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Wednesday
Jun072017

States Shield Expands to Four Teams

Croquet Network is proud to announce an expansion for the 2017 edition of States Shield Golf Croquet team test. The GC team test started modestly in 2016 with Kansas and Missouri facing off last May with Missouri taking the inaugural title 7-3. For year two, Illinois and Wisconsin will join the mix and the first round tests will take place during the weekend of July 22. Wisconsin will host Illinois at the Milwaukee Croquet Club and Missouri will host Kansas at the Kactus Creek Croquet Club. The winners of those two tests will square off for the Shield in the Kansas City metro on August 19, 2017 at the Kactus Creek Croquet Club.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May162017

Video: New Zealand's Dramatic Win vs USA


Video from Chris Clarke: The last action of the USA v NZ Test at the 2017 MacRobertson Shield held at Mission Hills. We join it with USA leading 10-9. Chris Shilling is in the third against Stuart Lawrence and Aiken Hakes is game up against Jeff Soo.
Thursday
May112017

Ted Prentis

From USCA President Sara Low:

It is with deep sadness that I have to report the death of Teddy Prentis. Teddy was in Bermuda playing croquet, doing what he loved most, when a tragic road accident took his life this morning.

A giant in the croquet world, Teddy was inducted in the U.S. Croquet Hall of Fame in 1989. Throughout his life, he held eight USCA National Titles and served as Director of the USCA’s National School in addition to winning or running an uncountable number of club tournaments and teaching positions. We all loved him for his athletic ability in the sport, his knowledge of and position within its history, his commitment to teaching us to improve our play and his great sense of humor.

You will always be a player of distinction, Teddy. We will miss you terribly.

Sunday
May072017

Soo 18: 2017 Mac Wrap Up

All that history, and now our names too -- Malcolm and Greg Fletcher with the MacRobertson Shield. Click to Zoom.

On the final day of the 2017 MacRobertson Shield, England and Australia extended their leads. Two singles matches were left unplayed, due to the extreme heat (officially 105/40, but probably hotter on the lawns) and the fact that both tests had been decided the day before. The final tally:

1. Australia (3/3 test matches, 40/63 individual matches)
2. England (2/3 test matches, 38/61 individual matches)
3. New Zealand (1/3 test matches, 22/61 individual matches)
4. United States (0/3 test matches, 24/63 individual matches)

Australia's victory is notable in many ways. It is their first series win since 1935, and their first outside Australia. It is the first time since 1935 that the England or Great Britain team has been beaten twice in a row, the first time three siblings have played in the event, and the first time that the defending champions have finished lower than 2nd.

ROUND THREE PHOTO GALLERY

What lessons can the other teams draw from Australia's performance?

It's good to have the world's #1 player on your team. An obvious point, but beyond assuring a healthy number of wins at the top position, this engenders a lot of confidence for the rest of the team.

Strength in depth is critical. The top performer for the series on percentage of matches won was Greg Fletcher, playing at #5 and winning 5/6 singles and 7/9 doubles with Simon Hockey. Every team has at least one player ranked in the world top ten; it's at the bottom of the order that the differences are most pronounced. A team that can legitimately put very strong players at #5 and #6 has a huge advantage.

Team unity and discipline play a role. During Great Britain's streak of seven successive MacRobertson Shield championships, their team-of-rivals style worked well enough, because of their overwhelming advantage in playing strength for most of that period. In a more competitive series, Australia (and New Zealand in 2014) have shown the value of a unified approach. This applies to on-court matters such as tactics and doubles compatibility, as well as logistical arrangements for travel, housing, etc. An effective team manager is a big help.