2010 World Tournament report

Alan Francis and Joan Elmore  – World Champions again

The 2010 World Tournament was held at the Cedar Rapids Arena, Iowa from July 26 to August 7. There were 1268 entries placed in the following divisions: Men (502), Elders (346), Senior Men (160), Women (134), Senior Women (42), Juniors (72) and Cadets (12). There were 24 entries from Canada, coming from the following provinces: Ontario (18), Quebec (3) and Alberta (3). Norway also had one participant.

The following Champions were crowned in 8 divisions:
Men: Alan FRANCIS, Defiance, OH 19-1 87.47%
Women: Joan ELMORE, Mt Juliet, TN 18-1 79.50%
Elders: Ed ARIONUS, Pflugerville, TX 12-1 79.69%
Senior Men: Ron DECKARD, Tampa, FL 10-1 71.07%
Senior Women: Sheila SHEPARD, Wesminster, CO 7-0 72.60%
Junior Boys: Matt FULLER, Lebum, WA 9-0 77.16%
Junior Girls: Bethany HEINRITZ, Pewaukee, WI 5-0 53.21%
Cadets: Noah GABEL, North Dakota 5-0 21.00%

Five Canadians qualified in their respective championship divisions:
Scott Lumb placed 6th in the Junior Boys with 5-4 and 58.9%, concluding his first World tournament experience with his high game of 75%. Matt Fuller from Washington State won the title in his last year of eligibility, edging Ohio’s Gavin Kahrig 40-21 during the decisive last round game.

Angeline Moisan placed 5th in the Senior Women’s division with 2-5 and 58.2% (Angeline also placed 2nd in the Women’s C Class). Colorado’s Sheila Shepard went undefeated to retain her title in that division. Former champion Rivers Prewette lost 45-37 to Shepard (next-to-last round), while a win could have resulted in a three-way tie for first.

Sylvianne Moisan was runner-up for the 4th consecutive time in the Women’s division with a 17-2 win-loss record and 78.4%. The same women who finished in the top three many times in recent years entered the last day undefeated. Joan Elmore started with her best game of the day (87.9%) to beat Sylvianne. Next round, Sylvianne beat Sue Snyder 43-38, while Joan lost 40-36 to Maxine Griffith. Vermont’s Debra Brown defeated Snyder with 89.6% (next-to-last round). A three-way tie was still possible, but Joan quickly defeated Sue and watched from the sidelines as Maxine edged Sylvianne 40-35 confirming Joan Elmore’s 4th Women’s title. Debra Brown finished 3rd due to her higher average (79.3%). Incidently, for the first time since 1993, no women averaged over 80%, mostly due to the clay’s properties which reminded of Spearfish …in 1993.

Drew Becker and Andre Leclerc both qualified in the Men’s championship division and both had 11 wins and 8 losses. Drew was 7th with 63.95%, and Andre was 8th with 60.7%. As expected, the battle for the men’s title was between Alan Francis and Brian Simmons. Brian had defeated Alan 18-15 in class-play (87.5% to 85%) and on two other occasions earlier in 2010. He also received help from Walter Ray Williams who stopped Alan Francis winning streak at 118. Alan had not lost a game in the Championship division since Andre Leclerc defeated him in 2004! Walter Ray (69%) won 41-36 in a game where Alan (67.9) apparently lost 9 ringers on the bouncy clay. So Alan would have to defeat Brian twice to retain his World title. Few expected they would pitch a record game like they did in 2009. Well for the second year in a row, the broke records. This time, “The Game” lasted 144 shoes, Brian recording 128 ringers for 88.9%. It was good enough for 29 points as Alan missed 11 shoes for 133 ringers (92.4%) to win 42-29. They both lost at least 3 ringers each and the game ended actually when Brian’s second shoe bounced back just enough to give Alan the win. Brian, who hurt a left knee already in bad shape, had given all he had to win the title. Alan won the playoff game 40-12 in 50 shoes with 88% vs 70%, clinching his 16th Men’s World Title. Brian also has to be considered as one of the best ever. The two stars produced a record game for the second consecutive year the title being on the line and the pressure that goes with it. Hats off!

No Canadians won their group this year but a good number of them placed among the top 6 in their class. The inductees into the NHPA Hall of Fame for 2010 were Ed Arionus and Casey Sluys.


NHPA convention:
Held on Sunday July 31, Andre Leclerc was the delegate for Canada. Here are the items of interest for us: The next World Tournaments will be held in:
2011 – Monroe-West Monroe, Louisiana (July 18th-30th)
2012 – Knoxville, Tennessee (July 23rd to August 4th)

Other highlights:
Former Junior Girls’ champion Aleena Cook was a special speaker at the Convention and gave a memorable speech.
There are concerns about the finances of the NHPA and the aging participation. The Elders are also asking for more money as they now represent more than 30% of all participants. No definite solution was found but among those mentioned there were talks about perhaps abolishing the Senior Women and Senior Men’s division, and also about finding a major sponsor.
The NHPA ran a section of courts with the electronic scorekeeping system developed by Kurt Whaley. One scorekeeper could keep score for two courts and results were automatically reported to the host computer. Next year, that system will be used for half of the courts and probably all of them in 2012.
A suggestion was brought to rise the maximum age of the Cadets to 12 year-old.

See 2010 World Tournament complete results here.


2010 World Tournament Women's Championship group.

2010 World Tournament Women’s Championship group.

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