Contested by the Johnnies of St. John’s College and the Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy, the Annual Annapolis Cup has become a beloved rite of spring in Maryland’s scenic capital on the Chesapeake Bay. Set for April 22, 2017, the croquet competition will be the 35th anniversary of the inaugural match between the St. John’s and the Naval Academy.
The mallet and ball contest started in 1982 after a U.S. Naval Academy commandant bragged that his Midshipmen could beat the Johnnies at any sport. Miffed, St. John’s freshman Kevin Heyburn challenged his charges to a match of croquet, and the fierce rivalry began. Hosting the yearly event, St. John’s has triumphed and taken the Annapolis Cup 27 out of 34 matches. The meetings steadily improved relations between the two campuses.
The Midshipmen are clothed in immaculate U.S. Croquet Association croquet whites, featuring a team tie that changes every year. The Johnnies’ uniform is kept secret and a surprise, divulged only just before every match. In previous contests, Johnnies have worn tuxes, kilts, camouflage, and even Navy whites, mocking the Middies. Attracting both current students and alumni, many of the spectators adorn themselves in stylish suits, hats, and dresses, reminding one of the upper crust characters of The Great Gatsby.
The 35th Annapolis Cup
Now three-and-a-half decades old, the once informal reunion has transformed itself into a party for the whole community, attracting more than 7,000 people last year. As a result, organizing the event has grown quite expensive, and it will need to more regulation. For St. John’s to continue hosting the event, attendance will be limited to 5,000 people, and the price for admission will be increased to $10 per ticket for general admission. The balance of proceeds will benefit student financial aid at St. John’s College.
Date & Time: April 22, 2017, 1 p.m.
Place: Front Lawn of St. John’s College
Admission: $10 each, and will be available to the general public on March 13, 2017. Children aged 12 and under can attend for free—no tickets required. All remaining tickets shall be sold on game day, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Food & Drinks: Champagne, wine, and beer will be available only with tickets. Food and soft drinks will be available for cash purchase on campus.
For More Information: ANNAPOLIS CUP CROQUET MATCH
An Inn Near the Croquet Match
St. John’s College is only about half a mile away from Gibson’s Lodgings, a historic inn located in downtown Annapolis. Call us to reserve your room at our toll free number (877) 330-0057. We’ll be very happy to serve you and your family throughout the year.