The World Croquet Championship was first organised in 1986 by Brice Cutrer Jones to raise money for children with life-threatening illnesses, and has evolved into a week-long sporting, social and fundraising event that has raised over $4,900,000 in sixteen years. Along the way, the WCC has also gained an international reputation as one of the finest croquet tournaments in the world. Nowhere is the skill, intricacy, timing and strategy of tournament croquet so deftly executed and elegantly celebrated as it is on the lawns of Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards.(http://www.sonomacutrer.com/) Players from around the world compete to determine two finalists for the Championship Match, which is scheduled around an elegant courtside luncheon, a live auction, a Silver Chip wine tasting, and a sunset reception on the Sonoma-Cutrer Grand Terrace.
For more information, call Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards at 707-528-1181.
This years players are:
Ian Dumergue-AUS Bruce Fleming-AUS George Latham-AUS Leo McBride -CAN Peter Payne-CH Robin Brown-ENG Chris Clarke-ENG Robert Fulford-ENG David Maugham-ENG Stephen Mulliner-ENG Ed Cunningham-IRE Matthew Burrow-JER Richard Baker-NZ Bruce Baker-NZ Reg Bamford-SA Keith Aiton-SCOT Bob Cherry-USA Curtis Drake-USA Jacques Fournier-USA RenKraft-USA Mik Mehas-USA Kenster Rosenberry-USA Jerry Stark-USA John Evans-WALES
The players have been divided into two round robin blocks of twelve with the top eight from each block advancing into a seeded knockout ladder. This format will provide 166 games guaranteeing everyone a minimum of 12 tournament games. The top 2 players in each block will play a minimum of 18 games.
The top two players from each block will play in a double round "medallist" block of four to determine their ladder seeding. The 16 player winners ladder is seeded in the following order. The 1st place medallist is seeded into the final game, 2nd medallist into the semi-final, and 3rd and 4th medallists are seeded into the quarter final games. The 4 players finishing 3rd and 4th in the blocks are seeded into the 2nd level and the 8 players finishing in block places 5 through 8 begin at the bottom of the ladder.
The block places 9 through 12 will compete in an 8 player knockout ladder to contest the plate winner.
Tournament play begins Sunday with everyone playing 2 games at Sonoma-Cutrer followed by a welcoming western barbecue on Sunday evening. Each player will spend one day at Meadowood Resort on Monday or Tuesday where they will play 3 of their block games. Block play finishes at Sonoma-Cutrer on Wednesday followed in the evening by cocktails and dinner. The medallist rounds and the knockout ladders begin at Sonoma-Cutrer on Thursday and continue on Friday morning. The final will be played on Saturday afternoon.
Friday afternoon and Saturday morning there is a "pro-am" event where each player is teamed with a sponsor for a short golf croquet tournament. The gala sponsors dinner event is held after play on Friday.
Reservations are required for the Saturday events but there is no charge Sunday through Friday and spectators are welcome to come watch the games.