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March Links: Arizona and Two Extreme Clubs

Today's post will kick off a new monthly series providing links on croquet sites across the internet. The links will also be provided on the Croquet Network User Links page which is a great resource in that it allows anyone to upload a club link. This month's links:

Arizona Croquet Club / Club
This is nice site for one of the major U.S. croquet clubs established in 1975. If you dig deep enough, you'll find a great selection of instruction articles.

Golden Mallet Croquet Society / Extreme Croquet
Beautiful site -- the civil war wicket photos are the best. A lot of the extreme sites have superb presentation.

North Side Croquet / Extreme Croquet
Croquet meets Metallica. Great posters (adult language). Sort of backyard meets extreme.


WCF Golf Championships Down to Eight

Checking in on the WCF website, the Laidlaw Golf Croquet Championships are down to eight players. American Sherif Abdelwahab lost 4-7, 4-7 to Khalid Younis (Egypt) in the second round knockout.

The Egyptians are impressive as they have six players in the final eight. Six-wicket world champion Chris Clarke is still in the mix as well as Reg Bamford.

I will saying following the event has me very interested in the game. I've been checking out the rundown on the USCA site, and I'm convinced I'll be giving this game a try this summer.


WCF Laidlaw GC Championship Update

The WCF Laidlaw Golf Croquet Championships are under way in South Africa and the field is starting to narrow. Sherif Abdelwahab for the United States has played well thus far losing only one match in block play. According to the wcfcroquet.org website results listed below, Abdelwahab has advanced to the final sixteen. A few matchups appear to have been unavailable for the results posting (only 11 matchups are listed). One thing is clear, the Egyptians know this game well, which makes sense based on the YouTube videos I've seen.

Mohammed Nasr (Egypt) bt Carole Jackson (SA) 7-1 7-3
Anton Varnas (Sweden) bt Tony Stephens (NZ) 7-2 7-6
Paolo De Petra(Italy) bt Klaus Gollhoffer(Austria) 7-2 3-7 7-1
Yasser Esmat (Egypt) bt Tony Hall (Australia) 4-7 7-2 7-6
Sherif Nafee (Egypt) bt Jenny Clarke (NZ) 7-5 7-4
Duncan Dixon (NZ) bt David Openshaw (Eng) 7-6 3-7 7-4
Ahmed el Mahdi (Egypt) bt Tim King (Eng) 7-3 7-4
Khalid Younis (Egypt) bt Peter Batchelor (NZ) 7-2 7-1
Sherif Abdelwahab (USA) bt Joe Hogan (NZ) 4-7 7-4 7-1
Kevin Beard (Australia) bt Salah Hassan (Egypt) 7-3 4-7 7-3
Chris Clarke (Eng) bt Owen Edwards (Australia) 7-5 5-7 7-3


February Tournament Winners

Available tournament results from February:

02/03 -- Beach Club Invitational/West Palm Beach, FLA -- Mike Gibbons
02/10 -- WCF World Championships/Christchurch, New Zealand -- Chris Clarke
02/17 -- Mar-A-Lago Doubles/Palm Beach, FLA-- Zoe deRopp/Gwynneth Selinger
02/24 -- Chuck Steuber Invitational/Palm Beach, FLA -- Leo McBride

Sources: USCA, Croquet World


WCF Championships Video 2008

I don't know what's going on in most of these highlights, but still very interesting. There are about three shots that I completely don't understand.


First Shot: The Croquet Network Mission

This month I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the evolving mission of croquetnetwork.com. In one sense it can be summed up pretty easily, I couldn't find another full-time croquet blog out there, so I thought I'd jump in. Of course, a primary focus is to cover news that comes up in a timely fashion. Frankly, there are not a lot of sources out there for croquet news (best sites listed in the right column), which I suppose is both good and bad. The good is that it validates the need for a good croquet blog. The bad is that it's difficult to find information.

Below the main stories on this site, you'll find a consolidated news feed that tracks this site, my club site (pbrtour.net) and another community site that I also built -- kccroquet.com. There is also a feed for the NYCC blog in there, but it hasn't seen too many updates over the winter.

So, beyond the internet news bits and tourney results, I've decided to approach this from a monthly magazine perspective. This "First Shot" column will be a monthly feature that will act like a publisher's letter to kick off each series. I've also targeted a product review, a skills article, a tournament calendar and interview as re-ocurring monthly departments. I'll also throw in at least one video per month and a photo of the month. Those are the goals, but keep in mind this is a one-man show.

Speaking of which, I'll get into my personal croquet story more in the future, but just so you have a base knowledge -- I've been playing backyard croquet since 1998 with a private little social club that hosts a tournament series in the Kansas City area. I usually play one tournament per year on the Missouri Croquet Association circuit. This year I plan to get into a six-wicket game even if it has to happen in my backyard. I'm also hosting the first team nine-wicket event that our club has ever had.

In other words, I've got a little experience around the game but in no way am I a six-wicket pro or do I have deep connections with the established croquet associations. I'm learning as I go and I'm really enjoying it. Hopefully, I can provide some good information and entertainment for the croquet lovers out there.

A final note this month -- the ads you see for T-shirts (or other products) on the site are my creation and do help fund my efforts here. I'll say it straight up -- I'm not here to make a buck, but I'd love to sell 20,000 shirts and focus on this site full-time. The mission laid out above is pretty modest, but I'd like to see some success because I really enjoy this sport and I can envision a lot of ways to expand this site and I see a bright future for the game. So if you like the site and the shirt or other products, jump right in -- it's good for the overall mission.

Dylan, Publisher -- Croquet Network