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USCA College Division

Joining the USCA as a collegiate team is easy and inexpensive. Membership for your entire team is free! The USCA will advise you on playing grounds, equipment, and organization and connect you with USCA coaches in your area to help you get started.

For more information or to join, contact Ms. Lee Hanna (410) 381-6234 lehanna@aol.com

USCA Collegiate Croquet Spreads South and West from its Eastern Beginnings

So you've never heard of NCAA-sanctioned collegiate croquet tournaments? Never seen the student body turn out en-masse to cheer their colleagues as they try to outwit their opponents on a carpet of green perfection? Never heard the cheerleaders gasp and scream as the team captain makes a 50-foot hit-in?

Well, neither had Anne Morris, the former Collegiate Chairman of the United States Croquet Association.

Collegiate croquet, however, does exist. It's played by a handful of colleges and universities in the United States and a few more abroad, but it's spreading, especially in the sunbelt.to Texas and South Florida, around the newly created National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, the largest croquet complex in the world and the new home of the U.S. Croquet Association.

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Members of the newly formed University of Virginia croquet team. From left to right: Justin Patterson, Tom George, Judson Frye and Pete Paull (sitting).

As a sport, croquet is nothing like the backyard game you've played at grandma's, where not spilling your lemonade while searching for your ball was a major accomplishment. Competitive croquet is a demanding discipline. It requires dedication and time. Social croquet - centered on Golf Croquet, the fastest-growing form of the sport — is another matter entirely. It's not the brain-cracker the advanced game is, but it's a lot more tactically challenging than golf. At the same time, it's the ideal party game, which novices can learn and enjoy in minutes.

In USCA Collegiate Croquet, there's plenty of room for both levels of play — from low-key and social, to cutthroat and competitive.

Unfortunately, many collegiate clubs aren't part of a national organization; and some are just excuses to run wild across campus or to drink until you can't run at all. But without exception, collegiate croquet players feel strongly about what they do. Meet a player on the street and most likely he'll drop hints about his passion — or at least try to get you to join him on the lawn.

The USCA's Collegiate Division maintains a list of the schools with teams - or about to have teams come spring.

How should you get a U.S. Croquet Association sponsored team started at your school? Simple. Get a group of enthusiasts together and elect a Leader. Then ask the school for a Faculty Sponsor — or find one yourself. At this point, it would be a good idea for you to email Ms. Lee Hanna to see whether and how we can get a veteran USCA player in your area to serve as your Coach. Then there are small matters of playing grounds and equipment — but that can come later!

One more thing. I know people think that croquet and the croquet team are a guy-thing. And it's true that nine out of ten of the best players are of the male species. But there are exceptions, and you need those exceptions on your well-rounded team. Anne Morris is one of those exceptional players who happen to be female.





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