The 5th WCF World Golf Croquet Championships will be held at the new National Croquet Centre in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA, from 10 to 17 February 2002.
The 10-acre centre is being built by the Croquet Foundation of America as the home of the Foundation, the United States Croquet Association, and the National Croquet Club.
The World Croquet Federation, the United States Croquet Association and the National Croquet Centre staff are co-operating to make this event a fitting world championship debut for the world's largest dedicated croquet facility.
This will be the first world championship event held at the centre, due to be opened later this year. There are twelve courts and the championship will have abundant lawn space at one venue for the usual 48 players.
One benefit of having so much lawn space is the ability to offer more value to players from all over the world. For example, the initial block play will be, for the first time, 19-point games; the top four of each of the eight blocks will go directly into a best-of-three elimination ladder, first-round losers will go into a second best-of-three elimination ladder, and players who lose two consecutive matches will go into a single-game elimination ladder. All places in the event will be decided, from first to last.
Besides the National Croquet Centre, other local clubs are helping to host the event including the Palm Beach Croquet Club at Palm Beach's famous Breakers Hotel, and the renowned Beach Club. Social events will be held at both these venues.
The 5th WCF World Golf Croquet Championships, together with a Croquet Festival from 17th to 24th February and dedication of the new clubhouse, should be one of the biggest events in the history of the sport, from the standpoint of publicity, spectators and sponsor participation.
Golf Croquet is the foundation of the National Croquet Centre's promotional effort for the sport. On the day of the finals (February 17th), there will also be finals of the Golf Croquet Corporate Challenge, to which many local corporations will have donated $1,000 for the USCA's Youth Development Program.
World Croquet Federation President Tony Hall will attend the event as a player and possibly as Chief Referee. Support staff will include Archie Peck, National Centre Director of Croquet, Johnny Mitchell, President of the USCA International Committee, Sherif Abdelwahab, Chairman of the USCA Golf Croquet Committee and Bob Alman, National Centre Marketing and Community Affairs Director.
At least three courts will be reserved for practice to all players in the championship from February 7th. On the day before the event starts, February 10th, up to ten courts will be available for practice
From among the substantial South Florida croquet population, referees will be recruited and trained in special one-day events associated with the USCA National Championships, Seniors & Masters, and other major USCA events during the fall and early winter.
Recruitment of ball-boys/girls will present a special problem and - it is hoped - a unique opportunity as well. The opportunity to serve in a world championship will be offered to high-school students participating in the Youth Development Program.
Further information: Tony Hall, telephone 61-2-62577161, fax 61-2-62486676, email tony1h#ozemail.com.au, 5/6 Fawkner St, BRADDON, ACT 2612, AUSTRALIA.