The United States Croquet Association (USCA) held its first Nine Wicket Croquet National Championship in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1995. Several years passedbefore the second one was held in 2008 with an event in Kansas City, Kansas. It stayed in the nations' heartland through 2011 and then moved to Harleysville,Pennsylvania in 2012 and West Palm Beach, Florida in 2013. This year, September 19-21, it will be held at National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City,Missouri.
The nine wicket tournament offers rules similar to the family backyard game while playing on the old double-diamond layout that should be familiar to casual players.Along those lines, the USCA is offering a beginner’s “first flight” division with a doubles and singles tournament that should appeal to novice and intermediate players.
The championship level division will attract six-wicket players that generally play croquet on lightning fast “putting green” style croquet courts, but many of theseplayers seem to enjoy the annual competition for the “King of Backyard Croquet” title. The three-time 9 wicket singles champion George Cochran will be going for hisfourth title. Also, trying to retain their top spot are the two-time defending Doubles Champions John Warlick and George Cochran.
We have 25 people this year playing singles and doubles. There are entries from as far away as Canada, Washington DC, Florida and California.
Part of the appeal of the nine wicket game lies in the unpredictable long grass surface which tends to produce more back and forth action and results in a more entertaining game for both players and fans. The general format will be singles play on Friday with the playoff on Sunday, doubles play on Saturday and the doubleschampionship playoff on Sunday.
The sponsors this year are: North Meadow Croquet, a manufacturer or croquet equipment, visit their website Northmeadowcroquet.com; and Kactus Creek Croquet Club,Kansas City’s only professional croquet court. The Club is a sport, event and party venue located near Parkville. Kactuscreek.com.
Spectators and guests are welcome and should contact Matt Griffith, Tournament Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 891-6762 for more information.