Sunday, 30 March 2008

A Croquet Week

Well I know that I've been a bit occupied over the last week but it's all over now. The event was the Hawkes Bay Croquet Association 74th Annual Tournament. It was supposed to take up the whole week. For those who haven't already sussed out the vagueries of croquet there are two sorts of croquet generally played in the UK and New Zealand (as usual the USA has an entirely different croquet format): Association and Golf.

Association Croquet is what would have been played by the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland. It is a game for the purist who is not interested in the sociableness of the game but in the game itself. A game is generally timed out at 3 hours. The loser can sit out and watch for all but a few minutes of those 3 hours whilst the winner makes his or her 24 hoops and then pegs out the two winning balls. It is a game of strategy and execution largely against oneself.

Golf Croquet is a sociable game. It requires skill and it requires strategy. The players are always on the lawn and each shot counts and every hoop is a new game.

Way and by far the majority of the players now play Golf Croquet but the sport is and many clubs are still largely controlled by the old guard of Association players. I am fortunate in that the Marewa Club to which I belong and the Te Mata Club at which I often play are both largely Golf Croquet clubs. Having said that, although I am essentially a Golf Croquet player I am enjoying playing Association too.

Anyway the Handicap Singles for Association that I was due to play in was cancelled because of the sparcity of entries. Quite the converse for the Golf Croquet Doubles and Singles.

My partner for the Doubles was Mike from Gisborne. We played and enjoyed ourselves and won the event.

I played in the Handicap Singles yesterday and today and managed to come second.

All in all a very satisfactory tournament.

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