There is something evil and ugly lurking in the rules of the United States Croquet Association, and that is the rule that tournament matches should be played regardless of the weather — and this means rain.

It rained on the first day of the Edgartown Croquet Club’s tournament, with four matches being played in the morning and six played in the afternoon. A traditional courtside luncheon was served from Soigne, all according to the rules in the rain.

This was a high-low tournament with the very good players teamed with the oh-so-new players, and to help things be even more even some teams were awarded bisques. Like in tennis, this could be taken in moments of need.

This writer and Cecily Greenway managed to get eliminated early on the second morning and so missed much of the fun, and Betty Willis fell, hurting a leg (at home, not on the court). So Danzey Treanor, who had had only one lesson, came by to watch and was drafted to play with Jim Turner.

These tournaments always start with a cocktail party and this was held at Margo Kingston’s house on a wonderful Great Pond on a pretty night. On the second day, since this was the Earl Radford Memorial Tournament, there was a great clambake held at Sandy and Jim Turner’s house.

The Turners also made sure their guests felt at home by setting up little croquet courts.

The third day was the finals when losers played losers and winners played winners, and those who were expected to win, won. Jack Schott with Ed Ross came in first, and Jim Turner with Danzey Treanor second. Normon Mulroney and Margo were third.

Other players were Sally Schott with Kay Chamberlin, Gerry McCauley with Ann Allen and Deb Burress with

Bill Elbow.

Judge Woody Tarlow is responsible for talking the town of Edgartown into building the court (which is the size of two tennis courts) and donating the mallets, wickets and balls, so any one who wishes to play may do so at no charge. Lessons are given to all comers, and the Boys’ and Girls’ Club is nice enough to leave its doors open during tournaments so that players don’t feel bereft of the comforts of home.