路 24 Quick Croquet Tips 路 New Nine Wicket Column 路 Return of GC Strategy 路 Let's Talk Tactics
The Official Magazine of the United States Croquet Association | 2018 Volume 2
Made in Australia Fabricated to within 1,000th of an inch to provide you with the greatest possible accuracy. and Being made of Alloy, PFC mallets will never distort, never take up moisture and will remain the same weight for life. Every time you pick up your PFC mallet you can be sure it will feel the same. Your PFC Mallet will always be your reliable, familiar friend. Thirty months ago we developed ZELANITE Striking Faces to facilitate Rolls, Passing Rolls and Rushes. Zelanite is formulated from unique nylons and specific oils, enabling a robust yet slightly ‘softer’ Striking Face. Zelanite performs identically to the Black or Brass Striking Face but is quieter, robust and extremely predictable.
11” Competition PFC Hoop Maker Mallet
9 5/8” Standard PFC Hoop Maker Mallet
• Shafts are made to any length to suit your specific requirement. • Handles are made to any circumference to suit your hands and lower half of the shafts are covered in six colours of your choice … blue, grey, black, lime, purple or pink. • Two shape handles are available ... Round, or our new Ovoid shape – which we can’t make enough of. The ovoid shape fits comfortably into the web between your thumb and forefinger and gives an excellent feel for direction of the head. The design is excellent for folks with arthritis when also combined with our shock absorbing underlay. Just ask and the underlay will be included at no extra cost.
Two models have been made specifically for Six Wicket American players and American Golf Croquet players and are offered to you with a considerably reduced shipping cost. The Competition 11” PFC Hoop Maker is USD 585.00 and The Standard 9.5/8” PFC Hoop Maker is USD 525.00 Shipping to anywhere within the USA is USD 38.00 For more information or to have a chat about any of the items mentioned, please send an email to Pete Coles at
NATIONAL CROQUET CENTER PRO SHOP
USCA Communication a Constant Flow
2018 Volume 2
10 | 2018 Solomon Trophy 14 | 2018 HOF Inductees 20 | 24 Quick Croquet Tips 32 | Regional Roundup 38 | Club Profile: CC of Jackson 40 | Member Profile: Michael Gibbons
Departments 03 | Courtside with Sara Low 06 | The Clubhouse 12 | Grand Prix Update 13 | New Membership 24 | Let’s Talk Tactics 26 | GC Strategy 28 | Backyard Warrior 42 | The Inbox 46 | Events Calendar
On The Cover: Colorado's Judy McKeon in play at the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club on June 17, 2018, during the Croquet Network States Shield Central Quad Qualifier. Publisher: Dylan Goodwin | email@example.com Editor: Julie Jantzer-Ward Art Director: Brandy Ferguson Contributors: Cheryl Bromley, Jennifer Bryan, David Ekstrom, Mark Fields, Michael Gibbons, Bob Kroeger, Stuart Lawrence, Sara Low, David McCoy, John C. Osborn, Jennifer Othen, Samir Patel, Ursula Peck, Tim Rapuano, John Richardson, Ben Rothman, Eric Sawyer, Allen Scheuch, Ruth Summers, Patrick Sweeney, Macey White
Inquiries Please submit all inquiries and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
© 2018 United States Croquet Association
A USCA member recently commented to me that no information flows to our members. So, let me explain what we are doing and how we communicate it to you. The USCA is very busy and never stops working for you: from our office in West Palm Beach, Fla., to the Management Committee that researches and makes decisions for the Association’s many croquet matters; to the numerous USCA committees, all of which oversee specific subjects and recommend changes; to the regional and district representatives, who watch within their locales, suggesting improvements for the area or for the entire country. A lot of people are involved in the organization of USCA croquet: great people who love the sport and want to ensure the games and their players are the best they can be. Here’s how we let you know all that we do: the USCA broadcasts reports regularly. Croquet News, the magazine you are reading, is published three times a year and mailed to our members. It contains croquet stories, interviews, pictures, lessons and articles that are deemed of interest to the croquet world. The USCA also sends an electronic newsletter monthly with up-to-date summaries to each member. This year, we added a President’s column, so we can provide news about current work being done for the sport in the US. In addition, we distribute electronic notices to our members with targeted messages between newsletters. For example, the Golf Croquet Committee has created a series of informational items, such as articles and schools—all designed to make our players aware of the new GC rules that go into effect in the US on November 1 and are immediately effective for the international tournaments. So, information is constantly flowing from the USCA to our members. Most of the notices sent from the USCA are about croquet games: who is playing, how they are scored and where they are happening. We aim to provide croquet enjoyment on the lawn, at your desk or in an armchair. If, however, you are not receiving the information, our work is not helping you. The magazine and anything else distributed by U.S. Mail is sent to the address you provided the USCA or your croquet club when you renewed your membership. The newsletter and other items sent electronically reach your inbox only if we have your accurate email address or you have acknowledged the USCA address on your computer or smartphone. Items sent from the USCA office usually come from Ursula Peck using the return email address of email@example.com. Please check your email and postal mail and give us an updated address, if necessary. We want to hear from you, but we also want you to hear from us.
USCA President | firstname.lastname@example.org croquetamerica.com | 3
With App The Croquet Foundation of America
2017 Wall of Honor Archie Peck Society – $15,000 to $25,000 David & Millie McCoy Robert & Jennifer Williams
President’s Circle – $10,000 to $14,999 Hal Denton Michael & Cynthia Gibbons
Leadership Circle – $5,000 to $9,999 Anonymous Ronald & Betsy Atkins Baker Charitable Foundation Randy Cardo Vickie Johnston, Dr. Sandra Knuth/Dr. Robert Walsh Howard Sosin Ruth Summers Julia Wallace
Patron Circle – $1,000 to $4,999
Chris Barley, Robert & Joan Comeau, Joy Diesel, Conner Helms, Conrad & Jodie Rugart, Charles & Peggy Steuber, Jr., Victor Steuber, Lynda Sudderberg & Steve Grassbaugh, Ruth Summers
Gold – $500 to $999
Charles Alexander & Tim McCormick, Billie Jean Berne, Missy & Bob Chilton, Huston Hoffman, Gene Jankowski, Oklahoma City Community Foundation, One & Co. Inc (Norwich Croquet Co.), Warren Phillips, Mary Robb, Bill & Carla Rueck, Michael Todorovich
Silver – $100 to $499
Victoria Albrecht, Dick Brackett, Joy Bradford, Greenwich Croquet Club, Esperanza (Hope) Harmon, Gerald Kagan, Vincent & Antonia Marmo, Thomas McCarthy, Thomas & Barbara O’Laughlin, Michael Orgill, Photoimages Corp, Marguerite Stinson, Arlene Strauss, Strawbery Banke Croquet Club, Tina Theurkauf, Thomas & Jeanette Tribby, Robert Van Tassell, Donald & Lenore Orlowska-Warren, Bill Whitman, Sharon Wrono
Bronze – Up to $99
Doris Dinsmore, Jon & Sharon Hellstedt, Julia Johnston & Steve Mednick, Jutta McInnis, John & Joyce Parker, Barbara Weltner, Don Whalen, Eugenia Wilkie, Laura Yamner
Thank You on Behalf of Croquet Players Everywhere! Please accept our apologies and call to our attention any errors or omissions.
preciation Volunteers 2017
The Board of Directors of the Croquet Foundation of America is deeply grateful to the following croquet players who, during the year 2017, so generously donated their time and expertise to help the Foundation achieve its mission of promoting and developing the sport of croquet. We literally could not have survived without you.
Sherif Abdelwahab Bob Alman Victoria Albrecht Charles Alexander Ron Atkins Stuart Baker James Bartle Anthea Blamire John Blamire Dick Brackett Cynnie Cagney Janet Catalano Bob Chilton Missy Chilton Lois Clay Ron Davidson Marianne Davidson Denise Del Russo Hal Denton Joy Diesel Carole DiFazio Jim Donnelly Nancy Donnelly Bobby Duryea Gerry Eubank Jim Feeney Sandy Feeney Connie Gallo
Wayne Gallo Chad Goodwin Jim Grady Linda Grady Tom Graham Rita Grinsky Edith Hall Bob Harris Jill Harrold Conner Helms Nanci Hunt Lin Irey Julia Johnston Sharon Kenrick Sandra Knuth Charles Lazarus Lee Little Harry Lloyd Pat Lloyd Meg Macy Tim McCormick Larry (Mac) McDermott David McCoy Millie McCoy Lenore Orlowska John Osborn Joan Parker Barbara Perlman
Scott Reiser Mary Robb Carla Rueck Dick Scherf Mary Shields David Spivey Arlene Strauss Ruth Summers Marie Sweetser Mike Todorovich Tom Tribby Bill Trower Bob Van Tassell Sue Varey Mary Lou Wagner John Warlick Derek Wassink Donald Warren Don Whalen
We worked had to ensure that this list is complete and secure. But mistakes happen. If you notice any errors or omissions, please accept our apologies and do bring this to our attention. W. David McCoy, President Croquet Foundation of America
TheClubhouse insider news from the united states croquet association
PECK NEW USCA OFFICE MANAGER
Earlier this summer, the USCA announced the reintroduction of Office Manager for the staff based in West Palm Beach, Fla. Taking over the new position will be Ursula Peck, who has been in the membership coordinator role since 2008. “We knew we would eventually have an Office Manager again, but wanted to work on our organization first,” said USCA President Sara Low. “I am pleased to announce that the position was offered to one of our own: Ursula Peck. She knows more about the USCA operations than anyone.” She went on to describe the position as the individual who looks at everything with the big picture in sight. In addition to that change, the USCA has also added Janice Arroyo as the new financial consultant, who will be in the USCA office two days per week to maintain records and manage the books. Jennifer Othen continues in her tournament services role.
CITRUS GOLF CROQUET SERIES
The Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club in Wellington, Fla., is reaching out to all golf croquet players for a unique event taking place on three different weekends. “The Citrus Golf Croquet Series” will begin with the first event September 7-9, 2018. The second event takes place October 12-14, 2018, and the final event November 30December 2, 2018. Each tournament will start with a practice round on Friday at 1 p.m. followed by a cocktail party at 4:30 p.m. Play starts at 9:00 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. It is a round-robin format and points are allocated for each event. Each player will get 10 points for participating, 20 points for second place and 30 points for winning the event. The winners will be determined by total points won and crowned at the finish of the third event on December 2, 2018. The cost for the event is $120 per event or $300 for all three tournaments. Players participating also receive points toward their world rankings. The price includes a daily continental breakfast and lunch. Please sign up in advance as spaces are limited. The draw will close on September 5, 2018. For any questions and to sign up for this unique series of croquet tournaments, please email Rick Landry at email@example.com or call 603-651-7337. Alternate contact: Paul Hope at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 561-888-7117.
FIFTH EDITION GC RULES UPDATE As you may or may not be aware, the World Croquet Federation (WCF) Golf Croquet Rules Committee has been hard at work over the past two years revising and editing the Fifth Edition of the Golf Croquet Rules. The announcement was made July 8, 2018, that the process had been completed and the rules were approved by the WCF Council. In preparation of this, the USCA Golf Croquet Committee has been hard at work behind the scenes to begin informing and educating all players and clubs, referees, tournament directors and managers, as well as arranging for the reprinting of rulebooks. Our goal is to complete the transition to the updated rules in the United States by November 1, 2018. Below is a list of items that will be revised and refreshed: • Revised GC written exam and on-court exam • Recertification of GC referees
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• Reprinting of GC Rulebook • Standardization of Tournament Directors and Instructors To help with the changes, the USCA introduced a new Informational E-Series of informational emails to USCA clubs and members designed to inform and educate players on the ins and outs of the newly revised rules. The GC Committee is also in the process of organizing rules workshops at the upcoming USCA GC Nationals at Lake Toxaway, N.C., in September and GC Eights in Sarasota, Fla., in October. Stay tuned for additional workshops in your area or request one for your club. Links to the complete set of GC rules, explanation of changes and a summary can all be found on the WCF website, www.worldcroquet.org. –Cheryl Bromley, GC Committee Chair
OKLAHOMA AND WISCONSIN ADVANCE TO SHIELD CHAMPIONSHIP
USCA Management Committee ________________________ President Sara Low email@example.com First Vice President Damon Bidencope firstname.lastname@example.org Second Vice President Don Oakley Croquetdon@gmail.com Treasurer Steve Mossbrook email@example.com Secretary Carla Rueck firstname.lastname@example.org
Oklahoma's Conner Helms
Eight teams battled in two different Quad Qualifiers for the 2018 Croquet Network Golf Croquet States Shield Team Championship held June 16-17, 2018, with Oklahoma claiming the Central title and Wisconsin winning in the Midwest. The competition is a golf croquet team test with three players on each state team. In the Midwest Quad Qualifier held in Milwaukee, Wisc., Wisconsin started with a 9-1 victory over Indiana on day one. That put the team in the championship test on Sunday, June 17, 2018, against Minnesota, which had advanced with a 6-4 win over Illinois on day one. Wisconsin got off to a fast start and clinched early to secure the Midwest Quad title, but Minnesota won the last two games to produce a close 6-4 final score. Illinois and Indiana had a nice battle for third place with Illinois coming out on top 6-4. The Central Quad was held in Oklahoma City, Okla., at the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club on the same weekend and featured a Missouri team looking to defend its title as two-time Shield champions. The team got off to a good start with a 7-3 victory over Colorado on day one, but the host Oklahoma team also advanced easily over Kansas 7-3. So, Missouri and Oklahoma met on Sunday for a chance to go to the championship in Milwaukee, and they delivered a championship thriller that saw the test stay within one or two games all day long. With Oklahoma leading 5-4, it came down to a battle between #1 Matt Smith for Missouri and #1 Scott Spradling for Oklahoma. The sharpshooters took it to the 13th hoop where Spradling delivered a 7-6 win for the home squad. In the third-place matchup, Colorado made the long trip to Oklahoma City pay off as it knocked off Kansas 7-3. Oklahoma and Wisconsin met for the Championship test at the Milwaukee Croquet Club on August 18, 2018. Results will be available on the USCA website and CroquetScores.com. Anyone interested in entering a state team for the 2019 competition should contact Dylan Goodwin at email@example.com.
United States Croquet Association (USCA) 700 Florida Mango Road West Palm Beach, FL 33406 Tel. (561) 478-0760 Fax (561) 686-5507 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.croquetamerica.com ________________________ REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS Florida Gene Raymond (919) 612-3366 email@example.com Mid-Atlantic Timothy Rapuano (201) 887-0787 firstname.lastname@example.org Midwest Russell S. Dilley (317) 903-6852 email@example.com Northeast Patricia Spratt (860) 227-7297 firstname.lastname@example.org Southeast Macey White (804) 832-2824 email@example.com Western Jim Hanks (707) 696-9153 firstname.lastname@example.org ________________________ USCA STAFF Membership Coordinator Ursula Peck email@example.com Tournament Services Jennifer Othen firstname.lastname@example.org Bookkeeper Janice Arroyo email@example.com www.CroquetAmerica.com croquetamerica.com | 7
GC RULES 5TH EDITION 2018: INFORMATIONAL SERIES PART I The release of the revised Golf Croquet rules by the World Croquet Federation provides all of us a great opportunity to review not only what remains the same in GC, but also what changes are being implemented. This is the first in a series of GC informational articles, which starts with some of the minor tweaks as a “warm-up” before diving into some of the more significant changes. So as not to overwhelm the reader, each article will cover only a small selection of items each time and explanation notes are listed in italics. Note: The items mentioned below are not in their entirety relevant to their section in the rules, but rather are a sampling and will list the rule number for reference. Complete information may be found on the WCF website, www.worldcroquet.org.
1.4 Game 1.4.1 A game is a contest for the best of 7, 13 or 19 points… 1.4.2 In a 7-point game (when tied at 3-3), the 7th point is scored by contesting Hoop #1 again (not #3 as in a 13- or 19-point game).
3.2 Hoops 3.2.3 Proper State (b) If a hoop is observed to be misaligned or loose at any time, the striker is entitled to require that it shall be corrected. Any correction is to be carried out immediately (this gives the rule more clarity).
6.3 Stroke 6.3.3 A stroke is played, and a player plays a ball when: (c) a player declares the stroke to have been played, in which case the stroke is deemed to have been played with the ball they nominate. (It is no longer necessary to tap your ball to signify playing a stroke.)
USCA MEMBER BENEFITS • Membership card and window decal • Official USCA rulebook • Able to compete in USCA sanctioned tournaments • Assignment and tracking of handicap and Grand Prix ranking • Croquet News magazine • Monthly e-newsletter
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6.4 Positions of Balls 6.4.2 The position occupied by a ball at the end of a turn is that in which it appears to have stopped for a period of at least five seconds (same as in AC) or, if its position needs to be tested, the position that is agreed or adjudicated by the players (or a referee, if present). 6.4.3 If a ball moves or is moved after it has stopped or after its position has been agreed or adjudicated, it is to be replaced where it stopped or in the agreed or adjudicated position. 6.4.6 A ball is touching the boundary if it is on the court and one point on its circumference would touch a straight edge raised vertically from the boundary.
6.5 Ball as an Outside Agency 6.5.1 A ball becomes an outside agency when (a) it leaves the court, which occurs as soon as any part of it would touch a straight edge raised vertically from the boundary (the rule used to state that more than half of the ball needed to cross the boundary). 6.5.3 … if a ball is to be played into the game from where it left the court, it is to be placed so that it is on the court and one point on its circumference would touch a straight edge raised vertically from the boundary (not 9 inches in as in six wicket).
18.1 Penalty Areas The penalty spots have been replaced by “penalty areas,” which are semicircles of a radius of one yard centered on penalty spots D and E (more on Penalty Area Continuation in the next informational series installment). –Cheryl Bromley
EMAIL BLASTS As a club benefit, the USCA will send out one email blast per club per calendar year to help promote your USCA sanctioned tournament. Please send the file as a Microsoft WORD document or a jpeg (photo) file — we cannot send any attachments or pdf files. Any additional email blasts will be $55.00 each.
WHO AM I?
I am the youngest of four children. My mom was a minister. That means I try not to swear too much, even though I really want to at times. I am fortunate that I used to be a Newfie. Do you know what that is, wha? You don’t? G’wan! My first great love in sports was hockey. See the picture, eh? I still play it, but not as much as before. I always played backyard croquet as a kid. So did my dad and so did my grandfather. I started playing regular croquet in 2011 as a bonding experience with my dad. I got hooked immediately. Not long after, a cigar-chopping gentleman named Don Matheson yelled at me from across a court, “That’s not how you hold a mallet. THIS is how you hold a mallet.” I then became a Solomon grip player and never looked back. Thanks, Don! These days, I only play golf croquet. Could we rename it hockey croquet? That’s because I hit croquet balls just as hard as I slap hockey pucks. My croquet has steadily improved. I recently won my country’s national GC title. I competed in the last World GC Championships in Australia and I finished in the top four of the plate! In fact, I’m so good that Oakley Woods Croquet now uses my name to promote one of its croquet mallets: The Predator. I may be a predator on the croquet court, but I’m not off it. I’m festive, especially with a tequila in hand and a piece of watermelon on my plate. Can you guess: Who am I?
PASSAGES Bill Elbow
Edgartown Croquet Club
Wildcat Cliffs Country Club, Inc.
Diana Atwood Tooker Johnson
Old Lyme Croquet Club, Old Lyme, C.T. Club founder and longtime supporter of NE region inter-club tournaments and events, NE regionals at Newport, R.I, and USCA national programs.
Dallas Croquet Association
Robert “Buzz” Lee Deerfield Croquet Club
Stark Lane Croquet Club, Manchester, N.H. Club founder and longtime NE region player/supporter.
Robert Shoemaker Pinehurst Croquet Club
Visit croquetamerica.com for more news. croquetamerica.com | 9
SOLOMON PLAYERS (L to R) USA: Sherif Abdelwahab, Stuart Lawrence, Stephen Morgan, Danny Huneycutt, Matthew Essick, Ben Rothman Great Britain: Samir Patel, Jeff Dawson, Christian Carter, Mark Suter, Jonathan Kirby, Stephen Mulliner
SOLOMON TROPHY By Ben Rothman A new era has begun. The US fielded the youngest team in our short history of international croquet test matches. Matthew Essick, one of the few top-30 players in the world under 20 years old, was joined by 29 year-old Stephen Morgan and 34 year-old team captain Ben Rothman. With former team captain Danny Huneycutt, recent MacRob team member Stuart Lawrence and prolific shooter Sherif Abdelwahab rounding out the squad, hopes were high in this yearâ€™s test.
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The conditions at the Surbiton Croquet Club, just south of London, England, included lightning quick lawns with difficult hoops set in the dry, hard soil. Many takeoffs went out of bounds and rolling to hoop position was quite difficult during the first two days of the four-day test. The Great Britain team had three usual suspects with captain Samir Patel, Stephen Mulliner and Jeff Dawson. Returning from an absence of play was Jonathan Kirby in addition to two Solomon rookies: Mark Suter and Christian Carter. To win, Team USA needed a rocky start for these new players. In the first round, Suter lost to Rothman, but Kirby and Carter both won their singles matches. After day one, the US team was down 1-5. On day two, a new doubles powerhouse emerged as Essick and Lawrence defeated GB’s top two players with an exciting straight triple peel by Lawrence. Fortunately, Lawrence jawsed the first peel before he was himself for 4-back, which allowed for a controlled straight double and not the risky path of a traditional straight triple peel. Once again, the rest of the US team succumbed to the difficult conditions leaving the test score at 2-7. After a dry summer including a blistering heatwave, most locals were pleased when the thunder clouds rolled in. Thankfully, this
brought more familiar conditions back for the US players. Huneycutt was able to mold the raw talent of his partner Morgan to defeat Kirby and Dawson with a very close 58-56 cumulative score in three games. Essick and Lawrence added another victory against Patel and Carter with two fantastic finishes. After losing game one, Lawrence completed his patented straight triple (starting jawsed in 4-back again) and Essick finished the match in a one-on-two situation after Patel triple peeled Lawrence’s ball and pegged him out. With one day remaining, the US was down 4-10, but not out.
The final day started off with a quick one-two punch from Essick, defeating Suter before some first-game matches were complete. Rothman completed a triple, then Abdelwahab and Lawrence finished a quadruple peel, but it was not enough. Rothman and Morgan lost their matches as heavy thunderstorms rolled in and convinced the remaining eight players to agree to 1-1 draws in their matches. Great Britain would retain the cup for another year with a score of 12-5, but the US team showed it has a bright future ahead. Full results available at https://croquetscores.com/2018/ac/solomon-trophy.
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2018 GRAND PRIX UPDATE
As we take a look at the August update for the 2018 USCA Grand Prix, last yearâ€™s champion Randy Cardo is on top of the standings but has a group of challengers close behind. Included in the update are the controversial Top 10 lists for players scoring the highest in the handicap ranges for the additional USCA flights. They breakdown as Championship B (3-5 handicap), First Flight (6-9), Second Flight (10-13) and Third Flight (14-20). GRAND PRIX OVERALL TOP 100 # Player Handicap 01 Randy Cardo -3 02 Sherif Abdelwahab -3 03 Macey W. White -1.5 04 Richard Sullivan -1.5 05 David Ekstrom -1.5 06 Brian Cumming -3.5 07 Thomas Cooper -1 08 Danny Huneycutt -4 09 Bob Chilton -1 10 Preston Stuart 0 11 Conner L. Helms 1 12 Kevin Hansley 0.5 13 Arthur Olsen 1 14 Chris Barley -0.5 15 Timothy Rapuano -1.5 16 Rich Lamm -2.5 17 Scott Spradling 0.5 18 Michael Todorovich -1.5 19 Jackie Jones -2 20 Richard Sheely -2 21 Stuart Lawrence -2.5 22 Donna Dixon 0 23 David McCoy 0 24 Chris Patmore -2 25 Lynda P. Sudderberg 0 26 Jodie Rugart -0.5 27 Jeff Soo -3.5 28 David Isaacs -0.5 29 Sandra Knuth Walsh 2 30 Colin Irwin -2 31 Doug Grimsley -3 32 Michael Gibbons -1 33 Peter Bach 0.5 34 Pat Colt 0.5 35 Loretta Cooper 3 36 Kenneth (Tim) Bitting -1 37 Gene Raymond 1.5 38 Wayne Davies 0 39 Calvert Chaney 2 40 Bill Hartmann 0.5 41 Stephen P. Grassbaugh 3 42 Daniel W. Pailas 2 43 Matthew Essick -1 44 Paul T. Bennett -2.5 45 Bob Worrell -0.5 46 Mark Fields 1.5 47 Matt B. Smith -1.5 48 Tom Hughes 0 49 Richard W. Carlson 4.5 50 Michael Albert 4.5
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Points 22135 19913 17343 16605 14987 13269 11805 11780 10945 9551 9120 9115 8467 8416 8323 7860 7516 7420 7176 7156 7125 6982 6919 6830 6657 6440 6432 5971 5742 5281 5270 5260 5052 5041 4680 4361 4356 4330 3874 3698 3690 3630 3600 3585 3526 3341 3200 3132 3128 3104
# Player Handicap Points 51 John Blamire -0.5 3040 52 Simon Jenkins 0 2900 53 Jim Butts -0.5 2890 54 David Spivey 3.5 2854 55 Richard Boger 4 2813 56 William B. Trower 2.5 2762 57 Victoria Albrecht 4 2708 58 Mary Rodeberg 1 2657 59 Richard G. Curtis -2 2630 60 Billy Bob Breeden 1.5 2550 61 Norris Settlemyre -1.5 2402 62 John Young III -2 2400 63 Richard Schiller 0 2370 64 Jeff Morrison 4.5 2308 65 Robert Van Tassell -2 2265 66 Theodore J. Thelin 4 2260 67 Jim Coling 2 2260 68 Ron Huxtable -0.5 2207 69 Hans Peterson -0.5 2000 70 Conrad Rugart 0.5 1930 71 Ted Quimby -0.5 1881 72 Ian Harshman 2 1830 73 Beverley Cardo 4.5 1816 74 Douglas P. Moore 0 1800 75 Stewart Jackson -2 1785 76 Patrick Sweeney 0 1756 77 Alan Cottle -2 1700 78 Perry Mattson 0 1680 79 Robert B. Byrd II 2 1678 80 Steve Scalpone -0.5 1638 81 Terry Moor 4.5 1510 82 Geraldine McCauley 4 1498 83 Jane Simonds -0.5 1495 84 Ronald L. Eccles 4.5 1450 85 Joe Steiner 5 1450 86 Wendell Thompson 4 1440 87 Neil Houghton 0.5 1436 88 Steve Mossbrook 0.5 1425 89 James Turner 1 1420 90 George Cochran -2 1404 91 Matt Baird -0.5 1400 92 Kevin McQuigg 2.5 1400 93 Lee C. Jorde 4 1396 94 William C. Rinaman 0.5 1358 95 Cameron Evans 4.5 1353 96 John Hunter 0 1340 97 Nicholas Gray 4.5 1278 98 Leo Nikora 9 1260 99 Richard R. Scherf 3 1250 100 Jeanne Branthover 5 1243
GRAND PRIX: CHAMPIONSHIP B TOP 10 # Player Handicap Points 01 Loretta Cooper 3 4680 02 Stephen P. Grassbaugh 3 3690 03 Richard W. Carlson 4.5 3128 04 Michael Albert 4.5 3104 05 David Spivey 3.5 2854 06 Richard Boger 4 2813 07 Victoria Albrecht 4 2708 08 Jeff Morrison 4.5 2308 09 Theodore J. Thelin 4 2260 10 Beverley Cardo 4.5 1816 GRAND PRIX: FIRST FLIGHT TOP 10 # Player Handicap Points 01 Leo Nikora 9 1260 02 Suzanne Spradling 6 1232 03 William Hoffman 6 1100 04 Yen Sullivan 7 1027 05 Val Terry 9 1002 06 Stephen Jackson 7 976 07 Martie Ekstrom 6 910 08 Carla P. Rueck 6 833 09 Dick Schleiter 7 819 10 Douglas Ledgett 6 688 GRAND PRIX: SECOND FLIGHT TOP 10 # Player Handicap Points 01 John Douglas Richardson 10 416 02 Jon Spaulding 12 243 03 Brian Mitchell 11 242 04 John Graney 10 200 05 Sam Orleans Hansley 10 178 06 Karin Karel 10 174 07 Martin Karel 10 161 08 Scott Kennedy 3rd 10 158 09 Joseph C. Warren 11 148 10 Ellen L. Snodgrass 11 132 GRAND PRIX: THIRD FLIGHT TOP 10 # Player Handicap Points 01 Tim Hanks 20 630 02 Peter Carlin 20 378 03 Blake Fields 20 351 04 Cheryl Bromley 20 338 05 Gil Flowers 20 238 06 Robert V. Clark 20 104 07 Terry Howatt 20 99 08 Jeff Lawlor 14 94 09 William Seley 17 90 10 Clint Dawkins 20 72
newmembership NEW CLUBS
Big Canoe Croquet Club – Jasper, Georgia North Fork Country Club – Cutchogue, New York
NEW MEMBERS CALIFORNIA
Oakland – Oakland Croquet Club
Evan Hobbs Linda Hurd Rohnert Park – Sonoma Croquet Club
Denver – Denver Croquet Club
Greenwich – Greenwich Croquet Club
Angela Smith Domzal Tom Grace Katherine Prokop Marie Weigl
Hobe Sound – Jupiter Island Club
Venice – Sarasota County Croquet Club
Nikki Clayton Kathy Kee Rusty Rose Jamie Russell Jacqueline Schafer Steven Valeski Vero Beach – John’s Island Croquet Club
Orlando – Winter Park Croquet Club
Harry Eaton Palm Beach – The Beach Club
Gail Galli Bob Whitman Palm City – Sandhill Cove Croquet Club
Don Bailey Palm Coast – Grand Haven Croquet Club
Cathy Daniels Butch Hopkins Joey Hopkins Mark Leo Susan Quirk Palm Coast – Hammock Dunes Croquet Association
Joan Fields Judy Zutkis
New York – 9 Wicket Member
Laredo – At Large Member
West Palm Beach – National Croquet Club
Rick Alford Carol Bannister John Bannister Diana Bell John Carey Lea Carey Katherine Jones Gerald Kagan David Kepner Dan Monahan Mitzi Presnell Georgi Skover Gail Visconsi Patricia Weaver
Jasper – Big Canoe Croquet Club
Judy Allen Robert Allen
Chicago – Chicago Croquet Club
Josh Rogers Leslie Weisenbach
Rochester – Rochester Croquet Club
Peter Bowers Linda Bowers Saratoga Springs – AIM for Saratoga Croquet Club
Chris Lyons June MacClelland Westhampton Beach – Westhampton Mallet Club
Ann Galle Gilbert Galle
Byron Hodnett Leslie Hodnett
Kathleen Green Eric Hieser Laurie Loughlin Heather Welch John Welch
Toronto, Ontario – Croquet Canada Club
Nazmi Nazmi Omar Nazmi
Linville – Linville Ridge Croquet Club
Raymond Daly Sue Daly Daniel Fuchs Linda Fuchs Edwin Hussey Julia Hussey Hilda Patrick Joseph Patrick Jane Wilson Walter Wilson
Pinehurst – Pinehurst Croquet Club
Oakville, Ontario – Croquet Canada Club
Highlands – Highlands Falls Croquet Association
Annapolis – St. Johns College
Betty Hartnett Bob Hartnett
Howard Glicken Stephen Weicholz
Rockland – At Large Member
Blowing Rock – Blowing Rock Country Club
Wichita – At Large Member
East Sandwich – Sandwich Croquet Club
Stephen Zirnkilton Stephanie Zirnkilton
Patricia Brennan Carolyn Thoet
Hartfield – Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club
Ponte Vedra Beach – Ponte Vedra Croquet Club
Stuart – Mariner Sands Country Club
Cutchogue – North Fork Country Club
Maude Carter Boyd Parker Charlotte Pulitzer
New York – New York Croquet Club
Houston – Houston Croquet Association
Janice Arroyo Laurie Monahan
Orlando – Country Club of Orlando
Eileen O’Kane Kornreich
Key Largo – Ocean Reef Club
Grand Blanc – At Large Member
West Palm Beach – At Large Member
Winter Park – Interlachen Country Club
Naples – At Large Member
Aiken – Green Boundary Croquet Club Dataw Island – Croquet Club of Dataw Island
Christy Houle Ellen Kemp John MacFarland Alvin Thurman Okatie – Spring Island Croquet Club
Ronald Dietrich William Stenack Tega Cay – Tega Cay Croquet Club
Charlie Pendleton Marilyn Rhew
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L L A H E M A F of
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On November 9, 2018, the Croquet Foundation of America will induct world champion croquet player, Ben Hunter Rothman, and past USCA President, Eugene F. Young, into its United States Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place during the week of the Seniors Masters at the Charles P. Steuber National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., at a Gala Dinner Dance. The Directors of the CFA Board encourage their friends, guests and nationwide croquet enthusiasts to join them in paying tribute to these esteemed members of its croquet family as the CFA acknowledges their accomplishments in great style and with high enthusiasm. Biographies of the inductees follow. Invitations to the dinner will be emailed in late summer. For information or to make reservations for the Hall of Fame Gala, call the CFA at (561) 478-2300, Ext. 3.
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BEN HUNTER ROTHMAN Ben Rothman’s accomplishments on the croquet court are unmatched in the history of American croquet! Ben 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, he became the first American ever to win the British Open Championship. In addition to his many vaunted accomplishments, Ben has also given a great deal back to the croquet community. As the resident croquet professional of the Mission Hills Croquet Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., from 2009-2015, he helped that club win the “USCA Club of the Year” award in 2010 and 2011. At Mission Hills, Ben directed regional, national and club tournaments and taught individuals and groups. He was very instrumental in the growth of the club as he nurtured many new players into the game, generously sharing his knowledge and skills. Ever the student of croquet, he often meticulously revealed the nuances of the game in his play, courtside advice and commentary. He brought energy and prestige to a great croquet venue. His total dedication to the sport has helped establish Ben as the unquestioned leader among the elite players in the United States. Born in Berkeley, Calif., on November 9, 1983, Ben graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in Psychology. He married Cody Aichele in 2014 and they have a one-yearold daughter, Leonora. Ben began playing croquet as a child with his older cousin, the late Larry Stettner, also a long-time USCA member and tournament player. After competing in the 1995 Claremont Classic in Southwest Harbor, Maine, at age 11, he was soon playing in American six wicket events, Association and Golf Croquet tournaments. Ben was awarded USCA’s “Player of the Year” multiple times and currently holds the Grand Prix record for most points in a season at 35,150. He was the leading point scorer during the 2009 Solomon Trophy competition, which was the first victory by the United States in 19 attempts going back to the 1980s. Ben has won 84 tournaments – 62 Singles and 22 Doubles. He holds 20 USCA National Championships and has won both the British and Irish Opens. He holds the World Record for 24 consecutive Triple Peels. No American can approach this compilation of impressive croquet achievements. Beyond his many individual titles, Ben has been a leader of the United States Croquet Team for years, leading us to unprecedented victories in the Solomon Cup and solid finishes in the MacRobertson Shield. Ben is a great teammate and representative of the USA and USCA, and he has captained some of the most successful Solomon and Carter teams. The members of the US Croquet Hall of Fame represent the best of the founding players, organizers, contributors and officials of our great game. As the finest croquet player to come out of the United States, it is impossible to imagine a Hall of Fame without Ben. The CFA is proud to have him join its ranks in 2018 as an excellent addition to the roster of croquet greats.
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Ben was awarded USCA’s “Player of the Year” multiple times and currently holds the Grand Prix record for most points in a season at 35,150.
EUGENE F. YOUNG North Carolina has become a mecca for thousands of golf croquet players. It has Eugene F. Young to thank for this. Gene’s lengthy service to croquet is highlighted by his terms as President of the US 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 recent croquet boom in the mountains of western North Carolina. Gene was instrumental in making the USCA a more efficient and well-run organization. One of his primary contributions was the innovation of an annual planning meeting that helped the USCA focus on achievable goals. Although the planning meeting first took place while Rich Curtis was President from 2005-2008, the idea and execution were solely due to Gene. As USCA President, he was constantly and tirelessly thinking about how to improve the organization and help it to grow. Gene proved to be an excellent President of the USCA. Dr. Eugene F. Young was born November 27, 1951, in Shelby, N.C., as one of seven children. He graduated from Shelby High School in 1970, the University of North Carolina with a BS in Chemistry/Dentistry in 1973, the UNC School of Dentistry in 1977 and attended the UNC School of Dentistry Department of Restorative Dentistry 1985-1993. He is married to Teri Thornton.
One of his primary contributions was the innovation of an annual planning meeting that helped the USCA focus on achievable goals.
Gene began playing croquet in 2001 and was the USCA “Rookie of the Year” that year. Early on, he jumped right in and devoted many hours to the game. Within a year or two, he was playing at the Championship level. Among early tournament successes, he won the highly regarded USCA Southeast Regional Championship Doubles in 2003 with partner Harold Allison, one of his croquet mentors. He was co-founder of the Toxaway Mountain Challenge in 2010-2011, a golf croquet exhibition coordinated with Toxaway Mallet Club and George and Jane Enochs. He later organized an annual series of these exhibitions featuring the best players from the United States and other countries. Guests from nearby clubs who did not yet have a croquet facility were invited to get a flavor of what croquet could do for their clubs and their members. This has now become an event attended by many players who need a comfortable environment to experience tournament play. Because of Gene’s collaborative commitment and effort, the N.C. mountain area within 30 miles of Lake Toxaway now has 11 clubs with active croquet programs and nearly 1,500 people playing croquet regularly. In addition, Lake Toxaway has provided even greater exposure for the residents in this area by hosting the USCA Golf Croquet National Championship twice and is scheduled to be hosting it again September 19-23, 2018. The success of this croquet achievement would not have been possible without Gene Young’s enthusiasm and organizational skills, along with the assistance of the many talented and gracious championship players who helped. Gene brought intensity and dedication to the task of achieving his goals. As VP and then President of the USCA’s North Carolina district, he brought a new level of organization and forward planning to croquet in the State. He took a similar approach on the USCA Management committee, first as Regional VP and then as USCA President. In recent years, the most remarkable growth in croquet in general, and USCA membership, has been in North Carolina’s western highlands. While this growth has roots going back many years, it was during Gene’s tenure as USCA President that things really took off. Since leaving the presidency of the USCA, he has concentrated on the promotion of the game of croquet. Gene is currently a member of the USCA Golf Croquet Committee. Golf croquet has successfully grown “on the mountain” in Highlands, Cashiers and Lake Toxaway, N.C., due to the efforts of Gene and the assistance of several other individuals including Jeff Soo, George and Jane Enochs, Bill McClanahan and Michael Albert. Gene still enjoys playing croquet and giving instruction to players in North Carolina and occasionally in Arizona. Gene’s contributions to croquet in the United States are extensive and have had a significant effect on its stability and the growth of our sport. Eugene F. Young will be a welcomed addition to the US Croquet Hall of Fame.
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United States Croquet
HALL FAME of
The Croquet Foundation of America (CFA) is now accepting nominations for the 2019 United States Croquet Hall of Fame. The Deadline for filing a nomination is December 31, 2018. POLICY AND NOMINATING GUIDELINES FOR ELECTION TO THE HALL OF FAME The Croquet Foundation of America, Inc. (CFA), in coordination with the United States Croquet Association, Inc. (USCA), seeks to honor individuals who have made prolonged, outstanding contributions to the sport of croquet. Such contributions may take the form of either extraordinary skill and achievement in the sport at the highest level over an extended period; or other personal actions having a widely-recognized, lasting impact on the sport; or very extensive service in developing, managing or promoting the sport of croquet, or its charitable and educational croquet programs, in America. This document gives guidance as to the qualifications that will be considered for election to the United States Croquet Hall of Fame. This process is designed to maintain election to the Hall of Fame as a high honor for the inductees and one which reflects credit on the individuals involved in electing them.
I. NOMINATING PROCEDURE A. A notice shall be published yearly in the Summer/Fall edition of the USCA’s Croquet News stating that the Foundation will accept nominations to the United States Croquet Hall of Fame until December 31 of the current year for induction in the following calendar year. The published notice shall state that (i.) any USCA member in good standing may nominate an individual, (ii.) nominees are considered on an individual basis only and (iii.) the nominee does not have to be a member of the USCA. B. The nominator must submit a completed application on or before the December 31 deadline. It must include the following: 1. Nominator’s name and relationship, if any, to the nominee – business, friendship, etc.; 2. Written permission of the individual to be nominated and their agreement to participate in the induction ceremony (or family permission for posthumous recognition); 3. Brief biographical sketch of the nominee, including age, family status, address; highlights of past or present occupation(s); charitable and civic involvements; and other matters of general interest unrelated to croquet; and 4. Detailed croquet biography, including number of years of participation, the croquet clubs of which the nominee is or has been a member, the year the nominee joined the USCA and whether still active, and details of all croquet-related achievements. There is no official application form. Plain 8 ½” x 11” letter-size paper should be used. The completed application, including any and all supporting letters, must be emailed as an attachment to the HOF Chair of Nominations at Beachtwobeach@yahoo.com.
II. QUALIFICATION GUIDELINES Above all, candidates must display personal behavior that demonstrates high regard for the spirit and etiquette of the game, which results in greater enjoyment for all – actions that would entitle the nominee to be considered an “ambassador” for croquet, as well as a Hall of Fame member. They should be further evaluated based on their achievements and contributions to the sport as follows: A. ACHIEVEMENTS are defined as outstanding performances in sanctioned or titled USCA events; and/or international competitions, sponsored by a member association of the World Croquet Federation (WCF), including six wicket, nine wicket and golf croquet.
B. CONTRIBUTIONS are defined as actions off the croquet court, which have promoted or enhanced the sport. Contributions at the core are volunteer efforts. Contributions are not limited to but may include: 1. Introducing others to the game; 2. Starting, leading or sustaining a local club or clubs; 3. Promoting clubs and events regionally or nationally; 4. Working with an organizational division of the USCA as established on the state, regional and national levels either as an officer or other capacity; 5. Creating favorable media recognition or otherwise promoting the game through such efforts as writing or instruction; 6. Contributing significant financial or in-kind resources in a way that enables the CFA and the USCA to pursue their missions; 7. Promoting the game through social affairs resulting in new friendships and greater camaraderie among players. Nota Bene 1.
The above portion of the application is the advocacy section. The nominator must make the case as convincingly and compelling as possible. Board members are not responsible for seconding a nomination nor adding favorable material and may in fact introduce or request information which may disqualify a candidate. A nominee may earn income from the game as a professional or some other paid capacity, but his or her financial ties to the game must be stated on the application. Achievements and contributions must be over an extended period time.
III. ANNUAL LIMITATION ON INDUCTIONS Given the desire to maintain the highest standards for election to The United States Croquet Hall of Fame and given the relatively limited size of the croquet-player population, the number of living inductees shall be limited to two per year. Posthumous inductees are similarly limited to two inductees per year. This limitation is subject to upward revision to no more than three inductees in either or both categories if at least three quarters of those entitled to vote decide that circumstances in a given year warrant revising this important limitation.
“Midnight in Paris” is theme for the Croquet Hall of Fame Celebration
French Cuisine on the
CROQUET SCENE On Friday, Nov 9, 2018, the Croquet Foundation of America will induct Ben Hunter Rothman, a world champion player, and Eugene F. Young, a past president of the USCA, into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame. This is the highest honor a U.S. croquet player can receive. The induction ceremony will occur at the Charles P. Steuber National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, followed by a fun-filled “Midnight in Paris” evening of French gourmet food stations, music and dancing in a French café setting. Ben Rothman’s accomplishments on the court are unmatched in the history of American croquet. Ben 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 he became the first American to ever win the British Open Championship! His lengthy contributions as a club teaching professional at the Mission Hills Croquet Club and his longtime support of beginning and advanced players are evidence of his total dedication to the sport of croquet.
Hall of Fam night in Pa e Gala Committee ce ris” theme at Palm Bealebrates 2018 “Midch’s Café L’ Europe
Gene Young’s lengthy service to croquet is highlighted by his terms as Regional V.P. for the Southeast region and as President of the U.S. Croquet Association. In both roles, he was instrumental in making the USCA a more efficient and well-run organization. Additionally, his efforts in promoting Golf Croquet in Lake Toxaway are largely responsible for the recent croquet boom in the mountains of western North Carolina. Guests at the cocktail hour will be greeted with a “Kir Royale” welcoming drink, hors d’oeuvres, and an extraordinary silent auction which will include gift certificates to Palm Beach fashion boutiques, beauty services, and gourmet dining experiences, plus fine wines, jewelry, original art work, croquet related items, trips and more. Some items will be available online for bidding at www.croquetnational.com. Proceeds for this event help support the National Croquet Center and the CFA’s croquet-related charitable programs such as the Croquet Special Olympics. Tickets are $160 for croquet players in the Seniors/Masters Tournament and $235 per person for non-players. For reservations or information call (561) 478-2300, ext. 3.
24 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR GAME As the summer winds down and we head into USCA Championship season, Croquet News is offering a skills and tactics section in this issue to help you improve your game. We start with a collection of the Player Profile “Quick Croquet Tips” from the past 19 issues along with the “Shooter’s Tip” series that appeared from 2012 to 2014. Following that, you’ll find Bob and John’s “Let’s Talk Tactics” article on American Rules and a new piece from Cheryl Bromley on Golf Croquet strategy. To wrap it up, we offer a new column on nine wicket croquet: “Backyard Warrior.” So, hopefully you’ll find this collection helpful and take away some tips or insights that get you ready for a great fall season of croquet.
HITTING THE BALL Square up, head down, tempo, follow through. It’s amazing how successful you can be if you stick to those simple tips. If you have any negative thoughts or distractions, step away and re-group. –Randy Cardo Players often try to fine-tune in superstitious ways, tweaking their swing and line-up methods. When this gets to be too much, and results are off, reset to stalk, head down, follow through. –Ben Rothman
When doing a thin take-off to set up to score, place the striker ball on the inside between the wicket and the spent ball rather than on the outside. This gives a wider range of makeable shots even with a poorly hit ball since the striker will deflect toward the wicket instead of away from it. –Rich Schiller John Osborn taught me this early on, “Think of your swing as a pendulum on a grandfather clock. Ticktock, tick-tock. If you need more distance, increase the backswing and maintain your follow through using the same tick-tock rhythm.” –Cheryl Bromley My favorite piece of advice that I’ve heard was: “It’s quite useful to hit the ball straight.” –Robert Hurst
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Take lessons or participate in clinics to get a good foundation and make time to practice. Shot-making is critical. You can have good strategy, but if you can’t execute with confidence, you will break down. –Jackie Jones Learn good shooting techniques. If you can shoot straight, it will cover up many faults. –David Maloof I think the Internet is a great resource to help improve your game. I watch YouTube videos of toplevel players to see how they swing while also noting the tactics they utilize. –Stephen Morgan
PRACTICE Developing a shot-making routine and sticking to it for every shot is critical for me. I try to do the same thing from stalking to lining up to casting to hitting, no matter the distance. We often miss easy twoyard roquets because we hurry the shot and don’t go through the entire sequence. –Michael Albert Practice, and I don’t mean just going out and playing games. Actually work on specific tasks for 30 minutes to an hour. Playing isn’t necessarily practicing. –Johnny Mitchell Practice is not about the time you put in, but what you put into the time you spend. More importantly, try to never hit an ankle with your mallet ... it really hurts! –John C. Osborn Practice, practice and practice. Put yourself in highpressure situations by playing in tournaments, which will help you down the road for big games. Always have fun and be thankful for this great game. –Matt Smith
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MENTAL APPROACH Always have confidence in yourself. Most of the game is mental. If you can’t beat yourself, how can you expect to beat someone else? –Matthew Essick
To improve concentration and get into the zone, focus on individual blades of grass when preparing for a shot like a hoop stroke. –Chris Patmore
Mainly use your head. –Ilse Goesmann
My croquet tip is NOT to take any tips from Rich Lamm. If you insist, however, I would suggest that it’s okay to have a good laugh when you do something lame. You’ll recover more quickly and live a lot longer. I laugh a great deal, because I have, of course, many, many opportunities to do so. –Rich Lamm
Take any chance you can get to play with or against a player with a much lower handicap. You can only learn from the experience. Play every game as if it were the last match in a tournament. –Carla Rueck Enjoy every second of it – winning or losing. Remember, we are the lucky ones who discovered this great sport, so have a smile when you are on the court! One playing tip: try to feel your elbows and keep them together in the backswing and when you hit. Go USA! –Sherif Abdelwahab
SHOOTER’S TIP SERIES Easy Does It The hoop shot causes more anguish than any other. We put extra pressure on ourselves every time we’re faced with this shot. Very often, either deliberately or involuntarily, we try to do something special with the swing, giving it a little (or a lot) extra. This is exactly the wrong way to get the ball through the hoop. The key to successful hoop running is to use the same swing you’d use for an easy rush: relaxed, balanced, slow. Weight steady, eyes on the ball and nice easy follow through. Extra force, tension or speed is fatal. You might get away with it if the hoops are sloppy, but come tournament time, this will no longer work. It is nearly useless to practice hoop running unless the hoops are properly set. Practicing rushes is better for your game anyway. If you can rush the ball cleanly and accurately, you have the right swing for hoop running. —Jeff Soo (2014 Volume 2)
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Reset Instead of Shifting In my first few years of competition, my earliest instructors at the Arizona Croquet Club taught me the rudiments of “stalking” on the line of aim from behind the ball. Then, when standing over the shot, I would move my feet to ensure they were both close together and parallel to the line of the mallet, which I had just placed behind the ball after the stalk. My goal was to focus on keeping the swing of the mallet exactly between the parallel feet. During the first test match between the US and Great Britain in 1985 (in England), I was befriended by Eric Solomon (no relation to John that I know of ), a highly-ranked player and fine coach. He explained that for most people, the process of aiming when stalking involved aligning the hips and shoulders perpendicular to the line of aim when approaching the ball and keeping them that way when the final step fell. If I subsequently moved my feet even slightly, he said I had effectively destroyed the line of aim. My roquet rate improved after this lesson. Now, if that last step when approaching the ball falls slightly long or short of my comfortable stance position, rather than move it even a tiny bit, I stand up and begin the process anew. —Jim Bast (2014 Volume 1)
Watch Your Grip It’s important to keep your grip consistent throughout your whole shot process. Once you line up the shot, if you tighten your grip on the mallet later in the sequence you will twist the mallet head. This can often happen during your backswing. Keep the grip pressure steady at all times. —Billy Bob Breeden (2013 Volume 2)
The Dead Hands In this example, the striker is doing a stop shot just three feet from the wicket in a relatively straight-on position. To get a shorter roll on the striker ball for this stop shot and maximum distance on the croquet ball, try loosening your grip. Some players call this “the dead hands.” The idea is it tends to let only the mallet head do the work and keeps your hands from driving through on the stroke, which should give you a better distance ratio. —Jon Essick (2013 Volume 3)
Wicket Trouble Have you ever gone through a tournament and experienced a gradual decline in your ability to run wickets? If so, you might think about how close you are to the ball in your stance. Some players tend to gradually move forward in their stance as the game progresses. So, next time a failed hoop surprises you, think about moving back in your stance. —Dylan Goodwin (2012 Volume 3)
Running a Hoop with Authority In golf croquet, it is good to not only run an odd numbered hoop successfully, but also knock your ball as close to the next hoop as possible. Here are some simple tricks to help you do that. First, swing slowly, which will increase your accuracy and will limit your ball’s contact with a stanchion. Second, get low and make sure your mallet makes good contact with the ball. Most importantly, follow through, as if your mallet is going through the hoop right after your ball. Follow-through not only makes you accurate, but it will also impart rotation on the ball and help it to continue to roll after scoring. Finally, keep your head down and focus on hitting the ball squarely. Your partner or opponent will see what happened with your ball. —Eric Sawyer (2013 Volume 1)
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Sirens Should Go Off When You See This Opportunity:
of 1-Back Tactics By Bob Kroeger and John C. Osborn
bserved at a recent USCA Six Wicket American Rules Singles Tournament, Diagram 1 shows the position of the balls: Blue is in play having just scored wicket five, and Yellow is dead on Red having just stuck in 1-back. The player of Blue had the skills to play a break, but for some reason, did not. Here is what might have made a break both easy aind effective. While in this case, 1-back was missed by mistake, other cases occur when a player might, for deadness reasons, leave a ball in the jaws of 1-back on purpose. When the opponents (Red and Yellow here) see this occur, sirens should go off and the possibility of using 1-back tactics examined. By that, we mean intentionally peeling the ball in the jaws through 1-back to then clear the striker ball. Diagram 1 shows Blue about to take its continuation shot, which it does in Diagram 2, roqueting Black. Because Blue will be clearing itself after peeling Yellow through 1-back, it makes sense to send Black to wicket six (this assumes Blue declares “clearing Blue please” before taking the next shot). Diagram 3 shows Black being sent nicely to wicket six as Blue goes to Red using a pass-roll. Diagram 4 shows Blue having roqueted Red, now ball-in-hand and lining up a take-off toward the playing
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side of 1-back. Diagram 5 shows a good takeoff, and in Diagram 6, a successful roquet peel. Blue immediately declares “clearing Blue please,” as failing to do so before taking the next shot would nullify the opportunity to clear either ball. You must remember to do this! Blue now lines up a take-off to Red, leaving Yellow near 1-back as a pioneer ball. Diagram 7 shows the takeoff, and in Diagram 8, Blue lines up a take-off to Black at wicket six. What Blue has done is set up a wonderful four-ball break! Going back to Diagram 5, if a roquet peel was not possible, Blue would try to set up the peel off Yellow using a croquet shot. Either method will work – you just need to determine the most reliable one. We have used this tactic during our long careers – it is a gem to have this tactic in your tool kit! Please visit Bob Kroeger at www.bobcroquet.com. The Bob and Ted Instructional DVD Series is available from the USCA 561-478-0760 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The most recent DVD is “Mastering Croquet Shots.” The Bob and Ted Strategy Book Series is also available from the USCA, and one-page examples can be seen on the Products Page on www.bobandtedcroquet.com.
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Threat or Danger By Cheryl Bromley
hen playing golf croquet, it is important to be aware of which of your opponent’s balls is a “threat” or a “danger” ball at any given time. The danger ball is the ball that immediately follows the striker’s ball. For example, if you are the striker playing the Blue ball, the danger ball is Red, which means the threat ball is Yellow. All too often, I’ve seen players clear the threat ball unnecessarily and miss an opportunity to put their ball in scoring position and let their partners’ ball take out the threat.
SCENARIO 1: (The arrow indicates the direction of scoring the hoop. Yellow is four feet from the hoop.) In Scenario 1, it is Blue’s turn to shoot, and you will notice that the Red (danger) ball is not in the picture and is well away from this area. Yellow is a threat, but all Blue needs to do is set up in position to score and let Black clear Yellow since it shoots before Yellow. It seems simple enough, but often players concern themselves with clearing any opponent ball that is in a scoring position.
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SCENARIO 2: (The arrow indicates the direction of scoring the hoop. Yellow is two feet from the hoop and Black is near the sideline.) In Scenario 2, Blue should clear the Yellow threat ball because it is closer than the partner (Black), which is near the sideline. Blue might be able to hit a stop shot so that the ball remains wired from Red.
SCENARIO 3: (The arrow indicates the direction of scoring the hoop. Red is seven feet from the hoop.) In Scenario 3, it may be tempting to clear Yellow, but Blue should focus on clearing the Red danger ball.
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Two-Ball Double Wicket Turn Drill By Dylan Goodwin One of the great features of the nine wicket game is that the nature of the layout and the extra options of the game provide an excellent opportunity for new player skill development. In fact, the familiar “double-diamond” rectangular layout provides natural medium distance rush lines throughout the middle section, and the double wickets provide valuable two-ball short game experience. With that in mind, when teaching the game, it’s relatively early on that I take advantage of the double wickets to drop players into a simple drill that gives them a micro-version of all the skills they need to run a break. The drill simply starts with a scenario that has the striker ball set for a rush opportunity toward H6 from about six to eight feet away (Diagram 1). The simple instruction is to hit the ball flat and with enough power to get the rushed ball in front of the wicket. In my experience, even a beginner, more often than not, is successful with this short rush. From there, I give the basics on how to do the short croquet split shot and generally tell them to just “pop” the forward ball to the far side of the wicket (Diagrams 2-3). After scoring H6, the little two-ball break (2BB) continues through H7, the peg, H9 and H10 (Diagrams 4-16). New players generally make errors throughout this segment, but with the distances so short it’s easy to reset the balls and redo the shots. My belief is this drill introduces the rush concept, gets the player comfortable with the short split and without really emphasizing it, puts them up against the croquet player’s greatest enemy—the wicket. Each time the drill is run, they are scoring four hoop shots, but really are thinking about the split shot principles. And, from that perspective, it is a bit more interesting than the sort of short split practice you would do on a six wicket court where you would basically have to go back and forth through the same wicket.
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I mentioned before that I throw this drill out relatively early on for new players. So, when is that? Essentially, I introduce this drill once I feel a player has a solid grasp on the wicket order. If they are still struggling with that, I do not want to add confusion by putting them into a mid-game scenario five hoops into the layout. Of note, most new players that come to us get the layout down quickly, which is because, in most cases, theyâ€™ve played before. Once a player shows a good ability to get through that two-ball doubles drill, I like to extend the drill by having them place the striker ball within six inches of H5 scoring position with a ball in good rush position on the northeast side (Diagram 17) and have them run the 2BB from H5 through the turn and out through H11. They will redo a lot of shots, but it introduces longer split shots and medium distance rush shots. Goodwin has 98 games of experience playing in the MCA Nine Wicket Series Pro Division and has played in six USCA Nine Wicket National Championships.
Continued on next page
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regionalroundup USCA Western Regional American Rules Tournament June 22-24, 2018 | King City, Oregon
USCA Mid-Atlantic Regional AC Rules Tournament June 14-17, 2018 | New York, New York
By Patrick Sweeney
The 2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional The 2018 Western Regional American Rules Championship was held June 14-17 at the New York Croquet Club’s home lawns Championship was played June 22-24 on in Central Park. The Mid-Atlantic’s firstthe lawn at King City, Ore., just outside of Portland. The weather was perfect, the lawns ever association croquet (AC) regional were fast and the event was run with military championship, it took the spot on the calendar that had usually been occupied by precision thanks to tournament manager Wally Clark. Peter Bach, Steve Scalpone and the NYCC’s Clayton Cup invitational. The idea for an AC regional in the Mid-Atlantic Patrick Sweeney all came out of block play with a single loss. They were joined by Nick came from regional VP Tim Rapuano, who envisioned a low-cost, no-frills singles Gray to comprise the final four. tournament that would attract both AC Bach and Scalpone advanced to the enthusiasts from around the country and finals and engaged in a competitive and locals eager to try the game. Fifteen entrants entertaining match. Bach lost the toss and responded, including players from North decided to play the Chernobyl. Scalpone Carolina, Virginia and Ontario. did not bite, so, after a few rounds of In the Championship Flight, Brian passing, Bach came in and the antics Cumming surprised no one by dominating started. Scalpone attached and executed a nice break, taking his first ball to rover and the field, going undefeated through block play, the best-of-three semifinals and finals setting a tough leave. Bach failed to hit in, and Scalpone was on his way to to another all while finishing six triple peels along the way. A bit more surprising was the return in regional championship. In gathering his fine form of Micah Beck, who hadn’t been break, however, Scalpone’s striker ball contacted a dead ball on his croquet stoke, seen in a croquet tournament in three years but had evidently been getting some useful ending his break and providing Bach with practice at the West Hill Golf & Croquet the opportunity he needed. Bach ran Club in Camillus, N.Y. Beck squeaked past around to rover and staked out Scalpone’s Tim Rapuano on net points to grab a spot in ball, creating a fatal 2-to-1 advantage. the semifinals, where he dispatched Macey It took a fair amount of cat-and-mouse White 26- 14, 26-21 before getting crushed play before Bach was finally able to (ever so nicely!) by Cumming, 26-7, 26tp-0. collect the three-ball break and the 2018 Championship. Bach will now finally enjoy As a St. John’s College croquet team veteran, having his name placed on the John Taylor Beck had the pleasure of watching Tom Trophy, presented annually to the Western Balding, a rising junior at St. John’s, turn in Regional Champion. a winning performance in the First Flight in Championship Flight Singles his first ever AC tournament. Having entered the tournament with a USCA handicap of 01. Peter Bach 6, Balding couldn’t find a player that could 02. Steve Scalpone beat him, winning all eight of his games in 03. Patrick Sweeney the flight plus a couple more in the New York 04. Nicholas Gray Open Plate consolation event. The Long Island 05. Wallace Clark native, who recently joined the Westhampton 06. Richard Scholl Mallet Club, faced New Jersey’s Jodie Rugart in the best-of-three final, winning on time in both games, 25-15, 21-18. The plate event was devised by TD Stuart Lawrence as an opportunity for crossflight matchups, extra games for anyone who wanted them and a competition for the right to hold the New York Open perpetual trophy, an antique English silver biscuit barrel donated and engraved for the occasion. In the plate Final, Tim Rapuano faced off for the trophy against Lawrence, who had dropped out of the main event
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MID-ATLANTIC REGIONAL: Top photo is Champion Brian Cumming with presenter Tim Rapuano. Below is First Flight winner Thomas Balding with Rapuano.
Action at the Northeast Regional in Newport, Rhode Island
claiming to be too distracted by other duties. Earlier in the tournament, Rapuano had scored an upset victory over Lawrence in the plate Swiss, which Lawrence facilitated with an ill-timed court damage fault. The Final, however, went more clinically, with Lawrence winning 26tp-0. Championship Flight Singles 01. Brian Cumming 02. Micah Beck 03. Michael Albert 03. Macey White 05. Tim Rapuano 06. Jim Collins First Flight Singles 01. Thomas Balding 02. Jodie Rugart 03. Eugene Nathanson 03. Templeton Peck 03. Dennis Hough 06. Patricia Spratt 07. Mark Ski 08. Ronald Rapuano The New York Open Plate 01. Stuart Lawrence 02. Tim Rapuano 03. Thomas Balding 04. Patricia Spratt 04. Jim Collins 06. Mark Ski 07. Templeton Peck 07. Macey White 07. Michael Albert 07. Ronald Rapuano
Northeast Regional American Rules Tournament May 25-27, 2018 | Newport, Rhode Island
Championship Flight 01. David Ekstrom 02. Sherif Abdelwahab 03. Arthur Olsen 03. Stephen Grassbaugh 04. Bob Worrell 04. Lynda Sudderberg First Flight 01. Geraldine McCauley 02. Patricia Spratt 03. Jeannine Bedard 03. Penny Ferraro 04. Lloyd Hadden, Jr. 04. Hal Denton 04. Diane Sadowski 04. George Peterkin 04. Martie Ekstrom Second Flight 01. Richard Brickley, Jr. 02. Linda Taber 03. David Thalmann 03. Robert Taber 04. Arlene Stevens 04. Martha Hunnewell
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USCA Southeast Regional American Rules Tournament May 24-27, 2018 | Hartfield, Virginia
By Macey White In May, the Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club (CBCC) in Hartfield, Va., held the 2018 Southeast Regional Six Wicket Croquet Tournament. Thirty-two top-notch players from nine states came to compete for the title of Southeast Regional Champion. When the smoke cleared from four days of intense play, Calvert Chaney from Maryland edged out Macey White from Virginia in the last turn of play in the title game Sunday afternoon for the singles crown. Chaney hit in with a long shot from the boundary and two-balled four wickets to take the victory with no time left on the clock. In doubles play, the team of Donna Dixon from California and Rick Sheely from Minnesota won the doubles crown over Macey White and Richard Sullivan of Florida. In First Flight Singles, Nancy Crouch of Florida edged out local John Priest of Mathews. In Second Flight Singles, Connie Coling of Hartfield beat Marty Karel of Delaware. In First Flight Doubles, Bill Hartman and Rob Byrd of North Carolina beat Yen Sullivan and Ron Huxtable of Florida. The weather was warm and sunny all week and the eight manicured lawns were dead flat and moderately fast. CBCC will host the 2018
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United States Croquet Association National Six Wicket Championship in October. Championship Flight Singles 01. Calvert Chaney 02. Macey White 03. Chris Barley 03. Gene Raymond 05. Ron Huxtable 05. Tom Hughes 05. Richard Sheely 05. Mark Fields 09. Richard Sullivan 09. Linda Huxtable 09. Rodney Lassiter 09. Donna Dixon 09. Robert Byrd II 09. Jim Coling 09. Bob Crouch 09. Bill Hartmann 17. William Rinaman 17. Rick Darnel 17. John Donohue First Flight Singles 01. Nancy Crouch 02. John Priest 03. Conor Johnson 03. Yen Sullivan 05. Jay Graham 05. Carl Johnson 05. Jane Koziol
Second Flight Singles 01. Connie Coling 02. Martin Karel 03. Karin Karel 03. Paul McClean 05. Rodney Calver 05. Dennis Koziol Championship Flight Doubles 01. Rick Sheely/Donna Dixon 02. Macey White/Dick Sullivan 03. Bill Rinaman/John Donohue 03. Linda Huxtable/Chris Barley 05. Mark Fields/Calvert Chaney 05. Nancy Crouch/Bob Crouch 05. Gene Raymond/Rodney Lassiter 05. Connor Johnson/Carl Johnson First Flight Doubles 01. Bill Hartman/Robert Byrd 02. Yen Sullivan/Ron Huxtable 03. Jay Graham/Rodney Calver 03. John Priest/Paul McClean 05. Martin Karel/Karin Karel SOUTHEAST AMERICAN RULES REGIONAL: Top left photo shows Championship Flight finalists Macey White (L) with Calvert Chaney (R). Top right photo is First Flight finalists Nancy Crouch and John Priest with White presenting. Bottom left shows Second Flight finalists Connie Coling and Martin Karel with White.
Macey White and Jeff Soo
USCA Southeast Regional Nine Wicket Tournament April 26-29, 2018 | Adamstown, Maryland
USCA 2018 Southeast Regional Golf Croquet Tournament April 12-15, 2018 | Hartfield, Virginia
On April 26-29, the Southeast Region held its first ever nine wicket regional tournament at the Mid-Atlantic Croquet Club (MACC) in Adamstown, Md. The weather alternated from sunny to rainy and from hot to cold. Some games were played on pristine green, dry grass and others were played in the mud with standing water. We learned that standing water has glue-like stopping power, and if your ball is in mud, it is not likely possible to be able to hop over a ball in the jaws of a hoop. A big thank you goes to the Mid-Atlantic Croquet Club and host Billy Beam for making this a great tournament!
By Cheryl Bromley
Championship Singles 01. Macey White 02. Matt Griffith 03. Cindy Shepherd 03. Tim Hasty First Flight Singles 01. Gil Rocha 02. Ron Millican 03. Deborah Millican 03. Bryan Christiansen 05. John Rundell 05. Luella Rundell 05. Billy Beam Championship Doubles 01. Matt Griffith/Deborah Millican 02. Macey White/Ron Millican 03. Tim Hasty/Cindy Shepherd 03. Bryan Christiansen/Gil Rocha 05. John Rundell/Luella Rundell
Eighteen players from New York, Maryland, Wisconsin, Missouri, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia competed in the 2018 USCA Southeast Golf Croquet Regional held at the Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club in Hartfield, Va. Players were treated to extra helpings of warm southern hospitality as they competed over four days of singles and doubles block play and knockout rounds. Jeff Soo captured both the singles and doubles titles in the Championship Flight. En route to the singles final, Soo battled sharpshooter, Justin Berbig, to move past the semifinals with a 6-7, 7-1, 7-2 victory. In the finals, Soo prevailed over Macey White with a 7-1, 7-6 win. White’s long jump shot at hoop #13 in the second game made it through the hoop but pulled Soo’s ball along with it giving Soo the tiebreaker victory. White’s road to the finals included a 7-4, 7-3 win over Cheryl Bromley in the semifinals before facing Soo in the title match. Hal Denton emerged as the First Flight singles champion by defeating John Priest in the semifinals 7-3, 7-3 and Terry Hunt 7-4, 7-4 in the finals. Hunt took out William “Buck” Brewer with a solid semifinals win of 7-4, 7-2. Hunt also shot a new record of four successful jump shots in one of his block matches to propel him into the knockout.
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USCA Whatever the occasion think USCA for those special gifts Books 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
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DVD’s 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
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Hal Denton and Terry Hunt
In doubles action, Soo and his wife, Eileen, took out White and Gil Flowers in the semifinals with a 7-3, 7-5 victory. The Soos faced off against Bromley and Steve Jackson in the Championship match outlasting them in a four-hour battle winning 6-7, 7-1, 7-6. First Flight Doubles winners were Rick Alderson and Rick Darnell, who took out Brewer and Priest in the finals 7-6, 7-3. Their semifinal match included a win over George and Judie Fiegel 7-3, 7-4. Brewer and Priest reached the finals after edging out Terry and Shirley Hunt in a tight semifinal 5-7, 7-5, 7-6. All the results of matches played throughout the entire event may be found at www.croquetscores.com. Thank you to Macey White and Barbara Wallace for hosting this event! Championship Singles 01. Jeff Soo 02. Macey White 03. Cheryl Bromley 03. Justin Berbig 05. Gil Flowers 05. Stephen Jackson 05. Eileen Soo 05. George Fiegel First Flight Singles 01. Harold Denton 02. Terry Hunt 03. John Priest 03. William Brewer 05. Judie Fiegel 05. Shirley Hunt 05. Rick Alderson 05. Jill Murphy 08. Douglas Murphy
Players arrived from all over the US and one from Canada. Two of the players in this tournament were former US National Champions and all were very talented Championship Flight competitors. Macey White ended up winning the tournament with Brian Cumming in second.
01. Jeff Soo/Eileen Soo 02. Cheryl Bromley/Stephen Jackson 03. Macey White/Gil Flowers 03. Justin Berbig/Harold Denton First Flight Doubles 01. Rick Alderson/Rick Darnell 02. William Brewer/John Priest 03. Terry Hunt/Shirley Hunt 03. George Fiegel/Judie Fiegel 05. Douglas Murphy/Jill Murphy
CBCC is proud to be hosting the 2018 USCA American Six Wicket Nationals October 7-13, 2018. Championship Flight
Southeast Association Regional Tournament April 5-8, 2018 | Hartfield, Virginia
The Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club (CBCC) held the Southeast Regional Association Croquet Tournament April 5-8 at its eight new courts in Hartfield, Va.
01. Macey White 02. Brian Cumming 03. Doug Grimsley 04. Richard Sheely 05. Lee Jorde 06. Richard Alderson 07. Ted Quimby 08. Bill Rinaman
This has started as one of the coldest springs in Virginia history, but the tournament went well with playable weather every day. The participants were amazed to watch the courts go from a dormant yellow on the first day to green on the last.
SOUTHEAST AC REGIONAL: Finalists Brian Cumming (L) and Macey White (center back row) with Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club volunteers
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Inter-club match with the Highlands Mallet Club (the Flora, Miss., club, not the N.C. club).
of Jackson Location: Jackson, Miss. Year founded: The Country Club of Jackson (CCJ) was founded in 1914. Croquet courts were added in the fall 2014. Number of members: We have more than 1,100 members. We estimate that 60 play croquet off and on and have about 20 regular players. Number of courts: Can be configured as two ¾+ courts or as one full-size court. Type of grass: Champion TifEagle bermudagrass
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Overview of club schedule: We have organized play every Thursday and Sunday: generally, two games of American Rules (six wicket) followed by two or three games of golf croquet. On one Thursday and one Sunday of each month, we play Association Law instead of American rules. The lawn is configured as one full court on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the summer growing season. Otherwise, the setup is two courts of slightly larger than ¾ size. Open tournaments (and projected month played): Mid-to-late October: American Rules singles invitational tournament (November 2-4, 2018, this year). This is an USCA sanctioned event. We are planning to host a USCA sanctioned Mississippi District Championship tournament. We also occasionally host interclub matches with area clubs (there are two private clubs in the Jackson, Miss., area).
Website: www.ccjackson.com Do you use social media to promote your club? None What makes this club special: Our TifEagle courts are maintained to pristine condition by CCJ’s golf course greenskeepers. Fast and fun! CCJ’s Onyx Lounge is a perfect after-play or between match respite. The Onyx also provides service at the court. CCJ is a private, full-service, family-center country club. In addition to croquet, we have championship golf with 27 holes (the PGA Sanderson Farm Classic is hosted by CCJ), tennis (14 lighted courts), a large fitness center, full-service spa (the Spa at CCJ), aquatics complex and 65,000 square feet in the main clubhouse.
Group Picture from our first Invitational in 2015. Calvert Chaney, from the West River Club, was the inaugural champion.
How we grow our club by targeting CCJ members: CCJ’s Director of croquet, Joe Moore, offers group or private lessons. He is available at all organized play days to assist new players. We have numerous club special events during the year, including most holidays. We have occasional “Member/MemberGuest” tournaments that have been successful in introducing existing CCJ members to the game. That is, CCJ croquet players invite CCJ members who do not regularly play croquet (“Member-Guest”) to be their playing partner in the tournament. How we target new CCJ memberships: The club is presently offering a “Discovery” membership. Non-members can conditionally join CCJ with full privileges without paying the up-front initiation fee. After a period of trial membership (depending on when they joined), they pay the initiation fee to remain a member. As a note, CCJ does not offer a “croquet only” membership. Various memberships for seniors, juniors, retired, corporate, etc. are available, but no separate memberships for one particular activity. Are USCA members welcome? USCA members are welcome to play with a member, which can almost always be arranged with a little notice. No fees for out-of-town guests or USCA member guests. The in-town guest fee is $15.
A lovely day for croquet at CCJ with nature's emphasis.
Jim Becker finds found the best seat in the house!
Director of Croquet Joe Moore is our pot o’ gold!
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Hall of Famers Michael Gibbons, Johnny Mitchell and David McCoy at the 2015 Seniors Masters
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Michael Gibbons Age: 78 Home Base: Palm Beach, Fla. Grip: I am constantly fiddling with different grips. Mallet: I use a few different mallets. Years Playing: 38 How did you get into the game? I responded to a small ad in The New Yorker magazine promoting a “Croquet Camp” at the Palm Beach Polo Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. Our instructors were Teddy Prentis and Johnny Osborn — the McEnroe and Borg of croquet in those days. Favorite croquet venue: The National Croquet Center (NCC) Favorite Tournament: The USCA Seniors Masters and The Steuber Classic at the NCC On-Croquet highlights/tourney wins: I won the first USCA Seniors Tournament, held at The Newport Casino in Newport, R.I., in 1990 for age 50 and over. I am the current American Rules Champion at the NCC. Do you play other sports? I also play golf, backgammon and tennis socially. You served as VP for three USCA presidents. What do you think was the key driver to success in that time? I worked with Jack Osborn, Foxy Carter and Bill Berne, and all of them were very dedicated and hard working. Their efforts with limited resources built the USCA.
Do think the USCA has reached the maximum market from a participation/membership perspective in the US? Or do you see a new path or method to growing the sport going forward? Growth in croquet is directly related to building more courts and clubs for people to play on and having inspiring volunteers and “Pros” to teach the sport. We are fortunate to have many people across America organizing, serving on committees, teaching and inspiring others to play. The Croquet Hall of Fame has recognized some of these individuals but many more are making enormous contributions including the top players who elevate the game with their great talents and sacrifices to play for US teams. Are you still involved with the National Croquet Center? I am a great admirer of David McCoy, President of the Croquet Foundation of America (CFA), and his fellow Board members. I serve on that Board and support its heroic effort to save, preserve and improve the NCC. The NCC continues to increase its membership thanks to many volunteers and a small staff. I am also an admirer of the small USCA staff and Board and the important work that they do. I would be remiss not to mention the important contributions and generosity of Fred Supper, Libby Newell, Ellery McClatchy, Charles Lazarus and Chuck Steuber to the success of croquet in the USA. These are just a few of the many individuals who have given so much to our sport.
Bottom left: Michael and Cynthia Gibbons at the 2015 Northeast / MidAtlantic Regional Bottom right: Michael Gibbons, Ray Liberti, John Warlick and Bill Trower at the 2015 Florida Nine Wicket Regional
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From the British Opens I am writing you from Cheltenham, England—the site of the 2018 British Open. Barbara and I thought England would be a good trip location to play some croquet and do some sightseeing. The town of Cheltenham is a lovely place in Gloucestershire. Cheltenham’s old stone and brick houses nestled in the rolling hills are a great backdrop to the Cheltenham Croquet Club. Cheltenham has 11 full-sized lawns. The lawns are mostly brown and very fast; faster than any other courts I have ever played on and yet the players here say these are not the fastest. Cheltenham Croquet Club is a club in the truest sense of the word. Members do most of the work at the club and volunteer staffing of this event has been quite good. At least a dozen volunteer members are on site each day helping to keep everything running smoothly. The best players from England, Australia and New Zealand are here and from America came Doug Grimsley, Paul Bennett and myself. The talent playing in this tournament is superb. Almost the entire English Solomon Cup team is here along with current and past world champions. Contrast this to the US where only two of our Solomon Cup team members participated in the 2018 US AC Nationals and none of the US Solomon Team members participated in either of the three AC Regionals held in the US in the past 12 months. I asked several of the British Team players if they had been to the US and all had, and all had played at NCC. When asked how they liked it, they said that NCC was “okay,” but the lawns rolled off too much on the edges.
The Croquet Association headquarters
Tradition abounds in England and play stops every day at 4 p.m. for a spot of tea. Interestingly, wearing all white during practice or club play is not a tradition here. Whites, or “national colors,” are required during tournaments.
The players here are friendly. I’m the new guy on the block and it seems almost all the players know my name while I am struggling to learn theirs. On the first day of singles play, I was scheduled to play D. Kibble on court 5. Only one other person was warming up with me on court 5, so I walked over and asked “Are you Kibble?” He replied, “what do you mean by kibble?” I responded, “Sorry, I am supposed to play a D. Kibble. I’m Macey White.” He said, “I’m Robert Fulford.” I am sure I’m the only person here who would not have recognized world famous croquet legend Robert “Fluffy” Fulford. –Macey White
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“WHO AM I?” ANSWER I AM . . . JOHN RICHARDSON. John is the latest in the tradition of great Canadian croquet players such as Leo McBride and Brian Cumming. John currently lives with his wife in a suburb of Toronto. While growing up, he spent three years in Fortune, Newfoundland. Apologies for using the term “Newfie,” because some from Newfoundland take offense; but the answer couldn’t be given away too easily. Newfoundlanders have a language all their own, formed by a mix of English, Irish and French and is preserved by the isolation the island enjoys from the mainland. “Wha?” is like saying “eh?” in Newfoundland. “G’wan” is a common term for “you’re joking, right?” John is supremely competitive. He loves playing (and winning) board games, cards, sports, fantasy sports and even Dungeons and Dragons. He just likes competition. He pitches on his local softball team and still plays hockey. John’s current passion is golf croquet. Although he has only played it a few years and can only play half the year in Canada because of the weather, he is starting to get results. John announced his presence to the croquet world by beating David Maloof in the playoffs of the 2016 US GC Nationals and making it to the final four. He then made it to the final four of the plate in the 2017 World GC Championships and recently won the 2018 Canadian GC Open. The sky is the limit for John. John’s favorite beverage is tequila and he loves watermelon. So, if you see him at an event, buy him a watermelon margarita and you will have a friend for life.
NAVY CROQUET TRADITION
Most croquet players are familiar with the United States Naval Academy vs. St. John’s Annapolis Cup rivalry. However, some might be surprised to know that Navy might have a much deeper croquet legacy. Allen Scheuch wrote about the Navy croquet tradition in the recent Croquet Network article, “Who Wrote ‘Croquet, as Played by the Newport Croquet Club?’” Referring to the photo above, he notes in the article: There is evidence that in the early decades of croquet in America, the game was played at the Academy. In a circa 1870 series of stereo views of the Naval Academy by W.M. Chase (father of the famous American painter), view no. 855 is titled “Croquet Ground and Officers’ Quarters.” Jennifer Bryan, Head of Special Collections and Archives at the Academy’s Nimitz Library, supplied the photograph from James Russell Soley’s 1876 Historical Sketch of the Academy. Croquet wickets are visible on the left in front of the “New Cadets’ Quarters.”
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Croquet, Golf & Water
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LEARN TO PLAY CROQUET THE USCA WAY by USCA certified instructors! Attend one of our scheduled classes below AMERICAN RULES
GOLF CROQUET RULES
October 17-19, 2018 November 15-17, 2018 January 8-10, 2019 Jan 30-Feb 1, 2019 March 5-7, 2019 April 3-5, 2019
November 15-16, 2018 January 9-10, 2019 March 6-7, 2019 Tournament Play School: December 6, 2018
ASSOCIATION RULES (International) (Beginner Level only) October 18-19, 2018 Jan 31-Feb 1, 2019
Tournament Play School: March 9-11, 2019
THE PRIVATE GROUP PROGRAM Groups of 6 or more players (of the same level) may arrange for a date (dependent on courts and instructor availability) that is convenient for the groupâ€™s participants Classes are held at the National Croquet Center, West Palm Beach, FL
Contact the USCA office for more details (561) 478-0760 or email: Tournament@uscroquet.com Keep the Balls Rolling!
USCA 2018-2019 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/
6-9 Woodlawn Mini Lobster Tournament 6-9 NC State Singles Championship 7-9 Citrus GC Series, Part 1 7-9 Quebec Open Croquet Championship 13-16 ScissorTail Invitational 14-17 Merion Cricket Club Croquet Invitational 16-18 USCA National Nine Wicket Championship 19-23 USCA National GC Championship 20-23 Osborn Cup 20-23 2018 Pacific Cup 21-23 2018 Texas State Championship 26-30 28th Pinehurst Croquet Club Invitational
Woodlawn Croquet Pinehurst Croquet Club Palm Beach Polo Golf & Country Club Westmount Croquet Club and Mount Royal Croquet Club Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club Merion Cricket Club Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club
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Nichols Hills, OK Haverford, PA Hartfield, VA
Suzanne Spradling 405-590-7264 firstname.lastname@example.org Whitney Thain 610-642-5800 email@example.com Jennifer Othen 561-478-0760 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lake Toxaway Mallet Club (& Burlingame Country Club, The Chattooga Club) New York Croquet Club/ Central Park Lawn Sports Center West Point Grey/Granville Park Memorial Park Pinehurst Resort
NC-Lake Toxaway, Sapphire & Cashiers
New York, NY
Vancouver, B.C. Houston, TX Pinehurst, NC
Patrick Sweeney Stuart Coco Elaine Moody
503-310-3222 713-628-5704 910-986-3343
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
6-7 The Tiger Wicket 7-13 USCA National American Rules Championship 12-14 Citrus Golf Croquet Series, Part 2 17-20 Pinehurst Croquet Club Singles Tournament 18-21 USCA GC Eights 18-21 Texas Classic 25-28 USCA Selection Eights
New York Croquet Club/ New York, NY Central Park Lawn Sports Center Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club Hartfield, VA
Palm Beach Polo Golf & Country Club Pinehurst Croquet Club Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park Lake Hubbard Mallet Club, Lake Tawakoni, Maridoe Golf Club National Croquet Center
Pinehurst, NC Venice, FL Heath/Quinlan/ Carrollton, TX West Palm Beach, FL
Bruce Rowbottom Jennifer Othen Harold Menzel John Dill Jennifer Othen
910-920-2549 firstname.lastname@example.org 561-478-0760 email@example.com 972-699-0067 firstname.lastname@example.org 214-415-1511 email@example.com 561-478-0760 firstname.lastname@example.org
2-4 Country Club of Jackson 6 Wicket Invitational 7-11 USCA Seniors Masters Championships 8-11 Blue Crab 9 US Croquet Hall of Fame Gala 30-12/2 Citrus Golf Croquet Series, Part 3
Country Club of Jackson National Croquet Center Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club National Croquet Center Palm Beach Polo Golf & Country Club
Jackson, MS Mark Fields West Palm Beach, FL Jennifer Othen Hartfield, VA Macey White West Palm Beach, FL Wellington, FL Rick Landry
601-918-2704 email@example.com 561-478-0760 firstname.lastname@example.org 804-694-9771 email@example.com 561-478-2300ext. 3 603-651-7337 firstname.lastname@example.org
National Croquet Center West Palm Beach, FL Jennifer Othen Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park Venice, FL Nancy Hart
561-478-0760 email@example.com 803-530-2035 firstname.lastname@example.org
3-4 11-13 17-20 18-20 22-26
Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park National Croquet Center Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park National Croquet Center
Venice, FL West Palm Beach, FL Venice, FL West Palm Beach, FL
Nancy Hart Jennifer Othen Nancy Hart Tim McCormick
803-530-2035 email@example.com 561-478-0760 firstname.lastname@example.org 803-530-2035 email@example.com 207-329-5343 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Beach Club
West Palm Beach, FL
4-9 15-17 20-24 20-24
National Croquet Center Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park National Croquet Center Audubon Country Club
West Palm Beach, FL Venice, FL West Palm Beach, FL Naples, FL
Bill Sadowski Nancy Hart Mike Gibbons Keppy Babcock
631-834-7176 803-530-2035 561-655-1832 239-254-1247
USCA Club Team GC Championships Sarasota CCC Fall Invitational Sarasota CCC Handicap Adjuster USCA Florida Regional GC Tournament Sarasota CCC Jones Invitational National Croquet Club Singles Championship Beach Club Invitational Peyton Ballenger Invitational Sarasota CCC Club Doubles Championship Steuber Classic Audubon Croquet Invitational
Email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org MGibbons9577@gmail.com email@example.com
8-10 13-17 14-17 28-31
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
Jennifer Othen Jennifer Othen Nancy Hart Hans Peterson
561-478-0760 firstname.lastname@example.org 561-478-0760 email@example.com 803-530-2035 firstname.lastname@example.org 978-929-9000 email@example.com
Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park Venice, FL
USCA Croquet Week GC Tournament USCA Club Team Championships Sarasota CCC Club Singles Championship Sarasota CCC Association Invitational Sarasota CCC GC Invitational
May Event 2-5
USCA Southeast Regional GC Tournament Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club Hartfield, VA
Pinehurst Croquet Club
North Mountain Croquet & Tennis Club
Sea Girt, NJ
USCA Southeast Regional American Rules Tournament USCA Southeast Regional Association Laws Tournament
July Event 10-14
Green Gables Croquet Club July Invitational National Guard Training Center
National Croquet Center
West Palm Beach, FL Jennifer Othen
USCA Selection Eights
46 | croquetamerica.com
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The Summer 2018 Volume 2 issue of the Croquet News features Hall of Fame Inductees Ben Rothman and Eugene Young. The issue also features a S...
Published on Sep 4, 2018
The Summer 2018 Volume 2 issue of the Croquet News features Hall of Fame Inductees Ben Rothman and Eugene Young. The issue also features a S...