World Crokinole Championship
Tavistock, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Top contender could win up to
Cash and Prizes to be Awarded
in 24 categories
A few comments from previous years'
WORLD CROKINOLE CHAMPIONSHIP™
"This is the highest caliber of crokinole play I have ever seen!"
- JV, Prince Edward Island
"Three generations of our family came here to play. It was just amazing."
- GM, Massachusetts
"This was a blast! I hope I can get over again next year."
- SS, Spain
"Impressive. A very well-organized event."
- KB, Ontario
"It was worth the trip. We will be back."
- RG, New York
"What an incredible day! This was simply fantastic!"
- PB, Quebec
"Wonderful! I will be bringing a large group of friends next year."
- DS, Vermont
"We will certainly try to get back for the next WCC™. We made so many good friends during our few days in Tavistock. When we left it was like leaving family."
- D & NL, New Mexico
"Crokinole is my life! I wouldn't have missed this for the world."
- IB, Ontario
How Did the World Crokinole Championship (WCC) get started?|
The desire for an annual world crokinole championship is not a new idea. As early as the mid-1890s, crokinole clubs and 'circles' had become popular in many Ontario communities (see The Crokinole Book by Wayne Kelly, pp. 8, 70-1). Numerous attempts to organize leagues and tournaments throughout other parts of Canada, Great Britain, and the United States appear to have been short-lived through the first two decades of the 20th century, but during the 1920s and 30s, as crokinole popularity seemed to experience a revival, more organized efforts began to yield results. One of the world's most long-standing crokinole clubs first saw the light of day in 1927. Ontario's Preston Crokinole Club-organized that year with a charter and detailed rule manifesto-has been operating continuously down to the present. And while not organizing large tournaments with any great frequency, members of this club have most certainly been avid crokinole boosters and have supported countless tournament events over the past eight decades.
Crokinole tournaments and championships have most certainly existed in countless locations throughout North America, as attested by hundreds of first-hand accounts that have been sent to the author (WK). Small, community-oriented crokinole competitions were often viewed as a mainstay of social activity-especially in rural areas, villages, and small towns-all across this continent throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. But during the decade of the 1970s, at least one Canadian town enjoyed the distinction of holding the "World Crokinole Tournament." Steinbach, Manitoba, hosted a crokinole competition for several years during the early 1970s culminating in their final "World" championship in 1974 (see The Crokinole Book, pp.78-87).
With the publication of The Crokinole Book in 1988 and the forthcoming 'frenzy' of electronic and print-media attention that drove the book to be a Canadian, non-fiction, best-seller, a noted resurgence of interest and curiosity about this 'great, old family game' became apparent. In an effort to support and encourage such interest, Wayne Kelly regularly served as a consultant and organizer for crokinole events throughout southern Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, and several northern US states during the early 1990s. One such event-held in Goderich, Ontario, for a 4-year period commencing in 1990-grew to become an amazing 5-day event held annually during the March school 'break.' Hundreds of players from all over southern Ontario vied for top honours in numerous categories.
During most of the 1990s, Kelly continued to promote crokinole play as 'wholesome family fun' and sought-with little result-a venue and community that would demonstrate an interest in hosting a "World Crokinole Championship" on a permanent, annual basis. It was not until the summer of 1998, however, when Kelly was invited to present a display of historic crokinole boards at the 4-day Tavistock (Ontario) sesquicentennial celebration, that enthusiasm for such a notion gained serious momentum. In protracted conversations with Dr. Bruce Halliday, a retired local physician and former provincial Member of Parliament, it became clear that perhaps Tavistock might indeed prove to be an ideal location to host such an event. In early January, 1999, Kelly accepted an invitation as guest speaker at several Tavistock service clubs in which the idea of a "World Crokinole Championship" was presented. Favourable response was immediate and optimistic. The Township of East Zorra-Tavistock followed by scheduling an open meeting for February 24th, at which many local residents voiced enthusiasm for the notion, succeeded by another address by Kelly to the Chamber of Commerce in early April. As a result of these early meetings, six committees-public relations, rules/procedures, awards/sponsorship, registration, game equipment, and facility management-were formed and the date June 5, 1999 was selected to be the first annual World Crokinole Championship. (see The Tavistock Gazette, April 14, 1999, pg. 1)
Wayne Kelly served in assorted roles on the WCC executive committee and as a consultant for several years. In early 2003, he presented his long-standing ideas for a WCC -sanctioned competition crokinole board to the executive, who adopted his designs and proceeded to commission the manufacture of a sufficient number of tournament boards to accommodate up to 500 players at the yearly event. The annual World Crokinole Championship has at last become a reality and will hopefully continue in Tavistock for many years.