digital edition and the edition on the USCA website have been corrected. The corrected chart is also included here for reference.

United States Croquet Association (USCA) 700 Florida Mango Road West Palm Beach, FL 33406

USCA Membership by Region 2010




Mid-Atlantic Timothy Rapuano (201) 887-0787 in9inches@gmail.com









Midwest Russell S. Dilley (317) 903-6852 rs.dilley@comcast.net Northeast Patricia Spratt (860) 227-7297 psprattct@aol.com


Southeast Macey White (804) 832-2824 maceywhite@gmail.com

6% 10% 35%


USCA Membership by Region 2018

Western Jim Hanks (707) 696-9153 jamesjhanks@gmail.com ________________________ USCA STAFF


Membership Coordinator Ursula Peck membership@uscroquet.com








Bookkeeper Janice Arroyo admin@uscroquet.com www.CroquetAmerica.com croquetamerica.com | 5


PASSAGES Samuel Bailey National Croquet Club, Celebration Croquet Club

Russell T. Hanson, Jr Pinehurst Croquet Club, Tega Cay Croquet Club

Byron Hicks Sarasota County Croquet Club

Robert (Buzz) Lee Deerfield Croquet Club

Dennis Lynch Audubon Croquet Association and Dorset Field Club

Bob Mahlman Sarasota County Croquet Club

Charlie Mayo Missouri Croquet Association

Art Morris Bald Head Island Croquet Club

Charlotte Neagle Sarasota County Croquet Club

Lynn Olson

WHO AM I? Some would say I am a renaissance man. For example, I play jazz and chamber music and specialize in the oboe, English horn, flute and alto flute. I am also a successful recording engineer and a videographer. My current passion is photography, especially taking wondrous color pictures of birds, bugs and spiders. You’ll see one on the next page. My croquet journey began in 1963, playing ruthless backyard nine wicket games on long grass, replete with foot and golf shots. (I still love nine wicket croquet and have tried hard to continue supporting it.) But my epiphany came in 1977 when I first viewed the manicured lawns of New York’s Central Park and was introduced to six wicket American Rules croquet. In fact, I am only one of three living and active players who joined the USCA in its founding year in 1977. Yes, I have won some important tournaments in my career (including two USCA national championships), have been a member of some United States national croquet teams and have been tirelessly involved in the administration of the sport; but most people say my most excellent croquet adventure comes from teaching the sport to the masses. In fact, more people have probably seen me on a television screen than in person on a croquet court. By the way, I have a spiffy red jacket hanging in my closet. Can you guess, who am I? See answer on page 7.

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Everglades Club, Inc

USCA ANNUAL FUNDRAISER The USCA will accept all your unwanted items for our Annual Fundraiser held on Friday, March 15, during Croquet “Week” (March 5-17). Popular items in the past included jewelry, art, paintings, tournament entries, croquet lessons and croquet memorabilia as well as gift certificates from retail stores, restaurants, movies, theaters, sports games, etc. Remember, all donations are taxdeductible.Contact 561.478.0760 for more information.


2019 USCA CROQUET WEEK SCHEDULE National Croquet Center, West Palm Beach, Fla. Tuesday, March 5

Wednesday, March 13

Croquet School American Rules

Club Teams begins Dinner with the Croquet Stars at offsite venue; Dutch treat

Wednesday, March 6

Thursday, March 14

USCA Golf Croquet School

Club Teams continues

Friday, March 8

Friday, March 15

Golf Croquet Tournament begins

Play continues Silent Auction Participants Dinner & Annual Awards

Saturday, March 9 Golf Croquet Tournament continues American Rules Tournament Play School

Saturday, March 16

Sunday, March 10 Golf Croquet Tournament Finals/Trophy Presentation

Play continues Annual General Meeting

Tuesday, March 12

Sunday, March 17

USCA Planning Meeting Club Team Championships - Courts open for practice 1 p.m. Club Teams Opening Reception

Club Teams Finals, Brunch & Trophy Presentation St. Patrick’s Day - wear green on the courts

“WHO AM I?” ANSWER I AM . . . BOB KROEGER. The photo on the first page is of Bob taken when he was about three years old in his central New York home. After getting his start in six wicket croquet in 1977, Bob worked his way to a fifth place finish in the USCA American Rules Singles Nationals in 1983. He polished his game during the 1980s by taking six singles and four doubles titles in the New England Regionals. In 1987, he won his first USCA national title, the International Rules Singles, and in 1993, he won the USCA American Rules Doubles Nationals with partner and USCA Hall of Famer, Jim Hughes. Those victories helped Bob secure a spot on several United States national croquet teams from 1988 to 1993. But Bob’s biggest mark on the game has come from his ubiquitous teaching.

He co-wrote several instructional books on croquet shot-making and strategy and famously co-starred in seven instructional videos with his friend, the late Ted Prentis. Some call those videos “Bob & Ted’s Excellent Croquet Adventures.” (They are still on sale.) Bob has presented numerous national instructional tours and has been the director of the USCA’s Instructional Schools for a long time.

above is one of hundreds of sublime nature pictures Bob has taken; this one of a red-tailed hawk in Cape Cod. You can see a collection of Bob’s photos of birds, bugs and spiders on his site at www.bobcroquet.com/birds.htm.

Bob was inducted into the USCA Croquet Hall of Fame in 1999, thus having a red jacket in his closet. The photo croquetamerica.com | 7


PUBLISHER’S CORNER Things Are, Like, Happening As we head into 2019, I am excited to be able to comment on new initiatives around the USCA and for Croquet News. In 2018, we offered the digital edition version of Croquet News starting with the 40-year anniversary issue. That initiative has allowed us to add a fourth “digital edition” issue this year to bring the magazine back to true quarterly status … and ultimately helps us provide better coverage of the growing list of USCA events. So, look for issues in May, August (digital) and November/December to round out the Croquet News schedule for 2019. From the tournament coverage perspective, it was good to see the Florida GC Regional (featured on the cover) hit a high of 36 entries this month, and I couldn’t help but wonder if that success represents a tipping point for GC in the US. I asked Cheryl Bromley and Jeff Soo what drove the popularity for the event and they both agreed that it had quite a bit to do with players looking to impress the selection committee for GC Worlds to be held this summer in England. But Bromley also noted that the event had steadily grown over its six-year history. Of course, a midJanuary date in Florida is a solid attraction as well. It will be interesting to see how the event performs in 2020. I was also thrilled to see the announcement of the Women’s Grand Prix race in October. We already had plans in place to expand the year-end coverage of the event with this first issue, so the women’s race was a nice surprise. On the USCA Grand Prix in general, it is no secret that I am a devout supporter of the event. I think the races within the race make this event a fantastic yet wildly undeveloped asset for the members and the USCA. It gives the croquet year a continuing storyline and provides a great incentive to play. And with the logistical difficulty of holding a single croquet tournament with hundreds of players, the more than 700-player participation in the GP makes it the USCA’s biggest event. Sure, that number has been declining, but with a little more attention and a few basic improvements, maybe we can get that number to head in the right direction again. We will certainly do our part here at Croquet News to continue to provide coverage as well as support the GP. Hope you enjoy the issue and find the hoops to be friendly in 2019!

Dylan Goodwin, Publisher uscacroquetnews@yahoo.com

8 | croquetamerica.com

WINTERTIME CROQUET Some people are fortunate enough to live in warm places, such as California or Florida, where they can comfortably play croquet in short sleeves and shorts during the winter. For the rest of us, we play wintertime croquet. What is wintertime croquet? Wintertime croquet is looking for a day when we can bundle up and play a game or two in the sunshine. The more we play outside in the winter, the healthier our bodies get (the body’s system will go into calorie burning mode). Cholesterol and triglycerides will naturally lower and we may also lose some weight. The more we play outside, the more our bodies get used to being outside and the warmer we feel when we go outside. When we get acclimated enough to the cooler weather that playing outside is not a big deal, we no longer feel trapped inside by the weather. Playing a game or two in the chilly weather can be quite invigorating and fun. It can also be a great excuse to sip a hot toddy or two in the clubhouse afterward. Typically, 40 degrees is a good cutoff point. With sun and proper attire, a 40+ degree day can even feel comfortable. I say, refuse to be a victim of winter weather and look for some opportunities to play wintertime croquet. Don’t let old man winter keep you from playing the greatest game on earth! — Macey White

Reach Your Target Grand Prix








Randy Ca


LLS SKI ISSUE · 24 Quick Croquet Tips · New Nine Wicket Column · Return of GC Strategy · Let's Talk Tactics

The Official

e of the United


States Croquet


| 2018 Volume


The Official Magazine of

the United States Croquet

Association | 2018 Volume


The Offi cial Maga

zine of

the United




| 2017



2019 Per Issue Advertising Rates Inside Front Cover (8.5” W x 11” H)..................$850 Inside Back Cover (8.5” W x 11” H)..................$850 Full Page (8.5” W x 11” H)..............................$700 Half Horizontal Island (4.875” H x 7.38” W)......... $475 Quarter Page (3.62” W x 4.875” H)..................$295 One Sixth Page (2.34” W x 4.875” H)...............$150

Upcoming Ad/Copy Deadlines May 2019 issue: April 19, 2019

For a full 2019 Croquet News media kit, contact Dylan Goodwin at uscacroquetnews@yahoo.com


Rancho Mirage – Mission Hills Croquet Club

Michael Childers James Doyle Ann Hallse Glenn Koach Matilde Lefebre Bill Sullivan Ed Waldrop Suzanne Waldrop


Greenwich – Greenwich Croquet Club

John Avellino



Richard Koepp Susan Koepp

Nicholas Milazzo


Dorset – Dorset Field Club

Galesville – West River Wickets

Lenox – Lenox Croquet Club

Jo Dare Mitchell Robert Mitchell


Chappaqua – At Large Member

Palma Patti New York – New York Croquet Club

Bonita Springs – Bonita Bay Club

Mark Gianfalla Anne Jacobi William Jacobi John Johnson Pia Lindstrom Susan Short

Kathleen Marteny



Belleair – Belleair Country Club Croquet

James Orr

Delray Beach – St. Andrews Club

Desmond Davies Hillsboro Beach – The Hillsboro Club

Henry Kraft Christine Kraft Robert Trainer Orlando – Country Club of Orlando

Ann Brown Clarence Brown Palm Beach Gardens – Croquet Club at PGA National

Jackie Hannon Inder Sethi Palm Coast – Grand Haven Croquet Club

Gary Gamble Katherine Gamble James Hester Sarah Hester Adelaide Szabo Palm Coast – Hammock Dunes Croquet Association

David Betsill Jimmy Betsill Siegfried Gohrend Traute Gohrend Venice – Sarasota County Croquet Club

Debbie Ahearn Gary Ahearn Wendy Bergeron Merle Berkshire Cheryl Christiansen Jacqueline Kenny Judy McVay Bob Owens Mary Ellen Owens Carolyn Robinette Tom Robinette Roger Rowell Paul Schnackenberg Susan Scott Dean Taylor Connie Taylor Roger Vorraber Nancy Wonson

Houston – Houston Croquet Association


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Croquet Canada Club

Scott Stein

Blowing Rock – Blowing Rock Country Club

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Bill Bond Mary Anne Bond Cherry Phillips Faith Schwaibold Fred Schwaibold Lake Toxaway – Lake Toxaway Mallet Club

Sherm Rounsville Robert Turner Sybil Turner Pam Weekes


Cincinnati – At Large Member

Jane Mashburn


Nichols Hills – At Large Member

Paige Brown


Aiken – Green Boundary Croquet Club

Tink Callahan Frank Marino Jill Nangeroni Barbara Price Russell Richardson Jennifer Richardson Renee San Marco Bluffton – Sun City Croquet Club

Doug Wright

West Palm Beach – National Croquet Club

Jean Ellen Heron Joanne Heron

croquetamerica.com | 9

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A Grand, Grand Prix Despite Technical Glitches, the 2018 GP Lives Up to the Billing By Dylan Goodwin ormally, the USCA Grand Prix operates quietly in the background each year and then, as the race starts to unfold later in the fall months, offline discussion kicks in about how the race is playing out and often the formulas that make up the point system. That script changed a bit in 2018. The fun started when the October edition of the US Croquet Newsletter was delivered to the members. Dedicated readers noticed a small, intriguing announcement as the absolute final item on page 34 of 34 – the GP website page would allow a filter to check in on the women’s standings. Boom! All of a sudden a second race was on and that drew a lot more attention to one of the USCA’s coolest traditions. Did we care that we were already 10 months into the GP season? Absolutely not. Something new had happened. Hallelujah!

OVERALL GRAND PRIX Technically, the gender filter denoted a men’s race as well, but it looked very much like the standings at the top of the overall race. So, while the concept of the women’s race was the headline, an intrigue in the main GP/men’s race also existed. Defending champion and first-time winner Randy Cardo (-3) led again midway through the year. When Danny Huneycutt (-4) took the American Rules singles title in the middle of October, it looked like we would be in for a tight race. Still, into November it looked as though Cardo had a narrow lead. Were we in for a Cardo-Huneycutt showdown at Seniors Masters for the GP title? Technically, yes, but it got a bit crazy. In the final stages of production for the last issue of Croquet News, a desperate call came from West Palm Beach asking for the GP standings to be held from the 2018 Volume 3 issue due to an error in the standings. There wasn’t much more information made available at the time, but the official statement from the USCA posted on the website read: There has been a slight error in the Grand Prix point system. Due to this, these calculations are not entirely accurate. We won’t be able to correct this until the end of the year. Your patience and understanding is appreciated. So, there you had it. No official results until after January. That spoiled the fun of checking in on the standings in the final five to six weeks of the year, but it didn’t really change the play on the courts. As the results are now finalized, it turns out Cardo was able to deliver a repeat victory in the overall GP. The back-to-back championship puts him in an extremely select group of players to have performed the feat: John C. Osborn, Reid Fleming, Ben Rothman and now Cardo. Looking at the final results, it was the performance in doubles that gave Cardo the edge over Huneycutt. Interestingly, Cardo claimed third at American Nationals in singles and partnered with Huneycutt there to take third in doubles. Not surprisingly, Huneycutt took the singles title in the Seniors segment of the Seniors Masters event, while Cardo tied for the third spot. But the doubles went a different way for the Seniors as Cardo and partner Bob Chilton (-1) took first while Huneycutt and partner David Ekstrom (-1) finished fifth. That likely sealed the GP repeat for Cardo. croquetamerica.com | 11

11TH WOMEN’S GP FEELS LIKE THE FIRST The introduction of the women’s race filter for the Grand Prix certainly spiced up the 2018 event, but the website also included the results for the women all the way back to 2008. It should have been easy to list the champions as Jackie Jones (-2) has retroactively claimed the women’s race for 10 straight years. That’s right, a decade of dominance that further historical research would likely show extends even further back. Jones’ reputation as the top women’s player in the US is wellknown, but there was both irony and promise in the results for 2018. When the calculations were finally released in January, it was Jodie Rugart (-0.5) that stood at the top after a tight race with Lynda P. Sudderberg (0), just 237 points back in second place. Jones made the symbolic podium with a third-place finish in the “first” year of the acknowledged competition.

George Saad

When made aware that she had broken the retroactive 10-year winning streak for Jones, Rugart said, “I am very excited about this honor. Since it is the first time they have separated out the women, I had no idea that Jackie had such a record … if I am following in her footsteps, I am a lucky girl.”

Some members have asked about the flight

Now that the new race is a known entity, it certainly adds a bit more intrigue for 2019, and croquet fans across the US will be looking closely to see who comes out of the gate quickly to give us our contenders for the new year.

designations and, more specifically, the


Championship B Flight. The flight designations

Although the USCA doesn’t officially acknowledge the GP finishers by flight, it’s quite easy to filter down to acknowledge players in the lower flights that have scored the highest amongst peers at the same level. And along those lines, the women’s power theme continued as Loretta Cooper (3) claimed the Championship B top spot for players in the 3-5 handicap range.


were best detailed in the Fall 2009 issue (mis-labeled as Summer 2009 – Mik Mehas is on the cover) of Croquet News in the “On Tactics” column by Bob Kroeger and Ted Prentis. Specific to the Championship B Flight, which included players in the 3-5 handicap range, the column notes: Most tournaments do not have enough participants in this handicap range to offer this flight. When the flight isn’t offered, these players are usually placed into the Championship Flight among much lower handicap players. Overall, the USCA flights are defined as follows: Championship (2.5 and lower), Championship B (3-5 handicap), First Flight (6-9), Second Flight (10-13) and Third Flight (14-20).

12 | croquetamerica.com

When asked about the key to her strong performance, Cooper said, “I had surprising wins in the Green Gables Invitational Tournament as well as the NJ State Tournament. Both presented the opportunity to play some top-notch players…on my home turf.” In the first flight, AC-devotee George Saad (6) claimed the top spot likely based on his outstanding play in AC Eights in the third group. “I’ve mainly focused on the Association game in the past few years, and the summer got off to a good start when I placed third at the Joliet Jamboree, an association tournament I’ve directed since 2016,” Saad said of his 2018 performance. “Though I didn’t play many tournaments, I kept practicing and working on shortening my swing and extending my follow through. It all payed off at the Selection Eights, where I was the last seeded in the third eight, but ended up winning with a 10-4 record.” John Douglas Richardson (10) took the second flight group while AC-GC phenom Blake Fields (20) claimed the third flight. The third flight is always notable for the AC-GC oriented players that are tagged with 20 US handicaps. The third flight standings make a clear-cut case for a separate golf croquet grand prix and more frequent adjustment of US handicaps based on AC grades. With the surprise announcement of the women’s race, maybe the USCA is finally ready to embrace the full potential of the Grand Prix.

GRAND PRIX OVERALL TOP 60 # Player Handicap 01 Randy Cardo -3 02 Danny Huneycutt -4 03 Macey W. White -2 04 Sherif Abdelwahab -3 05 Brian Cumming -3.5 06 Bob Chilton -1 07 Richard Sullivan -1.5 08 Jeff Soo -3.5 09 David Ekstrom -1 10 Timothy Rapuano -1.5 11 Paul T. Bennett -2.5 12 Conner L. Helms -0.5 13 Doug Grimsley -3 14 Chris Barley -1 15 Preston Stuart 0 16 Richard G. Curtis -1.5 17 Thomas Cooper -1 18 David McCoy 0 19 Richard Sheely -2 20 Scott Spradling 0 21 Michael Todorovich -1.5 22 Jodie Rugart -0.5 23 Lynda P. Sudderberg 0 24 Chris Patmore -2 25 Stuart Lawrence -2.5 26 Arthur Olsen 0.5 27 Shane Hettler -0.5 28 Michael Gibbons -1 29 Kevin Hansley 0.5 30 Bob Worrell -1 31 Kenneth (Tim) Bitting -1.5 32 David Isaacs -0.5 33 Rich Lamm -2.5 34 Matthew Essick -1 35 Simon Jenkins -0.5 36 John Blamire -0.5 37 Jackie Jones -2 38 Mike Taylor -1.5 39 Carleton H. Mabee -1.5 40 Sandra Knuth Walsh 2 41 J. Gary Bennett 0.5 42 Donna Dixon 0 43 Alan Cottle -2 44 Colin Irwin -2 45 Daniel W. Pailas 2 46 Bill Hartmann 0.5 47 Gene Raymond 1 48 Britt Ruby -2 49 John Curington 0.5 50 Peter Bach 0.5 51 Mark Fields 1 52 Loretta Cooper 3 53 Bill Daigle -0.5 54 Jim Wright 0 55 Pat Colt 0.5 56 Kevin McQuigg 2.5 57 Stephen P. Grassbaugh 3 58 Norris Settlemyre -1.5 59 William C. Rinaman 0.5 60 Richard Schiller 0

Singles 18600 19470 16250 13784 12174 10500 9620 12413 9802 12000 9135 9250 11970 12186 7130 6130 8435 3890 7396 9628 6850 5278 8370 6700 8305 5265 5730 5560 4665 6690 5700 6335 3435 8100 7350 3790 6280 7150 5760 2713 2600 4340 5000 6340 3630 3125 4091 4948 2370 4852 4221 2805 4890 4000 2112 2828 2232 2600 1515 4570

Doubles 12565 9049 7200 9569 9600 10205 9940 6104 7415 4670 6805 5820 1740 1412 5350 5980 3370 7675 4110 1654 4120 5500 2171 3830 1340 4320 3780 3750 4550 1950 2861 2195 4988 0 680 4200 1580 680 1650 4491 4580 2642 1650 301 3000 3313 2230 1152 3660 950 1580 2942 340 1200 2929 2016 2582 2202 3280 170

Total Points 31165 28519 23450 23353 21774 20705 19560 18517 17217 16670 15940 15070 13710 13598 12480 12110 11805 11565 11506 11282 10970 10778 10541 10530 9645 9585 9510 9310 9215 8640 8561 8530 8423 8100 8030 7990 7860 7830 7410 7204 7180 6982 6650 6641 6630 6438 6321 6100 6030 5802 5801 5747 5230 5200 5041 4844 4814 4802 4795 4740

USCA GRAND PRIX WINNERS 1983 – Ted Prentis 1984 – John C. Osborn 1985 – John C. Osborn 1986 – John C. Osborn 1987 – John C. Osborn 1988 – Reid Fleming 1989 – Reid Fleming 1990 – Jim Erwin 1991 – John C. Osborn 1992 – John C. Osborn 1993 – John C. Osborn ** 1999 – Mik Mehas 2000 – Jeff Soo 2001 – John C. Osborn 2002 – Jeff Soo 2003 – John C. Osborn 2004 – Bob Cherry 2005 – Brian Cumming 2006 – Ted Knopf 2007 – Stewart Jackson 2008 – Doug Grimsley 2009 – Ben Rothman 2010 – Ben Rothman 2011 – Danny Huneycutt 2012 – Ben Rothman 2013 – Danny Huneycutt 2014 – Jeff Soo 2015 – Danny Huneycutt 2016 – Stuart Lawrence 2017 – Randy Cardo 2018 – Randy Cardo USCA WOMEN’S GRAND PRIX WINNERS 2008 – Jackie Jones 2009 – Jackie Jones 2010 – Jackie Jones 2011 – Jackie Jones 2012 – Jackie Jones 2013 – Jackie Jones 2014 – Jackie Jones 2015 – Jackie Jones 2016 – Jackie Jones 2017 – Jackie Jones 2018 – Jodie Rugart

All data final for 2018.

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2018 GRAND PRIX TOP 30 MEN # Player Handicap 01 Randy Cardo -3 02 Danny Huneycutt -4 03 Macey W. White -2 04 Sherif Abdelwahab -3 05 Brian Cumming -3.5 06 Bob Chilton -1 07 Richard Sullivan -1.5 08 Jeff Soo -3.5 09 David Ekstrom -1 10 Timothy Rapuano -1.5 11 Paul T. Bennett -2.5 12 Conner L. Helms -0.5 13 Doug Grimsley -3 14 Chris Barley -1 15 Preston Stuart 0 16 Richard G. Curtis -1.5 17 Thomas Cooper -1 18 David McCoy 0 19 Richard Sheely -2 20 Scott Spradling 0 21 Michael Todorovich -1.5 22 Chris Patmore -2 23 Stuart Lawrence -2.5 24 Arthur Olsen 0.5 25 Shane Hettler -0.5 26 Michael Gibbons -1 27 Kevin Hansley 0.5 28 Bob Worrell -1 29 Kenneth (Tim) Bitting -1.5 30 David Isaacs -0.5

Singles 18600 19470 16250 13784 12174 10500 9620 12413 9802 12000 9135 9250 11970 12186 7130 6130 8435 3890 7396 9628 6850 6700 8305 5265 5730 5560 4665 6690 5700 6335

Doubles 12565 9049 7200 9569 9600 10205 9940 6104 7415 4670 6805 5820 1740 1412 5350 5980 3370 7675 4110 1654 4120 3830 1340 4320 3780 3750 4550 1950 2861 2195

Total Points 31165 28519 23450 23353 21774 20705 19560 18517 17217 16670 15940 15070 13710 13598 12480 12110 11805 11565 11506 11282 10970 10530 9645 9585 9510 9310 9215 8640 8561 8530

2018 GRAND PRIX TOP 30 WOMEN # Player Handicap 01 Jodie Rugart -0.5 02 Lynda P. Sudderberg 0 03 Jackie Jones -2 04 Sandra Knuth Walsh 2 05 Donna Dixon 0 06 Loretta Cooper 3 07 Mary Rodeberg 1 08 Beverley Cardo 4 09 Victoria Albrecht 4 10 Vickie Johnston 4 11 Linda Huxtable -0.5 12 Suzanne Spradling 6 13 Jeanne Branthover 4.5 14 Avril Rangoni-Machiavelli 1 15 Linda R. Dos Santos 3 16 Catherine Niederer 3.5 17 Geraldine McCauley 4 18 Jane Simonds -0.5 19 Martie Ekstrom 6 20 Jan Balson 5 21 Yen Sullivan 6 22 Missy Ramey 0.5 23 Cheryl Bromley 20 24 Carla P. Rueck 7 25 Patricia Spratt 5 26 Val Terry 9 27 Reine F. Bitting 5 28 Sally McGrath 7 29 Deborah Millican 5 30 Nancy Crouch 6

Singles 5278 8370 6280 2713 4340 2805 1700 1395 1153 1212 820 803 1510 470 1950 1180 1348 1295 659 50 500 735 929 577 993 1002 0 583 302 458

Doubles 5500 2171 1580 4491 2642 2942 2430 1455 1573 1344 1706 1450 659 1650 0 700 150 200 781 1300 840 520 298 556 84 0 900 216 480 300

Total Points 10778 10541 7860 7204 6982 5747 4130 2850 2726 2556 2526 2253 2169 2120 1950 1880 1498 1495 1440 1350 1340 1255 1227 1133 1077 1002 900 799 782 758

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GRAND PRIX: CHAMPIONSHIP B TOP 15 # Player Handicap Points 01 Loretta Cooper 3 5747 02 Stephen P. Grassbaugh 3 4814 03 Joe Steiner 4.5 4672 04 Richard Boger 4 4332 05 Larry McDermott 3.5 4200 06 Michael Albert 4.5 3828 07 John L. Schoo 4 3440 08 David Spivey 3.5 3382 09 Thomas C. Balding 4.5 3168 10 Richard W. Carlson 4.5 3128 11 Ronald L. Eccles 4.5 2886 12 Beverley Cardo 4 2850 13 Jeff Morrison 4 2791 14 Victoria Albrecht 4 2726 15 Vickie Johnston 4 2556 GRAND PRIX: FIRST FLIGHT TOP 15 # Player Handicap Points 01 George Saad 6 2870 02 Suzanne Spradling 6 2253 03 Martie Ekstrom 6 1440 04 William Hoffman 6 1415 05 Harold Menzel 6 1375 06 Yen Sullivan 6 1340 07 Leo Nikora 9 1260 08 Stephen Jackson 7 1192 09 Carla P. Rueck 7 1133 10 Michael Kukla 6 1074 11 Val Terry 9 1002 12 Gary Anderson 7 964 13 Dick Schleiter 7 855 14 John L. Priest 6 855 15 Sally McGrath 7 799 GRAND PRIX: SECOND FLIGHT TOP 15 # Player Handicap Points 01 John Douglas Richardson 10 416 02 Martin Karel 10 370 03 Karin Karel 10 307 04 Brian Mitchell 11 242 05 John Graney 10 200 06 Joseph C. Warren 11 181 07 Sam Orleans Hansley 10 178 08 Connie Coling 10 161 09 Ellen L. Snodgrass 11 132 10 Ben Watson 10 129 11 Christine Smith 10 128 12 Dennis C. Hough 10 120 13 Peter Bowers 12 120 14 Bettina B. Hinckley 10 117 15 Jane Osgood 11 117 GRAND PRIX: THIRD FLIGHT TOP 10 # Player Handicap Points 01 Blake Fields 20 1308 02 Cheryl Bromley 20 1227 03 Peter Carlin 20 1091 04 Tim Hanks 20 630 05 Vernon Pierce 18 463 06 Gil Flowers 20 322 07 Linda Pike 14 180 08 Steve Berry 20 150 09 Jim Teel 20 149 10 Richard Dell 20 147




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2018 USCA Seniors Masters Championships November 7-11, 2018 | West Palm Beach, Florida

Matches Bring Excitement, Surprises in Well-Fought Senior Masters Championships By John C. Osborn

As day one began of the Seniors Masters Championship, a waft of wisdom was in the air—an expedient wave of undeniable confidence felt as each player entered the National Croquet Center (NCC)—all in search of glory. It tingled upon the skin of the USCA and NCC staffs, not just the years, but the decades of experience evident with undefined attitude.

IT WAS CONCENTRATION, NOT CONCERN. Calm would prevail without callousness toward the fellow competitors, sportsmanship surely to overshadow showmanship. Yes, this was an event to be filled with class rather than conflict and contention.

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Not to say this was a short five days, none of the 66 players ever uttered a curse, overextended their traditional afternoon naps, lost a mallet, over-indulged at the bar, were late for a match, forgot where the next wicket was, which ball they were playing or even who they were partnered with. Given the extensive nature of this event, all of that was to be expected. In fact, the Seniors Masters is traditionally a maze of many events, the field split between those aged 60-69 (Seniors) and those 70 and above (Masters), thus creating eight different divisions to be navigated upon the eight lawns in use. Both singles and doubles were held with matches timed at 75 minutes, block play to single elimination the format employed. And to add a new twist to this year’s event, a special award was handed out to the participant who was more than 80 years old, admitted it and finished with the best overall record. With the weather offering great cooperation throughout, the competition found well-fought matches and surprises from beginning to end. In doubles, where the Seniors and Masters were combined, Bobbie Duryea/Tim McCormick captured the Second Flight with a timely upset (14-13) over Michael and Anne Kukla (undefeated

in block play). Third place was shared by Bill and Diane Sadowski and Ted Hilles/ Jane Osgood. In First Flight (and in another somewhat upset, given the playoff seeding), Wendell Thompson/Joe Steiner won against Vickie Johnston/Ron Eccles (14-7) in a less-than-exciting adventure. Ron Millican/ Harold Menzel and Suzanne Spradling/ Carla ‘The Hammer’ Rueck settled for third. The Championship Flight offered, arguably, the most interest in that 16 teams, all well matched, were racing toward the finish line. While two of the top-five seeds after block play failed to make it past the quarterfinals, Peter Just/Preston Stuart and Danny Huneycutt/ David Ekstrom, the road ahead still proved less than smooth. While John Blamire/Larry McDermott, the only undefeated team until the playoffs, overcame the traditional team of David McCoy/Mike Gibbons (22-9) in one semifinal, Randy Cardo/Bob Chilton, who defeated Dick Sullivan/Mike Todorovich (14-12) in the other, took and held the lead to capture the Championship Flight title match with an exciting 17-15 result. Within the busy Singles divisions, surprises were also the norm. In Second Flight, Jane Osgood (11) and Terry Cassidy (12), filling in the last two rows of the block, fought their way to the semifinals. While their good efforts

2018 full Seniors Masters group photo

would leave them listed as tied for Third Place, their solid play served as a good example of what determined play can achieve. In the Finals, favorite Carl Archiniaco (8) fought back the solid charge of Rita McNamara (9) to take home the larger trophy with a welldeserved 21-12 victory. While the First Flight Seniors Singles had a handicap spread a bit larger than desired, play was quite balanced throughout. By Sunday, the #1 seed, Dick Scherf (three-time defending Champion), and #4 seed, Vickie Johnston (4), found themselves battling it out in a prime-time Finals match. To give Johnston credit, it was her fourth game in a row…that’s her excuse and she’s sticking with it. And to give Scherf credit, he went undefeated throughout the tournament and displayed his improving ability with an impressive 23-9 victory in the Finals. While Joe Steiner (4.5) and David Spivey (3) were licking their third-place wounds, the First Flight Master’s title match, also in play, was proving to be somewhat entertaining. Russ Dilley (3.5) had defeated Harold Menzel (6) without much resistance (23-9), but Suzanne Spradling, having snuck passed (14-12) Michael Kukla (6), was making his stroll to the trophy table a bit bumpy. Dilley would win the Final, but the 13-9 score should go down as somewhat misleading. Of course, unless you have scheduled a lesson, no one is ever happy to see Danny Huneycutt

(-4) show up wearing white and carrying a mallet. At least, in this case, no one in the Championship Flight Seniors Flight. Nothing personal, be certain, and the requests to see his birth certificate were only half-heartedly made, but…especially when you are Jodie Rugart, the only other remaining soldier carrying only a -0.5-handicap card and a nervous smile, thoughts of an alarm clock going off become your best hope. Huneycutt’s matches, for the most part, read like a boring novel: 26-4, 26-3, 26-2, 26-3, 26-2 and, in the Finals, which really was a great deal of fun for all, 26-3. Bob Worrell (-1) and Randy Cardo (-3) tied for third after losses to Huneycutt and Rugart, respectively. In the Championship Masters Singles, the big question going into Finals was: how was Bob Chilton (-1) still standing? Aside from Vickie Johnston, he was the only other player to face four straight matches on an abbreviated Sunday. Having already won the Doubles but moments ago, here he was facing the past National Champion, Carl Mabee (-1.5), in what would be a tough game even on just a casual afternoon. Yes, Chilton might have been a bit tired (“It’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.”) as Mabee easily captured the Finals with a stylish and controlled 26-2 victory. Tim Bitting (-1) and Alan Cottle (-2) shared third-place honors. Since no spoiler alert was given early, it will come as no surprise that Bob Chilton,

already laden with trophies, also walked away with the Over-80 Super Master Award for overall performance. In fact, he even danced his way out of the building. As did almost all of this year’s participants, no matter what their on-court outcome proved to be. The Seniors Masters, certainly one of the largest events of the year, has a wonderful way of bringing friends together, offers the chance for them to further exaggerate some great stories and allows everyone to feel, if for only a few days, a little like a kid again. Not everyone gets a participation award, but all are happy to have participated. Thanks go out to the USCA staff for their hard work and to everyone at the NCC for their smiles and well-received cuisine. Congratulations also are offered to Ben Rothman and Gene Young, this year’s inductees honored during the Hall of Fame Dinner held mid-tournament. Likewise, the USCA would like to thank everyone for their sportsmanship, for sharing their wisdom, for their camaraderie and for supporting the game we all love so much. Until next November…

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FINAL ORDER OF FINISH CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT SENIORS SINGLES 01. Danny Huneycutt 02. Jodie Rugart 03. Bob Worrell 03. Randy Cardo 05. Matt Griffith 05. Lynda Sudderberg 05. Mike Todorovich 05. John Curington 09. Donald Parker 10. Dick Brackett 10. Preston Stuart 12. Bill Trower

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT MASTERS SINGLES 01. Carl Mabee 02. Bob Chilton 03. Alan Cottle 03. Tim Bitting 05. David McCoy 05. Peter Just 05. David Ekstrom 05. Scott Spradling 09. Dick Sullivan 09. Mike Gibbons 09. Charles Alexander 09. John Blamire 13. Mary Rodeberg 13. Paul Phoenix Dnf: Jackie Jones Dnf: Avril Rangoni-Machiavelli

Bob Chilton

FIRST FLIGHT SENIORS SINGLES 01. Dick Scherf 02. Vickie Johnston 03. Joe Steiner 03. David Spivey 05. Steve Grassbaugh 05. Ron Millican 05. Yen Sullivan 05. Pat Spratt 09. Jeff Morrison 10. Arlene Stevens 10. Deborah Millican 10. Mark Ski

Joe Steiner and Wendell Thompson

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FIRST FLIGHT MASTERS SINGLES 01. Russ Dilley 02. Suzanne Spradling 03. Michael Kukla 03. Harold Menzel 05. Diane Sadowski 05. Wendell Thompson 05. Martie Ekstrom 05. Tim McCormick 09. Bill Sadowski 09. Ron Eccles 11. Ted Hilles 11. Bob Duryea

Ron Eccles

SECOND FLIGHT SINGLES 01. Carl Archiniaco 02. Rita McNamara 03. Jane Osgood 03. Terry Cassidy 05. Nanci Hunt 06. Anne Kukla CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT DOUBLES 01. Randy Cardo/Bob Chilton 02. John Blamire/ Larry McDermott 03. Dick Sullivan/ Michael Todorovich 03. Mike Gibbons/David McCoy 05. Alan Cottle/ Avril Rangoni-Machiavelli 05. Danny Huneycutt/ David Ekstrom 05. Peter Just/Preston Stuart 05. Carl Mabee/Bob Worrell 09. Donald Parker/ Charles Alexander 09. Tim Bitting/Reine Bitting 11. Dick Brackett/ John Curington 11. Lynda Sudderberg/ Bill Trower 11. Scott Spradling/ Mary Rodeberg 14. Jodie Rugart/ Conrad Rugart 14. Matt Griffith/ Deborah Millican Dnf: Jackie Jones/ Paul Phoenix


FIRST FLIGHT DOUBLES 01. Wendell Thompson/ Joe Steiner 02. Vickie Johnston/Ron Eccles 03. Ron Millican/Harold Menzel 03. Suzanne Spradling/ Carla Rueck 05. Steve Grassbaugh/David Spivey 05. Dick Scherf/Russ Dilley 05. Jeff Morrison/Yen Sullivan 08. Pat Spratt/Mark Ski SECOND FLIGHT DOUBLES 01. Bobbie Duryea/ Tim McCormick 02. Michael Kukla/Anne Kukla 03. Diane Sadowski/ Bill Sadowski 03. Ted Hilles/Jane Osgood 05. Martie Ekstrom/ Rita McNamara 05. Arlene Stevens/ Tina Hinckley 07. Patricia Duncan/ Hildegard Jones 07. Carl Archiniaco/ Mary Shields PLAYERS OVER 80 Winner: Bob Chilton Bobbie Duryea David Ekstrom Ted Hilles Hildegard Jones Larry McDermott Wendell Thompson



Bob Duryea

Carla Rueck

Rosemary Faulconer, Bill Trower

Suzanne, Scott Spradling

Players over 80

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YACHT CLUB Year founded: The club was founded in 1876; croquet was added in 2015. Location: Jacksonville, Fla. Number of members: 965 Number of courts: Two full-size, but they can convert to three three-quarter size to accommodate more players.

What makes this club special: Our membership makes our club special. The Florida Yacht Club Type of grass: Tif Grand, mown at .155 three times a week during growing season. is rich in history and aquatic heritage, as it is the oldest yacht club in the state of Florida. Located on the banks of the St. Johns River, Overview of club schedule: generations of members have enjoyed the club throughout the years. We are very fortunate to have weather that allows us to offer open In addition to croquet, its amenities include a newly renovated play to our members six days per week, 52 weeks per year. If it is not clubhouse serving world-class cuisine, two marinas, tennis courts, raining, people are playing! We also have LED lighting for evening a fitness center and a riverfront swimming pool. The club has truly play when the summer heat is too much during the day. something for everyone of any age, which makes it one of the premier places for social enjoyment. Open tournaments (and projected month played): The Club Doubles Tournament takes place in May, and our Club Our croquet community is special because of the feeling of family Singles Tournament is in October. We are hoping to host our and camaraderie among all the players. Everyone supports and first USCA sanctioned tournament this year in the fall, when the encourages each other to be better players, offering tips and guidance temperatures are more comfortable. to new players as well as more experienced ones. We often travel in groups to play with other clubs in the northeast Florida area. Website: www.thefloridayachtclub.org Do you use social media? We are very active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. • Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefloridayachtclub/ or @thefloridayachtclub • Instagram: @thefloridayachtclub • Twitter: https://twitter.com/Fyc1876 or @Fyc1976

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Approach to growing membership: Croquet is part of the amenities at the Florida Yacht Club. The program started as a small core group and has shown steady growth throughout the years. Our regulars bring their friends and family to play, and once they get hooked, they can’t stop. Offering free introductory lessons and strategy clinics have helped bring in new players. We will be starting youth programs this year to introduce the game to our younger members and increase participation across all our demographics.

Are USCA members welcome? The Florida Yacht Club is a private club. USCA members are welcome to play as a guest of a current member. Best restaurants to visit in the area: The Pirate’s Den at the Florida Yacht Club epitomizes world-class dining and service with a family-friendly ambiance. Members are invited to dine indoors or alfresco while taking in riverfront views and savoring superb culinary creations from the kitchen. Best places to stay: Airbnb features wonderful homes in the historic Ortega and Avondale areas of Jacksonville. For a luxury experience, The Club Continental in Orange Park is a fantastic option and is located right on the St. Johns River. Other than the club, what do you have to go see in Jacksonville? If you are a water person, Jacksonville is the place for you. The St. Johns River is accessible for boating and fishing, or you can visit our beautiful beaches on the coast. With more than 20 miles of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, you can catch some rays, surf, paddleboard or charter a boat and do some fishing. If sports are your thing, you can take in a Jaguars game at

TIAA Bank Field. Our popular minor league baseball team, the Jumbo Shrimp, provide entertaining games, as do our Jacksonville Icemen hockey team. The Jacksonville Zoo is home to some of the best exhibits around. When you are done taking in the sights, you can relax at one of more than 20 craft breweries in the city.

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Jodie Rugart Age: 60 Home base: I live in West Palm Beach, Fla., in the winter and Brielle on the Jersey Shore in the summer. Home club: I am a member of four croquet clubs: The Beach Club, the Everglades Club, the National Croquet Club and Green Gables Croquet Club. Grip: A modified Solomon grip. Mallet (manufacturer, head size/weight, shaft length): Dave Trimmer, 36 inches tall with an 11-inch head and just under 3 pounds. Years playing croquet: 12 years

Photo by Bob Chilton

Favorite croquet venue: If I had to pick one, it would probably be The Beach Club. Favorite tournament: So many special places hold tournaments, but one of my favorites is The Piping Rock Tournament on Long Island, N.Y.

Pop culture favorites (TV, movies, books and/or music): Van Morrison, Moondance.

How did you get into the game? In the late 1980s my parents, Martha and Lou Fusz, and some of my siblings started playing croquet. Although I was introduced to the sport, it wasn’t until 2006 that I first got out on a croquet lawn. It was when I was introduced to my husband-to-be, Conrad, who was already playing, that I decided to learn to play. The rest is history. 

What is the best thing the USCA has done for croquet? The USCA is our umbrella organization for all things croquet. No matter if you are playing backyard croquet in the Midwest to association in California, we are all one big family. I like that.

Croquet highlights/tourney wins: One of my favorite wins occurred when I was Green Gables CC president and I brought the 1st New Jersey State Championship to our lawns. I was definitely a dark horse, but I won that first state tournament. My other favorite wins was the 2018 Club Teams with Danny Huneycutt. Honorable mention must go to my first appearance in the Seniors Masters Tournament. I did not win the tournament, but I was in the finals against Danny, my mentor and friend.  Do you play other sports? Yes, I play golf and some tennis. Favorite sports teams? I grew up in St. Louis, so the St. Louis Cardinals would be my first pick. I also am an avid fan of the United States Woman’s Soccer team. 

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What is the USCA’s greatest weakness? Because there are four games in one sport of croquet, it is hard to give them all the time emphasis they need.  What would you like to see happen in the sport over the next 10 years? I would like to see more golf clubs pick up the sport of croquet. It is a natural marriage. What have you learned from croquet? Croquet has brought me a million friends from across the country. It is a small sport with a big heart. I love it! The future of the sport: The future of the sport depends on our efforts to bring new blood into the game.  Quick croquet tip: Follow through!


Informational Series Part III:

Wrong Ball, Penalty Area Continuation and Overlapping Play By Cheryl Bromley RULE #10 PLAYING A WRONG BALL Definition: A wrong ball is played when the striker plays a ball other than the striker’s ball or a player other than the striker plays any ball. (Subject to rule 10.1.5 special situations). 10.1.2 If any player (or referee, if present) believes a wrong ball is about to be played, they are to forestall play and require the correct ball is played. 10.1.3 If any player (or referee, if present) believes a wrong ball may have been played in the last stroke, they are to forestall play until it is established how play should continue in accordance with this rule. Definition: The previous stroke is the stroke before the last stroke. (rule 10.1.4) 10.2.1 When play is stopped after a wrong ball has been played in the last stroke, all strokes before the last stroke are treated as valid. (i.e. “Condoned”) 10.2.2 Any points scored in those strokes are counted for the owners of the balls that scored the points.

ACTION AFTER A WRONG BALL IS PLAYED 10.3.1 Striker Played Partner Ball or Striker’s Partner Played Own Ball The non-offending side chooses whether to apply Replace and Replay (rule 10.4.1) or Ball Swap (10.4.2). (This is the only instance where the ball swap is an option. All other instances of wrong ball use Replace and Replay). What is Replace & Replay? The last stroke is annulled, and any points scored because of the stroke are cancelled. All balls moved as a result of the last stroke are replaced in the positions they occupied before the last stroke was played. The striker for the last stroke then replays that stroke with the striker’s ball. Example 1: It is Blue’s turn to shoot. The owner of Blue hits its partner ball, Black (wrong ball), which goes through the hoop. Play is stopped. If the opponent chooses Replace and Replay, all balls that moved are put back to the positions they

were before the shot and no point is scored. The owner of Blue then hits its proper Blue ball. (See below for ball swap option.) Example 2: It is Blue’s turn to shoot. The striker’s partner, Black, hits its designated Black ball even though it was not his turn to play and no balls have gone through the hoop. Play is stopped and if the opponent chooses Replace and Replay, all balls that moved are put back to the positions they were before the shot and no point is scored. The owner of Blue then hits its proper Blue ball. (See below for ball swap option.) What is Ball Swap? If using the Ball Swap option, the last stroke is treated as valid and any points scored in the last stroke are counted for the owners of the balls that scored the points. All balls are left where they stopped, except the positions of the ball played in the last stroke and its partner ball are swapped (a swapped ball takes the offside status of the ball with which it is swapped). The non-offending side then plays the next ball in sequence after the partner ball of the ball played in the last stroke (i.e. the next ball to be played is the ball next in sequence that would have followed the correct ball hit had a ball swap not occurred. See examples below.). Example 1 from above: It is Blue’s turn to shoot. The owner of Blue hits its partner ball, Black (wrong ball), which goes through the hoop. Play is stopped. In this instance, the non-offending side would most likely not use the ball swap option because the Black ball scored the hoop. They would more than likely replace and replay. However, if the Black ball (hit in error by the owner of Blue) causes an opponent ball to score the hoop, the non-offending side might consider keeping the point and use the ball swap option. Therefore, Blue would now occupy Black’s position, Black would occupy Blue’s position and the next ball to play would be Red.  Example 2 from above: It is Blue’s turn to shoot. The striker’s partner, Black, hits the Black ball even though it is not his turn to play and no balls have gone through the hoop. Play is stopped. Using the ball swap option here, Blue takes the place of where Black ended up and Black is swapped to Blue’s position. Play continues as though Blue had just played and it is now Red to play. croquetamerica.com | 23

10.3.2 Striker or Striker’s Partner Played Opponent Ball Remedy: Replace and Replay (10.4.1) Example: It is Blue’s turn to shoot. Blue hits yellow (the opponent ball). Remedy: Replace Yellow (and any balls moved), then Blue shoots its correct ball. The last stroke is annulled and no points are scored. (No more double whammy penalty here!) 10.3.3 Striker’s Partner Played Striker’s Ball Remedy: Replace and Replay (10.4.1) Example: It is Blue’s turn to shoot. The owner of Black hits Blue. Remedy: Replace Black (and any balls moved), then Blue shoots its correct ball.

QUICK SUMMARY: WRONG BALL A wrong ball is played when a player other than the striker plays or a ball other than the striker’s ball is played. Important: (New) Forestall Play if a wrong ball is about to be played or if you believe a wrong ball has been played. Examples:

10.5.4 Previous stroke played with opponent ball. Subject to 10.5.3, if the previous stroke (the one before the last stroke) was played with a ball that did not belong to the side that played it (example, Blue was hit by the player owning Red), and the last stroke was played by the other side (ex: Black then shoots its Black ball), any points scored as a result of the last two strokes are cancelled and play continues by a Penalty Area Continuation (see below for rule 18.2). 10.6 Same Side Plays Successive Strokes The same side plays twice in a row, skipping the opponent’s turn. This is a wrong-ball situation and is the one case in which the old wrong-ball penalty applies: no points count, the opponent chooses whether to replace all balls moved or to leave them where they are, and also chooses either ball of its side to restart the sequence. 18.2 Penalty Area Continuation – used for rules 7.5.5 Hoops played out of order, 10.5.4 Previous stroke played with opponent ball and last stroke played by other side, and 12.1.4 Striker’s side plays an invalid stroke. Note: Penalty areas are the two semi-circular areas on the court with a radius of one yard centered on the court diagram points D & E.

Striker (Blue) played partner ball (Black).

If play is to continue by a penalty area continuation, all four balls are to be played from the same penalty area.

Options: Non-offending side may choose Replace and Replay (points don’t count) or Ball Swap (points count).

Order of play is determined by a coin toss. Losing side chooses from which penalty area the balls shall be played.

Partner of striker hits his designated ball (Black) but it was not his turn (it was striker’s Blue ball to shoot).

Play continues by the winning side playing a stroke with either ball of their side from the chosen penalty area.

Options: Non-offending side may choose Replace and Replay (points don’t count) or Ball Swap (points count).

12. Overlapping Play If two or more balls are caused to be in motion at the same time because of strokes played by both sides, the stroke played by the striker’s side is valid (subject to wrong ball and faults) and the stroke played by the non-striking side is invalid.

Variation: Blue plays Blue, Yellow plays Yellow, Black plays Black. Black, by playing on regardless of Yellow’s error, condones Yellow’s shot because Black does not follow Yellow in sequence. Black therefore has played a wrong ball. Options: Non-offending side may choose Replace and Replay (points don’t count) or Ball Swap (points count). Striker (Blue) or striker’s partner (Black) played an opponent ball (Yellow) Remedy: Replace and Replay (points don’t count). Partner of striker (Black) played striker ball (Blue). Remedy: Replace and Replay (points don’t count).

SPECIAL SITUATIONS 10.5.1 Accidental contact while intending to strike another ball. This is a fault, not a wrong ball situation. 10.5.2 Exchange of colors in first four strokes of a game: ex: if, in all the first four strokes of the game, the players played the opponent ball colors in the correct order, for the remainder of the match, the ownership of the balls is as played in those first four strokes. This might happen in a two-out-of-three game match, for example. 10.5.3 Wrong ball in the first four strokes of the game. If it is discovered before the fifth turn of the game that a wrong ball has been played in any of the first four strokes, the balls are replaced in the positions they occupied at the end of the last valid stroke. Play continues in sequence after the last valid stroke. Ex: Blue shoots, Red shoots, Black shoots, Red shoots. The last valid stroke was Black. Red is replaced and Yellow shoots.

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12.1.2(a) If the striker played a valid shot, all balls moved only because of the invalid stroke are replaced in the positions they occupied before that stroke was played. And (b), the next stroke of the non-striking side will be treated as having been declared. Example: It is Black’s turn to shoot. At the same time, Yellow also shoots (both Black and Yellow are in motion at the same time). Black’s shot is valid, Yellow is invalid and is put back to where it was prior to hitting. Next, Yellow’s shot is treated as having been taken (“declared”) and it is now Blue’s turn to shoot. Refer to rule 9.2 if the outcome of Black’s shot may have been affected. Note: If both sides play and are in error, i.e. the striker plays an invalid stroke (12.1.4), play continues with a Penalty Area Continuation.

GC TIP: BALL MARKING Marking croquet balls during a game is a common occurrence, especially when two games are double-banked on the same court or when a ball is in a critical position near a hoop or near another ball. Also, with the new rule of the “Ball Swap” option for two wrong ball situations, knowing the correct procedure to mark a ball is something all croquet players need to know how to do properly. Below is a basic example of how to mark a croquet ball plus a section for referees. If your ball is in the “open court,” or it is not in a critical position near a hoop or another ball, the proper technique is to place one marker

immediately behind the center of the ball in line with a fixed object such as the center peg.

In addition, two other markers may be used to form a line bisecting the ball to check the original marking or if greater accuracy is necessary.

Note: A ball should not be marked by lifting it and placing a marker where it was thought to be resting. Also, a ball should not be pushed firmly into the court surface to leave an impression where a marker is to be placed.

Balls should be marked in such a way as to cause the least distraction to the striker when the stroke is played. For Referees: Around the hoop or near other balls, the standard technique is to use two golf ball markers and “cross triangulate” using the hoop legs as reference points (see below). Note: When a striker is hampered while attempting to strike the striker’s ball and other balls are nearby, all balls are to be marked. This is because if a fault is committed, the opponent may direct that all balls moved in the stroke be replaced.

Example of two marked balls in close proximity below.

Tip: When possible, use colored markers that match the color of the balls.




Women’s GC World Championship Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Croquet Week GC Tournament West Palm Beach, FL




Steuber Classic (GC, AC, US) West Palm Beach, FL

Sarasota CCC Golf Croquet Invitational Venice, FL



Citrus Golf Croquet Classic Doubles Tournament | Wellington, FL

Golf Croquet Eights West Palm Beach, FL

National Croquet Club GC Championship | West Palm Beach, FL Southeast GC Regional | Hartfield, VA


Piping Rock Invitational Locust Valley, NY

croquetamerica.com | 25


HOW TO WIN BY ONE WICKET The Defensive Croquet Out By Bob Kroeger and John C. Osborn


n this column, we’re covering a play that’s primarily used in Championship Flight. Having said that, it can be learned by others whose handicaps are higher. The example starts with Blue playing first ball, last turn with Blue and Black leading by one point. Blue, Black and Red are for 2-back while Yellow is for 1-back alive on all balls. Rather than trying to make more points, Blue is going to play a ‘Defensive Croquet Out.’ That is, to intentionally croquet Black out of bounds next to the ‘spent ball’ (Yellow) while Blue goes out of bounds as well. This is a good play because it makes it difficult for Red to join Yellow effectively because of the presence of Black (remember Black plays before Yellow plays). To make this play work, Blue must be alive on Black and Black needs to be alive on the opponent balls (please see an exception to this at the end). Additionally, the ‘Danger Ball’ (Red, in this case) must be a long distance away from any ball it is alive on. The example shown in Diagram 1 has Blue cut-rush Black to a spot where it can aim Black toward Yellow (Diagram 2) with no obstacles in the way. When lining up this croquet shot, it is important to account for draw or pull to assure Black gets out of bounds near the spent ball. It is important to play an aggressive split shot using maximum backswing to assure both balls get out of bounds. This is

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a wonderful play to virtually guarantee a victory in last turn. As we know, the opponent can, from time to time, hit a spectacular shot…few guarantees exist in croquet, but the odds are well in your favor! Regarding the exception mentioned above, you can use this play even if your partner is dead on its danger ball (i.e. Black could be dead on Yellow) as long as it’s alive on its spent ball (Black alive on Red). We know that for Yellow to have a chance to tie the game, it needs Red in a rush position toward 1-back. If Black was dead on Yellow, Blue could send it to where you see Black in Diagram 3 because that is where Red would need to be to give Yellow its rush to 1-back. If the tying wicket was Wicket 4, then Blue would send Black to where you see it in Diagram 4. It is well worth practicing this play from many different locations with the balls set up for other wickets beyond what is shown here. To learn more about Bob Kroeger’s Brand New American Rules 6 Wicket Croquet Strategy Video Series, please go to https://bobcroquet.com/strategy_info.htm. You can also email directly at Bobkroeger@aol.com. Please include “Strategy Info” in the subject box of the email.






croquetamerica.com | 27


Wickets Deadness Boards Dawson Balls Sunshiny Balls Pegs Flags Clips & MALLETS Galore

Visit our Pro Shop Website for All Your Equipment Needs www.nationalcroquetcenterproshop.com

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Classes available for this season: AMERICAN RULES Jan 30-Feb 1, 2019 March 5-7, 2019 April 3-5, 2019

Tournament Play School: March 9-11, 2019

GOLF CROQUET RULES March 6-7, 2019

ASSOCIATION RULES (International) (Beginner Level only)

Jan 31-Feb 1, 2019 PRIVATE GROUP PROGRAM: Groups of 6 or more players (of the same level) may arrange for a date (dependent on court and instructor availability) that is convenient for the group’s participants

Instruction by USCA Certified National Instructors Contact the USCA office for more details (561) 478-0760 or email:


Classes are held at the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, FL

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PLAYERS By Dylan Goodwin

With it being well-known that the majority of croquet play in North America is centered on the six-ball version of nine wicket, often referred to as cutthroat croquet, the unanswered question is: how does the USCA connect with the base of casual players that is often claimed to be well above one million participants per year? croquetamerica.com | 29

It makes sense the majority of play is six-ball oriented, since most retail sets sold each by big-box stores include six balls and six mallets. Still, the USCA nine wicket rules and tournaments put the partner ball version of nine wicket front and center. That’s most certainly due to at least two inherent issues with the six-ball game: 1. It’s quite possible for a strong player to go around the court to finish the game on the first turn, resulting that up to four players may not even get a shot in the game. 2. By nature, the six-ball game with the one-ball-per-player approach isn’t as tactically rich as partner-ball style croquet. I can’t do much about the second point, but I would note that one-ball play on six wicket courts is played and can be quite fun. On the first point, I have often wondered if there was a way to address that first turn issue to make the six-ball nine wicket game more fair and practical. From the USCA perspective, it could allow the organization to better embrace the form, potentially making it feasible to offer that version as part of nine wicket regional and national events with the idea of connecting to more casual players. With that in mind, last year at my family and friends’ backyard nine wicket event, I trialed a new concept for six-ball. When the striker ball scored the turn stake (after H7), the striker turn ended and the ball remained where it lie as part of the standard rules. This was treated as an absolute, eliminating the option to bounce off the peg to roquet another ball or glancing off the peg to run through H9. No matter what, one’s turn ended after hitting that turn stake. I repeat – with the rule, there was no way to get a bonus shot. So, what was the effect of that subtle, but controversial change? My perspective was that it somewhat created two games within one game: “Great! You found a way to hit in and run around to the first peg (turn stake). Well, guess what? Now, you have to do it again to win the game.”


Southeast 9W Regional Round Hill, Virginia


National 9-Wicket Croquet Tournament Hartfield, Virginia

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It was like having two innings. More importantly, it guaranteed everyone at least one turn and, in practice, multiple turns because with only one ball per player (and six balls on the court), it is impossible to create any sort of valid leave in the middle of the game. We played two games. From the first one, I will admit most of the “less experienced” players were annoyed about having to stop after the turn stake. On the other hand, they were thrilled when I had to stop. It did cut up the game quite nicely and with the time limit set at 60 minutes, I never did peg out. The second game proved to be relatively choppy and had an interesting finish. Based on the time pressure, we had four players literally running in the final to hurry through H6 and H7 to hit the turn stake in the final minute, thereby staying alive for last turns. I was one of those players and it was fun trying to figure out how to get into “the second half ” of the layout and leave my ball somewhere on the court with some sort of an opportunity for a last turn hit in. I certainly haven’t utilized the rule enough to endorse it, but since it showed promise, I plan to keep it in effect this summer and see how it goes. If any other six-ball enthusiasts give it a try, please let me know what you think. I am also going to suggest a couple other concepts that should be considered to make the six-ball game more enjoyable: Timed Games: While playing to the peg can be “epic,” it’s not super-enjoyable to watch a game stretch out endlessly. It also leaves out the “last turns” concept, which throughout my experience quite provides the most viewing entertainment in bonus shot croquet (comparable to a 13th hoop battle in GC). Sixty minutes works well, from my experience. Shot Clock: With six players on the court, I historically have found that most players aren’t ready to play or are not aware of their turn. On top of that, even experienced players often want to overthink a lot of basic scenarios. If you have a volunteer, I would recommend a shot clock. American rules six wicket has a 45-second shot clock, but I could see going down to 25 seconds for six-ball. Give each player one Time Out per game that they can utilize to bail themselves out or think through a potentially difficult scenario. Otherwise, if they don’t shoot during that turn, the turn is lost, and the turn should move to the next player.

Final Thought on Six-Ball Despite playing quite a lot of AC, GC and partner ball nine wicket over the past decade, I have still found myself in the occasional six-ball game. And some of those games were relatively serious. What I truly enjoyed about those games, though, was the camaraderie and casual banter. Six players in a game means a lot more chatter making it quite social and a lot of fun. Even if the ideas mentioned here are not helpful, I do hope the USCA is able to find some ways to embrace the six-ball game and the players that enjoy it. 9W Playing Tip Did you leave your H5 pioneer way too short and after scoring H4 you are looking at a ridiculously wide split to get a rush off that pioneer (Diagram 1)? No worries, we can get that 3BB back on track by intentionally cut rushing Red to be a pioneer at H6, while your Blue striker ball carroms off toward the H5 area (Diagram 2). With the liberal 9W bonus shot options, you can play that striker ball from there instead of having to do a takeoff from Red that would be required in 6W play (or the wide split shot that eliminates the rush option on Black). Getting to the south side of the Black pioneer shouldn’t be too challenging from the much shorter distance (Diagram 3). And from there, a nice rush toward H5 and you are back on track. Viola!



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USCA Florida Golf Croquet Regional group photo.

USCA Florida Golf Croquet Regional Tournament January 11-13, 2019 West Palm Beach, Florida

By Cheryl Bromley A record of 36 players, and arguably the strongest field ever for this 6th annual event, descended upon the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., for three days of exceptional singles and doubles play January 11-13 for the Florida Golf Croquet Regional. Players traveled from throughout Florida, the Midwest and the eastern part of the US and included international players from Toronto, Canada, and England.

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the seeded teams of Danny Huneycutt and Matt Griffith, Jeff and Eileen Soo, and Sherif Abdelwahab and Sandra Knuth all advanced as predicted, however the UK’s Helena Jansson and Mike Fensome took out Ahab Dincer and Hal Denton in a tight 7-6 match to head to the semifinals. In First Flight Doubles action, Jim Teel and partner Pat Colt, along with Steven Mednick and Julia Johnston, Tim Cavers and William Simmons, and Rich Dell and Clint Dawkins secured their spots in the semifinals.

Players were divided into two divisions: Championship and First Flight based on their WCF grades; and then were placed into six singles blocks for the initial singles stages.

After two days of exciting play, four players from each of the singles blocks advanced to the knockout rounds with remaining players moving into plate matches. Worldrenowned players, Sherif Abdelwahab, Danny Huneycutt, Jeff Soo and Ahab Dincer headed into the quarterfinals with Macey White, Matt Griffith, Cheryl Bromley and Stephen Jackson, winning their opening knockout matches to advance.

Day one began with timed doubles knockout play of 75-minute matches in the morning followed by singles block play in the afternoon. In the Championship Flight Doubles, after two rounds of play,

First Flight Singles qualifiers who advanced into their quarterfinal knockout included Robert Clark, John Fox, Rich Dell, Pat Colt, Clint Dawkins, Jim Teel, Ellie Griffith, Tom Howell and Rich Dell.

2019 Singles Champion Macey White with Finalist, Ahab Dincer

Amr Hamdy

croquetamerica.com | 33

Right: Danny Huneycutt Bottom: Above left: Championship Doubles Finalists Jeff and Eileen Soo with 2019 Champions Sandy Knuth and Sherif Abdelwahab.

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First Flight Doubles Champions Jim Teel and Pat Colt.

Doubles matches were interwoven into day two with eventual finalists Jeff and Eileen Soo meticulously disposing of opponents Bromley and Amr Hamdy and Huneycutt and Matt Griffith en route to their place in the final. On the other half of the draw, Sherif Abdelwahab and Sandra Knuth took out George Cochran and John Warlick as well as Helena Jansson and Mike Fensome to next face the Soos in the Championship match. This thrilling Championship final started in the mid-afternoon and battled into the early evening under the lights. Playing with surgical precision, the Soos were able to take the first of three games 7-3. Abdelwahab and Knuth Walsh amped up their games and synched together to close out the second game 7-6. It was never certain who would make the final hoop of the last game until Abdelwahab and Knuth Walsh closed it out 7-6 to win the title. Spectators were treated to an incredible display of long-distance clearing shots as well as precise placement and tactics.

First Flight doubles action saw Rich Dell and Clint Dawkins ease their way into the finals with Jim Teel and Pat Colt pulling ahead to win the final matchup 7-1, 7-3. Many singles matches were yet to be played on the final day of the tournament beginning with the quarterfinals. In the Championship Flight, Huneycutt was able to get past Matt Griffth, Abdelwahab eliminated Jackson, and after an incredible battle at the 13th hoop, with Bromley having three opportunities to put it away, Dincer polished off the game with a 7-6 victory. White came roaring through with a 7-6 upset over Jeff Soo and then proceeded to remove Abdelwahab in three games in the semifinals 7-5, 1-7, 7-5 to clinch a spot in the finals. In the other semifinal, Dincer moved past Huneycutt after the match was tied at one game each and Huneycutt had to withdraw due to a time constraint. Fox and Dell battled their way through the knockout to reach the First Flight final. Rather than playing a two-out-of-

croquetamerica.com | 35

Eileen Soo

three game match, they opted to play one 19-point game (first to 10 points). Their match went the distance with Dell capturing the Regional title on the 19th hoop, 10-9. Plate Winners included Hamdy in the Championship Flight and Bill Taber in the First Flight. The Grand Finale singles matchup of Dincer and White got underway with spectators seated under the veranda to watch the action on court 6. Steady play by White allowed him to methodically take apart the incredible shot-making of Dincer in the first game 7-5 and then, without delay, the second game got underway. White was “dialed in” and maintained his form and composure to play a solid final game to win the title 7-2. This is White’s second back-toback Florida regional singles title.

TOURNAMENT WINNERS Championship Flight Singles Macey White Finalist Ahab Dincer Championship Singles Plate Amr Hamdy Championship Doubles Winners Sherif Abdelwahab and Sandra Knuth Finalists Jeff Soo and Eileen Soo 3rd Place Danny Huneycutt and Matt Griffith First Flight Singles Winner Richard Dell First Flight Finalist John Fox First Flight Singles Plat William Taber First Flight Doubles Winners Jim Teel and Pat Colt Finalists Richard Dell and Clint Dawkins

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2018 USCA Golf Croquet Club Championships December 7-9, 2018 West Palm Beach, Florida

By John C. Osborn (TD) Great weather met the 20 participants of this year’s Golf Croquet Club Team Championships. Held over the span of three days, pipes lurked on the outskirts of each of the three lawns in use and the courts themselves played at a speed fair to both Flights involved. While a threat of timing games was mentioned, expedient play made this threat an idle one as all the matches moved along smoothly. While games proved to be close throughout, a compliment to the improved play of all, the spirit of the entire event was relaxed and enjoyable, appreciation shown from all for a wellplayed shot. With GC gaining popularity, it is hoped this tournament, based upon the decadesold six wicket version of the Club Teams, cascades into popularity through time. And it should. The concept is simple enough in that individual clubs can send an unlimited number of doubles teams (only the top four finishers counted in the overall tally) to capture the overall club title. A doubles team with players from two separate clubs would simply split the allocated points, all determined by the finishing order. This year came down to the very end, with several clubs still hoping for an engraving upon the perpetual trophy. While the first day and a half involved a great deal of block play, all to determine seeding within the playoffs, those ‘casual’ matches proved to make quite a difference. In First Flight, the Florida Yacht Club did its best to stack the deck, sending four seasoned teams. Still, once all the balls had stopped rolling in block play, Ed Berge/Desmond Davies (St. Andrews Club) and Michael Sexton/ Jean Salem (The Hillsboro Club) held onto the two semifinal byes. While that may have been a nice thrill, after battling against club-mates, the remaining Florida Yacht Club teams prevailed in both of those 19-point semifinal games, thus almost guaranteeing that the club would drive back to Jacksonville with the overall trophy. In the Final, Susan Adams/Jack Davis took individual honors with a 10-7 victory over John Fox/Mike Shad.

block games failed to mirror the results. The number-two seeds, Stephen Jackson/ John Warlick, fell in one semifinal (bestof-three, 13-point games) to Sandra Knuth/Vernon Pierce (3-7, 6-7), while top seeds Cheryl Bromley/Rick Landry stumbled but recouped with a 6-7, 7-1, 7-3 victory over veterans David McCoy/Hal Denton. With the players still unaware if the overall title was up for grabs, the Final was a great one with the unknown element being how ‘newcomer’ Pierce would handle the pressure. He handled it well, for the most part. Knuth Walsh/Pierce captured the Flight with an exciting 7-5, 6-7, 7-5 upset. Great shooting and wonderful watching throughout!

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While the calendar timing of this tournament may not be the best and a short tournament makes traveling a bit more of an endeavor, the USCA hopes to see more clubs participate next year. As the popularity of Golf Croquet grows, it’s hoped that this tournament becomes one of the largest and most enjoyable for everyone. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks for sharing in the fun!

FINAL ORDER Championship Flight 01. Sandra Knuth/Vernon Pierce PB Polo & CC-National Croquet Club 02. Cheryl Bromley/Rick Landry Milwaukee Croquet Club/PB Polo & CC 03. Stephen Jackson/John Warlick Kactus Croquet Club-National Croquet Club 04. David McCoy/Hal Denton National Croquet Club First Flight 01. Susan Adams/Jack Davis Florida Yacht Club 02. John Fox/Mike Shad Florida Yacht Club 03. Edward Berge/Desmond Davies St. Andrews Club 04. Michael Sexton/Jean Salem Hillsboro Club 05. Jeff Ohlrich/David Walker Florida Yacht Club 05. Richard Barker/Peggy Fox Florida Yacht Club Winning Club: The Florida Yacht Club 02. Palm Beach Polo & CC 03. National Croquet Club 04. The St. Andrews Club 05. Milwaukee Croquet Club 05. Kactus Croquet Club 05. The Hillsboro Club

In the Championship Flight, with all four teams looking quite equal on paper, the croquetamerica.com | 37

2018 AC Selection Eights group photo

Peter Bach

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USCA Selection Eights October 25-28, 2018 West Palm Beach, Florida




01. Matthew Essick 02. Stuart Lawrence 02. Stephen Morgan 04. Doug Grimsley 04. Sherif Abdelwahab 06. Brian Cumming 07. Mike Taylor 08. Zack Watson

01. George Saad 02. Chris Barley 02. Howard Sosin 04. David Druiett 04. Michael Todorovich 06. Shane Hettler 06. Thomas Cooper 08. Michael Albert



01. Rob Byrd 01. Lynda Sudderberg 03. Jodie Rugart 04. Loretta Cooper 05. Todd Marshall 05. Steve Berry 07. Martin Karel 07. Missy Ramey 09. Karin Karel 09. Jeff Morrison 09. Christine Sullivan

01. Macey White 02. Daniel Pailas 03. Simon Jenkins 03. Jim Bast 05. Peter Bach 05. Jim Houser 07. Britt Ruby 08. Bill Mead

01. Thomas Balding 02. Bill Daigle 03. Russell Dilley 04. Richard Schiller 05. Dawn Jupin 05. Sandra Knuth 07. Bill Hartmann 08. Ronald Eccles

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Howard Sosin

Doug Grimsley

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Second Eight winner Macey White

Russell Dilley

croquetamerica.com | 41

Sherif Abdelwahab

Dawn Jupin

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Left: Todd Marshall

Stephen Morgan

Thomas Cooper

croquetamerica.com | 43

Croquet, Golf & Water


USCA Whatever the occasion think USCA for those special gifts Books

Representing a local real estate network in South Florida. Covering Palm Beach County, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, Delray Beach & Boca.

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Croquet the Sport - By Jack Osborn (Hard Cover) .............................................................................. $24.95 Croquet the Sport - By Jack Osborn (Paperback)................................................................................ $15.95 Croquet - By J.W. Solomon..................................................................................................................... $25.00 It’s a Wicket Kitchen Cookbook............................................................................................................... $12.00 Monograph Series On Club Building Vol.1, 2 or 3 @$9.95 or all three for $25.00........................................................................................... $25.00 USCA Croquet Shot-Making Manual..................................................................................................... $15.95 USCA Rulebook (revised 2013 edition)...................................................................................................$ 7.00 International Rules -The Laws of Association Croquet........................................................................ $12.00 Golf Croquet Rulebook...............................................................................................................................$7.00 A Guide to Croquet Court Planning, Building & Maintenance............................................................. $39.95


Bob & Ted’s Strategy CD & Bound Books (Beg/Interm/Adv)..................................................................................................$124.95 Bob & Ted’s Strategy CD & Unbound Books (Beg/Interm/Adv)......................................................................................................... $72.95 Bob & Ted’s Strategy CD (Advanced).................................................................................................... $29.95 Bob & Ted’s Strategy CD (Beg/Interm).................................................................................................. $29.95 Bob & Ted’s Strategy CD (Beg/Interm/Advanced)................................................................................ $39.95 Bob & Ted’s “Know the Rules” CD Understanding the USCA Rules ............................................................................................................ $24.95



2004 USCA National Singles Final DVD............................................................................................... $10.00 Bob & Ted’s “Mastering Croquet Shots” DVD....................................................................................... $29.95 Bob & Ted’s “Excellent Croquet” DVD.................................................................................................... $49.95 Bob & Ted’s “Most Wanted Croquet Strategy” 2 Disc DVD................................................................. $64.95 Bob & Ted’s “Break Play - What You Need to Know” DVD................................................................. $29.95 Bob & Ted’s “Staying Alive” DVD - Winning Croquet Tactics............................................................... $39.95 Bob & Ted’s “You Make the Call” DVD................................................................................................... $29.95 Bob & Ted’s “Excellent” & “Most Wanted” DVD set.............................................................................. $99.95 Bob & Ted’s “Staying Alive” and “You Make the Call” DVD set........................................................... $64.90 Bob & Ted’s “Excellent”, “Most Wanted”,“Staying Alive” 3 DVD set..................................................$140.95 Bob & Ted’s Four DVD set.....................................................................................................................$170.00 Bob & Ted’s Five DVD set.....................................................................................................................$185.00 Kamal vs Rothman - GC Pasadena Playoff.......................................................................................... $19.95 USCA Historical Video DVD.................................................................................................................... $15.95


Defective disks may be replaced within 2 weeks of purchase.












www.croquetamerica.com/croquet/rules/american/ synopsis/


www.croquetamerica.com/croquet/rules/international/ synopsis/




www.croquetamerica.com/croquet/rules/backyard/ synopsis/



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CDs & DVDs are not returnable. Clothing

USCA Logo Hats - Brim: S/M L/XL Baseball: One Size...................................................................... $20.00 USCA Jacket with Logo on front............................................................................................................. $80.00 USCA Shirts (USCA Logo or Croquet Week)....................................................................................... $40.00 USCA Logo Long-Sleeve Shirts............................................................................................................. $50.00 USCA logo Ladies Sweater..................................................................................................................... $70.00


Large Mallet Cover with USCA Logo............................................................Up to 12” mallet head – $52.95 Small Mallet Cover with USCA Logo...............................................................Up to 9” mallet head – $49.95 Note Cards or Croquet Party Invitations (10/pk)......................................................................................$5.00 Croquet Paper Placemats (24/pk).......................................................................................................... $10.00 USCA Patch Small......................................................................................................................................$5.00 USCA Ballmarkers (dozen)........................................................................................................................$1.00 USCA Cufflinks (USCA shield)................................................................................................................ $29.95

Prices subject to change

Contact the USCA at 561-478-0760; fax: 561-686-5507; email usca@msn.com or mail to USCA, 700 Florida Mango Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406

USCA 2019

Sanctioned Events

Entry forms to USCA events will now be emailed to members and can also be found on the USCA website at: www.croquetamerica.com/members/forms/ or call the USCA office (561) 478-0760 for a copy. For the most up-to-date calendar, please check www.croquetamerica.com/calendar/tournaments/

Feb Event



4-9 Peyton Ballenger Invitational 12-16 USCA Western Regional Association Laws Championships 2019 15-17 Sarasota CCC Club Doubles Championship 20-24 Steuber Classic 23-24 Citrus GC Classic Doubles Tournament 26-3/2 Mission Hills Invitational 28-3/3 Blaine Davis Invitational, (Formerly Boca Grande Invitational)

Croquet Club at PGA National Mission Hills Country Club

Palm Beach Gardens, FL Carla Rueck Rancho Mirage, CA Ursula



516-480-9930 cprueck@aol.com 561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com


Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park National Croquet Center Palm Beach Polo Golf & Country Club Mission Hills Country Club Gasparilla Mallet Club  

Venice, FL West Palm Beach, FL Wellington, FL

Nancy Hart Mike Gibbons Rick Landry

803-530-2035 561-655-1832 603-651-7337

nh13sc@gmail.com MGibbons9577@gmail.com landrytennis@aol.com

Rancho Mirage, CA Boca Grande, Florida

Nick Gray Bob Worrell

760-770-2052 402-677-2683

nickgray723@comcast.net rgworrell@hotmail.com

March Event





8-10 13-17 14-17 24-30

National Croquet Center National Croquet Center Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park

West Palm Beach, FL West Palm Beach, FL Venice, FL Venice, FL

Ursula Ursula Nancy Hart Ursula

561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com 561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com 803-530-2035 nh13sc@gmail.com 561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com





USCA Croquet Week GC Tournament USCA Club Team Championships Sarasota CCC Club Singles Championship USCA National Association Laws Championship

April Event 4-7 11-14 17-19

Sarasota CCC GC Invitational Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park Venice, FL Fred Jones USCA Golf Croquet Eights National Croquet Center West Palm Beach, FL Ursula National Croquet Club GC Championship National Croquet Center West Palm Beach, FL Tim McCormick



941-416-1010 crokpeople@aol.com 561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com 207-329-5343 tmccorm1@gmail.com

May Event





2-5 8-12 16-19 16-19 24-26

Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards Pinehurst Croquet Club Piping Rock Club Lenox Croquet Club

Hartfield, VA Windsor, CA Pinehurst, NC Locust Valley, NY Lenox, MA

Ursula Mike Orgill Mike Taylor Jane Simonds Stuart Lawrence

561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com 707-547-7146 morgill@sonic.net 910-986-3343 mrtaylor1022@gmail.com 516-384-6203 jfspainter@mac.com 646-483-3300 stuartlawrence@earthlink.net





USCA Southeast Regional GC Tournament North American Amateur NC Open Association Rules Piping Rock Invitational Berkshire Invitational

June Event 5-9 7-9 8 13-16 13-16 13-16 19-23 26-30

Mountain Laurel Invitational The Chattooga Club Cashiers, NC Dawn Jupin 724-713-7953 USCA Southeast Regional Woodgrove Park Round Hill, VA Ursula 561-478-0760 9-Wicket Tournament USCA Croquet Day Anne USCA Southeast Regional American Pinehurst Croquet Club Pinehurst, NC Ursula 561-478-0760 Rules Tournament Woodlawn Invitational Woodlawn Croquet Ellsworth, ME Perry Mattson 207-664-4822 The New York Open The New York Croquet Club New York, NY Tim Rapuano 551-207-0313 Westhampton Mallet Club Invitational Westhampton Mallet Club Westhampton Beach, NY Randy Cardo 631-902-5678 USCA Southeast Regional North Mountain Croquet & Timberville, VA Ursula 561-478-0760 Association Laws Tournament Tennis Club


Email dawnj@chattoogaclub.com tournament@uscroquet.com anne.robinson724@gmail.com tournament@uscroquet.com newburyneckshore@gmail.com in9inches@gmail.com randy.cardo@gmail.com tournament@uscroquet.com

July Event





10-14 11-14 26-28 27-28

National Guard Training Center Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards Lawn at Woodland Park

Sea Girt, NJ Windsor, CA Seattle, WA

Tom Cooper Ursula Ursula

732-223-3482 tom@coopergroupnj.com 561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com 561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com

Central Park Lawns Sports Center New York, NY

Timothy Rapuano



Green Gables Croquet Club July Invitational USCA Western Regional Golf Croquet USCA Western Regional Championships 2019 The Tiger Wicket (NYCC Club Championship)

Aug Event






8-11 Buffalo Croquet Club 6-Wicket Invitational Buffalo Croquet Club 16-18 6th Annual Rochester Croquet Rochester CC @ G&T SportsPark Club Invitational 16-19 2019 Croquet Network States Shield City of Lakes Croquet Club 22-25 2019 Highlands/Cashiers Pro-Am Chattooga Club 31-9/2 Croquet By The Bay Middle Peninsula Croquet Club

Buffalo, NY Rochester, NY

Ryan Thompson Sue Ellen Sherer

716-697-4111 585-474-3753

thompson77@gmail.com sue.e.sherer@gmail.com

Edina, MN Cashiers, NC Redart, VA

Dylan Goodwin 913-636-7231 Michael Albert Jim Coling 703-887-7236

croquetnetwork@gmail.com mycopres@aol.com 43seadog@gmail.com

Sept Event





4-8 6-9 15-17 19-22 25-29 27-29 30

Woodlawn Croquet Ellsworth, ME Pinehurst Croquet Club Pinehurst, NC Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club Hartfield VA

Perry Mattson Mike Taylor Ursula

207-664-4822 newburyneckshore@gmail.com 910-986-3343 mrtaylor1022@gmail.com 561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com

New York Croquet Club Pinehurst Croquet Club Green Gables Croquet Club

New York, NY Pinehurst, NC Sea Girt, NJ

Peter Timmins Elaine Moody Ursula

646-642-6601 NYCroquetClub@yahoo.com 910-986-3164 halliburton_2@msn.com 561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com

Woodlawn Big Lobster Tournament NC State Singles Championship USCA National 9-Wicket Croquet Tournament 2019 The Osborn Cup 29th Pinehurst Croquet Club Invitational USCA Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Tournament Presidents’ Matches



Pinehurst Croquet Club

Pinehurst, NC


561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com

Oct Event





1-4 10-14 16-18 24-27

Pinehurst Croquet Club National Croquet Center Pinehurst Croquet Club

Pinehurst, NC Ursula West Palm Beach, FL Ursula Pinehurst, NC Elaine Moody

561-478-060 tournament@uscroquet.com 561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com 910-986-3164 halliburton_2@msn.com

National Croquet Center

West Palm Beach, FL Ursula

561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com





Rancho Mirage, CA


561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com

Solomon Trophy USCA National GC Championship Pinehurst Croquet Club Singles Championship USCA Selection Eights

Nov Event 3-9 20-24 29-12/1

USCA National American Mission Hills Country Club Rules Championship USCA Seniors Masters Championships National Croquet Center National Croquet Club National Croquet Center

West Palm Beach, FL Ursula West Palm Beach, FL Tim McCormick



561-478-0760 tournament@uscroquet.com 207-266-2055 tmccorm1@gmail.com



USA vs the John Solomon Select Team On Sunday, June 2, 1985 the USA Test Team played the John Solomon Select Team at Hurlingham near the end of the tour of GB, Scotland and Ireland that included the first test match against England at Nottingham. This photo was taken either just before, or just after, my match with the great John Solomon — a privilege that was one of the highlights of my croquet career. It was also my first visit to Mecca, I mean Hurlingham. I don’t know who the woman on the bench is. The gentleman walking by on the left is Eric Solomon (no relation to John), a fine player and coach who was on the English team at Nottingham. He gave me the best coaching lesson I ever received, in all of 5 – 10 minutes. – Jim Bast

46 | croquetamerica.com

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    

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2019 Croquet News Volume 1  

The Spring 2019 Volume 1 issue of the USCA's Croquet News features a complete rundown on the 2018 Grand Prix races with results for the over...

2019 Croquet News Volume 1  

The Spring 2019 Volume 1 issue of the USCA's Croquet News features a complete rundown on the 2018 Grand Prix races with results for the over...