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Entries in England Croquet (5)

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.

Friday
Mar102017

2017 MacRobertson Shield Statistical Preview: Part 3

Today, we finish off the early preview of the 2017 MacRobertson Shield World Team Championship Tier 1 to be held in Rancho Mirage, California, April 18 to May 4, 2017. This simple look is centered around cumulative team stats from this team table ranked by Triples per Games Player. Chart 1 follows and is a visual on the Average Dynamic Grade per team. All stats are souced from croquetrecords.com.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan272017

2017 MacRobertson Shield Statistical Preview: Part 1

With the recent announcement of all four rosters for the 2017 MacRobertson Shield to be held in Rancho Mirage, California, in April and early May, we can now take a snapshot look at how the rosters stack up from a statistical perspective. I am going to present this in three separate postings starting with today's look at individual stats. The future postings will include a Trendline Player Rank look and a Cumulative Team Stats Analysis.

For the tables below, I'll offer some comments on items that caught my eye, but it's primarily from a statistical look as I rarely get to watch even the US players and have no in-person experience watching players from the other three teams. I would encourage anyone with more insight to fill up the comments section with feedback.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May242016

New Zealand Wins 2016 Golf Croquet WTC

The WCF Golf Croquet World Team Championship concluded this past weekend in England with New Zealand claiming the Tier 1 title by virtue of a 7-5 win over Egypt. Full match scores here:

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb112011

Croquet Video: The U.K., Great Britain and England

This video should be useful for fans of MacRobertson Shield and the World Team Championship.

Click to read more ...