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A World Team Championship in Capetown in 1998?

Posted November 16, 1997

Finals day looms and for the lucky four - two Englishmen for the title of World Champion and two Australians for the City of Bunbury Plate - the opportunity to play the game of their lives in front of a large crowd of croquet connoisseurs.

For the rest of us, the mallets are back in their bags, ready to take on the long plane trip home. Now is the time to lie on the beaches, surf the waves, shop the shops (!), play golf, swim, and do all the things that we haven't had time to do so far. A barbecue was organised by some of the players back at the motel, and large amounts of meat, wine and stubbies were consumed by all. Belgium's Jonatham Lamb was seen to be playing backgammon for the entire evening, obviously with a view to making enough money to pay for his air ticket back home!

As the tournament draws to a close, there is also the opportunity to discuss croquet matters; where should the game go from here, what sort of tournaments should be held and where, and all the other burning questions close to croquet players' hearts.

The South African Croquet Association has applied to the WCF to hold a 14-point World Team Championship in November or December of next year. I understand that the WCF Management Committee have given their approval to this most welcome initiative, the salient points of which are:

  • When: 8 days (Saturday through Sunday) in November or December 1998.
  • Where: One venue (Capetown?).
  • Who: All member Associations of the WCF would be invited to send a single team of 3 players. The first sixteen teams to apply would be accepted.
  • Funding: Travel to be paid by contestants or their national Associations. Local costs (accomodation, transport, meals) would be provided by the hosts. A nominal entry fee would be levied.
  • Format: Block play for 5 days with top 8 teams progressing through to the knock-out. Each match consists of 3 doubles and 6 singles, except the semi-finals and final (4 doubles and 9 singles).
  • Game: 14-point advanced, chess clocks with 60 minute time limit per player/pairing, double-banking throughout, except for semi-finals and final.
  • And also: Teams would be encouraged to provide and wear distinctively coloured team shirts.

It sounds as if we could all be meeting up again in a year's time. Now that's the best news I've had all week!

[Peter Payne is a player in the World Championship representing Switzerland. Click here to read the last installment of his journal.]

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