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The Buffalo Croquet Club Inaugural 6-Wicket Invitational

The Buffalo Croquet Club is hosting its inaugural invitational starting Friday, July 29. The occasion is already creating quite a stir. One would think that a first time showing would inch its way out of the starting gate, but that is not the case here. It turns out that the invitational has attracted the attention of some of the world’s top ranked players – something that not many people could have anticipated. 

Making appearances at the Inaugural 6-Wicket Invitational are players the likes of Johnny Osborn, John Young III, Anne Frost Robinson and Douglas Moore. These names are some of the who’s who when it comes to the game of croquet. The three-day tournament boasts players from the United States Croquet Association (USCA) Hall of Fame, and presidents from the croquet clubs of Bermuda, Rochester and New York City.

It’s rare to see an inaugural event attract so many top competitors in its first year.

“It’s rare to see an inaugural event attract so many top competitors in its first year,” said Osborn, who not only is one of the country’s best players but is also the son of the late Jack Osborn, founder of the USCA. “But perhaps what I’m most looking forward to is meeting all the new Buffalo players, many of whom have been playing croquet for over a decade but will be trying American 6-wicket for the first time.”

Pretty much since its inception, The Buffalo Croquet Club chose to play 9-wicket croquet – a style that is unique to Buffalo. Aside from the varying number of wickets, the hometown club plays by the same rules, uses similar strategies, dons all-white clothing… similar to codes that the USCA adheres to. Seeing that the American Rules 6-wicket is nationally sanctioned and regulated by the USCA, the Buffalo croquet outfit chose to “branch out” for this prestigious event. The result is an invitational that has attracted the attention of some heavy hitters, including John Young III, the Bermuda Croquet Club president.

“Because my grandparents were very instrumental in the early development of croquet in the U.S., I feel an unwavering sense of obligation to help continue that growth and development,” explained Young, who will be traveling to Buffalo in July. “So, any opportunity to be a part of that growth and success, and help support and promote the sport I love, you can always count me in. In fact, anyone who plays croquet knows that it’s really one big family. Whether in Bermuda, New York, California or Kansas, whether a rookie or a longtime championship player, we really are just one big family.”

This isn’t the city I left in the mid-1990s.

“This isn’t the city I left in the mid-1990s,” said Tournament Manager Ryan Thompson, who moved back to Buffalo after spending over a decade in New York City. “Opportunity, both professionally as well as socially, surrounds us now in this city. Whether it be the influx of new business, the resurrection of our historic landmarks and waterfront, or the relentless festivals and events, we are now inundated with unique opportunities.

“Now add croquet to that list.”

The Buffalo tournament begins Friday, July 29, concluding with playoff games and a trophy ceremony on Sunday afternoon. The courts are located adjacent to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy lodge on Parkside Avenue. 

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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