New Zealand and Australia have enjoyed a healthy rivalry over the years in the sporting arena. The Trans-Tasman competition has often been fiercely fought with bragging rights on the line.
Croquet became part of this long history of Trans-Tasman rivalry when the first croquet Trans-Tasman, the Women’s Challenge, was played in 1988. Not long after this, in 1991, the first Open AC Trans-Tasman was held. These series were initially set up for the development of the women’s game and the next tier of men as well as providing international experience when there were limited world championships.
Over the years, the Trans-Tasman series has been held 18 times including the introduction of the Golf Croquet Trans-Tasman series in 2015. Highlighting how fiercely contested these series were, New Zealand has won 10 and Australia 8.
As with many sports, resources are limited and must continually be evaluated as to where they are allocated to ensure the continued development and growth of the game.
Since the initial Trans-Tasman, the game of croquet has developed drastically around the world. Where it was once only the AC Teams Championship (MacRobertson Shield), there are now 8 different world championships.
The increased number of tournaments and the shift from developing to competing have made it difficult to continue to allocate the appropriate resources.
In recent years, CNZ has explored alternatives to ensure the Trans-Tasman remains a relevant fixture on the croquet calendar including changes to the format. Unfortunately, these were not able to be agreed with Australia.
CNZ has made the difficult decision to withdraw from the Trans-Tasman series. While we are disappointed, Covid-19 makes the future we face uncertain and we believe this decision will place croquet in a strong position moving forward in New Zealand.
A Development Plan which will replace the Trans-Tasman is currently being developed and will be presented to the Executive for consideration in October. Stay tuned for more information.