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Michael Orgill

Michael Orgill

Where would the USCA be without the addition of new players and clubs, and someone to manage them?  What good is a selection committee if no one observes the players?  How would players know anything if no one published results?  There are, of course, those that do these things for a year or two, or even 5 to 10; but only a precious few have done these things for over 30 years!  Michael Orgill falls into the 30 year plus category!

Mike discovered croquet and the USCA in 1982 through a New York Times article.  He quickly joined the San Francisco Croquet Club and began playing in the San Francisco Open -- then the pre-eminent, USCA-rules tournament on the West Coast. Soon thereafter, Mike helped found Croquet Magazine, the first American “slick” publication devoted entirely to croquet.

Additionally, along with Garth Eliassen, Mike developed the Croquet Calendar, an excellent monthly, national newsletter of tournament results, editorials, and croquet news. This brought awareness of the tournament scene to players everywhere.  They learned of results, prominent players, game tactics, strategies, schedules and many of the issues and viewpoints surrounding the sport.  Mike also assisted Bob Alman in the creation of Croquet World Online Magazine, the first croquet news and analysis website -- one that continues to shape croquet coverage today.

In the mid-1980’s, after Brice Jones built Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards and included two, world-class croquet courts, Mike and his family moved north to Sonoma County where he joined the Sonoma-Cutrer Croquet Club.  Since 1994, he has been the club president, working closely with the winery to ensure the continuance of croquet. This was especially important as the winery was sold to Brown-Forman, the Kentucky spirits conglomerate. 
Jones created and held the World Croquet Championships, an international-rules tournament that was the first invitational singles championship tournament.  Mike was the tournament director for ten years until the tournament ended in 2003.  He then brought the North American Open to Sonoma-Cutrer, which continued the winery’s major fund raising relationship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

In recent years, Mike has worked with the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio, the site of the largest croquet library in the United States, to create its first major croquet-themed fund raising event.  Along with organizing the golf croquet tournament, Mike spearheaded the creation of a USCA club at the Hayes Center.

Mike is active in croquet management at the club, national, and international levels.  He is currently a member of the World Croquet Federation Management Committee, as well as a member of the USCA’s International Committee.  He has been a member of the USCA Selection Committee since 1994, as well as serving as USCA District President in Northern California.

Mike won several tournaments including the 1991 Arizona Open Doubles with Phil Arnold and the 1991 Wine Country International, placing high in numerous regionals, invitationals, and opens. He has contributed immensely to the successful advancement of croquet in the Western states.   Over the years, Mike has cultivated and built friendships and advanced the sport of croquet wherever and however he could.  He is a true gentleman, a very special ambassador of the sport, and a most-worthy 2015 inductee into the US Croquet Hall of Fame.

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