Becherovka triumphs over Germany and Czech Republic... and Germany wins on the lawns In a historic 1st international test match of Germany and the Czech Republic (8.-10. June 2007) it became clear, that Czechs and Germans share more than a common border and their love for Pils-Beer. They also join a passion for croquet and extensive parties after a hard days work on the lawns. The idea for the match of these future "Croquet superpowers" was born in 2006 when presidents of the croquet associations met (G 2 - summit) at the Rheingold- Pokal tournament in Vienna . With a lot of goodwill and help of Hamburg- Rissen- Croquet- Club the idea became reality. All Czech players were hosted with club members and beautiful sun shone on the lawns throughout the weekend. After a 10 hours ride 5 Czech players met 10 Germans on Friday evening and went immediately into games after a bottle of
Becherovka (fine Czech liquor, 38 % Vol.) was handed over the hosts. As format we choose to play a colourful mixture of Golf- / AC- / single and doubles, which indeed turned out to please everybody. The Czech team players were in average 20 years younger than the Germans, the eldest of all Czech croquet players (nationwide) is 45 years old. Nevertheless there is some experience of Croquet in the Czech Republic which - presumably because of language problems- wasn't brought to a wider attention of the Croquet world so far. AC Laws were translated into Czech in the mid 1990's and there is a club in Ostrava since 1993. Today there are some 70 players in several clubs in the Czech Republic and almost all of them play AC as well as GC. In August this year two new lawns will be opened at a hotel in Karlovy Vary (formerly Karlsbad) and it might be worth paying it a visit (www.hotelstarymlyn.cz).
Germany send a Hamburg / Leipzig mixture of experienced and somewhat newer sportsmen and -women, most of them only willing to play GC. After dinner in the club the guests were shown some of the nicest places in Hamburg , ending with a stroll over Reeperbahn, the famous red light district of the town. Accordingly games began late and in subtropical conditions the Germans performed a bit better and by 7.30 pm they were 4 games up on the Czechs. For dinner there was a nice barbeque at Peter& Antjes house (thank you !) and all guests were full of good spirits and they were soon to be full of good Czech spirit too. Pilsner Urquell and Becherovka solved all communication problems and those two certainly won over both teams. It is to hope that no photos of this evening ever will ever see daylight. 28 Celsius and 3 litres of Becherovka for 9 remaining players had a effect - but couldn't stop us from
Croquet the next morning. Yes, the number of wrong balls played was enormous but everybody was sure about the application of the (current) rules. At the end of the day both teams have had a excellent time together with Germany having a few more wins on their side (see results), 749 hoops were scored in 58 games. Germany won 32 games. In 2008 the tournament will be played in Becherovkas home town of Karlovy Vary and both associations are looking very much forward to it!
Deutscher Krocket Bund