From the courtyard to the World Cup: Bobby Rivera’s passion for croquet


“A sport with strategy and skill, but special with passion. This is what croquet represents to Roberto “Bobby” Rivera, a Mexican who is about to realize his dream of representing our country at the World Championships in this discipline.

Bobby’s history with croquet began more than fifteen years ago in an unexpected way: With a power outage.

I like to compare it to billiards and chess together.

“We started doing this sport when I was living in San Diego. One day, almost all of California went out of power and we decided to go to the store to look for garden toys“.

Among the options they found were Boccia, badminton and croquetbeing the last that managed to capture them.

This discipline is played on the surface of the lawn and consists of hitting plastic balls with a wooden mallet. Special

“We played inventing the rules and what we remember from our grandparents,” but soon developed what started as an entertainment to spend afternoons without light, to pursue professionally.

“We started playing in the garden behind my house and got so passionate that we gradually improved our squad. Arrest sticks From walmart To order sugarcane from Australia, from professional sticks and find other clubs there in San Diego“.

But it wasn’t all easy, especially for Roberto He returned to Guadalajara and had to face the reality of an unpopular sport in the country.

I came back here to Guadalajara 10 years ago and left without that place to exercise

“I came back here to Guadalajara ten years ago and was left without that place to play sports. I went here where I could, even on the fast football pitches, just to practice my shot and what is more like a professional pitch, which is almost like a golf green.

Bobby is already preparing before leaving for the World Cup in the UK. Special

The only thing Bobby was looking for was to find a place where he could continue practicing, no matter where he was.

“I went to the units, where they only let me hit the ball. For example, I thought of my friends’ gardens, but no one mowed the garden as needed so the ball would roll well.. That’s why I ended up building a quarter court in my house, to be able to train well.”

But the work did not stop. On the other side of the border, Richard Zazueta s Brian Lozano, they were working and approaching an association croquet From the United States, which allowed them to bring sports closer to Mexico.

“We started to have open tournaments in Mexico, in San Miguel Allende and People came from all over the world, from Spain, Canadians and English to compete because it all goes to the rankings. This is how we started entering the rankings in order to qualify and we are now entering the FIFA World Cup.”

In these tournaments he met “Bobby” Stephen Morgan With whom, he not only made a great duo for competitions, but will now accompany them on the next big step in his career: the World Cup.

They are going out into the world!

In a few days Rick Zazueta, Brian Lozano, Roberto Rivera and Victor Abitea They will achieve the dream that they dreamed of for years: to compete and represent Mexico in the World Croquet Championship in United kingdom. This year, the event will be held from July 20-23 at Guildford & Godalming Croquet Club.

Victor Manuel Abitea Martinez is another member of the team that will represent Mexico at the World Cup. Special

We wanted to stay for two or three years, but that wasn’t possible because of the pandemic. We’ve been training for this for years, and we want to get to the top“.

Therefore, when they received the message that they were baptized as participants, they exploded with joy. This is the first step to realize his dream of developing sports in the country..

This is the first step to leaving a legacy of Mexican teams that will put order there

“We, as Mexico, enter the third streak, if we win it, we move to the second streak, which is a streak that is more competition and from there to the first World Cup, as if it was football. This is the first step towards leaving a legacy of Mexican teams that will put order there. “.

This is the message received by the Mexican national team that proves its participation in the 2022 World Cup.

What is the World Cup qualification process?

In order to enter and be recognized by the World Croquet Federation, you must participate in official tournaments that allow you to record your results and, in this way, enter a standings:

“You have to take your results from the tournaments to the federation so they give you a ranking. They play tournaments all over the world so they enter their results and that increases your qualifications so we as a team have to go. We chose the best rank for the Mexico team“.

Within the World Cup, it is played by teams with a “scoring dynamic where the points earned, by teams of two, one person are added up” will be the three winning teams: Iran, Czech Republic and Portugal.

Roberto will play with his colleagues he has known for years and with whom he began this adventure, but without a doubt the company of Stephen, who will be his coach, will also be special because “Bobby” describes him as his coach.

Currently, The Mexican croquet team does it without support from any quarter, driven by their passionBut they hope that soon they can gain recognition and encourage more people to exercise.

Passion begins in the backyard

For anyone thinking of entering the world of croquet, Roberto has some recommendations:

“Let it start the same way we started. In a store that sells lawn toys, and if they find a more professional piece of equipment, get it. The passion must start in the backyard.”

Where do you practice croquet in Mexico?

There are two organizational croquet courts in the country: one located in San Miguel de Allende and the other in Valle de Guadalupe.

Maintenance of the croquet court is essential because the surface must be smooth enough for the ball to roll properly.

What is croquet?

Croquet is a sport that appeared in Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This discipline is played on the turf surface and consists of hitting plastic balls with a wooden mallet so that they pass through metal arcs that are assembled on the playing field.

This sport is played in countries such as England, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, the United States and Egypt and is regulated by the World Croquet Federation.

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Terry Alexander

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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