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

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