Graeme Roberts

 World Croquet Federation

Hall of Fame

Dr. Graeme John Roberts

Born: 1949

Inducted: 2013

Graeme Roberts began playing croquet at the Montecillo Club in Dunedin in 1970.  His first experience of the Kelburn Club was in November 1973, when he competed in the Junior Invitation Event at the club and recalls that it blew a gale for all five days of the competition, varying only in direction.  After working (and playing croquet) in England for six years, Graeme joined Kelburn in 1981.  The following January he won the New Zealand Men’s Championship Singles and was selected as a member of the New Zealand MacRobertson Shield team for the competition to be played in Australia the following November.  In 1984 he won the New Zealand Men’s Championship Singles for a second time and also the New Zealand Open Championship Doubles, partnering Richard Clarke of Gisborne.  Graeme represented New Zealand at the Sonoma-Cutrer world singles competition in California in 1990, and at the World Croquet Federation (WCF) World Association Championships twice, in 1990 and 2005, both times in the UK.  He played in two New Zealand representative teams in 1990 in matches against the Great Britain and Ireland team visiting New Zealand for the MacRobertson Shield.  He has won the Kelburn A / Senior A Championship Singles 12 times.

Graeme was appointed one of the founding members of the NZCC Laws Committee in 1986 when it was re-established by Ashley Heenan and Jean Corry after a lapse of many years.  He took over as Chair of the Committee when Jean retired in 1990 and has served on the Committee continuously since then.  He served as the Wellington Association Referee from 1984 to 1990.  He has been Referee of the Tournament for the MacRobertson Shield contest, for the WCF World Association Championships three times (once in France) and for Trans-Tasman test series three times.  He has also refereed at international level at the MacRobertson Shield twice (once in Australia) and the inaugural WCF Women’s World Association Championships in Melbourne in 2012. He has been asked to be the Referee of the tournament for the MacRobertson Shield challenge in New Zealand later in 2013.   He was elected a Life Member of the NZCC in 2000.

As part of his duties on the NZCC, Graeme was involved in the mid-1990s with the attempt to understand the Egyptian rules of Golf Croquet (recently translated from Arabic) and to apply them to the new version of the game then rapidly gaining ground internationally.  Some of the rules proved problematic:  for example “It is forbidden to wear a complete suit.”  However, the following sentence – “The shoes should be without heels.” – survived.

Refereeing Qualifications:

•           1980     Qualified as referee at Cheltenham, UK

•           1981 (October)  Returned to New Zealand

•           1982     NZ Senior Referee qualification

•           1986     Member & recording secretary, 1st Meeting of reinstituted Laws Committee initiated by Ashley Heenan OBE and Mrs Jean Corry.

•           Has remained been a member of that Committee ever since

•           1990     Test match referee for MacRobertson Shield Great Britain and Ireland (GBI) test in Auckland and the GBI/New Zealand test in Christchurch

•           Promoted to leadership of the NZ Laws committee on the retirement of Mrs Jean Corry

•           1990     Referee of the Tournament, Trans Tasman Women’s Test Match in Wanganui

•           1994     Referee of the Tournament, Trans-Tasman Women’s Test Match in Wellington

•           1994     Referee of the Tournament, Trans-Tasman Open Test Match in Christchurch

•           1995     Referee of the Tournament, WCF World Association Championships in Fontenay le Comte, France

•           2000     Referee of the Tournament, MacRobertson Shield quadrangular series, Christchurch, New Zealand

•           2002     Referee of the Tournament, WCF World Association Championship in Wellington, New Zealand

•           2006     Test match referee, MacRobertson Shield, Rich River, Australia

•           2008     Referee of the Tournament, WCF World Association Championship in Christchurch, New Zealand

•           2012     Test match referee, Inaugural World Women’s Association Championship, Melbourne Australia (special request for inter-country referee)

•           1990 to date      Referee of Tournament at NZ Open Championships

Member of International Laws committee from late 1990s when formed, to date

Full member committee responsible for the revision of the Laws of Association Croquet 2000 (ORLC 2001-2002

Writer and Editor of the Umpire’s Handbook (NZ) and the Referees’ Handbook (NZ)

Compiler of Umpires, Referees and Senior Referees examinations since 1992 for New Zealand.

1990 - 95          Councillor, New Zealand Croquet Council

2000     Life Member of NZ Croquet Council for services to refereeing of croquet

Wellington Region Association Referee 1984 to 1990

Significant national and international playing achievements:

1979-81 Winner Plate Event, The British Open Championship

1981     Runner-up, British Men’s Championship

1982     Winner, New Zealand Men’s Championship

1982     Member NZ MacRobertson Shield Team in Australia

1984     Winner, New Zealand Men's Championship

1984     Winner, New Zealand Open Doubles (with Richard Clarke)

1990     Member, New Zealand representative teams versus the Great Britain and Ireland MacRobertson Shield team, Hamilton and Napier

1990 & 2005      NZ Representative at WCF Association Croquet World Championship

1990     NZ Representative at Sonoma Cutrer World Championship