From USCA President Sara Low:
In a few weeks we will hold the USCA Annual General Meeting — Saturday, March 21 at the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. At this meeting we review formally the state of the Association and entertain questions and suggestions from the membership. Of course, we invite your suggestions and questions all year long, just as we continue to evaluate the USCA position, but, again, this is the formal and legal date of the meeting.
We look back at 2019 and see both novelty and stability. New practices encompass changes that have been introduced to the USCA. Established methods continue some of the traditional customs that we value and maintain.
In 2019 the USCA introduced a second Grand Prix, allowing Golf Croquet players to be featured separately from other tournament players and recognizing that people who play Golf Croquet may not play other games of the sport. The Grand Prix tallies the results of tournaments and ranks each participant. This documenting of all tournaments affects the USCA office in additional ways, such as how membership is categorized in our database. The fact that we now have two Grands Prix means that so much more has changed internally. You, as players, should care that we are awarding our first Golf Croquet Grand Prix winner this year. And in 2020 we aim to expand the Grand Prix system again by breaking out the Association Croquet results.
We continue to improve membership wherever we can. Last year saw the first stage of the new membership fee structure, a multi-year process that will eventually align all members into the same cost arrangement. The USCA no longer differentiates between members of private clubs and public institutions and we are rolling out the fee structure slowly so as to avoid a rapid change in costs.
Further, students of croquet can now be assured that a USCA instructor holds a current status of approved educator of croquet through our renewal process. Just like our sister sports associations across the U.S., we now guarantee that our instructors are up-to-date and have re-affirmed their commitments to teaching. At the same time, we are working to improve instructor benefits and meet the needs of our teachers.
A change that is quite visible can be seen in the support of Team USA and other players who compete abroad in international tournaments. Thanks to the Lee Olsen Fund and its committee and to many of our members, team players are helped with transportation and lodging and wear an official USCA uniform. We are proud of the way our players compete and promote their representation of the US.
In addition to our Annual Meeting in March, the USCA will host Croquet Week (March 16-22) and present the 2019 Annual Awards. This year we are bringing the Golf Croquet Tournament into the same week as the Club Teams American 6-Wicket Tournament, so Croquet Week really is a week long and includes players of two very popular games of the sport. The 7-day period will be full of croquet games, players and events. We hope you join us by playing or cheering the games. In the meantime, continue sending in your comments and queries.