2019 USCA National 9-Wicket Croquet Championship
September 15–17, Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club, Hartfield, VA
Do you remember that backyard game with nine hoops and two stakes? Nine wicket has been played in America for over 100 years. The USCA holds Regional and National championships in this historically backyard game. It’s played a lot like 6-wicket but there are slightly smaller and lighter balls, more hoops and more choices of what to do when you roquet a ball. After a roquet players have a croquet shot and a continuation shot, just like 6-wicket but the croquet shot can be played in 5 different ways. It can be played in contact with the roqueted ball just like 6-wicket. It can also be played that way with either a hand or foot holding the striker ball in place. It can be played anywhere within 9 inches of the roqueted ball or even played from where it stopped rolling. With all of these choices, 9-wicket can be a slightly more complex game than the 6 hoop variety.
This year the 9-Wicket National Championship was held at the Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club in Virginia. It was not played on their 8 laser leveled lawns but on yard quality zoysia grass. The tournament attracted 17 competitors and lasted three days. All players started in the same flight and after a round-robin, players were separated into two flights, Championship and 1st, for the playoffs. Of the 17 players, all were seasoned croquet players but 8 were playing in their first ever USCA sanctioned 9-Wicket tournament. First timer, Lyle Browning made it to the 1st Flight finals to face off with seasoned pro Gail Warlick. Gail won the spirited battle to capture the National 1st Flight crown. In Championship Flight, partners Macey White and John Warlick faced off for the singles championship. In a tightly contested match, where the lead went back and forth several time, Macey White finally emerged as the winner in the end.
There were 8 teams that sparred for the doubles championship. In doubles there was a round robin with the top 4 teams advancing to the Championship Flight playoffs and the bottom 4 advancing to the 1st Flight playoffs. Brothers Carl and Conor Johnson bested Greg Clouse and Jane Koziol for 1st Flight Doubles honors and Macey White and John Warlick defeated John Priest and Gil Rocha for the doubles championship.
Rumor has it that a 9-Wicket Regional will be held in Louisiana in February 2020 and another 9-Wicket Regional at Chesapeake Bay in the spring with the Nationals being held in Louisiana near the LSU campus in the fall. More details to come later.
First Flight Singles
First Flight Doubles