Tony Hall OBE
World Croquet Federation
Hall of Fame
Tony Hall OBE
Tony Hall has devoted himself to croquet for more than twenty years, both as a player and an administrator. He served as an active and ambitious President of the World Croquet Federation from 1998 to 2003 and then promptly undertook the role of Treasurer of the Australian Croquet Association from 2004 to 2012. Before becoming President of the World Croquet Federation, he had served as as President of his club and of the Croquet New South Wales and as the Senior Vice-President of Australian Croquet Association.
Tony spent 38 years in the Australian Army, joining in 1949 and serving overseas in the Antarctic, Malaya, England, Thailand, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea. He retired as a full Colonel in 1987 and was awarded the OBE. He gained considerable administrative experience both as an officer and from playing and being actively involved in the administration of hockey, squash and swimming. He helped to start a hockey club, was secretary of the Canberra Veterans Hockey Association for three years and represented his State for ten years. He served as the treasurer of a squash club for 14 years and spent ten years administering a swimming club in which time he became a senior swimming referee and was made a life member of the club after it became the top club in Australia. His involvement with swimming also gave him direct experience of high level sports politics with the New South Wales and Australian Swimming Associations.
He took up croquet in 1989 became Secretary of the Canberra Croquet Club within months of joining and then its Treasurer after two years. As President of Croquet NSW from 1993 to 1996, he visited all NSW clubs, helping to increase membership from 48 to 62 clubs in three years. During his term as President of the WCF he visited all 24 countries who were then members and ten other potential members.
In 1998 to 2006, he acted as chairman of the first WCF Golf Croquet Rules Committee and then continued to serve as Australia's representative until 2013. The adoption of the new rules in 2001 are widely regarded as greatly assisting the dramatic increase in the popularity of Golf Croquet all over the world.
On becoming its President, Tony had several ambitions for the WCF. He wanted it to become a genuine international body for croquet, having responsibility for the rules of the games of Association Croquet and Golf Croquet, for organising international competitions and for standardising handicapping and everything that happens on the court. He also wanted to expand the number of office bearers and officers so that the duties of the Secretary-General could be delegated among a larger number of administrators. He also performed the duties of the Secretary-General as well as those of the President for one year in the middle of his term before finding a replacement for the inaugural incumbent and a number of other officers. He saw most of these ambitions realised during his term if office and some of those that remained, such as the management of the Laws of Association Croquet and of the MacRobertson Shield, have since been brought under the WCF umbrella.
Since 1990, Tony travelled around the world every year to play and administer croquet, including attending every World Championship and MacRobertson Shield competition. He played in the Australian Association Croquet Championships every year and has been ranked in the top hundred in the world. He has played in the British, New Zealand, Irish, Canadian, German and United States Association Croquet National Championships and in all other WCF countries with courts, winning the German Open in 2001. He also won the British GC Open Doubles and won his Australian tracksuit in 1998 to play for Australia in the third Golf Croquet World Championships. Since then he has since played in five more Golf Croquet World Championships, with a best placing of twentieth. From 2001 to 2006 he represented NSW in the Australian Interstate Association Croquet Championship and also represented NSW in 2007 and 2008 in the first two Australian Interstate Golf Croquet Championship. He won the 2002 and 2005 National Golf Croquet Handicap Championship, the 2004 Australian Golf Croquet Open Singles Championship and, in 2005, won the NSW and Queensland Open Singles Association Croquet championships. While doing all this, he also played hockey with his veterans’ team for twenty years, touring England, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Australia and South America!
Tony also found time to serve for five years as Tournament Referee of the Sonoma-Cutrer World Championships in California and as the Tournament Referee for the 1997 WCF Golf Croquet World Championship at Leamington Spa. He also acted as a referee in almost all the world level events since then until 2011.
Tony is a widower with three children and seven grandchildren. He has displayed an extraordinary amount of energy and commitment to croquet and other sports since his retirement in 1989 both as a player and, above all, as an administrator who knew how to run sports bodies to a very high standard. The world of croquet owes him a considerable debt.
[Updated August 2017]