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.

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