Croquet Factsheet

32nd Annual St. John’s – U.S. Naval Academy Croquet Match

Date: Saturday, April 12, at 1 p.m. 

Rain Date: Sunday, April 13, at 1 p.m.

Imperial Wickets: St. John’s Junior Sam Collins from Fallsington, Pa.and Midshipmen First Class Ryan Lluy from Fairfax, Va.

2014 St. John's College Team:
Imperial Wicket Samuel Collins: Fallsington, Pa.
Dylan Tyler: Fallston, Md.
Matthew Denci: East Greenwich, R.I.
Amanda Glasgo: Loudonville, Ohio
Ethan Goddard: Moultonboro, N.H.
Jack Whitman: Escanaba, Mich.
Sebastian Abella: Miami, Fla.
Catherine Moon: Wolcott, Conn.
Hayden Pendergrass: El Paso, Texas
Stefan Vasic: Woodstock, Va.
Stephanie Hurn: Darien, Conn.
Joe Gillespie-Hill: Bloomsburg, Pa.

Stats: St. John’s has won the Annapolis Cup 25 out of 31 matches; the Midshipmen have taken the trophy six times. Who will win it this year?

History: According to legend, the rivalry began in 1982 when the commandant of the U.S. Naval Academy was speaking with St. John’s freshman Kevin Heyburn and remarked that the Midshipmen could beat the Johnnies in any sport. “What about croquet?” was the Johnnie’s retort. He later proposed the match to a group of Midshipmen in the interest of fostering better relations between the schools.

The Trophy: The Annapolis Cup – which has been housed everywhere from the Little Campus (now Galway Bay) to a storage closet to the front window of 49 West in Annapolis – is now kept by the victors.

Attire: The Midshipmen wear crisp, U.S. Croquet Association “croquet whites,” along with a team tie, varying from year to year. The Johnnie uniform changes every year, revealed only minutes before each match. Past years have included camouflage, tuxedoes, Viking clothing, kilts, and even imitation USNA Crackerjacks. Several Plebes in dress mess uniforms serve the players refreshments.

Traditions: In preparation for the match, both St. John’s and the Naval Academy play the Ginger Cove Croquet Team, from the Ginger Cove retirement community. They have met a few weeks prior to the St. John’s match each year since 1992. The day before the match, the Johnnies have lunch with the Midshipmen at the Academy mess hall, where the Imperial Wicket for the Johnnies formally challenges the Midshipmen to a match. The match opens with music. The St. John’s Freshman Chorus sings and the Naval Academy Trident Brass band plays. The Johnnies emerge in their surprise uniforms. At 1 p.m., the ceremonial first ball is struck.

United States Croquet Association Collegiate National Championships: Both the St. John’s and the Naval Academy teams compete in the United States Croquet Association Collegiate National Championships. This year the Nationals will be held on April 26-17 at the Merion Cricket Club in Pennsylvania.

Etiquette: Courtesy and good sportsmanship are expected of all players. No players may throw a mallet or hit a ball in protest or anger. No trash talk is allowed.

How the Game is Played: The game played at the annual match is nine-wicket, or “backyard,” croquet. A full-size croquet court is a rectangle 100 feet long and 50 feet wide. Nine metal wickets and two wooden stakes are arranged in a double diamond pattern. The object of the game is to advance the balls through the course by hitting them with a mallet, scoring a point for each wicket and stake made in the correct order and direction. The winner is the first side to score 14 wicket points and 2 stake points for each of its balls. Teams can also win bonus points by “scoring” a wicket or stake or by hitting another ball. For the Annapolis Cup, each side has 10 players divided into two-person teams.

New Ground Rules Regarding Alcohol and Tents (introduced in 2012):
No outside alcohol permitted on campus. However, food, soft drinks, beer, wine, and champagne will be available for cash-only purchase on campus. Tent spaces are by reservation and can be reserved in advance.

2014 - Midshipmen
2013 - Midshipmen
2012 - Johnnies
2011 - Johnnies
2010 - Johnnies
2009 - Johnnies
2008 - Johnnies
2007 - Johnnies
2006 - Johnnies
2005 - Midshipmen
2004 - Johnnies 
2003 - Johnnies
2002 - Johnnies
2001 - Midshipmen
2000 - Johnnies 
1999 - Johnnies 
1998 - Johnnies 
1997 - Johnnies 
1996 - Johnnies
1995 - Johnnies
1994 - Johnnies 
1993 - Johnnies
1992 - Johnnies
1991 - Midshipmen
1990 - Johnnies
1989 - Johnnies
1988 - Johnnies
1987 - Midshipmen
1986 - Johnnies
1985 - Midshipmen
1984 - Johnnies
1983 - Johnnies

"Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone."
- Tolstoy