Green Gables  Croquet Club

USCA MidAtlantic Regional 6W Championship

August 25-17, 2023

Green Gables Croquet Club - Sea Girt, NJ

The Mid-Atlantic Regional was a tale of extremes. The elegant pool-side opening cocktail party hosted by the croquet playing Leddy family (Ann, Dennis & Matriarch Elise) was driven indoors by rain, which then persisted into the next day.  Play was briefly stopped for lightning.  But Saturday was temperate and a balmy evening was just right for a dinner at the home of Karen Leoncavallo & Richard Ricciardi. Sunday was the kind of glorious Jersey shore weather that brings everyone here in August, just perfect for the finals. Host club Green Gables put on the dog, with breakfast & lunch featuring local cuisine and even provided knowledgeable volunteer board-keepers.  What a treat!

The small Championship flight had a wide range of handicaps, from the minus crowd up to a 5.  The eight souls in 1st flight ranged from 6 to brave volunteer 10.  The second flight of 7 were either 10s or 11s. Championship & First Flight played 5 games into a knock out, while 2nd flight played out their block into a semi-final.

The finals in all flights were nail-biters, with one point leads changing between turns.  All were decided by only 1 or 2 points, in last turn. Paul Neubecker wears the Mid-Atlantic Championship crown for 2023, while Tom Cooper holds the scepter. Kat Robertson was undefeated and has a brand new USCA handicap card to show for it.  Michael Jeary did his best, but she was a force. In a duel familiar to the locals, Scott McMurray managed to best Jim Daniels by 1 point in last turn to claim the 2nd flight tiara.  This one will be replayed many times over.

Those brave souls who volunteered to ‘play up’ were rewarded for their bravery by achieving many tracking points for single victories amid many ‘learning opportunities’.

As is always the case, there was much laughter, new friendships kindled and old friendships stoked.  Almost everyone went home with a few stories and a mental list of croquet skills to work on.  (Maybe not Kat.)

Championship Singles

1. Paul Neubecker

2. Tom Cooper

3. Cecil Creasey

3. Mike Gibbons

5. Dennis Leddy

5. Carl Archiniaco

First Flight Singles

1. Kat Robertson

2. Michael Jeary

3. Karen Leoncavallo

3. George Claffey

5. Richard Ricciardi

5. Don McLaughlin

5. Susan Creasey

5. Jane Helms

Second Flight Singles

1. Scott McMurray

2. Jim Daniels

3. Ric Venino

3. Jon Bonny

5. Ann Leddy

5. Peter Cerrati

5. Pat Richmond

2022 USCA Annual Awards - Club of the Year!

On March 6, 2023, the United States Croquet Association notified us that the Green Gables Croquet Club was selected as the USCA  2022 Club of the Year. This was quite an honor considering there are 230 croquet clubs in the United States affiliated with the USCA.

The 2022 Club of the Year award was presented at the United States Croquet Association 2022 Annual Awards dinner which was held in W. Palm Beach on March 15, 2023. This award was presented by USCA President Damon Bidenscope to Tom Cooper, who represented the Green Gables Croquet Club.

Green Gables Croquet Club has the honor of having received the USCA Club of the Year award once before in 2001.

On the same evening our own Loretta Cooper was honored by the United States Croquet Association and received their 2022 Volunteer of the Year award. 

Richard Ricciardi, was given Honorable Mention for Club President of the Year.  

Former GGCC member Jodie Rugart was awarded 6-W Grand Prix Female Winner. 

Congratulations to all !!

The USCA CroquetNews magazine 2023 Summer Issue lists all of the 2022 Annual Awards Winners as well as photos from this event:


Don't Let the Smiles Fool You

It is all smiles on Saturday morning until the game clock starts. 

National Croquet Day 2023

On Saturday, June 3, 2023 Green Gables Croquet Club celebrated National Croquet Day at our courts. Although the weather was unseasonably cold and windy, many local people came to find out about the sport of croquet. Plenty of our own members were on hand to demonstrate and explain how the game is played. Several players showed interest in learning more about croquet and our club.

It was an exciting day to be at the Army Base, as it was also the annual NJ Medevac personnel gathering. Three medevac helicopters landed close to the courts with plenty of fanfare. 

Thank you to all of our members who came to share their love of the sport!  


Photos by Richard Ricciardi and Scott Kennedy. Link to complete picture album (11 pictures)

Opening Day and Memorial Service 

2023 Opening Day, Sunday May 29

We had a wonderful turnout on Memorial Day weekend for our 2023 Opening Day Ceremony!

Many members, dressed in white, gathered around the new pavilions to reconnect after the winter.  Don McLaughlin spoke beautifully remembering each of our members who have passed this last year. He gave roses to the families present in recognition of their loved one, and then read one of the most quoted poems from WWI, "In Flanders Field". 

It was a lovely tribute to the following members that we have lost:

Many members enjoyed sandwiches, snacks and drinks before playing croquet. The weather was wonderful, and it was a great way to come together to kick off the 2023 Season. Many thanks to all who attended!


Photos by Richard Ricciardi. Link to complete picture album (11 pictures)

Bombay Mallet & Wicket Croquet Club

Diane Fitzsimons payed in the West Indies Invitational in November, 2022.

Saturday Mini Tournament

Beautiful Saturday afternoon. Dennis Leddy took the initiative with the scheduling and organizing the teams, and then he went fishing! 

Plus there was a large group that played golf croquet. 

Some pictures of the afternoon below. Courts are fantastic. Don't miss out on the great weather. 

Rumson vs Green Gables Rivalry

This is a’ frienemy’ rivalry that goes back decades. In 2003 Rumson donated a silver bowl that became the ‘official’ record of the winner each year.  Although the rivalry is fierce, it has gone back & forth over the years, and I doubt whether many members of either club could tell you who won it last year.  Except that the last winner has to find the trophy.  No kidding.  It went missing for a number of years, so there is a gap in the time lines of the inscriptions.  In 2021 apparently Rumson won, since they had the trophy.  We have it now.

We always play American 6 wicket.  There were 3 rounds of doubles, 60 minute games. It was a seriously blustery day.  Beautiful sunshine and chilly from a strong and consistent ocean breeze. Jo-Anne Nappi recruited a small but elite crew of volunteers to start our day with a courtside continental breakfast, with an orchid centerpiece.

Green Gables graciousness was discretely displayed with volunteer board keepers (including Ellen Hall, Mary McLaughlin & Jim Daniels) on each court for all 9 games. It is an old-fashioned courtesy that is disappearing.  It is so very nice to have a board keeper. We even had spectators, including new members Linda & Joanie and the volunteer caterers (Leslie, Lorraine & Nancy)

In the first round, our team captain, Murray Pollock (1.5), and his protégé, Chuck Reynolds (12) had the widest margin victory of the day (14-9), against Cat Neiderer (3.5)  & Bruce Huber(6) while Brenda Pollack (6) and Jon Bonny (15) defeated Michael Jeary (7) & Susan Young (17) by 2 points.

Karen Leoncavallo (7) and Tom Burrus (20) were neck in neck against Rumson’s team captain, Ron Shifton (3.5) & Bill Westerfield (10), but lost the game by two points.

Rumson : 1  win ,     -5  points                     

Green Gables : 2 wins,     +5 points

In the second round, our victories repeated in similar fashion.  Murray & Chuck won again, as did Brenda & Jon

In case you think that croquet is not exciting to watch, this writer witnessed a super-tricky, well executed and masterful maneuver in last turn.

Ron Shifton was for one-back, as was Brenda, whom he was dead on. Ron rocqueted partner blue on the non-playing side of the wicket and then cannoned it into Brenda, sending her off diagonally, out of wicket shooting range.  He then used his continuation shot to take position. Crafty! But not quite enough, as there were 2 rounds of last turn, and Jon Bonny, last ball in last turn, scored the winning wicket.  Phew!

Karen & Tom did their best to hold their own against the formidable duo of Ceci Shifton (3.5) & Cat, but lost this game.

Rumson  :  2 wins,      -5   points

Green Gables : 4 wins,     +5 points

Lunch was also served courtside; a groaning sideboard of sandwiches, fruit and a tower of cookies. Players filled up quickly, and were eager to get back on the courts, so we started the third round early.

This was the climax of the day, as the pairings were against each teams’ nearest competitor.  

Brenda & Jon faced Cat & Bruce, but lost by 1 heartbreaking point.

Murray & Chuck/Ellen Hall faced Ron & Bill, but went down by 3 points.

But this time, Karen and Tom were able to achieve their one victory, and in doing so, win the cup for Green Gables.

It was only a one point win, but a win it was, and had it been a loss, Rumson would have kept the trophy.

Final Score:    

Rumson: 4 wins,    -2 points

Green Gables : 5 wins,    +2 points

Murray & Chuck  2 wins          +5 points

Ron & Bill                     2 wins          +4 points

Brenda & Jon            2 wins          +2 points

Cat & Bruce                2 wins          0 points

Karen & Tom             1 win           -5 points

Michael & Susan      1 win           -6 points

As you can see from the narrow score differences, these games were well-matched, challenging and seriously played. Everyone departed with a smile, and the promise to do it again, soon and more frequently.

Congratulations to the players for their hard-fought victory, truly a team endeavor.  Eternal gratitude to everyone who contributed to make this event live up to the Green Gables reputation for graciousness.

Murray Pollock, Team Captain, Jon Bonny, Trustee and  Jo-Anne Nappi, Trustee receive the Silver Bowl from Ron Shifton, Team Captain, Rumson Club. 

Murray Pollock, Team Captain, Jon Bonny, Trustee and  Jo-Anne Nappi, Trustee receive the Silver Bowl from Ron Shifton, Team Captain, Rumson Club. 

Blue Crab Tournament

 Diane Fitzsimons participating in the Blue Crab Tournament, September 29-October 2

New Member Mixer

Sept 2022

Green Gables Ambassadors

Dear GGCC members,

If you were unable to attend our Annual Gala this past Friday night, several of our members referred as Green Gables Ambassadors were acknowledged for traveling to other club tournaments representing us in a very significant way. I am pleased to inform you that Loretta Cooper has added another two wins to an already impressive list of club member victories.

Additionally, congratulations to Dennis Leddy for winning 1st place, Championship Flight, Golf Croquet Tournament at the Merion Cricket Club this past weekend.

Please see below Tom Cooper’s email updating us on the Association Croquet National Tournament.


Tom Cooper

At the 2022 Association Croquet National Tournament, Loretta placed first in singles and second in doubles in the First Flight. Here she is pictured with Championship Flight singles winner Matthew Essick. Matthew is the current World GC Champion.

The tournament was held at the Chesapeake Bay CC in Hartfield VA. Many of Americas top players were present but only two women, the other being our own Jodie Rugart.

Green Gables was well represented. Also playing were members Dennis Leddy, Jay Hughes and Tom Cooper.


Green Gables Croquet Club Ambassadors

Congratulations and thank you to our special members who have represented Green Gables Croquet Club well while competing at other clubs throughout this year:

National Croquet Day June 4, 2022

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