What is a Nation?
Okay, I've just suckered you
in with what is called a provocative headline. No way you're going to get me into that debate. Of course, if you're a subscriber to the Nottingham e-mail list, you know that the "nation" topic provides virtually endless entertainment.
For those unfamiliar with the background, there seems to be something of an on-going controversy about how the Great Britain team is formed for the MacRobertson Shield competition, which is now being touted as the World Team championship. The long-termmission is not 100% clear to me, but I would suppose the idea would be to move to an international team championship with more than four nations. Four teams in itself is a fairly significant achievement in that despite the long history of the event (started in 1925), the U.S. was a relatively recent addition. The Americans came on board in 1993, so when they take the court this summer at the Bowdon Croquet Club, it will be just their sixth time in the competition.
This year additional tiers have been added to develop nation teams not in the same category of competition of the "big four" MacRobertson teams. That has opened the question of whether or not formerly independent countries such as Wales and Scotland can compete. That's the simple rundown anyway.
it really wasn't that long ago that we gained our own independence). How can there be a Wales and Scotland in the event if there is a United Kingdom of Great Britain? There's some validity to the question, but all you really can come down to is that empires tend to create these kind of dilemmas. The only way I could frame it is if Texas decided they wanted to compete in the World Team Championship as a Tier 2 team. After all, they stood as their own republic for ten years.
It's a tough issue for Americans to comprehend (even though
State Wars - let the madness begin?
to be able to produce eight driving-distance one-day regionals. If you got it down to eight teams, for a national championship, I would think the prestige of the event would merit the necessary travel expenses to get to that final destination tournament.
An example might be that Florida, Georgia and South Carolina battle in district competition. The winner of that competition then might take on the winner of the Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee district. The worst case for travel would be a Florida-Kentucky match-up.
lead me to a more productive thought that of course came to me in the midst of college basketball's March Madness. Surely an American states competition would be good for U.S. croquet. Last fall, there was in fact an under-the-radar, Missouri-Minnesota challenge held in Kansas City. Minnesota won that event 8-4 with minimal fanfare.
to mind; however, maybe if you went down to a sub-regional level, you could keep the early travel simple. I'm thinking down to a two-to-four state district level. That could be tweaked to produce 16 district champions. That would seem
8 | april 2010 | croquetnetwork.com
Logistics are of course the immediate challenge that comes I think we can dismiss that argument easily enough, but it did
A competition would open with a doubles match, then follow with all three members facing all three members of the opposing team in singles competition. If there is a tie at the end, a final doubles match is played with neither team allowed to duplicate the exact same pair. This smaller team format would allow a test to be completed in six to eight hours assuming time limit games. And that would be the entire point of using a three-person roster -- deciding a competition in one day.
this year, I'd put my money on North Carolina. Dylan Goodwin --
The U.S. State Croquet Wars ... think about it. If it happened I'd also suggest smaller team rosters with just three members.
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