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Riches, 68, is a retired teacher and Deputy Principal of a large secondary school. He lives with his wife in Enfield, South Australia, a suburb of Adelaide. He has played the game of Association Croquet for more than 27 years.

Riches has served as Chairman of the Australian Croquet Association's Laws Committee, and as National Team Coach for the 1999 Trans-Tasman series against New Zealand (until a heart attack required that he be replaced) and the MacRobertson Shield series in Christchurch, February 2000.

As a player he has been a member of the South Australian state team and in 1995 was ranked as number 2 on the official ACA National Ranking List, with a handicap of 2 (or -2 overseas). His main achievement, he says, was to defeat world champion Robert Fulford in the 1995 Australian Open Championship when he happened to catch Robert on one of his rare bad days and on an indifferent lawn. Health problems in 1998 and 1999 had a serious and adverse effect on his game, with the result that although he still competes in state and national events, his energies are currently directed more toward coaching (his main interest) and the laws of croquet.

Riches is a nationally accredited level 3 coach. Australia's educational system, at all levels, takes more seriously than most other countries specialized and advanced studies in athletics and coaching. As a product of Australia's National Coaching Accreditation Scheme - which embraces tennis, golf, basketball, baseball, and virtually all the organized sports, including croquet - Riches has studied alongside some of the biggest names in Australian mainstream sports in advanced lecture series in the "Sports General" curriculum.

John has published several booklets on various aspects of the game, including technique, tactics, strategy, refereeing, laws interpretation and the mental approach to the game. (Some of the short articles are reprinted in The Game Department of He has assisted with publication within South Australia of a Coaching Newsletter which has becoming much sought after in other states, and as a regular contributor to state and national croquet magazines and newsletters.

Riches took a sabbatical of more than two years with his wife to teach English and Biblical studies at a theological raining College in Vanuatu, .and returned to "the croquet world" in late 2005.

You can reach John Riches by email at:

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