Members of the Korumburra Croquet Club get in some practice last weekend ahead of hosting their big invitational tournament later in the month. m044515

Members of the Korumburra Croquet Club get in some practice last weekend ahead of hosting their big invitational tournament later in the month. m044515

IT doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a bad back or a gammy leg.
It’s still not too late for you to stand on the top of the world sporting dais and claim that elusive world title.
And the sport that’s going to take you there is croquet.
And as luck would have it, the Korumburra Croquet Club (and almost certainly every other croquet club in the region) is looking for new members.
Croquet? Really?
Before you voice those doubts it might interest you to know that croquet has previously been an Olympic sport and it offers two world championship disciplines; Association Croquet and Golf Croquet; both of which are played at your local croquet clubs.
In fact there are actually nine croquet variants recognised by the World Croquet Federation:
• Association Croquet
• Golf Croquet
• Short Croquet
• Two-ball Croquet
• US Six-wicket Croquet
• US Nine-wicket Croquet
• Garden Croquet
• Extreme Croquet
• Ancient Croquet
The WCF organises World Championships in Association Croquet (AC) and Golf Croquet (GC). These include individual championships, team championships, Women’s AC and GC individual championships and Over-50 and Under-21 GC individual championships.
Golf Croquet is a relatively simple version of the sport that nonetheless requires participants to demonstrate most of the skills involved.
Association Croquet is the more involved, traditional style of the game played by two players (or sides) each with two balls. The objective is to score 12 hoop-points and a peg-point with each ball before the other side does the same.
Through careful play, a player can keep the tactical advantage, hence improving his chances of winning by making life difficult for the opponent. More importantly, he can earn additional strokes, so allowing breaks to be played, as in snooker or pool, and scoring many hoop points in a single turn.
In fact, a good player can so engineer the play that he or she can finish the match with two shots.
It’s a combination of games; part bowls, part golf, part chess; a thinking person’s outdoor game that can take as much skill and practice as you can offer it.
And your climb to the top might just as well all start for you at the Korumburra Croquet Club which happily accepts new players at 1pm on a Saturday and any Tuesday between 10am and noon for practice.
“The association season runs through from May to September and then there are tournaments to play at clubs from far afield as Lakes Entrance and close at the likes of Drouin and Warragul,” said club president Joan Hopkins.
“We’re hosting the association’s tournament here at Korumburra from November 30 to December 2.”
Both lawns at Korumburra will be filled with players from right throughout Gippsland. It’s a big event.
“We have the Korumburra Secondary College students here having a try each year and we’d certainly welcome others to come and join us. We need more members.”
So why not give it a try but be warned… it’s quite an addictive pastime and the sky’s the limit.