Sunday, October 3, 2021

2021 NJ Championship Results

Two beautiful days of competition at the 2021 NJ Championship hosted by the Rumson Country Club. Weather was perfect. The competitors had dinner on the club veranda overlooking the courts. Players came from New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and even Connecticut. 

Tom Cooper had stiff competition including Stuart Lawrence (-3 HC) and Tim Rapuano (-1.5 HC). Tom won the final match 19-18 in a nail-biting final match against Stuart. 

Championship Flight

  1. Tom Cooper
  2. Stuart Lawrence

First Flight

  1. Michael Jeary
  2. George Claffey

Championship Plate

  1. Kat Niederer
  2. Tom Hughes

Link to full album of photos (link)

Sunday, September 19, 2021

USCA Mid-Atlantic Regional, September 27-29, 2021

After a hiatus for the coronavirus pandemic, the Mid-Atlantic Regional returned to the Green Gables Croquet Club in 2021.  Fourteen players with -1.5 to 12 handicaps from Florida to Massachusetts enjoyed 6 to 9 singles matches over 3 days in late August, 2021 at the beautiful lawns near the Jersey Shore.

Friday Morning Group Picture

Link to Photo Album (25 pictures) Photos by Richard Richardi.

Players were divided into two flights for block play.  The Championship Flight had 6 players ranging from -1.5 to 7 handicaps.  The first and second flights were combined into a single first flight for block play because the field consisted of six 10 handicapped players accompanied by 8 and 12 players.  All block games would take place over the days of Friday and Saturday

After block play all championship flight players would be seeded by block standings into a single elimination knockout (KO) ladder starting on Sunday morning.  Likewise, all combined first and second flight players would also begin a KO but all losers from the first flight quarterfinals would go on to second flight semifinals. 

The first day Friday, September 27, there was literally no place to hide.  The sun was strong all day until the end when there was a lightning warning.  After players bathed themselves in sunblock, pulled on wide brimmed hats or slipped on their favorite golf gloves, the tournament commenced with a great series of games.  Double banking was a rare sight although it did occur occasionally.  Once the lightning warning was sounded current games were pegged down and rescheduled to play at 8am on Saturday

While Jo-Anne Nappi provided breakfasts and Tim Rapuano provided lunches court-side each day, the Tournament Dinner was held at the home of Karen Leoncavallo and Richard Ricciardi’s home on Friday night.  Almost all were in attendance and enjoyed delicious catering from Joe Leone’s Italian delicatessen.

Friday Tournament Dinner

Bright and early on Saturday morning players descended on the lawns to finish games from the day before.  Contrasted with the bright and sunny weather, Saturday was now overcast and windy with threats of rain. 

Cecily Greenaway

The Championship flight saw a few upsets with Scott Kennedy playing up with a 7-handicap making trouble for Temp Peck (4) and Peter Woolley (4.5).  Likewise, Club Champion Tom Cooper found defeat with his fastidious partner, Loretta Cooper.  The combined first and second flight saw the new Green Gables player Dennis Leddy (8) taking no prisoners while the fast-improving Jim Daniels (10) was hot on his heels with just 1 loss in block play.  Other contenders with 4 wins at the end of the day were Ron Rapuano (10) from Florida and Ezra Roth (10) from New York.

Sunday’s weather was more of the same but much drier.  While some players went to bed earlier to prepare for finals, others went out to see musicals and other shenanigans.  Sometimes the play of the day is all about which side of the bed you wake up on.  In either case it was clear that some players played better than the day before. 

Ron Rapuano and Tom Cooper (foreground)

One such player is club favorite Ric Venino (10).  In the block, Ric won just 1 match against the highest seeded player George Claffey (12).  However, on finals days Rick defeated Ezra Roth (10) and Jim Daniels (10) to make it into the first flight singles final against Dennis Leddy.  As the leader in the block, Dennis made quick work of Ric (15-9), but it was a great showing by Rick.  Similarly, George Claffey who just won 2 games in the block, rose up to take second flight glory against New York Croquet Club player Ezra Roth in a stunning victory, 16-8.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice President Timothy Rapuano with Ric Venino

In the Championship flight there were also a surprise as New York player Temp Peck squeezed by Loretta Cooper (2) with a 1-point lead, 14-13, to send him into the finals with Tom Cooper.  Tom made quick in the final match, winning the MidAtlantic Tournament, 15-11.

We want to thank all of the referees, board keepers, food deliverers, spectators, lawn mowers (and people that mow them), supporters and photographers for this wonderful event.   There are too many people to mention (but you know who you are!), who volunteered their time to make this tournament a success.  And finally, thanks to the Green Gables Croquet Club, for allowing partnering with the USCA to bring the MidAtlantic Regional back for a second time!

Final Photo



Championship Flight Singles

1.  Tom Cooper

2.  Temp Peck

3.  Loretta Cooper

3.  Scott Kennedy III

5.  Jay Hughes DNF

6.  Peter Woolley DNF


First Flight Singles

1.  Dennis Leddy

2.  Ric Venino

3.  Ron Rapuano

3.  Jim Daniels


Second Flight Singles

1.    George Claffey

2.    Ezra Roth

3.    Scott McMurray

3.   Cecily Greenaway


All photography in this report was furnished by Richard Ricciardi.  Additional photos from the event are available on the Green Gables Croquet Club website at


Loretta Cooper, TD

Timothy Rapuano, TM

Link to Photo Album (25 pictures) Photos by Richard Richardi.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Golf Croquet Pro Tour Championship - Sherif Abdelwahab earns his Golden Jacket for Winning the 2021

Sherif Abdelwahab (kneeling on far left) earns his Professional Croquet Association Golden Jacket and $2000 by winning the 2021 PCA Golf Croquet Tour Championship at Green Gables earlier this month.

27 top players faced off in the Pro Tour event.  12 were tour qualified pro's who started play on Friday and 15 were not yet qualified players who started play  Thursday in an attempt to play into the pro tournament and qualify for the tour.  When the dust settled Thursday evening, 9 new players had earned a spot on the PCA Pro Tour.  These new tour qualified players (in Golf Croquet) are:

  • Justin Fields
  • Ned Sperry
  • Marc Stearns
  • Tate Russack
  • Phil Emond
  • Dennis Leddy
  • Carl Archiniaco
  • Karen Leoncavallo
  • Sue Emond

These players earned a tour card and will remain eligible for GC Tour play for a minimum of 4 years.

The money round knockout started on Friday with a few surprises. Ned Sperry defeated Tate Russack, Ahab Dincer and Justin Berbig only to loose to Bo Prillaman in the semi finals.  New-comer Dennis Leddy was a powerful player, defeating Marc Stearns two straight and taking Macey White to the third game where Macey pulled out a narrow victory with a clean hoop shot on the tie-breaker from the boundary.  White lost to Sherif Abdelwahab in a well contested match with battles at most hoops featuring many long clearing shots.  Bo Prillaman and Sherif Abdelwahab faced off in the finals in the rain on Sunday.  The sidelines were full of fellow tournament players who stayed for the finals and local players who came in to see the great players duel it out.  In the end, Sherif Abdelwahab prevailed with a 7-4, 7-1 victory to take the title, the Golden Jacket and $2000 first prize.  Bo Prillaman won $1000 for second.  Everyone in the tournament went home with prize money, even if in some cases it was only $1.

Ahab Dincer, Cami Russack, Marc Stearns and Cheryl Bromley faced off in the plate semis.  Ahab defeated Marc 7-3, 7-4 and Cheryl defeated Cami 7-4, 7-5.  Ahab Dincer defeated Cheryl Bromley in the plate finals 7-5, 7-1.

Special thanks go to Tom Cooper and the Green Gables club who hosted this event.

The PCA is now working on the 2022 Pro Tour schedule.  We all look for an exciting PCA Pro tour in 2022.

Macey White, PCA President

Link to Photo Album (12 pictures) Photos by Richard Richardi.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Rumson Country Club and Green Gables Mixer

Congratulations to Karen Leoncavallo, Tournament Director and the other members who pitched in with food and time to make this event a resounding success.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

National Croquet Day

This past Saturday we celebrated National Croquet Day. The turnout was outstanding with 42 participants.

I am relatively confident that we picked up at least 5 new members. 

The coordination, prospective new member interactions and the group lessons was terrific on the part of our members.

Special thanks to Tom & Loretta for making this event such a success.

Regards, Richard

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Chuck Reynolds - 4 Ball Break - Watch Out

In late September at Wicket Wednesday, I had the great pleasure to watch Chuck Reynolds play the most awesome end game last ball to come from behind and tie up the game, surprising me and my partner.  

Behind by five wickets, his partner scored his wicket then shot Chuck an opponent ball and lined up as a pioneer.  Chuck breezed through wicket 4, roqued his opponent, sent it to one-back, rushed a second opponent ball as a pivot and made wicket 5 with his partner ball.  He then skated to six and one-back tying up the game. 

Chuck has the 4 ball break in his pocket, so opponents beware!

By Karen Leoncavallo


Here are 2 example videos suggested by Tom Cooper. Chuck mentioned that he had studied YouTube videos to learn the pattern. I did as well. - Scott

Learning 4 Ball Breaks (full court example #1) <-- Has sound


Learning 4 Ball Breaks (full court example #2) <--- No sound

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Tom Cooper at AC Nationals Tournament, and Camping!

The Association Laws Nationals recently took place in Hartfield, VA for 7 long days of croquet. Most days we played at least 3 matches of 2.5 to 3 hours each. Some days were longer.

Tom on a Roll

Tom and Zack Watson

Camp Cooper with the GGCC Flag

There were 26 contestants in four blocks to start. I had Matthew Essick, #2 in the World in my block, plus Danny Huneycutt who many of you know as a professional instructor and tournament director. Needless to say, it was tough going. I was very fortunate to get two wins which made me #16 out of the 16 players to make the play-offs where I met Zack Watson of North Carolina (pictured with me here). Zack ended up winning the doubles, came in 3rd in singles and sent me packing to go play in the plate, which is a competition for those knocked out before the semi-finals. I can honestly say, probably due to the many Saturdays at Green Gables playing with the very tough G-Men, that I was very much in each match. While it’s not at all unusual to lose 26-0, I was able to have a chance to win in each match and only lost to Matthew 26-22 with a chance to win late in the game.

A word about Covid. Although the USCA, our national organization, has cancelled several major events for the Fall, Club tournaments are still being scheduled. In the case of last week’s Nationals, everyone was masked unless they were playing on the lawn. Masks were strictly enforced, and people sat apart during lunch. I think everyone did a very good job holding to the rules. There were no dinners or large gatherings so things were not quite as elegant as in the past but there was plenty of comradery around the club.

I was proud to fly the Green Gables flag outside the tent through rain and shine, having a great time with a terrific group of players from all over the country. I highly recommend traveling to compete at any level. You meet wonderful people and gain new insights into playing the great game of croquet.


Tom Cooper

2021 NJ Championship Results

Two beautiful days of competition at the 2021 NJ Championship hosted by the Rumson Country Club. Weather was perfect. The competitors had di...