Quantcast

Search Croquet Network
2017 MacRobertson Shield Coverage
Follow Croquet Network

Croquet News Feed
Get Email Updates (It's Free)
* indicates required
Croquet Network Store
Additional
Croquet Twitter Feed
Thursday
Apr202017

Soo 03: US Picks Up Two More Wins

USA's Ben Rothman peels rover en route to putting his team up 4-1NZ vs. USA continued in doubles while Australia vs. England switched to singles. Chapman & Clarke (NZ) quickly took the lead against Rothman & Maloof (USA), +17tp with Chapman tripling. In Hakes & Garrison (NZ) vs. Lawrence & Soo (USA), Soo failed a triple attempt but then hit the opponent's leave to take game 1. No croquet for Lawrence & Soo in game 2, Hakes finishing with a tidy triple. Hogan & Shilling (NZ) vs. Huneycutt & Morgan was only getting around to finishing game 1 by that point, Huneycutt hitting the peg from corner III to win the game.

On the upper lawns, Burch (England) breezed to a +26tp, +26tp win over Hockey (Australia), leveling the test match at 2-all. Death (England) vs. Forster (Australia) was a three-triples match, Death winning the outer games to put England ahead. World #1 player Robert Fletcher (Australia) righted the ship for his team with two triples to beat Mulliner (England), the second following a failed sextuple attempt by the Englishman (and current World Champion). Greg Fletcher (Australia) vs. Hopgood (England) was another three-triples match, Fletcher overcoming a game 1 loss to put his team ahead again.

With only seven lawns available, two singles matches had a late start. In the Captain's match, Dumergue (Australia) had all the action in a +26tp, +26tp win over Patel (England). Malcolm Fletcher (Australia) had a heartbreaking game 1 loss to Maugham (England), having all but finished the triple but then missing a short roquet; Maugham controlled the rest of the match to make it an even start in the singles. Australia leads the test match 5-4.

Soo had a 4th-turn OSL to begin game 3; Hakes then had a bit of good luck in snicking off the peg to roquet. His TPO attempt never seemed in doubt, until his luck was reversed at rover, where his ball crept through just the wrong amount on the Irish peel. He was able to roquet the escape ball, but failed to get a rush back to the peg. Lawrence finished off the contact to extend the Americans' lead to 3-1.

An exchange of errors led to a game 2 win for Rothman & Maloof. Chapman was set to finish the match in game 3, but a jump through rover and lack of a proper deep ball left a seven or eight yard shot, which he missed. Down 0-24, Maloof went round and Rothman tripled to ensure another winning day for USA.

Hogan and Huneycutt both struggled in game 2. Hogan finally got a ball around and pegged out Morgan's ball, with Huneycutt for 3-back and Shilling for 4-back. A couple of turns later the game has been pegged down. It is NZ to play, with Hogan's ball just south of the peg, Shilling's ball a few inches out of corner I, and Huneycutt in position at penult (his hoop).

Thursday
Apr202017

2017 MacRob Reader Q&A #01

With the 2017 MacRobertson Shield off and running, most readers should have noticed that we have Jeff Soo from Team USA and Paddy Chapman from Team New Zealand both doing player journals. In addition, we have another correspondent that will provide additional analysis at the end of each round.

For true fans, I hope you've noticed the live feed that runs each day on Lawn Four. It's a simple security camera concept (www.nest.com) and for a one-view, overhead look it does well if you have a good-sized computer monitor. The Macrobertson Shield site indicates Chrome is best for a browser, but Chrome actually generates an error for me, so I have been using ... wait for it .... Internet Explorer. I know right? Gasp.

Anyway, if you pop up the croquetscores.com commentary, that works pretty well. Really enjoyed watching Stephen Mulliner going for his Sextuple yesterday against Robert Fletcher (didn't work out and he lost 0-2).

QUESTION AND ANSWER

We have had a few reader questions in the comments and Jeff Soo took a moment to answer:

What was the nature of the appeal concerning the English team order?
Jamie Burch is their #1, despite being ranked below Maugham and Mulliner.

I notice that Matthew Essick is not on the USA team for this test. Is this the week he's off, or is he not on the team?
Matthew is a high school senior and can't miss that many days of school and still graduate, so he will only play the middle test (vs. England).

Why are they using the powder-coated hoops instead of the super hoops?
The club owns Rodoni hoops. They are excellent hoops, and it would be a significant expense and significant effort to import Superhoops. The Superhoops probably would be a bit more of a challenge, but that didn't seem worth the effort and expense. The main issue is the soil. To keep the grass alive in the desert summer they have to water every day.

STATISTICAL LOOK

I also wanted to add this bit of data on rankings and the line-ups posted by Phil Cordingley:

A quick bit of analysis following the announcement of the team orders last night. With apologies for format (won't let me use any useful HTML to make it look pretty), the table shows for each team the root mean square of the differences between players' relative ranking within their team according to their world ranking (WR), and their actual order as announced last night. The lower the number, the closer the announced order is to what the WR would suggest. By comparison, a team which put its worst player first and shuffled everybody else down one position would score 5.48. I draw no conclusions myself ;-)

Country S.D.
New Z. 4.36
Australia 3.16
England 2.83
USA 1.41

Wednesday
Apr192017

Soo 02: Day 1 Reveals Easy Conditions

Smiles for the Aussies as Dumergue & Forster win to give their team a 2-1 lead over England

Both test matches started with doubles, as usual. The English got on the board quickly, Maugham & Hopgood winning 2-0 over Robert & Malcolm Fletcher (Australia) with a pair of Maugham triple peels. Next to finish were Soo & Lawrence (USA) over Hogan & Shilling (NZ), the Kiwis not taking croquet and Lawrence tripling on turns seven and ten, for an excellent MacRobertson Shield debut. Rothman & Maloof (USA) each had a triple peel in their 2-0 win over Garrison & Hakes (NZ), putting USA up 2-0. In the Burch & Death (England) vs. Forster & Dumergue (Australia) match, Burch had a quick triple to win game 1. Death did a TPO in game 2, but Forster finished to level the match.

ROUND ONE PHOTO GALLERY

On the lower lawns, Greg Fletcher tripled to win game 1 with partner Hockey (Australia) against Mulliner & Patel (England). Mulliner did most of a DPO in game 2, but missed the pegout, giving Fletcher an easy finish, which brought Australia level with England for the test at 1-all. In Clarke & Chapman (NZ) vs. Huneycutt & Morgan (USA), Clarke had some struggles with control, but Huneycutt couldn't find his shooting touch, the Kiwis winning 2-0 to bring the test match score to 2-1 in favor of USA.

Aussie captain Dumergue put together a well-controlled triple peel to end the day's play and put his team up 2-1 in the test.

By test match standards, the conditions are very easy. The lawns are a comfortable medium pace, and the combination of sandy (and well-watered) soil and powder-coated hoops makes for easy hoop-running and peeling. In the afternoon the wind picked up, giving a taste of what could be the main challenge during the series. Thus far 11 of the 13 games have finished with triple peels, and this rate of tripling seems likely to continue.

Tuesday
Apr182017

Chapman 01: A Fair Result on Day One

Defenders of the Shield: Team New ZealandThe New Zealand team have now been in Rancho Mirage four days, with most of this taken up with practising on the picturesque lawns of the Mission Hills Croquet Llub. Our team comprises Jenny Clarke (captain), Joe Hogan, Toby Garrison, Aiken Hakes, Chris Shilling, Harps Tahurangi (week 2 onwards) and myself.

ROUND ONE PHOTO GALLERY

The Mission Hills club has excellent facilities and is a really nice place to spend time. Our impression of the lawns is that they are nothing at all like NZ playing conditions. The lawns here are soft and green, with very forgiving hoops. This means that almost 100% emphasis is placed on shooting, with breaks and large peeling turns taken somewhat for granted. We are likely to see some very short playing days, where all matches may be finished at or shortly after lunch.

Day 1 started in glorious sunshine (as per usual) with a very strong start by the USA. On lawn 3, Joe and Chris had a slightly difficult start due to their opponents playing exceptionally well in beating them “no croquet” - we will see a lot of “no croquet” games over the coming days due to the playing conditions.

Aiken Hakes and Toby Garrison also had a tough day at the office, although a slightly more interactive match vs Ben Rothman and David Maloof, with the Americans eventually winning 2-0.

Jenny and myself had an excellent first game vs Stephen Morgan and Danny Huneycutt, but with the wind picking up in the second game there were a couple of errors from both sides before Jenny and I scraped over the line.

So at the end of day 1, USA lead NZ 2-1 with still 18 points up for grabs. All in all, a fair result from the first day’s play.

PLAYER JOURNAL FROM PADDY CHAPMAN

Tuesday
Apr182017

MacRob 17: Live Video of NZ/US Doubles

Live stream of Team USA playing the reigning MacRobertson Shield champs New Zealand starts with David's and Ben Rothman's doubles match against Toby Garrison/Aiken Hakes this morning with practice at 8:30 and play at 9 am pacifi and 12 noon East Coast time. The link is:

http://video.nest.com/live/qzcdLKLw83

The MacRobertson Shield website has all the matches listed under the schedule icon.
http://www.2017macrobertsonshield.com/

Tuesday
Apr182017

Soo 01: 2017 MacRob Preview

Defending champion NZ team practicing shortly before the opening ceremony

After many months of preparation from organizers and players alike, the 25th MacRobertson Shield is about to begin. New Zealand looks to successfully defend the Shield, something they have never done before. Australia, making history with a team including three brothers, hope to make more history by winning the Shield for the first time since 1935. England hope to return to the norm: a GB or England team has won the Shield 14 times. USA look to defy the rankings and international expectations by winning the Shield for their first time ever.

After team orders were announced, the Australian and New Zealand teams mounted appeals against England's team order. USA supported England, and the Tournament Director cast the deciding vote to deny the appeal. The team orders (singles in order of merit, doubles ordered arbitrarily):

USA
1. Rothman
2. Maloof
3. Soo
4. Huneycutt
5. Morgan
6. Lawrence

1. Rothman & Maloof
2. Huneycutt & Morgan
3. Soo & Lawrence

NEW ZEALAND
1. Chapman
2. Garrison
3. Hakes
4. Hogan
5. Clarke
6. Shilling

1. Chapman & Clarke
2. Garrison & Hakes
3. Hogan & Shilling

AUSTRALIA
1. Robert Fletcher
2. Hockey
3. Dumergue
4. Malcolm Fletcher
5. Greg Fletcher
6. Forster

1. R. Fletcher & M. Fletcher
2. Forster & Dumergue
3. Hockey & G. Fletcher

ENGLAND
1. Burch
2. Mulliner
3. Maugham
4. Patel
5. Death
6. Hopgood

1. Death & Burch
2. Maugham & Hopgood
3. Mulliner & Patel

In the first round, NZ plays USA and Australia plays England.

Tuesday
Apr112017

2017 Kamal Cup Announcement

The Pasadena Croquet Club is now accepting entries for the Championship Flight of the 2017 Kamal Cup, the premier open golf croquet singles event on the West Coast. The event will be contested on May 20-21, 2017.

To enter, you must have a WCF GC grade of 1850 or higher. The entry fee is $60. The deadline for entries is April 17th. To enter, please e-mail Eric Sawyer at ecsccs323@gmail.com.

The Championship Flight will be played Saturday and Sunday afternoons (eight-player maximum). It will be a round robin with seven matches, with a first to score seven game format. Top four players will be seeded into a play-off knock-out, the bottom four will be seeded into a plate. Play-off matches will be to 19 points. There will be no time limits.

Awards will be given to those who place in the top three. Plus, the winner of the Championship Flight will have his/her name engraved on the Kamal Cup, our perpetual trophy for this event.
The event will be played at the historic Pasadena Croquet Club, located within Central Park in Pasadena, California. The club is in the heart of Old Town Pasadena, a fashionable tourist area with upscale restaurants, shops and museums. We are also close to the Burbank Airport and the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Link to Video Promo:
https://vimeo.com/211411247/68db5927fc 

Sunday
Apr092017

Soo #07: Trifecta for Morgan

Stephen Morgan with the Stark Cup after winning the AC Nationals Singles Title
Stephen Morgan and Danny Huneycutt overcame a game-one loss to win the doubles title. Morgan then made it a sweep by winning the singles 2-0. Morgan becomes the current holder of three USCA national titles.

PHOTO GALLERY

Daniel Pailas won the singles Plate. He won his final game with a delayed triple peel to clinch the award.

The doubles final featured a wild three-ball finish, +1. The singles final was more one-sided, Morgan tripling in game 1 and controlling most of game 2. Soo had a chance to get back into the match after Morgan didn't quite finish another triple, but Morgan made yet another long hit-in to put the match away, +24tp, +16.

SINGLES KNOCKOUT SCORES

Quarterfinals
Jeff Soo 26-14, 26-5 over Danny Huneycutt
Stuart Lawrence 26-14, 26-11 over Dan Pailas
Brian Cumming 26tp-0, 25-26, 26-10 over Chris Patmore
Stephen Morgan 26-13, 23-26, 26-15 over Simon Jenkins

Semifinals
Jeff Soo 26-8, 26-9 over Stuart Lawrence
Stephen Morgan 26tp-0, 26-19 over Brian Cumming

Final
Stephen Morgan 26tp-2, 26-10 over Jeff Soo

FULL EVENT RESULTS
croquetscores.com/2017/ac/us-national-championship/singles-ko

Saturday
Apr082017

Soo #06: Morgan vs Soo

Stuart Lawrence in doublesThe remaining doubles semi-final finally finished, Danny Huneycutt and Stephen Morgan winning game two, which had been spread over three days.

The singles plate has a three-way tie on +2 net wins, with two more players on +1, so there's still plenty to play for.

I made it to the singles final and will play Stephen Morgan. Morgan will be looking to become the simultaneous holder of the GC and AC national singles titles, while I am hoping to pick up my second AC singles title.

The doubles final has already started. My partner Stuart Lawrence and I won game 1 +18. Each side has a clip on 4b in game 2. Huneycutt and Morgan have the innings, but we are next to play when we restart.

CroquetScores.Com Results:
croquetscores.com/2017/ac/us-national-championship

Friday
Apr072017

Soo #05: AC Nationals Down to Four

Ian HarshmanIn the singles quarterfinals, Danny Huneycutt's uncharacteristically shaky form continued, which allowed me to win 2-0. Dan Pailas gave plenty of fight but likewise went down 2-0 to Stuart Lawrence. Brian Cumming v. Chris Patmore opened with a quick Cumming triple, but Patmore fought back with an extended 3-ball ending and leveled the match. The third game was more error-prone, Cumming winning. Simon Jenkins v. Stephen Morgan had some similarities, particularly in the error-prone game 3. Morgan survived, ending an impressive run by Jenkins, who had started the singles blocks 0-4.

The singles plate is underway as a flexible Swiss. Jim Bast and Wayne Davies are undefeated.

The pegged-down doubles match had to wait for the end of the Jenkins v. Morgan quarterfinal, leaving just over an hour to play. The match has once again been pegged down in game 2, and will resume first thing Friday.

Jeff Soo vs Stuart Lawrence
Brian Cumming vs Stephen Morgan

2017 USCA AC Nationals Singles Knockout:
croquetscores.com/2017/ac/us-national-championship/singles-ko 

Thursday
Apr062017

Soo #04: AC Nationals-Into The Knockout

Danny Huneycutt jokes with his opponentWhen Simon Jenkins beat Ian Harshman in the final round of the block, he made three people very happy: himself, Mike Taylor, and Sherif Abdelwahab, all of whom were now in a playoff for 4th place in Block B. And he made two other people, well, sigh in resignation: Harshman, who would be the fourth player in that playoff, and the tournament manager.

And, five hours later, Jenkins was still smiling, having played his way into the main singles knockout. He and Taylor then began their doubles semi-final with Danny Huneycutt and Stephen Morgan. Huneycutt and Morgan won the first game, and the match has been pegged down in game 2.

Meanwhile, the other doubles semi-final was able to start much earlier. Stuart Lawrence and Jeff Soo beat Wayne Davies and Daniel Pailas in two games. Lawrence tripled to finish the first, adding to the day's relative flurry of peeling.

The knockout shapes up as follows:

Jeff Soo vs Danny Huneycutt
Daniel Pailas vs Stuart Lawrence
Brian Cumming vs Chris Patmore
Simon Jenkins vs Stephen Morgan

Full Results: croquetscores.com/2017/ac/us-national-championship

Wednesday
Apr052017

Soo #03: Tiebreakers Dead Ahead

Mike TaylorWhile there were some faster games today, there were still plenty of games going to time, including a 14-11 barn-burner in which Jenkins played Aunt Emma tactics to beat Pailas. Pailas has now beaten the top four seeds in his block but lost to two of the lower-ranked players; he can guarantee a spot in the knockout by winning his final game. A four-way tie for second place remains possible in this block. As does a four-way tie for fourth place. Which could also happen in the other block. The manager rather hopes that none of these scenarios transpires. But it does look highly likely that playoff games will be needed to determine the Elite Eight.

Some key matches for the final block games:

Huneycutt v. Lawrence: Lawrence is already in the KO; Huneycutt needs a win, or a loss from Bast.

Bast v. Osborn: An Osborn win and a Huneycutt loss creates at least a three-way tie for fourth in Block A

Patmore v. Morgan: Morgan is already in; Patmore assures himself a spot by winning

Cumming v. Taylor: Taylor desperately wants a win, although even with a loss he could still make a playoff

Jenkins v. Harshman: Jenkins still has an outside chance to make a playoff with a win; Harshman can guarantee at least a playoff spot with a win

Tuesday
Apr042017

Soo #02: Windy Start for USCA AC Singles

Dan Pailas in play at the National Croquet Center for the 2017 US AC Nationals
Four rounds of singles block play were scheduled for play at the USCA Association Croquet Nationals yesterday, but only three rounds were played. Despite the 3:15 time limits, many games have gone to time. Stronger wind today added to the challenge of fast lawns, solid hoops, and hoop hills. Stuart Lawrence had the day's only successful triple peel.

Every player has at least one loss. Block A has a six-way tie for first place on 2/3. Block B merely has a four-way tie for first. Net points will not be used as a tiebreaker, so there remains a strong possibility that extra tiebreak rounds will be required on Wednesday.

CroquetScores Results: USCA AC Nationals

Monday
Apr032017

Soo #01: 2017 AC Nationals Rolls Out 

Simon Jenkins on the finishing turn during doubles quarterfinals

The 2017 National Championships of Association Croquet are underway at the National Croquet Center. The doubles quarterfinals took up all of day 1, with one match needing the full 8-hour time limit and another match coming close. (The latter match must have had a long lunch break, because they were the last to finish.)

Top seeds Danny Huneycutt and Stephen Morgan advanced with comfortable wins, Morgan tripling in game 2. Stuart Lawrence and Jeff Soo (seeded #2) also advanced in straight games, though without style points. The other matches were upsets, with the last-minute pairing of Wayne Davies and Daniel Pailas surviving 10-9 in game 3 against Chris Patmore and Jim Bast and Mike Taylor and Simon Jenkins prevailing +3 in a game three nail-biter over Brian Cumming and Ian Harshman.

Sunday
Apr022017

USCA Working On GC Eights

The USCA's Golf Croquet Committee is proposing to initiate a brand new GC tournament called the USCA GC Eights. The inaugural event will be hosted by the Sarasota County Croquet Club in Venice, Florida, over the weekend of October 20-23, 2017.

It will consist of a maximum 24 players in three blocks playing on six courts, with the groups of eight built based World Croquet Federation grades. Within the "Eight" all players will play each other in best of three matches and the plan calls for two matches per day on the first three days, then two on the final day. All games will be played under WCF golf croquet rules.

There will be an opening night "Pot Luck" dinner provided by the club on Thursday to welcome the players and hand out court assignments. Play will begin on Friday morning play will begin and continue through Monday. The club will have breakfast snacks each morning and lunch each day for the players and paid guests. At the end of each day there will be an "Attitude Adjustment" with beer and wine provided. The club will take care of setting the wickets each morning prior to play.

The entry fee for this event will be $250 per person with an $80 social fee for non playing guests.