The Tournament Regulations, while prescribing certain restrictions on the tournament manager and the format of the event, give little guidance as to the practical elements of running a tournament. This page is not intended to be a complete explanation of how to manage a tournament but just a few pointers to new managers to find easy ways of making a start.
Becoming a Manager
A manager needs to be well organised, calm, and preferably polite. Most of the work is done between the close of entries and no later than the day before the tournament. Sometimes there will need to be work done to encourage more entries. A tournament will not run itself and needs frequent attention to keep matches going to plan.
The best way to learn is to see if a local club would like an assistant manager for a forthcoming tournament, and offer to work alongside an experienced manager to see how things are done.
You can also look at the online Fixtures Calendar to see if there are any Tournament Management training courses scheduled.
For written guidance, there is a management book that contains much hard-won and valuable information. Written in the 1990s by Don Gaunt and Roger Wheeler, it has been transcribed by Dr Ian Plummer and is available on his website, OxfordCroquet.com.
Some of the advice, for instance on how to define the winner in incomplete blocks, may have changed in the last 25 years - up-to-date information will always be found in the Tournament Regulations.
There are also various online resources:
- Oxford Croquet's Tournament Management section has a number of tools available, for example to conduct a block draw and create and draw and process.
- Proformas and templates can be found on the Croquet England website at Downloads and Forms.
- There are also other software tools available, often passed to those who have taken part in a course by the Course tutor.
Specific guidance for managing GC Tournaments can be found via this link: Managing a GC Tournament
Whatever the tournament, all players should make their handicap cards (or electronic records) available either at the beginning of the day or on request. At least with electronic records, the arithmetic should be correct! Tournament Regulations make allowances for players whose handicap alterations put them out of range for a given event, for instance within 7 days of a team event.
Most tournaments are included in the online Fixtures Calendar (which has a guide), and entries are managed online through TES (Tournament Entry System), which has a comprehensive guide with which managers should familiarise themselves.
The Fixtures Calendar admin menu gives access to many of the website's resources a manager will need, including Fixtures Calendar Information Pages and a personally tailored list of events for which you are responsible.