Croquet News

Some people have all the talent! What a great shot Pierre!

clip courtesy Bruce St. Germain

Croquet Madness June 25  2018

1) At Victoria LBC this Thursday, June 28, a group of 9-wicket players from Michigan is arriving on a cruise ship and will be playing their annual croquet game on our lawn.  They’ve rented a lawn from the club, and we’ll set up a full-size 9-wicket court and provide refereeing.  I believe that our regular croquet group and the lawn bowlers will be sharing the other lawn while the visitors are here.

   To prepare for this event, I’m setting up a 9-wicket court on Tuesday, in addition to a couple of smaller courts.  I’m hoping we’ll have six people who’ll try out the 9-wicket game under USCA rules, so we can get a feel for it and be ready for the Michiganders.  

2) We have scheduled a rather odd tournament for July 6, 7, and 8.  We haven’t reserved the courts, but we’re planning to play on the courts regularly scheduled for croquet at both clubs, and also add some play when the courts aren’t needed for bowling or rental activities.  In other words, the tournament will be happening at the times and places when the courts are available.  This is seat-of-the-pants scheduling, so it will be a little ragged.

The event is the Crow-K Corral Shootout, which normally happens at Brian Wasylyk’s court in Cambpell River at about the time of his birthday.  This year, though, Brian’s reconfiguring his property, so (a) the court isn’t available, and (b) neither is he.  Even so, in honor of his effort to provide a good tournament on the Island over many years, we’re keeping the competition alive here while he can’t do it there.

The competition is Association Croquet.  We haven’t yet had much feedback from the Usual Suspects, so there’s still space in the roster.  Here’s how we’re doing it:

   – – Everyone who wants to play should contact me.

   – – Anyone with an international DGrade of above 1400 will be in A Flight; Anyone with a DGrade below 1400 will be in B Flight.

   – – When A Flighters meet A Flighters, play will be level and will be sanctioned for international ranking.  When B Flighters meet B Flighters, play will be level, but will only be sanctioned if both players are already in the ranking system.  When A Flighters meet B Flighters, B Flighters will play with 8 bisques and games will not be sanctioned.

   – – Players will not necessarily play the same number of games, but we’ll figure out some way to declare a winner.  Players can play as few games as they want, or as many as they can squeeze in.

   – – All games will be limited to two hours, in the interest of optimizing available time on the courts.

   – – We’ll have fun and at least one gathering involving good food and fine wine.

   – – Those not entering the competition are urged to come by and support the contestants.

3) I’m going to start an Introduction to Association Croquet class on July 10, at 10am.  I’ll be away on the 17th, but will be back to teach again on the 24th and 31st.  Either we’ll skip the 17th, or someone else will teach the class that morning.  In any case, we’ll have you playing Association before you know it.

If you can’t make it on the 10th, don’t worry — we’ll run another class a little later this summer.

Who can attend?  Anyone.  If you’re a member of either club, the class is free.  If someone wants to take the class without being a member, the cost will be the standard $25 for the series of four two-hour lessons.

The focus of the class will be to introduce the basic concepts of the game (basic rules for play plus basic strategies for success) and start you using the two-ball skills that are necessary to play the game effectively.  You’ll have to practice on your own, but at least you’ll know what you’re doing and what you want to achieve.  And there are a lot of us around that you can turn to for additional guidance.

4) We have a number of other events planned for this Summer of Croquet.  The Golf and Snake competitions at both clubs will be open to all croquet players, so keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to sign up.

It’s been a great year so far, and we’re going to keep it that way!

— Pierre

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New equipment has been ordered by the Club after careful consideration by the Croquet Steering Committee.  Here’s what you can expect:

1)    We’ll be getting eight new mallets, four made by our own Lorne Oakes and Peter Rassenti, and four from Oakley Woods, the top croquet equipment supplier in North America.  Lorne and Peter’s mallets will feature a variety of shaft lengths, head lengths, and weights, so you can try out different options as you consider buying your own personal mallet.  Lorne and Peter are charging only for the materials, and not for the craftsmanship that make their mallets so excellent.  The Oakley Woods mallets are standard commercial mallets, all with 9” heads, but two have 36” handles and two have 34” handles (for people who are more vertically-challenged or simply prefer to bend over more).  Some of the mallets we’ve been borrowing from CPLBC will be returned, but we’ll have around 14 mallets in the equipment room, which should provide an ample stock for classes and general play.

2)    We’ll be getting two additional sets of “Foxy” hoops, like the best set of hoops we now have.  This will allow us to set up as many as four courts when we have classes, rentals to groups that want to play croquet, and tournaments.  We’ll probably be using two sets for our regular set-ups.

3)    We’ll be getting three sets of balls, which will include two sets of Dawson tournament quality balls, and one set of good Sunshiny balls.  All of these balls are equal to or superior to the balls we’ve been using.

4)    We’re also going to get additional cords for laying down courts, as well as flags, center pegs, markers, timers, and the other paraphernalia that make it easy to play.

5)  Lorne and Peter are now working on an additional section for the croquet equipment storage area, which should accommodate all of this new material and allow us to breathe easily.