Randolph  County,  Indiana
Historical  Articles

The  Winchester  Roque  Club

The  Union  City  Times-Gazette
Saturday, July 16, 1949
Meet The Winchester Roque Club
          If you were to ask the average Randolph countian something about the game of roque, he probably would assume an expression similar to the one he puts on when asked about the Einstein theory on relativity, I. e., completely blank. For although it is one of the most active organizations in the county, or for that matter in the state, few people know anything about it. This article is intended to change all that.
          The Winchester roque club, one of the few in eastern Indiana, is a thriving organization of a swell bunch of fellows.  That just about explains the set-up.  Although it has only 14 members at present, the club has no “floaters,” or inactive members. Each of the 14 members is interested in roque and likes to play the game the best he knows how.  And it isn't like croquet, as some people suppose. The only way roque resembles croquet is that both games have balls, mallets and wickets.  Roque compares to croquet as chess compares to checkers. One is a much more scientific game.
          And after watching one game of roque – which might last for a couple hours – few people will deny that the game is scientific, definitely. Most people can understand the game after one “exposure” about like they can understand the referred to theory of relativity. Utilizing the roque court at Goodrich park – which is maintained by the club members – passersby can watch a game almost any Sunday afternoon. The game is played on a court 30 feet by 60 feet, with wickets fastened permanently in an order similar to croquet. But there the similarity ends. The wickets are about e and ¾ inches wide – just wide enough to let the ball pass through.  And then only if it is hit straight and doesn't wobble. Space does not allow a full explanation of the rules of the game. Let the comparison of chess and checkers give the reader some idea of the rules.  The court is a smooth affair of packed dirt covered with sand, and is as near perfectly level as possible. Special mallets, like the ones shown in the accompanying picture, must be used [picture of the members is not copyable for this account.]  The mallets have hard rubber on one end and generally have metal on the opposite end.  The player uses either end, depending on the circumstances.
          Roque is a game of skill – and sportsmanship. Fouls are called during the play for numerous intricate irregularities, and as a rule a player will call a foul on himself if he notices it. A man without patience and sportsmanship had better take up tiddly-winks.
          The Winchester club was organized about 30 or 35 years ago – no one seems to remember just when – and has been in operation ever since. Membership is open to anyone interested in the game, regardless of where they live. Guy Anderson, one of the most active members, drives to Winchester from his home in Richmond almost every Sunday afternoon to play.  Bill Shifflet  and  Joe Cline,  two new members, hail from North Salem. Several members are from near Spartanburg and Lynn. Until a few years ago, Union City had a court and several active members. An invitation has been extended to Union City players to join the Winchester club, or to use the court for practice and then play the Winchester club in inter-city tournaments.
          The Winchester club holds tournaments each year, later in the summer. Local players also have a chance at the regional and state titles. Officers of the club are  Max Alexander,  president, and  Howard Brown,  secretary.  Members, besides the officers, are  Bill Shifflet,  Bill Rector,  Joe Cline,  Alva Randall,  Harry Carter,  Guy Anderson,  Charles Puckett,  Theodore Bragg,  Ed Addington,  George Hinshaw,  Frank Mikesell,  Harry Little.
Contributed by Billy

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