The Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club in Hartfield recently finished the Virginia District Championship Croquet Tournament.
Some 18 players from across the country came to play in this U.S. Croquet Association sanctioned American 6-Wicket tournament, reported club president Macey White of Hartfield. There were six players in each flight, championship, first and second. Each flight had round-robin block play with all players moving to the playoffs.
Second flight players with a handicap of 10 or higher were provided a coach during round-robin play. Four of the players in second flight had never played in a sanctioned 6-wicket tournament before and the coaching was appreciated by all, said White.
As an example, Doug Murphy of Richmond started slowly in second flight but his play improved greatly by the end of the tournament and he finished second in his flight and lowered his handicap from a 15 to a 13.
Sue Laging of Rochester, N.Y., bested Murphy by just 3 wickets in finals to win the flight.
The top seeds from round-robin block play in first and second flight were given the choice to play up in the next flight in playoffs and both top seeds did. Sheryl Phillips from Aiken, S.C., was the top seed in second flight after block play and improved her handicap from a 10 to 9 and opted to play in the first flight playoffs.
John Priest of Mathews came out of first flight block play as first seed and opted to play in the championship flight playoffs. Priest lowered his handicap from 7 to 6 in the round-robin portion of the tournament.
The first flight final was a match between Michael Kukla of Sarasota, Fla., and Art Thomasson of Hilton Head, S.C. Thomasson edged out Kukla for the win.
White finished first in block play in championship flight and made it to the finals where he lost to Rich Laging of Rochester, N.Y., after accidentally pegging out his first ball with 50 minutes left in the game. He managed to score 8 more hoops with his one ball playing against R. Laging’s two, but R. Laging prevailed in the end winning 26-22.
This was a no-frills tournament and the Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club kept the cost down to just $95 per player.
The club welcomes visitors and urges people to try the game. Contact White at firstname.lastname@example.org.