The Official Magazine of the United States Croquet Association | 2018 Volume 3
IN ER W IS
OM NG C
Volunteers Make It Happen
2018 Volume 3
11 | State Membership Trends 20 | 2018 USCA Nationals 24 | 2018 USCA GC Nationals 30 | Club Profile: Milwaukee CC 34 | Member Profile: Dylan Goodwin 44 | Event Reports
Departments 03 | Courtside with Sara Low 04 | The Clubhouse 09 | New Membership 36 | GC America 38 | Let’s Talk Tactics 40 | Backyard Warrior 53 | Events Calendar 54 | Time Machine
On The Cover: Gil Flowers attempts a jump at the 2018 USCA Golf Croquet Eights held at the Sarasota County Croquet Club in Venice, Fla., October 18-21, 2018. Photo by Nancy Hart. Publisher: Dylan Goodwin | firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Julie Jantzer-Ward Art Director: Brandy Ferguson Contributors: Michael Albert, Bob Baker, Justin Berbig, Don Beubendorf, Nels Bjorkquist, Cheryl Bromley, Mimi Calver, Rodney Calver, Nancy Hart, Danny Huneycutt, Bob Kroeger, Stuart Lawrence, Sara Low, Justin Marciniak, Bert Myer, John C. Osborn, Jennifer Othen, Ursula Peck, Ben Rothman, Eric Sawyer, Sue Scherrer, Bobbi Shorthouse, Jeff Soo, Macey White
Inquiries Please submit all inquiries and stories to email@example.com. Text should be submitted as a Microsoft Word file and photos need to be FULL resolution (300 dpi). All content may be edited for length and photos will be adjusted appropriately. Croquet News is produced three times per year and is distributed as a benefit to USCA membership. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the expressed permission of the publisher. Views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the USCA.
This is the time of year when the USCA begins to collect names of members for the Annual Awards, such as Player of the Year and institutional honors like Club of the Year. Many people and clubs are responsible for impressive accomplishments. Some are heralded by awards ceremonies, while others are appreciated in quieter salutes. This season, we should thank contributors to croquet without waiting for the year-end tributes. We see notable croquet games and extraordinary shot-making by players everywhere: thank you for showing us how to play. The games also have dedicated instructors and referees at all levels from coast to coast. These people deserve our applause for sustaining the sport that they and we all enjoy so much. In addition to games on the courts, croquet is on the sidelines: setting courts, overseeing equipment and board-keeping. Concomitantly, event organizers, regulators of rules, handicaps managers and many volunteers are involved. Thank you all for your steadfast commitment. The sport continues because of you. Our fellow players are being honored at top levels. This year Gene Young and Ben Rothman were inducted into the Croquet Hall of Fame for their lifelong leadership of croquet. Young was the USCA President from 2009-2011 and improved the sport nationally as well as locally before, during and after this time. He spearheaded the vast growth of croquet in the North Carolina mountains. Rothman, a leader in his own right, has been an instructor and croquet professional and is one of the top players in the USCA, representing the USA for years as a competitor and Team Captain. Our volunteer leaders ensure the next generations will continue our sport. Joy Bradford, a player in Florida and the Mid-Atlantic, is responsible for the croquet court at Rutgers Prep, a New Jersey high school. Wendell Thompson, a dedicated player himself, has improved the game in Oklahoma by introducing college students to Six Wicket croquet and encouraging their playing to four national championships. Thanks to people like these two and Lee Hanna, the tireless champion of Youth Croquet and the Chair of the Collegiate Committee, the sport will endure. The Hall of Fame recognizes the best of the best nationally, but the sport also sees leaders at every level and in every corner. Stand up, all of you, and take a bow. We applaud the work and dedication of our player-volunteers. Because of your commitment, the great sport of croquet thrives throughout the USCA sphere. Thank you. If you want to recommend a USCA member for national recognition, please send your recommendation to us for this year’s consideration.
USCA President | firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2018 United States Croquet Association croquetamerica.com | 3
TheClubhouse insider news from the united states croquet association
USCA ANNUAL AWARD 2018 NOMINATIONS It’s that time again: to send in your nominations for the 2018 USCA annual awards. If you know of a member that excelled during 2018, let the USCA Management Committee know. Email your suggestions and reason to email@example.com. Awards will be presented at the 2019 Club Teams dinner on Friday, March 15. The categories are:
PASSAGES Rufus Bayard Delaware Croquet Club
Sarasota County Croquet Club
Club of the Year
Rookie of the Year
Family of the Year
Most Improved Player of the Year
New Club of the Year
Most Improved Jr. Player
Club President of the Year
Regional Vice President
Collegiate Club of the Year
Regional District President
School Croquet Club of the Year
Municipal Club of the Year
Player of the Year
Outstanding Support of Croquet
Jr. Player of the Year
Spectator of the Year
Sr. Player of the Year
Certificate of Achievement
Jr. Rookie of the Year
Michael Strauss Award
Sr. Rookie of the Year
Certificate of Appreciation
Donald Broderick III Green Boundary Croquet Club
Xandy (Alexander) Carter McCall Croquet Club
Abbott C. Combes III Lenox Croquet Club
Ted Kemp Sarasota County Croquet Club
Art Morris Bald Head Island Croquet Club
William (Rex) Seley Cedar Creek Club
ABBOTT C. COMBES III Abbott C. Combes III “Master Gentleman of Croquet” passed to the croquet lawns in heaven on October 29 at 98. Abbott was a founding member of the Lenox Croquet Club and member of the USCA for more than 25 years. A certified instructor, referee and mentor to many players, including the introduction to croquet of Martie and David Ekstrom. Players from near and far who participated in the Berkshire Invitational over the years were treated
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to recitations of Robert Service ballads: “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” “The Shooting of Dan McGraw,” “The Spell of the Yukon” or “The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill.” Abbott was a Dartmouth graduate, Army Captain, business owner and world traveler. He will be remembered for his friendly charm, gentlemanly manners, proper decorum, sense of humor, strong opinions and fondness for Cuba Libres. “Happy Days!”
USCA Management Committee ________________________ President Sara Low firstname.lastname@example.org First Vice President Damon Bidencope email@example.com Second Vice President Don Oakley Croquetdon@gmail.com Treasurer Steve Mossbrook firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary Carla Rueck 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 Ocean House artist Teak Eaton-Cook captured the 2018 Special Olympics event with this painting
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.croquetamerica.com ________________________
Two Days of Perfect Weather for Special Olympics Croquet Tournament
REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS
Respect. Acceptance. Inclusion. Unity. Something all hi-low doubles croquet players want and something Special Olympics athletes deserve—to be accepted and included.
Mid-Atlantic Timothy Rapuano (201) 887-0787 email@example.com
On September 29-30, Special Olympics Connecticut and Rhode Island had another amazing weekend for its annual interstate Unified Team Six Wicket golf croquet tournament held at Ocean House in Watch Hill, R.I. At the end of the day’s competition, the participants appreciated Stephen Morgan’s fast breakdown of the scoring for each block’s medal and ribbon rankings. Although it might not seem important or even noticed by us, the players and their coaches appreciate USCA members’ presence. Watching more than 70 teams compete double-banked on four 40-foot by 50-foot courts, you couldn’t help but notice the respect the players, coaches and referees had for each other. With a 20-minute time limit, strategy was a key component of this game. I watched quite a few competitions where partners set up in front of the wicket and their athlete-partners hit their own ball into the partner’s ball to put that ball through the wicket. I also saw some great stop shots to defend one’s partner by hitting the danger ball away from the wicket. You could tell these unified teams had been practicing strategy and shot technique together. Watching these teams compete, it is difficult to tell who was the intellectually impaired athlete. On second thought, a good doubles team creates an equal partnership. –Bobbi Shorthouse
Florida Gene Raymond (919) 612-3366 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 | 5
2018 Highlands/Cashiers Pro-Am at Chattooga Club
PROS AND SPONSORS: Back row: David Maloof, Danny Huneycutt, Kevin Gralton, Jeff Soo, Ben Rothman, Stuart Lawrence Matthew Essick. Middle row: Rich Dell, John Walker, Jim Hodges, Keith Kuhlman, Pat Cunningham, Karen Connery-Albert, Michael Albert. Front row: Diane Walker, Cole Larsen, Susie Cunningham, Hal Denton, Dick Boger, Gil Flowers. Photo by Eileen Soo.
Six of America’s top-ranked golf croquet players came to the Chattooga Club for a weekend of events August 18-19, 2018, to raise money for the USCA’s Lee Olsen Fund, which helps fund the US Croquet Team on its overseas trips to international team competitions. A Pro-Am, an exhibition tournament, and clinics gave the “pro” players the chance to share their knowledge, mix with the local players and show off their skills. By the end of the weekend, more than $23,800 had been raised for the Fund. The first day was devoted to the Pro-Am, in which 12 premier sponsors played rotating partner doubles with the pros. With eight rounds of play, each sponsor got four games, while the pros enjoyed a very full day of croquet. In the amateur division, Rich Dell and John Walker both went undefeated. Dell edged Walker in the net-points tiebreaker to claim top honors. Karen Connery-Albert finished third with three victorys. On the pro side, three players tied on five wins each. Ben Rothman took the top prize on net points over Jeff Soo and Matthew Essick. In the evening, the players and their guests gathered for drinks and dinner. The Chattooga Club lived up to its reputation for cuisine and service of the highest quality. On Sunday morning, the six pros played a round-robin exhibition tournament. With no prize other than bragging rights on the
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The youngest player in the Pro-Am, Cole Larsen was undefeated in the two games he played. Photo by Eileen Soo.
line, the emphasis was on camaraderie, good play and aggressive tactics. The shot of the day was Rothman’s bouncing jump shot from around 35 feet to score hoop 12 against David Maloof. But Maloof ’s steady, consistent play carried the day, as he won that game 7-6, and the block with four wins in five rounds. After another elegant meal at the club, the weekend concluded with clinics. Forty-eight sponsors were divided into groups led by each of the six pros, who shared their ideas and perspectives on technique, drills and tactics. The event was conceived and organized by Michael Albert, USCA District President for western North Carolina. The monies raised ensure strong support for US teams traveling overseas to international team and youth competitions, such as the 2018 Solomon Trophy, the 2019 Under-21 GC World Championship and the 2020 GC World Team Championship. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend the Highlands/ Cashiers Pro-Am at Chattooga Club next year August 22-25, 2019. Having sponsorship allows the USCA to send the strongest possible team to represent the United States in these competitions. –Michael Albert
WCF WOMEN’S GOLF CROQUET WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP A “shout out” to Cheryl Bromley who was awarded a ranking by the World Croquet Federation to compete in the Women’s Golf Croquet World Championship to be held in February at the Heretaugna and Marewa Croquet Clubs in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Joining Bromley this year is Donna Dixon and Sandra Knuth Walsh, who were selected by the USCA Golf Croquet Selection Committee.
WHO AM I? I was born and raised in Wisconsin.
When I was young, I played a lot of tennis, basketball and softball. See the picture? That’s me when I was 11 years old and I won a local tennis tournament. Love that skirt! I got good enough in tennis and basketball to play them at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. I was the number-one singles and doubles player on my college tennis team and a guard/forward on my college basketball team. Go Eagles! I kept playing tennis after college, including as a tennis professional at clubs and resorts in Vermont, Florida and most recently back home in Wisconsin. That’s how I found croquet. In 2007, while working at a private club in Florida, I was asked to schedule and supervise a croquet tournament. It was great! I realized croquet was a sport that I could keep playing at a high level regardless of age, unlike tennis and basketball. By 2009, I played in my first golf croquet match sanctioned by the World Croquet Federation (WCF) and I have never looked back. In fact, you could say I’m an Iron Lady of croquet. Since 2009, I have played a total of 377 matches sanctioned by the WCF against 165 different opponents, including at least 20 matches in six different countries. I also have played in three GC World Championships and will play in my fourth in February 2019 in New Zealand. Can you guess, who am I? See answer on page 9.
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P ro A m Tou r na m e n t at t h e c h at toog a c l u b
Fundraiser for the USCA Lee Olsen fund PROCEEDS FUND TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR USCA TEAM MEMBERS PLAYING IN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS
Thursday, August 22, 2019 Opening Gala and Live Auction at 6:00 pm Friday, August 23, 2019 ProAm at The Chattooga Club at 9:00 am Saturday, August 24, 2019 Clinics with the Pros from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Sanctioned Golf Croquet Tournament (for Pros only) at 1:00 pm Sunday, August 25, 2019 Tournament play (for Pros only) continues at 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The 2018 ProAm Participants and Pros
CO M E P L AY I N T H E P R OA M I N N O R T H C A R O L I N A A N D WATC H T H E P R O S CO M P E T E . YOUR SUPPORT WILL ALLOW THE USCA TO FIELD OUR BEST PLAYERS FOR FUTURE COMPETITIONS. CALL 941-376-1200 OR EMAIL MYCOPRES@AOL.COM.
REAL ESTATE GROUP
NCLIVING.COM | 828-743-1999
newmembership NEW CLUB
The Hope Harmon Croquet Club – San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
NEW MEMBERS ALABAMA
Mobile – At Large Member
Earl Monroe Brandly Monroe
Rohnert Park – Sonoma Croquet Club
Deborah Haeffele Steve Haeffele
Pomfret Center – At Large Member
Boca Raton – Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club
Liam Cushing Delray Beach – St. Andrews Club
Henry Hagan Jacksonville – The Florida Yacht Club
Foster Shepherd Garnet Shepherd Palm Coast – Hammock Dunes Croquet Association
Pat Alleman Mark Alleman Bonnie Dodge Nancy Fitzgibbons Jim Fitzgibbons Lynn Pellegrino Judith Wiginton Ponte Vedra Beach – Ponte Vedra Croquet Club
Jordie Mann Randy Reid Ellwood Whitchurch Vero Beach – At Large Member
Annapolis – St. Johns College Galesville – West River Wickets
Jackson – Highlands Mallet Club
Neville Boschert Kellye Montjoy
Spring Lake – Green Gables Croquet Club
Charles Reynolds Lorraine Russo
Bald Head Island – Bald Head Island Croquet Club
Adam Bachmeier Cory Johnson Dave Johnson Barbara Romano Chapel Hill – Carolina Meadows Croquet Club
Mariechen Smith Pinehurst – Pinehurst Croquet Club
Michael Pritchett Gerrian Pritchett Marian Satterfield Mark Satterfield Winston Salem – At Large Member
John Albright Elisabeth Vinson Ron Vinson
Aiken – Green Boundary Croquet Club
William Beacham Tega Cay – Tega Cay Croquet Club
West Palm Beach – National Croquet Club
Houston – Houston Croquet Association
Chris Helton Ed McCullough
Carol Kellett Stiles Kellett
Jekyll Island – Jekyll Island Croquet Club
George Sherman Mary Squire
Dwight Moody Mark Starness
Sorrento – Sorrento V.I.A. Croquet Club
In the tennis photo Cheryl is pictured with instructor Richard Brunegge. Above she is with her her mother, Marilyn Froh.
Blowing Rock – Blowing Rock Country Club
Atlanta – At Large Member
I AM . . . CHERYL BROMLEY.
Noreen Rice John Rice
Shoshanna Shelley Vernon Pierce
“WHO AM I?” ANSWER
Dorset – Dorset Field Club
San Miguel de Allende – The Hope Harmon Croquet Club
Cheryl still lives in Wisconsin and she loves it! The mascot of her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, is an eagle, which is why she says, “Go Eagles!” Cheryl’s basketball career pretty much ended when she graduated from college, but she still likes to shoot baskets at her local park, and she would gladly play “Around the World” or “HORSE” with you, if you were up for it. The six countries in which Cheryl has played at least 20 matches are the USA, Canada, England, Egypt, Australia and New Zealand. She played in the Women’s GC World Championships in 2011 and 2014, and the World GC Championship in 2017. As noted, she will be playing in the next Women’s GC World Championship in New Zealand in February 2019. Go Cheryl! Some of Cheryl’s best wins have been against noted GC players Soha Mustafa, Tim King, JP Moberly, Mike Crashley, Stephen Morgan, Jim Wright, John Richardson and Matt Griffith. Perhaps her favorite match was against the great Robert Fulford played in Florida a few years ago. Although he beat her in a best-of-three match, she took one game from him. The entire match was recorded, and you can easily find it on YouTube. It’s quite entertaining. croquetamerica.com | 9
NATIONAL CROQUET CENTER PRO SHOP
Visit our Pro Shop Website for All Things Croquet www.nationalcroquetcenterproshop.com 561-478-2300 ext 5
USCA State Membership Trends By Dylan Goodwin
In spring 2010 as chair of the USCA Communications Committee, I pulled the member counts by US states and regions for a project intended to get a feel for the make-up of the USCA. Not much happened with that initiative, but this past spring I pulled the data in roughly the same time frame (April in 2010, March in 2018). Based on that information, here is a look at how the USCA membership shapes up and how it is has changed over the past eight years.
THE BIG FIVE
With USCA members primarily over 60 years old, itâ€™s no surprise that Florida is the top state for membership. The home state of the USCA headquarters had 994 members last spring and is currently tracking at 1,003 members. That means Florida is now 35 percent of the membership for US states (foreign countries were not included in the analysis). 1000
Top 15 States by USCA Membership
Rank State Region 2010 2018 Net
1 FL FL 766 994 228 29.8% 2
NC SE 282 286 4
NY MA 190 218 28 14.7%
CA W 145 159 14 9.7%
SC SE 147 113 -34 -23.1%
6 MD MA 78 98 20 25.6% 7 MS SE 74 93 19 25.7%
NJ MA 101 88 -13 -12.9%
9 GA SE 42 71 29 69.0% 200
10 MA NE 88 68 -20 -22.7%
With solid growth this decade, New York went over the 200-member mark and joins Florida and North Carolina as the only states above 200. California and South Carolina round out the top five as the only other states over 100. In that group, Florida is still rapidly expanding, while New York and California show steady growth. North Carolina is relatively flat, but South Carolina has taken a substantial hit and declined by 23.1 percent during the comparison period.
11 TX MW 68 67 -1 -1.5% 12 OK MW 16 62 46 287.5% 13 VA SE 60 61 1 1.7% 14 CT NE 59 44 -15 -25.4% 15 PA MA 57 43 -14 -24.6%
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With Florida large FL enough NCto merit NY a region, CA it isSCcertainly MD the MS dominant force from a membership perspective as it is not only the largest state, it is now comfortably the largest region after gaining 228 members during the period for 29.8 percent growth and a 35 percent share of US-based membership. While the data shows the USCA is following the same national population trends with members migrating toward Sun Belt states, the true Southeast region comes in with only a 6-percent growth rate during the period.
The actual Southeast region does look healthy once you exclude the surprising decline in South Carolina. Quietly, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana showed strong gains to drive the region. It would probably come as a surprise to many USCA members that Mississippi is ahead of Virginia for the #3 state in the region behind the Carolinas. In fact, if trends hold up, Mississippi is on track at 93 members currently to be the next state over 100 members in the region, moving past South Carolina to claim the #2 spot behind North Carolina.
Regions by Net Membership
2010 vs 2018
USCA Membership by Region 2010
Consider though that if Florida was part of the Southeast region, that “super region” would represent 59 percent of the NJ GAmembership. MA TX OK VA CT PA US-based
FLORIDA SOUTHEAST MID-ATLANTIC
MIDWEST NORTHEAST -100
10% 300% The
On the challenges in the Northeast, USCA Membership Chairman Berbig noted that the weather and shorter season is also a factor in the decline. “May in New York, it could be beautiful and 100% 85 degrees or 60 degrees and raining every day,” he said.
also noted that many clubs were driven by one strong leader. With the relatively small numbers for most states, the departure of 0 effective an can CO haveGAa big the overall ND club OK president KS LA AZ VT impact FL TNon MS MD NY state RI membership number. Looking westward where the regions cover huge chunks of territory, the problematic Midwest would have seen a net growth of 44 members for the southern group if the region was split north of Missouri and Kansas, as is often discussed. However, that growth is primarily centered around the rise of Oklahoma, which is now just six members shy of moving past Texas as the #1 state in the Midwest. Notably, a proposed southern group of Midwestern states would only be 157 members even with that growth.
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USCA Membership by Region 2018
decline of the Northeast is not unexpected as the region that spurred the launch of the USCA sees many of its players migrate 250% toward the south. With that legacy though, it is sad to see the Northeast has now become the smallest region. 300.0%
REGIONAL RESULTS 0
The West didnâ€™t dazzle but looks healthy with Arizona, California and Colorado providing the growth. California grew modestly, while Arizona and Colorado nearly doubled from the small starting number set in 2010. Washington as the #2 western state in 2010 lost nearly half of its members, which would follow the trend of most northern states. More surprising in the west is the lack of a presence in the Sun Belt states of Nevada and New Mexico.
Based on the strength of New York See Multiand Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic comfortably ranks as the third state regional largest region behind Florida and the breakdowns on Southeast. And, the modest fourpages 15-19. percent growth over the period was also third best. Pennsylvaniaâ€™s 24.6 percent decline is probably the most concerning factor in the region.
Rank State Region 2010 2018 Net Net % Growth 1 ND MW 1 4 3 300.0% 2 OK MW 16 62 46 287.5% 3 KS MW 3 8 5 166.7%
SOUTHEAST 4 LA SE 10 22 12 120.0% 5 AZ W 11 23 12 109.1%
6 CO W 13 22 9 69.2% MID-ATLANTIC
7 GA SE 42 71 29 69.0% 8 VT NE 8 13 5 62.5%
Looking deeper into the data, and more specifically at the states that outperformed, the data can be sliced a few different ways. The straight percentage growth is interesting but certainly misleading as North Dakota tops the chart by going from one to four members. And my own state of Kansas ranks third simply by going from three to eight.
9 FL FL 766 994 228 29.8%
The better look is the percentage growth for states with 10 or more members in either the 2010 or 2018 snapshot. Topping that list is Oklahoma with 287.5 percent after going from 16 members to 62. Louisiana and Arizona also look strong as they gained 120.0 percent and 109.1 percent respectively. Throw in Colorado at 69.2 percent and the slightly more western flavor of this group bodes well for a potential westward migration of the sport, even with Louisiana -100 -50 0 50 technically in the Southeast region.
12 MD MA 78 98 20 25.6%
10 TN SE 25 32 7 28.0% 11 MS SE 74 93 19 25.7% 13 NY MA 190 218 28 14.7%
15 AL SE 10 11 1 10.0%
Percentage Growth by State
NORTHEAST14 RI NE 25 28 3
Top 15% Growth
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Net Percentage Growth by State (States above 10 members)
A more straightforward concept is to look at net growth. Again, Florida is of course dominant with 228 new members in eight years, but Oklahoma again shows up strong at #2 with 46 players to back up the percentage growth. Georgia, New York and Maryland round out the top five all with growth over 20 players during the decade.
Rank State Region 2010 2018 Net Net % Growth 1 FL FL 766 994 228 29.8% 2 OK MW 16 62 46 287.5%
Based on the majority of states along the southern border from Florida to California experiencing solid growth, the USCA may need to take a strong look at Texas as the once dominant state in the Midwest actually dropped by one member. That is especially odd considering the growth in neighboring Oklahoma and Louisiana. Solving the Texas issue might get New Mexico into the mix, which is bordered by the rising states of Arizona and Colorado.
3 GA SE 42 71 29 69.0%
Another puzzle for the USCA would be the Carolinas. The 1,000 plus golf croquet club players in the western mountains of North Carolina have ultimately had little impact on membership for the USCA’s second strongest state. The USCA can’t really aspire to overall growth if they can’t piece together what it takes to persuade that army of club-style croquet players to join the USCA ranks. More confusing is the drop-off for South Carolina, which is nestled between Georgia and North Carolina. Again, Georgia with almost zero fanfare quietly ranks as the ninth largest state in the USCA.
To the north of that three-state segment, it will be interesting to keep an eye on Virginia. With the eight-court Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club going all-in on tournament hosting and marketing in the Hartfield area, a boost in membership will surely occur in the area. So far Virginia has had little impact with the small move from 60 to 61 members. Still, significant growth can take some time to develop.
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NY MA 190 218 28 14.7%
5 MD MA 78 98 20 25.6% 6 MS SE 74 93 19 25.7% CA W 145 159 14 9.7%
8 AZ W 11 23 12 109.1% 9 LA SE 10 22 12 120.0% 10 CO W 13 22 9 69.2%
After playing an event in Virginia in April, Berbig was confident about the prospects for growth in Virginia. “Virginia and Macey White’s place … there’s going to be growth,” he said. “He had a regional for every style of croquet this year, which is pretty amazing. They’re offering the free clinics – there is a huge sign. I think we’ll see growth there.”
The idea with this state and region study is to run it again in 2022 to see how things shape up over the next four years. Perhaps the membership committee can gather insights and sets some goals around the info. Targeting four additional states that have the potential to get to 500 members and join Florida as power players would be a productive goal. Based on population, North Carolina, New York, California and Texas would seem to be candidates, but there are a handful of others seemingly poised for solid gains.
Another approach is to look at the gainers versus losers. Twentythree states gained members during this eight-year period and 23 states lost members, with five being even. That, of course, lines up with the zero-overall growth but converting just four decliners to solid growth states would seem to help quite a bit and change the ratio to 27 to 19 for gainers versus losers. And you might find some new members by looking at the zero-member states of Idaho, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico and South Dakota. New Mexico and Nevada, in particular, seem to have climate advantages suited for croquet. Overall, the study shows solid growth in a significant number of states across the US. Ideally, the USCA can study the star states from this eight-year period and come away with new strategies for the next decade.
State Region 2010 2018 Net
VT NE 8 13 5 62.5%
RI NE 25 28 3 12.0% MA NE 88 68 -20 -22.7% CT NE 59 44 -15 -25.4% NH NE 24 12 -12 -50.0%
Comparison charts show percentage of total region membership. The table is listed by percentage growth for the 2010-2018 period.
ME NE 40 19 -21 -52.5%
NE 244 184 -60 -24.6%
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District of Columbia
State Region 2010 2018 Net
MD MA 78 98 20 25.6% NY MA 190 218 28 14.7% DE MA 11 10 -1 -9.1% NJ MA 101 88 -13 -12.9% DC MA 11 9 -2 -18.2% PA MA 57 43 -14 -24.6%
MA 448 466 18 4.0%
Comparison charts show percentage of total region membership. The table is listed by percentage growth for the 2010-2018 period.
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Southeast 2% 6% 23%
2% 9% 3% 16%
2018 State Region 2010 2018 Net
LA SE 10 22 12 120.0% GA SE 42 71 29 69.0% TN SE 25 32 7 28.0% MS SE 74 93 19 25.7% AL SE 10 11 1 10.0% VA SE 60 61 1 1.7% NC SE 282 286 4
WV SE 3 3 0 0.0% SC SE 147 113 -34 -23.1%
SE 653 692 39 6.0%
Comparison charts show percentage of total region membership. The table is listed by percentage growth for the 2010-2018 period.
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Midwest 0% 3%
1% 6% 4%
State Region 2010 2018 Net
IND MW 1 4 3 300.0% OK MW 16 62 46 287.5% KS MW 3 8 5 166.7%
MO MW 18 19 1
TX MW 68 67 -1 -1.5% IN MW 10 9
KY MW 21 18 -3 -14.3%
NE MW 2 2 0 0.0%
0% 0% 3%
WI MW 12 13 1
IL MW 32 21 -11 -34.4% OH MW 38 21 -17 -44.7%
MN MW 17 9
3% 5% 7%
MI MW 39 19 -20 -51.3% AR MW 8 1 -7 -87.5% IA MW 0 0 0 N/A SD MW 0 0 0 N/A
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MW 285 273 -12 -4.2%
1% 1% 1%
1% 1% 4%
State Region 2010 2018 Net
AZ W 11 23 12 109.1% Alaska
CO W 13 22 9 69.2% CA W 145 159 14 9.7% UT W 1 1 0 0.0%
OR W 16 14 -2 -12.5% WA W 29 15 -14 -48.3% HI W 9 2 -7 -77.8% NM W 1 0 -1 -100.0% NV W 1 0 -1 -100.0% ID W 9 0 -9 -100.0% AK W 0 2 2 N/A WY W 0 2 2 N/A
MT W 0 1 1 N/A
W 235 241 11 4.7%
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2018 USCA National American Rules Championship October 7-13, 2018 | Hartfield, Virginia
Nationals Play on Despite Hurricane Michael Danny Huneycutt won the Championship Singles while Brian Cumming and Jeff Soo won the Championship Doubles at the 42nd USCA National American Rules Championship. The first USCA major tournament held in Virginia was a national coming-out party for the Chesapeake Croquet Club. Just three years old, the club features eight regulation courts positioned in front of the 19th Century farmhouse home of Macey White and Barbara Wallace, located in the rural Middle Peninsula region of eastern Virginia. White and Wallace were the venue managers, Rich Curtis and Doug Grimsley were co-tournament directors and Jeff Soo scheduled the matches and tallied the scores. For the second time in weeks, a USCA national championship faced the passage of a hurricane. Having left a swath of destruction and flooding across the Florida Panhandle and Georgia, the remnants of Hurricane Michael moved through Virginia on Thursday night. Power outages were widespread, including at least one hotel where players were staying, but the tournament kept on schedule. Although the three days of doubles and singles block play had the usual share of upsets, by the end few surprises existed in the playoff bracket seeding. In Championship Singles, the four lowest handicap players earned the byes: Randy Cardo at 7-0 and Huneycutt, Soo and Cumming at 6-1. The biggest surprise was Conner Helms, seeded in the middle of the 24-player field with a 0 handicap. Having lost his first block game to Huneycutt, he won six straight to earn the fifth playoff seed.
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Danny Huneycutt celebrated his third Championship singles title, Huneycutt also claimed titles in 2011 and 2015.
First Flight also had an underrated rapid improver in Brian Hovis. Starting the tournament at handicap 8, near the bottom of the 12-player field, he finished the block 4-1 to earn the #3 playoff seed. Knocked into the losers’ bracket by #2 seed Bev Cardo, he fought his way back to the final against Joe Steiner, who had beaten the top two seeds to win the winners’ bracket. This was a true double-elimination format, so Hovis would have to win twice. Steiner only needed one game, 13-10, to become the First Flight Singles champion. First Flight Doubles, with five teams, played a double-round robin followed by a final for the top two teams. The first round ended with Steiner and Ron Eccles at 4-0 and the next two teams, Hovis and Harold Menzel and Martie Ekstrom and Paul Neubecker, at 2-2. In the second round, Hovis and Menzel went undefeated to earn a spot in the final. Ekstrom and Neubecker needed to beat Steiner and Eccles by six or more points in the last block game to earn the other finalist spot. They won 17-10 and then won the final 17-16. In Championship Doubles, pre-tournament top seeds Cardo/Huneycutt and Cumming/ Soo earned the top playoff seeds and then advanced to a meeting in the winners’ bracket final. Cumming and Soo won 21-14. Cardo and Huneycutt knocked Paul and Gary Bennett into the losers’ bracket. The Bennett brothers beat three-time champions Rich Curtis and Doug Grimsley and were awarded a walkover when past champion Carl Uhlman withdrew due to injury. In the losers’ bracket final, the Bennetts were victorious over Cardo and Huneycutt 17-14. They then beat Cumming and Soo 26-12 to force the decisive “if-needed” game, a tense back-and-forth affair that Cumming and Soo won 18-17. While it is the first time they have won this tournament as a pair, Cumming has now won the title five times with four different partners and Soo has won it a record eight times, with three different partners. The Championship Singles playoff was the usual “face-off” format peculiar to this event. Soo and Huneycutt advanced to the “holder” positions atop the winners’ brackets, the former on victories over Helms and Paul Bennett, the latter against Rick Sheely and Cumming. Their challengers from the losers’ brackets were Cardo and Grimsley, neither of whom was able to force an “if-needed” game. In Game 1 of the best-of-three final,
Championship doubles winners Brian Cumming and Jeff Soo.
CHAMPION FLIGHT SINGLES 01. Danny Huneycutt
13. Shane Hettler
02. Jeff Soo
14. Arthur Olsen
03. Randy Cardo
15. Dick Sullivan
03. Doug Grimsley
16. Bill Hartmann
05. Brian Cumming
17. Macey White
05. Paul Bennett
17. David Ekstrom
07. Rick Sheely
19. Rick Darnell
07. Connor Helms
20. Calvert Chaney
09. Rodney Lassiter
21. Rich Watson
10. Gary Bennett
21. Bill Rinaman
10. Carl Uhlman
21. John Schoo
10. Rich Curtis
24. Stephen Grassbaugh croquetamerica.com | 21
Soo made one error and Huneycutt won easily, 26-3. Soo had a better chance in Game 2 after an exchange of errors, but another error returned control to Huneycutt, who closed out the match 26-6. He becomes the seventh player to have won this title three or more times. Players who failed to make the cut to the playoffs or who were eliminated early were eligible for Plate (consolation) playoffs in each event (except First Flight Doubles). In the First Flight Singles Plate, Jane Helms and Martie Ekstrom advanced to the final, which Helms won 17-15. Bill Hartmann and John Schoo won the Championship Doubles Plate, beating Rick Darnell and Arthur Olsen, then Bev Cardo and Steve Grassbaugh. Twelve players contested the Championship Singles Plate, a doubleelimination bracket in the Draw and Process format. Rodney Lassiter won the Plate with eight straight wins, beating Hartmann 17-14 and Olsen 16-9 in the final rounds.
First flight winner Joe Steiner.
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CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT DOUBLES 01. Brian Cumming/ Jeff Soo
07. Connor Helms/ Dick Sullivan
02. Paul Bennett/ Gary Bennett
08. David Ekstrom/ Shane Hettler
03. Randy Cardo/ Danny Huneycutt
09. Bill Hartmann/ John Schoo
04. Rick Sheely/ Carl Uhlman
10. Bev Cardo/ Stephen Grassbaugh
05. Rodney Lassiter/ Macey White
11. Calvert Chaney/ Bill Rinaman
05. Rich Curtis/ Doug Grimsley
12. Rick Darnell/ Arthur Olsen
First flight doubles winners Martie Ekstrom and Paul Neubecker.
FIRST FLIGHT SINGLES 01. Joe Steiner
07. Yen Sullivan
02. Brian Hovis
08. Jane Helms
03. Bev Cardo
09. Harold Menzel
04. Ron Eccles
10. Martie Ekstrom
05. Paul Neubecker
11. Martin Karel
06. John Priest
12. Karin Karel
Championship plate winner Rodney Lassiter
FIRST FLIGHT DOUBLES 01. Martie Ekstrom/Paul Neubecker 04. Jane Helms/Yen Sullivan 02. Brian Hovis/Harold Menzel
05. Karin Karel/ Martin Karel
03. Ron Eccles/Joe Steiner croquetamerica.com | 23
2018 USCA National Golf Croquet Championships September 19-23, 2018 | Lake Toxaway, Burlingame and Chattooga, North Carolina
New Records Set at GC National Championships
By Jeff Soo
Sherif Abdelwahab and Blake Fields set records in winning Championship Doubles at the 2018 USCA National Golf Croquet Championships. Fields, who is only 11 years old, shattered the record for youngest US national titlist. Abdelwahab extended his streak of victories at this event to seven, which is by far the longest streak in US national championship history. It was his 10th national GC title, breaking the record he had held jointly with Ben Rothman. Abdelwahab then went on to win the singles title, his second straight sweep of both titles, extending his record to 11 overall GC titles. This was the third time this tournament was held on The Highlands Plateau, the home of an unprecedented croquet boom over the past decade. With two new clubs this year, 12 USCA-member clubs now exist along or near the 32-mile stretch of highway running from Lake Toxaway to Sky Valley in North Carolina. The emphasis on Golf Croquet has been a major factor in this explosive growth. Hurricane Florence had little effect on the area as it was long gone by the start of the tournament, but it still had a big effect on
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the tournament. With uncertainty about the likely path and timing of the storm, its possible effect on travel and some players needing to deal with the storm’s aftermath at home, several withdrawals occurred days before the tournament. With most forecasts showing minimal impact to the Plateau itself, the committee decided to continue with the tournament as scheduled. Fortunately, enough local players were on the waiting list to fill out the 40-player field. Day 1, Wednesday, saw most of the doubles action. With no major upsets in Championship Doubles, top seeds Abdelwahab and Fields and #2 seeds Rich Lamm and Jeff Soo advanced through the semifinals of the best-of-three knockout.
In First Flight, the day ended with three pairs still in contention in the two-life (Draw and Process) format. Billy Harper and Jim Teel were undefeated. George Enochs and Will Stenack and Jeff Baillis and Chris Weihs had one loss each. Each flight had a “plate” (consolation) knockout for pairs knocked out early, and all but one eligible pair opted in. Karen Connery-Albert and Ellie Griffith won in First Flight. The Championship plate didn’t quite finish; Michael Albert and Cheryl Bromley went on to win the final later in the week. The singles blocks played out over the next day and a half. Typically, upsets started from the first round onward. Peter Carlin beat all three top seeds in his block, easily advancing to the knockout. Mike Orgill leapt out to a 6-1 lead over Soo and hung on to win 7-6. The biggest upset of all, by ranking, was Dick Boger’s 7-6 victory over Mohammad Kamal. In both flights, four players advanced from each block. A net-points tiebreak wasn’t a deciding factor; if needed, a playoff would determine which players would advance to the knockout. Three of the five blocks had
Championship singles winner Sherif Abdelwahab in play at Toxaway. Photo by Don Beubendorf.
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Doubles champions Blake Fields (L) and Sherif Abdelwahab (R) with Tournament Director Jeff Soo (C). Photo by Don Beubendorf.
such a tie. In Championship Flight, Macey White beat Leo McBride to claim the fourth spot advancing from Block B, while Boger continued his run of upsets, beating Bromley, to advance from Block C. First Flight Block B finished with a four-way tie for second, mandating a two-round playoff to eliminate one player. Luckily for the tournament director, a possible five-way tie in First Flight Block A was quashed when Enochs beat Connery-Albert 7-6 in the last round.
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Championship Singles had 12 players in the knockout, hence a play-in round. This was played Friday immediately after the block tiebreak playoffs. All eyes were on the Jimmy Huff versus Fields match. Both players looked relaxed, played quickly and shot well. Fields played a remarkable jump shot from around 10 feet to clear Huffâ€™s ball in the jaws of H3, on the way to winning the first game 7-3. Game Two went down to the wire, finishing with a long battle for H13, Fields winning to advance to the quarterfinals.
All four top seeds advanced through the Championship Singles quarterfinals on Saturday morning. Danny Huneycutt easily won his semifinal against Soo, 7-3, 7-4. Abdelwahab and Kamal split the first two games of their match, before Abdelwahab went on a tear to take the decider 7-0. First Flight Singles began the day with eight players in the Draw and Process knockout and ended the day with three left standing: Baillis, Stenack and Teel.Â
As with the doubles, most eligible players opted in for the singles plate knockouts. The winners, Todd Russell and Cheryl Bromley, were awarded fused-glass plates that had been designed, handmade and donated by Rich Lamm and Tim Charney. On Sunday at Lake Toxaway, Harper and Teel continued their unbeaten run to claim the First Flight Doubles title. In First Flight Singles, Stenack beat Baillis 7-3, to advance to the final against Teel. Teel won, 7-4. In the Championship Doubles final, Lamm and Soo controlled game 1, winning 7-4. Abdelwahab and Fields bounced back strongly to win the next game 7-3. The deciding game was close from start to finish, with several lead changes, building to an exciting H13. A key block by Abdelwahab set up Fields for the match-winning point, which he scored to raucous applause from the audience of nearly 100 players and spectators. Abdelwahab continued in strong form through the singles final. Huneycutt started well in both games, but Abdelwahab used his powerful clearing stroke to take control and build an inexorable lead each time, winning his third overall and second straight national GC singles title: 7-1, 7-4.
See results on next page
Jeff Soo in play. Photo by Don Beubendorf.
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FIRST FLIGHT SINGLES
01. Sherif Abdelwahab
01. Sherif Abdelwahab/Blake Fields
01. Jim Teel
02. Danny Huneycutt
02. Rich Lamm/Jeff Soo
02. Will Stenack
03. Mohammad Kamal
03. Peter Carlin/Macey White
03. Jeff Baillis
03. Jeff Soo
03. Jim Hanks/Danny Huneycutt
04. Judy Carlin
05. Michael Albert
05. Michael Albert/Cheryl Bromley
04. George Enochs
05. Blake Fields
05. George Bagwell/Kenny Lovett
04. John Walker
05. Matt Griffith
05. Dick Boger /Gil Flowers
07. Adrienne Lucke
05. Macey White
05. Jim Butts/Justin Fields
07. Chris Weihs
09. Dick Boger
05. Rich Dell/Bill Hartmann
09. Billy Harper
09. Jim Butts
05. Matt Griffith/Jimmy Huff
10. Karen Connery-Albert
09. Peter Carlin
05. Jeff Hill/Mike Orgill
10. Ellie Griffith
09. Jimmy Huff
05. Sandy Knuth Walsh/Leo McBride
10. Bill Hartmann
13. Cheryl Bromley
10. Jeff Hill
13. Leo McBride
10. Todd Russell
15. Rich Lamm 15. Kenny Lovett 15. Mike Orgill 18. Sandy Knuth Walsh 18. Diane Walker 20. Rich Dell 20. Justin Fields 20. Jochen Lucke 24. Jim Hanks
PLATE WINNERS CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES: Cheryl Bromley
15. Bill Taber 16. Karen Weihs
CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES: Michael Albert/Cheryl Bromley FIRST FLIGHT SINGLES: Todd Russell FIRST FLIGHT DOUBLES: Karen Connery-Albert/Ellie Griffith
FIRST FLIGHT DOUBLES 01. Billy Harper/Jim Teel
Plate winner Cheryl Bromley. Photo by Don Beubendorf.
02. George Enochs/Will Stenack 03. Jeff Baillis/Chris Weihs 04. Diane Walker/John Walker 05. Judy Carlin/Bill Taber 05. Adrienne Lucke/Jochen Lucke 07. Karen Connery-Albert/ Ellie Griffith 07. Todd Russell/Karen Weihs
Sherif Abdelwahab poses at the National Croquet Center with his GC championship trophy. Photo by Ursula Peck.
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Singles championship finalists Abdelwahab and Danny Huneycutt. Photo by Don Beubendorf.
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11” Competition PFC Hoop Maker Mallet
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• 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
Milwaukee Croquet Club Year founded: 1992 Number of members: 55 Number of courts: We typically play on two three-quarter-size courts, but we can expand to two full-size courts or four three-quarter-size courts.Â
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Type of grass: Creeping bentgrass, which is mowed twice per week by our volunteer corps and then rolled, thatched, fertilized, aerated and fungicided by our volunteer greenskeeper. Overview of club schedule: We are in Wisconsin, so our season is limited to summer and fall.Â Our club is on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, which remains cold during spring and early summer, so our early season play is punctuated with chilly lake breezes, periodic rain and occasional fog.
But once late June hits, we enjoy wonderful weather with the lake moderating the temperature at the peak of summer and releasing its heat in the fall to keep us warm later into the season. We are primarily a golf croquet club and have historically played golf croquet on Tuesday and Thursday nights starting in June with the unwritten rule that we had to finish by Labor Day. So, our season would wrap up by the end of August, which meant all the great weather at the end of August, all of September and half of October was wasted. This year, after the summer series ended, we started four fall golf croquet series: Tuesday night doubles, Wednesday night singles, Thursday night doubles and Saturday morning doubles. Some of us are playing three or four times as much croquet during the fall series as we did during the summer; we just can’t get enough croquet before the snow flies! Some of our members enjoy playing American rules six wicket, but their games are organized on an informal basis rather on the formal Wednesday and Sunday schedule they once maintained. Every other Friday during the summer we host an open social event to connect with our fellow members and to invite guests to take a whack at the ball with a proper mallet on a proper lawn. Open tournaments: We hosted the States Shield Midwest Qualifier in June (thanks to Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois for visiting us) and the States Shield Finals in August (it was great for Oklahoma to come play with us). In September we hosted the Senior Olympics and had a few participants from Minnesota and North Carolina. We don’t have any tournaments on the calendar for the coming year, so if you want to check out one of the best clubs in the north, let’s talk about getting a tournament together and sending out some invitations. Website: www.MilwaukeeCroquet.org Do you use social media? Check us out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ milwaukeecroquetclub/. What makes this club special: Our people are special. Our members come from all walks of life and I love the camaraderie we share. Our very low annual dues ($50 for new members; $75 for returning members) make the club very accessible. This must be one of the best deals going to get your croquet fix! Our facility is special, too. Our lawns drain well, are in great condition, are maintained by a corps of volunteers, have stadium lighting for nighttime play and are located atop a lakeside bluff, surrounded by groves of ancient trees in the most beautiful and quiet park in Milwaukee. For our members with Champagne tastes, the gourmet Lake Park Bistro, a five-star lakefront restaurant is right next door. For the rest of us, the clubhouse features a kegerator with local beer on tap (this is Milwaukee, remember) and refrigerator with water, wine and soda. Approach to growing membership: Our club started as a core group of friends dedicated to the game. Over the years, we have expanded that circle of friends and have remained right around 50 to 60 members. We have recently begun
recruiting by inviting neighbors, business colleagues and folks who stroll through Lake Park past our lawns to build our current membership rolls and to ensure our club’s future. Our rudimentary website and our more polished Facebook page are part of our renewed efforts to build the club. Are USCA members welcome? Everyone’s welcome. We typically suggest a $5 donation for visiting guests. The fee is waived for particularly pleasant guests; we’re more interested in good conversation than your fiver. Best restaurants: Lake Park Bistro is just a long roquet away if you’re looking for top-notch French cuisine. Hungry visitors enjoy Pizza Man’s wine bar and upscale Italian, Café Hollander’s Benelux menu and great beer list and Bel Air’s Baja offerings on the nearby Downer Avenue corridor for tasty food without the stuffy atmosphere. Mexican cuisine abounds in the Fifth Street corridor on the southside: Botana’s and La Fuente are big and impressive, but lots of smaller places are good, too. Your end-of-the-week visit to Milwaukee would not be complete without a Friday night fish fry. Some of the best fish fries in town include Hubbard Park Lodge (old CCC lodge on the Milwaukee River), Lakefront Brewery and the Bavarian Inn. Once you’re ready to celebrate your croquet victories, the locals knock back pitchers of beer and baskets of free popcorn while shooting darts at Wolski’s Tavern. If a classy cocktail lounge is more your style, dress up for Bryant’s on the south side or dress down for Jamo’s on the East Side (you haven’t been to Wisconsin if you haven’t ordered a brandy old fashioned sweet, the unofficial elixir of the Badger State). Adventurous souls pining for James Bond or Jason Bourne seek out the not-so-secret spy-themed Safe House downtown (hidden in guise of International Exports Ltd.). Passwords, two-way mirrors, secret doors and a lot of espionage memorabilia await, should you choose to accept this mission. Best places to stay: AirBnB features wonderful homes and stately mansions on Milwaukee’s historic East Side, right by our clubhouse. For a hotel proper, visitors enjoy the new motorcycle-themed Iron Horse Hotel, the deco Hotel Metro and the opulent Pfister Hotel. croquetamerica.com | 31
Miller Park. Image courtesy of www.visitmilwaukee.org.
Places to see in Milwaukee: As an industrial, agricultural and brewing hub, Milwaukee owes its existence to Lake Michigan and the three rivers that converge and spill into it. To get a real sense of the city, hop on a boat for a quick tour of the rivers and the lake. Milwaukee is simply beautiful from the water. Harley-Davidson Motor Company started in Milwaukee, and the Harley-Davidson Museum’s exhibits of fantastic motorcycles, both new and old, is wonderful. The Milwaukee Art Museum is a lakefront masterpiece in its own right, designed by Santiago Calatrava. Head to the ballpark! We’re proud to finally have the Brewers playing well, and Miller Park is a fan’s delight. The Bucks are playing basketball at their new arena right next to Old World Third Street. Both are worth a visit.
Harley-Davidson Museum. Image courtesy of www.visitmilwaukee.org.
After the game, head across the valley to Miller Brewing Company for a tour of the state’s largest brewery. Or check out any one of the several smaller breweries and distilleries in town. Lakefront Brewery’s tour is particularly fun and informative, but there are many, many options among the smaller breweries. The Riverwalk through downtown and the Third Ward is a nice stroll that puts you right in the middle of great restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and shopping. Cinema fans will marvel at the Oriental Theatre, Milwaukee’s finest old-world movie palace.
Milwaukee River Walk. Image courtesy of www.visitmilwaukee.org.
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Reach Your Target
2019 Per Issue Advertising Rates Inside Front Cover (8.5” W x 11” H) ................... $850 Inside Back Cover (8.5” W x 11” H) ................... $850 Full Page (8.5” W x 11” H) ............................... $700 Half Horizontal Island (4.875” H x 7.38” W) ............$475 Quarter Page (3.62” W x 4.875” H) ................... $295 One Sixth Page (2.34” W x 4.875” H) ................ $150
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February 2019 issue: January 11, 2019 For a full 2019 Croquet News Media Kit, contact Dylan Goodwin at
Photo by Justin Marciniak
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Dylan Goodwin Age: 50 Home Base: Leawood, Kansas (Kansas City) Home Club: Kansas City Croquet Club and Kactus Creek Croquet Club Grip: Standard Mallet: Oakley Woods Predator – 12-inch head and 34-inch shaft. Years playing croquet: Twenty. Started six wicket in 2007. How did you get into the game: There were some games from childhood, but I really started on July 4, 1998. I was 30 years old at the time and my wife wanted to have a Fourth of July party. The standard house party concept had grown stale for me, so I announced that we were going to have a croquet tournament. I checked out Jack Osborn’s book from the library and we used the six wicket layout for a one-ball game. I called it the PBR Classic and the winner’s name was put on the championship cooler and received a 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. It was an instant sensation within our group of friends and became a series of backyard events that we dubbed the PBR Tour. We also shifted to traditional cutthroat style nine wicket with carryover deadness. In 2005, Greg Clouse found our website and asked to come to my season opening event and then proceeded to win most of the tournaments and the overall championship. Our group immediately asked me to kick him out of the series, which he gracefully accepted. By that time though, he had started playing with the more established Missouri Croquet Association (MCA) in the Kansas City area and he later introduced me to that scene, which led me to real croquet. The PBR Tour sort of continued until about 2010. The current MCA Nine Wicket Series is based on the principles of the PBR Tour, and I consider it the second act. I am the only player from that original group to make the transition to six wicket. Croquet highlights/tourney wins: Nothing really beats my First Flight win in the Western Regional in Seattle in 2010. It was my first six wicket tournament. I showed up in Seattle as a complete rookie. Five players competed and I took some block wins, but went 0-6 on day three. The next morning all five players in the flight were allowed into the knockout, and I ended up going 3-0 to win the playoff. That’s one of the trophies I get to keep in the living room. Favorite croquet venue: Kactus Creek Croquet Club is probably my favorite as it comes the closest to an intimate setting as any venue I’ve visited. City of Lakes in Edina, Minn., is awesome for the public location and nearby restaurants. The National Croquet Center is the best I’ve been to for lawn speed. The Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club is a beautiful setting … but the Country Club of Sapphire Valley in North Carolina is kind of out-of-thisworld from that perspective.
Favorite tournament: Currently, States Shield is my favorite from both a player and spectator perspective. Being able to run a full-team test in one day is quite practical for spectators … and, of course, GC is always entertaining to watch. As a player, there’s just something on another level when you are playing for your state team, instead of yourself. The MCA Nine Wicket Series has also been a favorite simply because it runs over the course of a season giving something to fight for all summer. I would like to see it shift to US Rules or GC. Historically, AC Eights is always high on my list. Pop culture favorites: Although, we still enjoy going out to the movies and generally make it a point to see all the best picture movie nominees, I currently prefer the TV series format. And along those lines, I suspect Mad Men and The Wire will never be matched. My recent favorites have been Mr. Robot, Halt & Catch Fire, Billions and Better Call Saul. Do you play other sports? Not much anymore. I sort of still cycle. My primary sports are being a parent, making magazines and Formula 1 2018 on the Xbox. Favorite sports teams? University of Kansas Jayhawk football and basketball, in that order, the McLaren Formula 1 team and the Tour de France. (I may have been born on the wrong continent.) How did you get on this page? Aren’t you the magazine guy? We have a pretty basic plan for the member profile for each issue. There’s always a backup candidate in case we lose our first choice. And then there is the third-string guy … that would be me. This is the first time we had to go to the third option. Besides, 10 years of making croquet magazines must count for something, right? What have you learned from croquet? I could write a book on that, but I think the risk/reward analysis is a fantastic exercise that does translate to off-the-court scenarios. And execution. Not sure that any other single-player sport is less forgiving when it comes to execution. What would you like to see happen in the sport over the next 10 years? The sport needs one big spectator and participant event that every player wants to attend every year. What is the best thing the USCA has done for croquet? The national championship infrastructure, the rules management and the consistency. What is the USCA’s greatest weakness? I am relatively sure the leadership structure of the USCA isn’t conducive to next-level growth. I suspect it will take a separate organization to build the brand of croquet, working with the USCA, which certainly has the officiating, rules and tournament management covered. Quick croquet tip: For new players, play faster. Court time is limited, and I estimate that some new players I’ve watched are getting about 25 to 50 percent of the shots in a game that they should at a normal pace. That includes GC. Early on, the shot repetition is more important than getting the strategy right.
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Informational Series Part II:
Interferences and Faults By Cheryl Bromley This article covers the second part in a series of informational articles on the newly revised golf croquet rules. In the U.S., the transition to the revised rules became effective on November 1, 2018. 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. Explanations are in italics. Complete rules information may be found on the WCF website, www.worldcroquet.org. Non-Striking Faults no longer exist. These are now treated as “interferences” and are corrected but there is no penalty. The seven types of interferences are listed below. Rule Reference: Part 3 Irregularities
9. INTERFERENCE 9.1 Interference with a Ball by a Player
minimum amount necessary to avoid the damage so as not to give the player any advantage. 9.4 Interference with the Playing of a Stroke You are entitled to relief from a fixed obstacle or uneven ground outside the court if it interferes with your swing. The “relevant” ball you are intending to strike may only be moved a minimum distance on the line you are aiming for your intended target. 9.4.3 If you take relief and are intending to clear a ball that is within 6 yards (18 feet), your opponent’s ball, with consent, may be moved the same distance to keep the relative positions the same. If the striker doesn’t hit the opponent ball, that ball is moved back to its original position. Also, a ball that lies within 1 yard (3 feet) of a ball that has taken relief that is likely to interfere with the shot is moved to keep the positions the same.
Example: A player, except during the striking period, inadvertently moves, touches or causes a ball to shake by their mallet, shoe, clothes, etc.
9.5 Interference by Defective Equipment
Remedy: No point is scored. Ball is replaced in its original position. No penalty.
9.5.2 Player is entitled to have the hoop and ball checked and adjusted/exchanged, if necessary.
Note: It is now permissible to stop a ball that is clearly about to roll off the court to save time provided it is replaced touching the boundary where it would have left the court. Important: This should not be used if the point of exit is likely to have “tactical significance.”
9.5.3 Player is entitled to replay the stroke if (9.5.4) they were attempting to run the hoop.
9.1.3 Note: Accidental interference by playing or intending to play a stroke during the striking period is a fault. Example: The striker is preparing to hit their shot and, on the backswing, touches another ball. Opponent may leave ball(s) where it stopped or replace in original position. See faults to follow. 9.2 Interference with a Stationary Ball by an Outside Agency If, for example, a ball from another game or another court hits a stationary ball in your game, just replace the ball to its original position. You may lift a ball on your court at any time, with or without the permission of its owner, to prevent it from being struck by an outside agency. 9.3 Interference by the Court Surface A player is entitled to relief before playing a stroke from a sprinkler head, damage in the jaws or immediate vicinity of the hoop or an unusual feature of the court that is likely to affect play. Any ball likely to be affected by the stroke to be played may be moved the
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Jammed Ball: a ball that is found to touch both uprights of a hoop simultaneously on some axis.
9.5.5 If a jammed ball stops in a hoop off the ground above another ball (as in a jump shot), the stroke is to be replayed. 9.6 Interference with a ball by a loose impediment A leaf or small moveable object on the court surface may be removed at any time. If a moving ball hits a loose impediment there is no relief. 9.7 Interference with a Ball by Weather (Wind, Rain, Precipitation) 9.7.2 If a stationary ball is moved by weather, replace it to its original position before the next stroke is played. 9.7.3 If a moving ball is affected by weather, there is no relief.
Striking Faults are now just called “Faults.” A fault is committed by playing a stroke or intending to play a stroke during the striking period. Ten types of faults exist and the names as they are commonly referred to aren’t specifically stated, but include beveled edge, double tap, push, crush, touching of a ball other than the intended ball and court damage. Refer to rule 11 for more complete explanations of each.
Hoop 11.3 A fault is to be declared if it is believed that it is more likely than not to have occurred.
11.3.4 The commission of a fault may be deduced from observations including sound (11.3.3b) and movement of balls. Action after a fault: if play is not stopped before a stroke is played by the non-offending side, there is no remedy and play will continue with the next ball in sequence. If play is stopped, the non-offending side chooses whether the balls are left where they stopped or are replaced in the positions they occupied before the stroke was played. This must be announced promptly and the decision may not be changed. 11.4.3 If balls are left where they stopped, only a point scored for the non-offending side is counted (new). If balls are replaced, no point is scored for any ball.
Contact spot on striker ball Contact spot on striker ball
11.5 If a player commits more than one fault in a stroke, no additional penalty occurs.
GC TIP: SPLIT THE TRIANGLE ON A SPLIT SHOT
In the scenario in the graphic, the striker ball is red and both balls are in contact. Red would like to send Blue away and set up in front of the hoop.
Step 1. Locate the line from the center of the striker ball (Red) through the center of the opponent ball (Blue). This is the line the Blue ball will move along, indicated with the blue-dashed line in the diagram. Step 2. Determine the direction and position where you would like your Red ball to end up, indicated with the red-dashed line. Step 3. Think of these two lines as sides of a triangle. Strike Red on the line that bisects the angle of the red and blue dashed lines.
Contact spot on striker ball
GC COMMITTEE UPDATE
The GC Committee is in the editing stages of the GC 5th Edition rulebooks, are redrafting the GC written exam and have a subcommittee working on a GC Grand Prix tracking system.
Contact spot on strikeryou ball may practice,
even be able to run the hoop!
UPCOMING GC EVENTS 2018
12/07-09 | Club Team GG Championships West Palm Beach, FL
01/11-13 Florida GC Regional West Palm Beach, FL
02/02-09 Womenâ€™s GC World Championship Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
03/08-10 Croquet Week GC Tournament West Palm Beach, FL
02/20-24 Steuber Classic (GC, AC, US) West Palm Beach, FL
05/02-05 Southeast GC Regional Hartfield, VA
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BEGINNERS! Be Careful Not To Do This! By Bob Kroeger and John C. Osborn
his column deals with one of the most serious yet avoidable tactical errors beginners sometimes make: getting dead on your partner rather than simply giving your partner a rush. Diagram 1 shows Blue and Black for Wicket #3 all alive while Red and Yellow are dead on each other going for Wicket #2. It is Blue to play. In Diagram 2, Blue rushes Black to Wicket #3, splits Black to the southeast of #3 in Diagram 3, scores the wicket in Diagram 4 and then makes the error we are discussing. In Diagram 5, Blue roquets Black (remember, black is alive on blue) and lines it up to put it into position at its wicket, which it does in Diagram 6. The proper play is to simply give Black a rush after having scored #3! We have seen a few 10 handicap players make this error as well and have even witnessed a nine making the same mistake. In a way, it’s not surprising to see 13s and above do this as they may not have grasped the concept of rushes in addition to not roqueting balls just because they can. In Diagram 7, Blue finishes the turn by shooting to the non-playing side of Black’s wicket. Diagram 8 shows the proper choice for Blue after having scored #3 – giving Black a rush. Some might ask if Blue should have rushed Black to Wicket #3 in the first place had Red been alive on Yellow. The answer comes down to how confident Blue would be in Red’s ability to take advantage of the ball positions seen in either Diagrams 7 or 8. If Red was alive on Yellow, both diagrams would be good examples of enticements (aka tices), be them intentional or not.
In review, as a beginner or even advanced beginner, the general rule (and there are exceptions) is do not get dead on your partner when giving a rush is safer and wiser. Some last-turn situations may exist where it is worthwhile getting dead on a partner if it will make the turn easier. Please visit Bob Kroeger at www.bobcroquet.com. Bob Kroeger is producing a new croquet strategy video series. If you’d like to know more about it, please send him an email Bobkroeger@aol. com and put “New Strategy Video” in the subject. Your email inquiry may be missed if this subject line is not used. Thank you for understanding.
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As a beginner or even advanced beginner, the general rule (and there are exceptions) is do not get dead on your partner when giving a rush is safer and wiser. 2
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DOUBLE YOUR FUN The Corner Peg Layout By Dylan Goodwin
Over the 20 years Iâ€™ve played nine wicket croquet, one concept that seems to be thrown out quite often is that the game is meant for rough surfaces with odd bounces being part of the fun as it gives random results. That idea never resonated with me. So, I was always curious about whether or not nine wicket could be played on a traditional, smooth-surface court. Testing that theory ultimately led to a happy innovation for nine wicket layout that gave some flexibility for organizing tournaments.
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Diagram – Official Nine WicketCourt CourtLayout Layout Diagram 1 Official Nine Wicket Court Layout Diagram 1– –1Official Nine Wicket
Diagram Modified Corner Peg Layout Diagram – Modified Corner PegLayout Layout Diagram 22 ––2Modified Corner Peg 50 ft. ft. 50
50 ft. ft. 50
42 ft. ft. 42
25ft. ft. 25 84 84 ft. ft.
100 ft. ft. 100
15 ft. ft. 15 ft. 6 ft. 15 ft. ft. 15
6 ft. 6 ft. 6 ft. Through the Nine Wicket Series (9WS) based in Kansas City and managed by the Midwest Croquet Association (MCA), I was given the opportunity in 2014 to test nine wicket on traditional courts. That year, we took the series to Oklahoma and played on the six wicket courts at LaFortune Park in Tulsa. Admittedly, I was nervous that nine wicket on a traditional court would be a joke and that I was going to waste a Saturday for the hardcore group of players that came out to support the concept. I was therefore careful to ensure we used standard six wicket hoops and set them nice and tight. While only a couple of low-handicap players were on hand for the tournament, the event went well. I came away comfortable with the concept that using traditional six wicket hoops set to tournament standards actually worked quite well for nine wicket on faster courts. My next step was to figure out how to manage an event closer to our base in Kansas City on the single six wicket court at Kactus Creek Croquet Club in Parkville, Mo. Single court venues are incredibly limited for managing tournaments. But a nine wicket court (Diagram 1) is a convenient 100 ft. x 50 ft., so I knew there had to be a way to get two courts into the standard 105 ft. x 84 ft. area. Borrowing from a nine wicket pattern I saw from a Denmark croquet group, I came up with the idea that putting the two nine wicket
ft. 66 ft. ft. 66 ft.
ft. ft. 66ft. 66ft.
pegs in diagonal corners (Diagram 2) meant we could come close to preserving the dimensions of the interior wickets from a vertical (north-south) perspective by running the nine wicket courts across the six wicket layout. That meant two courts running horizontally at 84 ft. x 50 ft. with the full nine wicket width preserved. In fact, it works out that the traditional distance from H2 to the center H4 wicket is 32 ft., with the modified corner peg layout distance just two feet shorter at 30 ft. So, as we say, it plays like a 96 ft. x 50 ft. nine wicket court. Diagram 3 shows two modified 9W courts set inside a traditional six wicket court rectangle. We ran this layout for the first Kansas City Open in 2015 and have used it at the event ever since. Higher level players even liked it so much that we trialed the layout for all events for the 2017 9WS season. It did go up for a permanent implementation to the MCA prior to the 2018 season but failed to get the approval needed. The reason was unclear, but I suspect it was due to not being aligned with the USCA rules. Or just that it wasn’t the traditional layout. A bit about the layout: The initial challenge seems to be the extra distance in dealing with each peg set off 19 feet away in the corner versus six feet straight back from H7/H9 and H1/H15. Most players started putting pioneer at the turn stake after coming out of H5, where with the traditional layout, that pioneer would have gone to H11. That pretty much solved any additional challenge. croquetamerica.com | 41
Diagram 3 –Diagram Two Corner in One 6W Court 3 –Peg TwoCourts Corner Peg Traditional Courts in One Traditional 6W Court 50 ft.
6 ft. 6 ft.
6 ft. 6 ft.
105 ft. The greater impact comes from scoring H7 and H15 (Rover). With that boundary just six feet away after running the hoop, you must take great care in how you set for H7 or Rover. If you are bit too angled, slamming through is going to end your turn with an outof-bounds. And, of course, peeling for the final peg out certainly requires some touch. The layout has two primary weaknesses. First, a line rush on the north or south boundary is a bit easier to achieve toward H2/H14 or H6/H10 because of the less severe angle. Second, the problematic center hoop (H4/H12) is just inherently closer to the north and south boundaries – 42 feet versus 50 feet. And, another note is that setting up in C2 or C4, you have a chance of that peg interfering with your line of play. The big benefit of the layout, though, is taking a single court and making it into two. Like the mini golf croquet half-court approach, with double banking and doubles, you could accommodate 16 players. If you wanted to play six-ball cutthroat, that would also hold 12 players at one time. For the MCA, it meant being able to handle a traditional singles group of 12 players in a single day … block play in the morning and an elimination bracket in the afternoon. Another positive is that for people playing with modern or adult mallets, shifting the pegs to the corners eliminates starting the game with a hampered shot. The standard location of the final peg interferes with the backswing for most players if you want to center the ball to potentially score both H1 and H2. I would speculate that the rules weren’t truly intended to create a hampered shot and the game has just evolved beyond that traditional six-foot space between H1 and the peg.
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For the casual game, I would also note that it works well for undersized yards. I still tend to set up a nine wicket court in my backyard for at least one family and friends event each year. With about 70 ft. x 35 ft. available, I’ve found that the corner layout works well for the casual six-ball game, which is the most commonly played form of croquet. If you have an under-sized space, the corner peg layout might be the option for you.
9W Playing Tip The nine wicket layout is made for two-ball breaks and, in general, if you have a good rush or are confident enough to execute a medium difficulty croquet shot to get started, it’s generally not a bad choice to make a run. But with traditional USCA 9W championship deadness rules in effect, the one wicket where you want to take care is the center wicket (H4/H12). If you are dead on partner and for the center wicket, your options are relatively limited as a set-up attempt in the center of the court is a golden opportunity for your opponent. Nine wicket favors the bold, but the center wicket is the one area where you need to exercise a bit of discretion in a deadness game.
UPCOMING EVENT 2019
06/07-09 Southeast 9W Regional | Round Hill, Virginia
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Judy Carlin at GC Eights at the Sarasota County Croquet Club in Venice, Fla. Photo by Nancy Hart.
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First Eight Champion Jeff Soo (R) with Event Manager Hans Peterson (L). Photo by Nancy Hart.
2018 USCA Golf Croquet Eights October 18–21, 2018 Venice, Florida
By Jeff Soo
Second Eight Champion William Hoffman (C) with Event Manager Hans Peterson (L) and Jeff Soo, TD (R).Photo by Nancy Hart.
With 2017 winner David Maloof not in the field, the First Eight was assured of a new winner. Top-ranked players Danny Huneycutt and Jeff Soo entered the final round with five wins each, leading the rest of the field, so the winner of their match would win the Eight. Soo won, 7-6, 7-6, the match-winning shot a lucky “in-off” shot to score the hoop after clearing an opponent ball. Cheryl Bromley, who had lost to Soo and Huneycutt on Day 1, won her five remaining matches to claim third place.
The second annual USCA Golf Croquet Eights returned to Wellfield Park in Venice, Fla., home of the Sarasota County Croquet Club. With six courts and tremendous volunteer support, the club is an excellent and most hospitable tournament venue. While the tournament achieved a full entry of 24 players, a late withdrawal reduced the Third Eight to seven players. Recordbreaking heat took a further toll, causing Hans Peterson was the Event Manager with one player to drop out early on Day 1 and many SCCC club members volunteering to set another unable to complete the full double- courts, feed and house the players. Jeff Soo was round robin schedule. the Tournament Director, assisted by Eileen Soo. Todd Russell, playing in just his second Third Group First Eight tournament, won the Third Group with 01. Todd Russell 01. Jeff Soo eight victories in nine rounds. Another 02. Vernon Pierce 02. Danny Huneycutt newcomer, Vernon Pierce, placed second 03. Karen Connery03. Cheryl Bromley with five wins in nine rounds, edging out Albert 04. Macey White Karen Connery-Albert on net points. 04. Ellie Griffith The Second Eight was competitive throughout with every player winning and losing at least two matches and leaving several players still in contention going into the final round. Bill Hoffman and Stephen Jackson both won their final matches to finish with five victories in seven rounds. Each match was best-of-three, and the first tiebreak was net games where Hoffman and Jackson also tied. So, it went to net points, Hoffman winning the Eight and Jackson placing second. Amr Hamdy, who learned golf croquet in Egypt and now lives in Canada, placed third.
05. Peter Carlin 06. Michael Albert 07. Matt Griffith 08. Leo McBride Second Eight
01. William Hoffman 02. Stephen Jackson 03. Amr Hamdy 04. Hans Peterson 05. Dick Boger 06. Rich Dell 07. Donna Dixon 08. Gil Flowers
05. Judy Carlin 06. Rusty Rose 07. Arlene Stevens
Third Eight Champion Todd Russell (C) with Event Manager Hans Peterson (R) and Jeff Soo, TD (L). Photo by Nancy Hart.
USCA Website Resources CLUB DIRECTORY
USCA MEMBERS AREA
AMERICAN RULES (SIX WICKET)
GOLF CROQUET RULES
NINE WICKET RULES (BACKYARD)
CROQUET NEWS DIGITAL EDITIONS (Members Only)
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A Flight Finalists (left to right): Lee Jorde, Rodney Calver, Christine Smith and Rich Laging. Photo by Mimi Calver.
B Flight Finalists: (left to right): Linda Bowers, John Rice, Cynthia Chess and Peter Bowers. Photo by Frankie Hall.
Maryland Senior Olympics September 29-30, 2018 Annapolis, Maryland
Rochester Croquet Club 10th Annual American Six-Wicket Singles Tournament September 15, 2018 Hilton, New York
By Rodney Calver John Rice and his wife Noreen of Annapolis, Md., began to take croquet practice assiduously in July after being introduced to the game by West River Wickets member Jay Graham in the summer of 2017. It paid dividends for John when, cheered on by Noreen, he won a gold medal in the B Flight of the Maryland Senior Olympics at Ginger Cove, Annapolis, and on West River Wickets lawns in Owensville and Edgewater, Md. Rice was partnered with Linda Bowers of Rochester, N.Y., and together they prevailed over Linda’s husband Peter and Cynthia Chess (WRW) by one wicket in a game that went to overtime. Flight A was also a nail-biter. Lee Jorde and Rodney Calver, both of WRW, lost by one wicket in overtime to Rich Laging (Rochester, N.Y.) and Christine Smith (Sarasota, Fla.).
By Sue Scherrer The waning days of September saw the final tournament of the year for the Rochester Croquet Club, which took place September 15, 2018, at Grace & Truth Sports Park in Hilton, N.Y. This year’s American Singles Tournament featured Anne Frost Robinson, who was inducted into the National Croquet Hall of Fame in 2013. Robinson traveled from Ontario, Canada, to compete with local players in her first visit to the Sports Park. Her mother, Lee Little, also participated in the tournament. Robinson’s involvement in croquet started in 1987 when she was recruited as membership director for the U.S. Croquet Association by founding President Jack Osborn. USCA experienced its greatest growth while she held that position. In 1988, a record 67 new croquet clubs joined USCA. The local tournament followed USCA rules for the American six wicket singles game and featured block play in three flights divided by handicap. Since the difference in handicaps was so great, replay bisques were given equal to the difference in handicaps.
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Lee Little and daughter Anne Frost Robinson show off tournament prize bags. Photo by Sue Scherrer.
When a player announced a plan to take a bisque, a ball marker was used to accurately mark the present position of the ball. If the shot did not accomplish the goal, a replay bisque could be announced by the player, who returned the ball to its original position and shot again. The replay does not need to be the same shot that was first attempted. Tournament directors Linda Bowers and Sue Sherer reported the following results, listed from first place to third place. Championship Flight: 01. Rich Laging 02. Peter Sherer 03. Sue Sherer First Flight 01. John Stoffel 02. Peter Bowers 03. Penny Grace Second Flight 01. Sue Stoffel 02. Bill Vrooman 03. Lee Kirk
Championship Doubles winners Kevin McQuigg and Matt Baird
2018 USCA Midwest Regional August 31- September 2, 2018 Tulsa, Oklahoma
By Bob Baker It was forecasted to rain all weekend, but we lucked out with nice weather and little rain. For this tournament, the format was a bit different with Friday morning slated for practice and tournament play beginning after lunch. This format was to save any players from outside the Tulsa area from having to pay for an extra hotel night.
First Flight Champion Brian Hovis
Championship Flight winner Sherif Abdelwahab
(TCC) member Joe Schulte and Brian Hovis placed second.
In the Championship, Sherif Abdelwahab and Macey White took first and second, respectively, followed by Scott Spradling of OKC in Singles; and TCC member team of Matt Baird and Kevin McQuigg beat Texans Britt Ruby and Joe Yoder to win the Championship Doubles.
As usual, great support came from TCC members, Mary Baird, Karen Hampton, Mary Jane Garner, Shawna Hogan, Ginny The regional brought some wonderful new McQuigg and extra helper Kylee Million for friends this year, including Dale Jordan keeping us well fed and hydrated throughout from Oklahoma City, Brian Hovis from the tournament. Special thanks to Deanna Kentucky, Macey White from Virginia, Keegan for wonderful table decorations Sherif Abdelwahab from Rhode Island and for the Tournament Dinner at LaFortune Sandra Knuth Walsh from Illinois. And, of Grille on Sunday and to Barbara Parsells for course, many of our old friends participated, including Regional Vice President Russ Dilley, arranging a great menu. who created beautiful YouTube videos of the We thank all the players for making the event. Although the tournaments usually have 2018 Midwest Regional a great tournament three flights, this time it made more sense to and look forward to seeing everyone back for have just Championship and First Flights. another one soon. Twelve singles and seven doubles teams were in the Championship, and 10 singles and five doubles teams in First Flight. Newcomers to town fared quite well with Brian Hovis capturing First Place in First Flight Singles, Huston Huffman of Oklahoma City in second and Harold Menzel of Dallas in third. Tulsan Jon Spaulding and Dale Jordan took first in First Flight Doubles and Tulsa Croquet Club
01. Sherif Abdelwahab 02. Macey White 03. Scott Spradling 03. Kevin McQuigg 05. Britt Ruby 05. Matt Baird 05. Sandra Knuth Walsh 05. Joe Steiner 09. Conner Helms 09. Russell Dilley 11. Joe Yoder 11. Ron Eccles First Singles 01. Brian Hovis 02. Huston Huffman 03. Harold Menzel 03. Dale Jordan 05. Ron Millican 05. Doug Ledgett 05. Suzanne Spradling 05. Jon Spaulding 09. Joe Schulte 10. Deborah Millican Championship Doubles 01. Matt Baird/Kevin McQuigg 02. Britt Ruby/Joe Yoder 03. Sherif Abdelwahab/Sandra Knuth Walsh 03. Macey White/Joe Steiner 05. Scott Spradling/Russell Dilley 06. Conner Helms/Huston Huffman 07. Ron Eccles/Deborah Millican First Doubles 01. Jon Spaulding/Dale Jordan 02. Joe Schulte/Brian Hovis 03. Ron Millican/Harold Menzel 03. Doug Ledgett/Suzanne Spradling 05. Bob Baker/Karen Hampton
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Croquet Network States Shield Championship August 18, 2018 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
By Dylan Goodwin After holding off a late morning Oklahoma rally, Wisconsin defended its home courts on August 18, 2018, to take a 6-4 victory at Lake Park in Milwaukee, Wis., to claim the 2018 Croquet Network States Shield. The win seemed to be a fitting reward for the first Shield “expansion” team considering they came up short in last year’s title bid against Missouri in Kansas City. The day started with both teams fielding their top duos in the doubles opener with #1 Cheryl Bromley and #2 Keith Anderson for Wisconsin going up against #1 Conner Helms and #2 Scott Spradling for Oklahoma on the east lawn. It was a close game, but Wisconsin closed it out for a 7-5 victory and a 1-0 lead. On the west lawn, the critical 3v3 matchup between Oklahoma’s Dale Jordan and Wisconsin’s Drew Kennedy was also under way. Jordan jumped out to a 3-1 lead when he scored H3 and H4 in one stroke for a 3-1 lead. Kennedy hung tough though and battled to get back in it and eventually extended the game to the 13th hoop. There, he snagged a 7-6 win and pushed the Wisconsin advantage to 2-0.
From Left to Right: Oklahoma's Dale Jordan, Scott Spradling, Conner Helms followed by Wisconsin's Cheryl Bromley, Keith Anderson and Drew Kennedy
The next round saw the #1s up against the #3s. Wisconsin’s Bromley took a 7-4 win over Jordan and that pushed the overall advantage to 3-0. It was looking dire for Oklahoma as they potentially faced a 4-0 deficit with Helms locked in a 4-4 battle with Kennedy. But Helms dialed in and found his rhythm to take the final three hoops and put Oklahoma on the board, but still trailing 3-1. That momentum extended as Oklahoma’s Spradling got a 7-4 victory against Anderson in the 2v2 match, which closed out the morning action with Wisconsin up 3-2. The afternoon opened with the 1v2 matchups and Oklahoma’s Helms and Wisconsin’s Anderson delivered an epic battle on the east lawn that went to the 13th hoop. Anderson took the decider and the Wisconsin advantage extended to two games. On the west lawn though, #2 Spradling countered for Oklahoma with a solid 7-3 win over Bromley. So, the final three games shaped up with Wisconsin leading 4-3. The 2v3 matchups were on deck and Oklahoma needed at least two of the three remaining games to stay alive. Both Anderson for Wisconsin and Spradling held the line as #2s and the test moved to a 5-4 advantage for Wisconsin. The marquee 1v1 matchup shaped up as a must-win for Oklahoma’s Helms and a solid gallery with supporters from both squads settled in for top-level GC action.
With Bromley having fallen to Spradling 7-3 in her previous game, it looked like the door was open. But Bromley reclaimed her form and came out on fire to work out to a commanding 5-0 lead. Helms fought back to 5-2 and the last two hoops were hotly contested, but Bromley wrapped it up with a clinic on long clears and claimed a 7-2 win to end the test with a 6-4 victory for Wisconsin. Organizers are planning to expand to 16 state teams for the 2019 Shield and have now had discussions with 10 potential expansion teams. Representatives from interested states should contact Dylan Goodwin at email@example.com. Team Order 01. Wisconsin 02. Oklahoma 03. Minnesota 03. Missouri 05. Colorado 05. Illinois 07. Indiana 07. Kansas
Wisconsin Senior Olympics August 7-September 15, 2018 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The 39th Annual Wisconsin Senior Olympics took place August 7 – September 15, and, for the first time in the history of the games, golf croquet was added as an official event. The Wisconsin Senior Olympics features 25 different sporting events for participants ages 50+. A total of 24 players from Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Carolina competed in singles and doubles over two days at the Milwaukee Croquet Club. The first evening consisted of round-robin singles play followed the next day with compass doubles matches. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to men and women’s gender and age divisions.
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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
January 8-10, 2019 Jan 30-Feb 1, 2019 March 5-7, 2019 April 3-5, 2019
January 9-10, 2019 March 6-7, 2019
Tournament Play School: March 9-11, 2019
Tournament Play School: December 6, 2018
ASSOCIATION RULES (International) (Beginner Level only) Jan 31-Feb 1, 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!
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Ben Rothman, Jeff Hill and Blake Fields (L to R)
Western Regional Golf Croquet Tournament July 27-29, 2018 Windsor, California
Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards hosted its first regional golf croquet tournament with 14 western players competing over three days in singles and doubles. The tournament brought wide levels of experience headed by multi-champion Ben Rothman and included the young star Blake Fields and his father Justin Fields. Tony Stephens and his wife from New Zealand also joined in the play. Tony won the NZ championship at age 16 and was a competitor for many years during the decades when Sonoma was the home of the World Croquet Championships before the days of a global croquet organization. Itâ€™s always nice to see fine players return.
Blue Flight 01. Ben Rothman 02. Blake Fields 03. Mike Orgill 04. Janet Quarters Red Flight 01. Karl-Heinz Kempfer 02. Justin Fields 03. Larry Lennox 04. Nancy Chapman Red Plate Winner 05. Barbara Wills 06. Dan Pilon 07. Diana Hill 08. Jeff Hill Doubles
Players, weather and competition were delightful, and we look forward to next yearâ€™s event.
Doubles were played as a single block followed by longer playoff matches to determine the top places. The match for the top spot contained a normal maximum of 39 hoops. It was not decided until the 39th hoop!
A single block of two groups played in Rugby Block format. Players were then grouped into a Blue or Red Flight for elimination rounds.
Jeff Hill and Barbara Wills
01. Ben Rothman/Janet Quarters 02. Blake Fields/Justin Fields 03. Dan Pilon/Jan Pilon 04. Nancy Chapman/Larry Lennox 05. Barbara Wills/Karl-Heinz Kempfer 06. Diana Hill/Chris Layton
Doubles Champions Ben Rothman and Janet Quarters
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Croquet, Golf & Water
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
CD’s Bob & Ted’s Strategy CD & Bound Books (Beg/Interm/Adv)..................................................................................................$124.95 Bob & Ted’s Strategy CD & Unbound Books (Beg/Interm/Adv)......................................................................................................... $72.95 Bob & Ted’s Strategy CD (Advanced).................................................................................................... $29.95 Bob & Ted’s Strategy CD (Beg/Interm).................................................................................................. $29.95 Bob & Ted’s Strategy CD (Beg/Interm/Advanced)................................................................................ $39.95 Bob & Ted’s “Know the Rules” CD Understanding the USCA Rules ............................................................................................................ $24.95
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
CDs & DVDs are not returnable.
Defective disks may be replaced within 2 weeks of purchase.
Clothing USCA Logo Hats - Brim: S/M L/XL Baseball: One Size...................................................................... $20.00 USCA Jacket with Logo on front............................................................................................................. $80.00 USCA Shirts (USCA Logo or Croquet Week)....................................................................................... $40.00 USCA Logo Long-Sleeve Shirts............................................................................................................. $50.00 USCA logo Ladies Sweater..................................................................................................................... $70.00
Misc. Large Mallet Cover with USCA Logo............................................................Up to 12” mallet head – $52.95 Small Mallet Cover with USCA Logo...............................................................Up to 9” mallet head – $49.95 Note Cards or Croquet Party Invitations (10/pk)......................................................................................$5.00 Croquet Paper Placemats (24/pk).......................................................................................................... $10.00 USCA Patch Small......................................................................................................................................$5.00 USCA Ballmarkers (dozen)........................................................................................................................$1.00 USCA Cufflinks (USCA shield)................................................................................................................ $29.95
Prices subject to change
Contact the USCA at 561-478-0760; fax: 561-686-5507; email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to USCA, 700 Florida Mango Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406
52 | croquetamerica.com
Representing a local real estate network in South Florida. Covering Palm Beach County, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, Delray Beach & Boca.
Peter W. Just 561.309.6914
E-mail: email@example.com www.facebook.com/peterwjust
Whether buying or selling, trust the largest transaction of your life to a proven professional.
Linda Grady, PA 561-512-0852
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/
National Croquet Center West Palm Beach, FL Ursula Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park Venice, FL Nancy Hart
561-478-0760 firstname.lastname@example.org 803-530-2035 email@example.com
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 Ursula Nancy Hart Tim McCormick
803-530-2035 firstname.lastname@example.org 561-478-0760 email@example.com 803-530-2035 firstname.lastname@example.org 207-329-5343 email@example.com
The Beach Club
West Palm Beach, FL
4-9 15-17 20-24 20-24
Croquet Club at PGA National Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park National Croquet Center Audubon Country Club
Palm Beach Gardens, FL Carla Rueck Venice, FL Nancy Hart West Palm Beach, FL Mike Gibbons Naples, FL Keppy Babcock
516-480-9930 803-530-2035 561-655-1832 239-254-1247
8-10 13-17 14-17 24-30
National Croquet Center National Croquet Center Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park
West Palm Beach, FL West Palm Beach, FL Venice, FL Venice, FL
Ursula Ursula Nancy Hart Ursula
561-478-0760 firstname.lastname@example.org 561-478-0760 email@example.com 803-530-2035 firstname.lastname@example.org 561-478-0760 email@example.com
Sarasota CCC at Pinebrook Park Venice, FL Fred Jones National Croquet Center West Palm Beach, FL Ursula
941-416-1010 firstname.lastname@example.org 561-478-0760 email@example.com
2-5 16-19 16-19 24-26
Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club Pinehurst Croquet Club Piping Rock Club Lenox Croquet Club
Hartfield, VA Pinehurst, NC Locust Valley, NY Lenox, MA
Ursula Mike Taylor Jane Simonds Stuart Lawrence
561-478-0760 firstname.lastname@example.org 910-986-3343 email@example.com 516-384-6203 firstname.lastname@example.org 646-483-3300 email@example.com
7-9 USCA Southeast Regional 9 Wicket Tournament 13-16 USCA Southeast Regional American Rules Tournament 13-16 Woodlawn Invitational 26-30 USCA Southeast Regional Association Laws Tournament
Round Hill, VA
Pinehurst Croquet Club
Woodlawn Croquet North Mountain Croquet & Tennis Club
Ellsworth, ME Timberville, VA
Perry Mattson Ursula
207-664-4822 firstname.lastname@example.org 561-478-0760 email@example.com
Sea Girt, NJ
Buffalo, NY Edina, MN
Ryan Thompson Dylan Goodwin
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 USCA Croquet Week GC Tournament USCA Club Team Championships Sarasota CCC Club Singles Championship USCA National Association Laws Championship Sarasota CCC GC Invitational USCA Golf Croquet Eights USCA Southeast Regional GC Tournament NC Open Association Rules Piping Rock Invitational Berkshire Invitational
Green Gables Croquet Club July Invitational National Guard Training Center
Aug Event 8-11 16-19
Buffalo Croquet Club 6-Wicket Invitational Buffalo Croquet Club Croquet Network States City of Lakes Croquet Club Shield Championship
Email firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com MGibbons9577@gmail.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
4-8 6-9 27-29
Woodlawn Croquet Pinehurst Croquet Club Green Gables Croquet Club
Ellsworth, ME Pinehurst, NC Sea Girt, NJ
Perry Mattson Mike Taylor Ursula
207-664-4822 email@example.com 910-986-3343 firstname.lastname@example.org 561-478-0760 email@example.com
10-14 16-18 24-27
National Croquet Center Pinehurst Croquet Club
West Palm Beach, FL Ursula Pinehurst, NC Elaine Moody
561-478-0760 firstname.lastname@example.org 910-986-3164 email@example.com
National Croquet Center
West Palm Beach, FL Ursula
Rancho Mirage, CA
West Palm Beach, FL Ursula
Woodlawn Big Lobster Tournament NC State Singles Championship USCA Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Tournament USCA National GC Championship Pinehurst Croquet Club Singles Championship USCA Selection Eights
Nov Event 3-9 20-24
USCA National American Mission Hills Country Club Rules Championship USCA Seniors Masters Championships National Croquet Center
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Hockey, Politics and Croquet Hall-of-Famers Related to the photo of John Richardson as a young hockey player in the last issue, I came across this photo from a 1961 hockey program for an annual game my prep school (St. Paul’s School, Concord, N.H.) played every Christmas season at Madison Square Garden (the old one) in New York. I am #5 in the photo and to my right (#12) is former FBI Director and current Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, who is investigating foreign government efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Next to him (#18) is former U.S. Senator, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and former Secretary of State in the Barrack Obama administration, John F. Kerry. (My wife often asks me, “What happened to you?!” I tell her, “Hey, I’m in the U.S. Croquet
54 | croquetamerica.com
Hall of Fame.”) Mueller, Kerry and I frequently played on the same line, not only in hockey, but soccer as well. I am not quite as small, light and fast as I was 57 years ago, but the fluid nature of ice hockey did prepare me for the mental
gymnastics of croquet, which requires quick adaptation to constantly changing situations. And while croquet prohibits body checking, sometimes at the end of the day, it feels like it doesn’t. —Bert Myer