MacRobertson International Croquet Shield
The MacRobertson International Croquet Shield is the premier croquet teams event in the world. It is currently competed for by Australia, England, New Zealand and the United States. It is known affectionately as the MacRob or just the Mac.
The series is now played in rotation between the competing countries every three or four years.
The next series will be held in 2017 in the USA.
In the early 1920s, Australian confectionery maker and philanthropist, Sir Macpherson Robertson played croquet as his pastime. He enlisted returned World War I veterans to take up concessions for his products and encouraged them to try croquet also, believing it to be a teaching aid for developing skills in self-discipline and risk management. Eventually, a pool of players were participating in regular tournaments. In 1925, with a growing interest in the sport, he established the MacRobertson Shield, an international tournament of croquet "Tests" between Australia and England. The Victorian Croquet Association sent a team of four players to England to contest the inaugural tournament. England won easily and Robertson presented the Shield personally.
In 1927-8 an England team played in Australia and was narrowly defeated. In 1930, New Zealand was invited to participate in a series between themselves and Australia, with Australia winning comfortably and the first triangular series was held in 1935 in Melbourne as part of the Melbourne centenary celebrations. In 1993, a United States team was admitted into the tournament.
Between 1974 and 2010 the team representing the Croquet Association was named Great Britain and in two series Great Britain and Ireland, because the teams included players from Scotland, Wales and Ireland. From the 2013-14 series the team will be named England and will only included English qualified players. This is following the introduction of the WCF World Association Croquet Team Championship.
The 2013-14 Series
The 2013-14 series was contested in New Zealand across 4 different venues.
Mon 30 December - Fri 3 January: New Zealand v USA and England v Australia at United Croquet Club, Christchurch
- England 16 - 5 Australia
- New Zealand 20 - 1 USA
Sun 5 - Thu 9 January: England v USA at Te Mata Croquet Club, Havelock North and New Zealand v Australia at Marewa Croquet Club, Napier
- England 18 - 3 USA
- New Zealand 15 - 4 Australia
Sat 11 - Wed 15 January: New Zealand v England and Australia v USA at Mt Maunganui Croquet Club, Tauranga
- New Zealand 13 - 7 England
- Australia 17 - 4 USA
The 2010 Series
The 2010 Shield was contested in Great Britain, across 5 different venues.
Fri 6 – Tue 10 August: Great Britain v USA at Bowdon, Greater Manchester and Australia v New Zealand at Heaton Park, Manchester
- Great Britain 12 - 9 USA
- Australia 8 - 13 New Zealand
Thu 12 – Mon 16 August: Great Britain v New Zealand at Nottingham and Australia v USA at Roehampton
- Great Britain 11 - 10 New Zealand
- Australia 7 - 14 USA
Wed 18 – Sun 22 August: Great Britain v Australia and New Zealand v USA both at Surbiton
- Great Britain 14 - 7 Australia
- USA 5 - 16 New Zealand
Each team is represented by 6 players and each test is the best of 21 matches comprising 12 singles and 9 doubles.
In 2010, for the first time, the four MacRobertson Shield countries were joined by 13 other countries in an inaugural WCF World Association Croquet Team Championship. The MacRobertson Shield was Tier 1 and the other 13 entries were split into three further tiers based on playing strength.
Mon 16 - Sat 21 August: Tier 2 Division 1: The next four countries played at the Hurlingham Club, London.
- Tier 2.1 winner Wales
Mon 16 -Sat 21 August: Tier 2 Division 2: The next four countries played at the Compton Croquet Club, Eastbourne, East Sussex.
- Tier 2.2 winner Scotland
Wed 18 - Sat 21 August: Tier 3: The remaining five countries played at the Sussex County Croquet Club.
- Tier 3 winner Czech Republic
|1930||Australia||New Zealand, Australia||Australia|
|1935||New Zealand||England, Australia, New Zealand||Australia|
|1950–51||New Zealand||England, New Zealand||New Zealand|
|1956||England||England, New Zealand||England|
|1963||New Zealand||England, Australia, New Zealand||England|
|1969||Australia||England, Australia, New Zealand||England|
|1974||England||Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand||Great Britain|
|1979||New Zealand||Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand||New Zealand|
|1982||Australia||Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand||Great Britain|
|1986||Great Britain||Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand||New Zealand|
|1990||New Zealand||Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain & Ireland||Great Britain & Ireland|
|1993||Australia||Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain & Ireland, USA||Great Britain & Ireland|
|1996||Great Britain||Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, USA||Great Britain|
|2000||New Zealand||Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, USA||Great Britain|
|2003||United States||Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, USA||Great Britain|
|2006||Australia||Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, USA||Great Britain|
|2010||Great Britain||Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, USA||Great Britain|
|2014||New Zealand||Australia, England, New Zealand, USA||New Zealand|
|2017||United States||Australia, England, New Zealand, USA|