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Slightly offstage
at the World Championship

photos by Ian and Sara Anderson
posted August 27, 2013

Related Links
An album of favorite photos in CROQUET WORLD
2013 World Croquet Championship website
Woking Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club website
Roehampton Croquet website
Surbiton Croquet Club website
Hurlingham Club website
Ian and Sara's complete online photo gallery on the 2013 World Championship
Adrian Wadley's online photo gallery of the World Championship Finals

We've deliberately chosen photos far removed from the trophy-in-hand, full-face-forward standards, ranging over the playing venues of the 2013 World Championship in London. It was a water-shed event, with the biggest percentage ever of English players, none of whom, however, survived the quarter-finals. (The semi-finals were contested by a South African, an Irishman, a Kiwi, and an Aussie.) The champion who emerged was the youngest ever, a 20-year-old from the wilds of Australia. And for the first time, he won the long event without losing a single game! Ian and Sara Anderson show off their two lawns at Woking, which for the first time were used in a major world croquet event. And there was virtually no refereeing scandal or controversy associated with the event--beyond the continuing conversation that centers on the earth-shattering question of whether the declining level of English play is absolute, or relative.

Jeff Dawson (GB) has just beaten David Magee (Scotland) in the blocks at Woking on Day One.

The Fire Brigade didn't expect to see croquet when they responded to a sudden power outage at Woking on Day Two. Woking, like Roehampton, is in the middle of a residential area. Spectators are watching from the patio surrounding the 108-year-old Clubhouse.

Former WCF president David Openshaw (in the big hat) and Ahmed el Mahdi (with the hoodie) are both outplayers, watching their games alongside current president of WCF Amir Ramsis and a friend at Woking on Day Two.

On Day Three at Woking, Rutger Beijderwellen, a Woking club member, Dr. Ian Vincent, and Andrew Johnston all hunt for a ball that jumped over the boundary boards into the flower bed.

Ian Burridge of Wales requests some lawn repair from referee Malcolm Bigg on Day Three of the blocks at Woking.

Phil Cordingley (Tournament Director) and Mike Town (Tournament Manager) share the Managers Tent at Surbiton on Day Four.

Kiwi referees Brian Boutel and Alison Robinson set the hoops between matches on Day Four at Surbiton.

The top-ranked female player in the world--Jenny Clarke of New Zealand--has just beaten Robert Wilkinson on Day Five at Surbiton. Ian Lines (England), Robert Wilkinson (England) and Jenny hash out a port-mortem.

What is Lionel Tibble doing at Woking on Day Six, the first day of plate play?

Here's a view of several courts at Roehampton on Day Seven--the quarter-finals. The club is like a park dropped into the middle of London. Once inside the gates you forget it's on a busy main street. The residents of the apartment building can look down and watch the games.

Andrew Johnston and Robert Fletcher are standing courtside during Saturday's semi-finals at Surbiton. Robert had taken the first game, and the players waited for the hoops to be re-set for the second game in the best-of-five match.

Robert Fletcher--the new world-champion-to be--wows the crowd in his semi-final at Surbiton. The Surbiton club adjoins parkland and is enclosed only by wire fencing, so residents and passers-by can see the croquet being played inside, as well as these spectators on the veranda.

Immediately after losing the world championship to Robert Fletcher, Paddy Chapman demonstrates an instant re-adaptation to the real priorities of daily life, pausing with his wife and new baby boy--Oliver Joseph Chapman--to measure the size of the child's head against the width of the hoop. He then proceeded across the lawn to smile and pose for the trophy-in-hand photos that will soon appear in the association magazines.

Ian and Sara Anderson have been married since 1984, and they have four children and one grandchild. Sara is the Club Secretary at Woking Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, where she was bitten by the croquet bug in 2010. Ian had little choice about taking up croquet also, because he wanted to see Sara occasionally. Ian has enjoyed photography since he was a child, with a special interest for wildlife both on land and underwater.

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