One of the quietly growing segments for the sport of croquet on the internet is YouTube. The traffic is still minor compared to the crazy videos that will notch views in the millions, but the overall segment of YouTube channels that Croquet Network tracks has grown from 12 to 18 since the start of 2014. And the total views for that group has gone from 434,000 to 603,000 during the same timeframe.
Entries in Paddy Chapman (33)
Now that the ACWC has concluded the croquet world can turn all attention on the upcoming MacRobertson Shield World Team Championship which will roll out the balls in December in New Zealand. Line-ups for the Big 4 have been announced and presented below is a selective breakdown of stats pulled from croquetrecords.com on August 29.
Six Questions: Robert Fletcher
New World Champion Robert Fletcher took some time over the past few days to answer a lightning round of six questions just after his blitz through the ACWC.
#1 - So, you really just rolled through this World Championship (23-0) at a time when it seems like there are a lot of players out there with legitimate title chances. Can you explain how that happened? Is it your that playing has moved to another level or are there other factors?
I think I just played really consistently, I didn't do anything fancy, I just played solid croquet all week. I had played deep into Worlds before, so I knew what to expect in the later rounds.
#2 - Despite the 3-0 score, the final with Paddy seemed fairly interactive. Can you talk about how that match went and maybe what the key to you gaining control?
It was interactive, mainly due to the hoops being put in new holes that day. Surbiton has a clay base which makes for very tough hoops, plus the variable pace of the lawn. We both took some time to adjust to the hoops, but it was probably my shooting throughout the first two games that made the difference.
#3 - A World Championship is an incredible lifetime achievement and you've done it at the age of 20. It would almost seem to be overwhelming. Can you describe what it was like once you got that final peg out?
I was relieved, that the match was over (as it had been long and tough), and delighted to have come through on top!
#4 - Can you give us any insight on what you think distinguishes a top 10 world player from the rest of the field?
#6 - What's in your future plans, both near term and long term?
Short term; preparing for the MacRobertson Shield in NZ this December, which will include the Australian President's 8, and the Australian Open singles and doubles Championship. Long term; continuing to improve my game and working toward retaining my World title.
Photo provided by Adrian Wadley. See the full gallery here.
Reg Bamford claimed the last two World Championships (2009, 2012) and prior to that Chris Clark, Robert Fulford and Bamford have held exclusive control of the title back to 1991.
Fletcher is the first Australian to win the title and at 20 the youngest player to win the title. Robert Fulford was 21 when he claimed the title in 1990.
In the Bowl (for those knocked out of the first round of the KO), James Hopgood (ENG) beat Nick Parish (ENG) +23tp, +26tp.
In the Plate (for those who did not qualify for the KO), Jose Riva (ESP) beat Paul Bennett (USA) +11,+12.
In the Shield (for those out of everything else), Richard Smith (ENG) beat Lionel Tibble (ENG) +13, +5.
Links are rolling in now:
Adrian Wadley Photo Gallery:
CroquetScores.Com Full Bracket
Robert Fletcher Becomes World Champion
Robert Fletcher Wins AC World Championship!
Fletcher's On Top of the World
There are a number of interesting headlines that lead off the week, but the story that caught my eye was the piece on the Murwillumbah Croquet Club celebrating an 85th anniversary. Late in the story there is a rundown on the history of croquet and the mention of tennis rising to essentially end the reign of croquet as a popular sport in England in the late 1800's. Most malletheads are familiar with the story, but the shelving of croquet for tennis got me to thinking. Is tennis really that much more fun to watch than golf croquet? I wonder if golf
Lot's of good items in the croquet news this week. I really enjoyed the two videos listed below and would love to see more of this in the croquet world. You'll also find a review I did on the new Croquet New Zealand website. Enjoy the news and I'll see you on the courts ...
Paddy Chapman captured a gem with this winning turn video:
"Last few hoops of the final of the British Open Singles Championship. Reg Bamford completing his sextuple peel - just peeled 4-back and gained a rush to 2-back on the escape ball."
The Draw for the Open Singles Swiss is as follows:
Chris Patmore v Paddy Chapman
Graham Gale v Jeff Dawson
Nigel Polhill v Ian Vincent
Updated on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 07:31PM by Dylan
Greg Bryant wins the New Zealand Open 3-0 (26tp-19, 26tp-0, 26tp-3) over Robert Fletcher. The win came after Bryant battled through a 2-0 deficit in the sem-finals against Paddy Chapman. Bryant won that match 3-2 (17-26, 9-26tp, 26-tp-10, 26tp-0, 26-12 otp). Full bracket available on the official New Zealand Open website ... with commentary from Chris Clarke located here.
It's a rough month to have a croquet event or story and expect to get any attention. Clearly, the eyes of serious croquet players across the world are on Great Britain and the MacRobertson Shield competition. The U.S. team shocked the British team with a 3-0 sweep on day four to pull to 8-7. There had been talk about the British team clinching and now they go into the final day needing three wins. The Americans have the tougher challenge as they will require four wins out of the six matches.
The August/September issue of Croquet Network was released yesterday and features a preview of the MacRobertson Shield that includes a group interview with Paddy Chapman, Robert Fletcher and Ben Rothman. In addition, the issue includes an interview with USCA President Gene Young and a player profile on Doug Grimsley. To be notified of future issues, sign up for the Croquet Network newsletter in the right column. View the back issues here -- password free.
The March issue of Croquet Network was released over the weekend featuring an interview with women's GC world Champion, Alix Verge in addition to a piece on the Wine, Wickets and Wheels golf croquet event slated for July this summer in Fremont, Ohio. Paddy Chapman is the player profile of the month.