Proceduren som beskrivs i appendix C i WCF sports regulations skulle innebära att den som har mest fördelaktig position i gruppen av fem går direkt till semifinal; två slumpmässigt dragna spelare möts och vinnaren där möter den som gått direkt till semifinal. Vinnaren där möter vinnaren av de två återstående spelarna.
Under förutsättning att det går att räkna ut den mest fördelaktiga positionen, i det här fallet borde det handla om flest poäng? Sedan kan det ju diskuteras om det är en fördel eller en nackdel att ha en fördel.
Inte alla, bara fem - och inte poäng heller, egentligen. Lika antal vinster är vad det är frågan om.
Sedan måste man ändå skilja på de fem, eftersom de inte kan spela samtidigt. Flest vinster i inbördes möten fungerar kanske inte i det här gänget - och då har nämnda appendix C (resolution of ties after group play) resonemang om den som har flest poäng, vilket väl borde betyda bågpoäng. Den mest fördelaktiga positionen i gruppen (om den nu alls är fördelaktig) ges till "a player that has more points than the other players in the resolution group from the group stage"
Anton och John F T gick vidare!
Anton möter Rutger Beijderwellen och John F T möter Mulliner :-)
Kommenterande från Chris Clarke, så nu behöver man inte längre vänta en halv dag på att resultat ska presenteras. Gårdagens manövrer var märkliga, med uppgifter om spelare i knock-out och plate - utan att fullständiga resultat från grundspelet fanns rapporterade någonstans. Nu har det kommit en uppdatering också vad gäller blocken, med partierna från play-off i block B. Spelordningen som nämndes tidigare tycks inte stämma överens med det som anges som de faktiskt spelade partierna.
Tony Le Moignan är lite upprörd över att Reg Bamford blev bortdömd när han gjorde ett till synes helt godkänt hoppskott.
Okay. I’m not normally outspoken... (and neither do I know anything about GC nor give a shit about anything to do with GC)
I’ve looked at the video, and if this is indeed the ruling - “"capable of affecting a subsequent turn played over the damaged area."
then the referee should be banned from EVER acting in that capacity again, anywhere in the world.
In fact, it’s probably best for the chap to resign instantly (this very minute), to at least save an atom of dignity.
What a total f***ing outrage.
Reg gjorde ett enormt hoppskott vid läge 5-5 efter att ha jobbat upp sig från 2-5.
Bättre video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbNJ-Ve6GmI
Abdul nånting, världens just nu mest hatade man inom krocketen och totalt inkompentent som domare (har själv råkat ut för honom) gjorde bedömningen att Reg i slaget skadade planen.
Regs email till Nottinghamlistan:
Dear Abdul and Bill,
Yesterday you made a ruling in my quarterfinal match that, in my opinion, changed the outcome of the match and my participation in the World Championships. The context of the match, the nature of the shot, and calamity of your ruling has left me little choice but to write this email.
I have chosen to post this to the Board, rather than address you personally because I can imagine that several readers would be interested in learning more about the incident and because my own comments and recommendations may warrant wider discussion. I hope you understand.
My match was played on Court 1 at Hurlingham. It was the soggiest of all the courts we played on this week. I was aware of this because I had practiced on it last Sunday during a downpour (which left it waterlogged for several hours even after the other three courts had dried out) and played on it again during the week (when the same thing happened). As you will concede, the sogginess of a court will have a bearing on how the lawn can get damaged when playing jump shots, particularly bombs (bouncing jump shots). The match situation was that I was one down in the match. In the second game, I had fought back from 5-2 down to level matters at 5-5. There was all to play for, and I felt that the momentum of the match had changed.
During the game I had played two successful jump shots, both from short distances but both played hard (at hoop 8 and hoop 9 in this second game). Neither were called faults (correctly so). I noticed the damage caused by the shots on both occasions, unsurprising given the lawn condition and the nature of the shot. At hoop 11, the shot that I played immediately preceding the Jump Shot in question was another jump attempt. This one was at an acute angle and from close range. It was unsuccessful, but was a clean shot - that is, I played the jump shot with no mallet contact on the ground and no double-tap. Abdul called this a fault after examining the ground on account of damage to the court (?) but I did not think anything more of this because the shot had failed, and I cared nothing about the consequence of the decision. In hindsight, Abdul made the wrong decision, but the consequence and context made this irrelevant.
Hisham then tried to rush his partner ball (which was in the jaws) and made a hash of the shot. It did, however, leave the hoop-bound ball nicely in the centre of the jaws. My yellow ball (next to play) was a couple of yards off the North boundary, and about 4 yards to the west of end of B-Baulk. I could not tell whether there was any damage to the lawn beneath the ball, nor did I bother looking (let alone think about it). Since Hisham was set to win 11 and get control at 12 in the same shot, I felt I had a free crack at the bomb as I had little to lose if I missed. Playing a 10 yard bomb on a soggy court takes considerable skill, and is beyond most croquet players. It needs to be hit with enormous force, with near-perfect strength and angle, contact and execution. That is what I did, and I played what I believe to be the best shot that I have ever played in a game of competitive croquet. Over a career of 38 years, that is saying something. To add to the mix; I had fought back from 5-2, I was playing an Egyptian and they were looking thin on the ground, it was a World Championship quarter final, and I have spent years and years dreaming of winning this event, not to mention the hours of practice to get here. It was a truly awesome shot given these circumstances. And I had nailed it to go 6-5 up and take the match into a third game. It was Game On.
Abdul was not watching the shot from close quarters (and I don't think there was a need to). His priority would have been to see what happened in and around the hoop and whether a hoop point was scored. So I can assume that he did not see anything in the shot itself that was out of order, and he never said as much afterwards. As I walked away from the shot, Abdul then made his way to the spot where I played the ball. After inspecting the court, he indicated that was going to call a fault on me. Incredibly, it was to be the second consecutive shot that I had played, as he had already faulted my previous jump. I cannot recall a jump shot in my career where I have been faulted, and now suddenly I have two in a row! Hisham had not requested Abdul to look at the court damage, and he was simply a silent bystander in all that took place.
The court damage was entirely consistent with having played a very hard bomb. The indentation on the court was about 3-4 inches long and about 2 inches wide. It was shaped like the business-end of a table spoon - that is, quite uniformly shaped with no abnormal bumps or holes. It was almost exclusively covered with grass, albeit stretched and stressed by the force of the shot. About a quarter of the way into the indentation (that is, on the striking side of the indentation) was a small perpendicular tear in the lawn. It was not much more than 3 or 4 millimetres wide and about an inch and a half long (almost stretching across the width of the indentation, but not quite reaching both sides). It would have been no deeper than 3 millimetres. There was another, identical tear of the same size near the middle of the indentation. Both tears were perpendicular to the direction in which the ball was struck. In my opinion, these two tears represented the tearing of the grass below the position of the ball caused when the ball pushed down and forward on the grass in front of it (which causes the ball to jump). The grass area before the jump shot now covered a greater curved surface (including some bunch-up grass at the end of the indentation) AFTER the jump shot, so it would be logical to expect some stretching, stressing or tearing to form at the striking end of the indentation, where the grass must give way. There was no scarring or soil exposed in the indentation other than these two tears.
I appealed Abdul's decision (I don't know whether I was entitled to do this, as I wasn't sure whether the issue was one of law, fact or judgement, but I wasn't going to let that little nuance get in my way). Bill was in the players room and took several minutes to wander over. I must admit to having a rather sinking feeling as he meandered over, as I have heard anecdotal stories of his refereeing abilities from fellow players. He looked at the damage, and ruled that he supported Abdul's decision, agreeing with Abdul that the damage that he saw was consistent with that caused by the bevel of a mallet face. The indentation was then repaired by Abdul. I asked Bill whether he would be prepared to view video evidence of the shot (Stephen Mulliner had indicated to me that one had been taken of the shot while Abdul and Bill poked and nosed around the evidence). Bill declined to view the video and concluded matters. Hisham then scored Hoop 11 with his next shot with the ball in the jaws.
Further points to note are:
-Neither tear would have affected the direction or roll of a croquet ball, had the indentation been "lifted" - i.e. brought back to level with the surrounding area. There was certainly no doubt in my mind that the two tears would have caused no interference to any subsequent shot being played over it.-I play with a Pidcock with (slightly indented) "feet" on each face, which mean I have a flat base to the face of the mallet (as opposed to a purely circular face common to most Pidcock heads). The width of the base is exactly 2 inches, which is longer than the two tears in the indentation and wider than the width of the indentation itself.-Had my bevel struck the ground during the bomb, it would have caused considerable damage. Please understand that the shot was played with immense force on soft ground.-The only way in which I could have replicated the two tears with my mallet would have required me to:
1) Saw off about half an inch of my Pidcock "feet", AND2) Drop my mallet (tilted forward so that the "feet" struck the ground first) from a height of about 3 inches, AND3) Repeat the action above to created the second tear.
To do both 2 and 3 in quick succession is an impossibility. It is my belief that:
-the indentation (and all lawn "alterations" within it) were caused exclusively by the ball and the naturally-occurring bunching and stressing of the grass and soil-it was not physically possible that the tears could have been caused by my mallet, since my Pidcock "feet" were wider than the tears,-the two tears were minor aberrations in the lawn, suitably explained by the stress put the grass at the time of the jump, AND-the tears were NOT material damage that would have affected a subsequent stroke.
The causes of this injustice are:
1) The law concerning damage to a court is, at best, poorly worded and open to interpretation. I would suggest that the law itself is unnecessary and tries (and fails) to fix a problem that doesn't need fixing. Lawn damage is very rare (I don't think I see more than 1 or two instances every 10 games I play, and I play jump shots fairly regularly, but that is because I tend to play on harder courts than the average club player). As a golfer myself, there are not a lot of pitch marks on a green that I cannot repair perfectly adequately. Remove the rule entirely. If you want to keep it, then it is essential that the player have intent to caused damage with his mallet.
2) It is all very well setting a test for referees, but if they are called on to make judgements - at critical moments in a World Championship - on shots that they are incapable of playing themselves, then we are appointing the wrong referees to be in charge of these sorts of games. The stakes are too high for them get such calls wrong. For serious championships games, appoint someone who has played the game at a high level and is respected. I would far rather have a non-qualified referee with international playing experience on my court than a qualified referee who's best result is third place in the Counties and runner-up in a club Doubles event.
3) Abdul is a very nice man. He is humble and well-meaning, and I enjoy meeting up with him at tournaments. But he also happens to be an incompetent referee. On two occasions during my match yesterday I had to ask him to stay away from me. The first was when I was assessing several options at hoop 4, walking this way and that to look at lines of play. Abdul stuck to me as if we were attached by leg irons. I stopped, turned to him and said: "Abdul, please stop stalking me." He mumbled something about wanting to watch my shot, but I really wasn't interested in his reply. I was trying to remain as focused as I could on making the best shot selection and then making the shot, but I don't think he understood that. The second occasion was after I had played a long range shot. I stepped back, and trod on his foot as he was repairing some ground directly behind me. I was irritated by this. Again, I spoke to him: "Abdul, please stay away from me". Again, he mumbled what appeared to be an apology. Abdul has not played international croquet - certainly not at this level - and he simply does not understand what I needed to do to stay in my zone. He was getting in my way and was compromising my chances.
4) Finally, Abdul is an incompetent referee because he got one of the most important decisions he could ever hope to make wrong, based on evidence that didn't back his ruling. He can't play a bomb, and certainly not the one that I was required to play yesterday. If he could, and he played them often enough, he would know the type of damage and indentations that get created when playing the shot. He faulted my twice in a row (is it just me or is that just an incredible coincidence? I can't remember the last time I was ever faulted for playing a jump shot. I don't think I ever have!) for shots that were clean as a whistle. That one of them effectively ended my shot at a World Championship title is a great pity, and the match should not have ended that way.
Abdul, I bear you no grudge. You volunteer your time free of charge, and we all appreciate your efforts in our sport. I will buy a drink when I see you next and please know that there are no hard feelings. But you are simply not cut out to be a Championship referee. Being honest and a nice guy and well-meaning doesn't qualify you for that job. Stephen thinks that you have courage, but courage and incompetency are not very good bedfellows. So I want to ask a big favour of you: If you have an opportunity to referee a shot of mine or be Referee in Charge of a game in which I am playing, please turn down the request. I ask this because I have lost faith in you.
Bill, the same points 3) and 4) applies to you, as well as my request for the favour from you. Please do not put me in position where I refuse to play a game or a shot when you're in charge, because that is what I will do because I have no faith in your competency as a referee either.
May I thank the many people who have spoken to me, emailed me and texted me to pass on their commiserations and express their bemusement and shock at the circumstances. But that is the nature of life and the beauty and drama of international sport.
Any finally, a huge well done to our new champion - Mark, you played awesomely, buddy, and hope I didn't embarrass you with my overt cheering and clapping during the Final!