The March 2017 Council asked the Executive Committee (EC) "to review the range of awards available and establish clear procedures for soliciting nominations and criteria for making them."
Its recommendations were adopted at the meeting of Council held on 21st October, 2017. They were revised at the meeting held on 25th January, 2020, in the light of the abolition of the Executive Committee following the governance changes. The Executive Committee was replaced as the body to consider recommendations for awards by a group appointed by Council, consisting of the President, Hon. Secretary and a past holder of the Council Medal (the Awards Scrutiny Committee).
A. Major Council Awards (Council Medal and Bernard Neal Award)
Further revisions were made by Council on 16 May 2020 when a new major award was established: The Bernard Neal Award for exceptional services to croquet. Council also determined that this award and the Council Medal should be titled "Major Council Awards" to differentiate them from CA Diplomas. Nominations for these Major Awards should be sent in confidence to the Hon Secretary and they should not specify whether they are for a Medal or a Bernard Neal Award, just that they should be considered for a Major Award. Council's Awards Scrutiny Committee will consider each nomination and make a recommendation to Council, normally at its March meeting, if it believes that a Major Award is appropriate.
The Council Medal
In February 1998 the EC considered how services to the CA should be recognised. It recommended to Council that a CM be instituted for presentation to those CA members who had given outstanding services to the CA. Following Council agreement, in July 1998 the EC considered the criteria for the award of the CM. It decided (a) it would not be practical to set definitive criteria for the Award; (b) that each proposal should be considered on its merits; and (c) the normal procedure would be for the EC to recommend to Council names of prospective recipients. In 2010 the eligibility criterion was changed from "services to the CA" to "services to Croquet".
In 2017 Council approved the following criteria and procedures for award of the CM:
The Council of The Croquet Association may award, from time to time, its Council Medal to a CA member in recognition of outstanding service to the work of the CA and/or the development of Croquet within the domain.
The primary criterion for this award is an exceptional contribution to Croquet which has, or will have, a significant and lasting impact on the administration or playing of the sport.
It is not an award for long service; for playing ability; or for outstanding contributions to a Club or Federation.
The bar for this award is high, so it is not made annually but only when a sufficiently meritorious candidate comes forward.
The Council Medal is not normally awarded posthumously but may be if Council considers this to be appropriate.
The Bernard Neal Award for exceptional services to croquet
This award has been titled so that in years to come members can be reminded of the many outstanding contributions to the sport made by Bernard Neal who died in 2016. He was President of the Croquet Association from 2004-2009.
The eligibility criteria that need to be met for this award are:
It is awarded to CA members for outstanding contributions made to croquet in the domain.
Such contributions are considered to be substantially greater than those qualifying for CA Diplomas but do not rank as high as the truly exceptional services required for a Council Medal. It is not purely an award for long service.
The bar for this award is high so it may not be made in every year.
The award will usually be a glass vase but this may be varied if there are exceptional reasons that make another design more appropriate for the recipient. It will have a suitable engraving that may be on a plinth.
B The CA Diploma
CA Diplomas recognise those club members (and not just CA Members) who have given outstanding service to croquet and have been active in club or federation affairs over a long period. The Diplomas have nothing to do with croquet prowess and everything to do with help given to other members. Nominations should be made by clubs or federations and accompanied by a declaration by the person submitting them that they are not aware of any reason why an award could bring the Association into disrepute. They should normally be accepted, but may be declined if felt to be of insufficient merit or deferred if too many are submitted in any year. The award is not normally made posthumously, but may be if there are surviving family members who would appreciate it.
Diploma nominations should be accompanied by a short citation, signed by a Club or Federation officer, and sent to the CA Office by the end of July. The Management Committee is responsible for considering and approving nominations. The President normally presents these awards at the AGM, although recipients may elect to receive their Diploma on another occasion.
The criteria and procedures for award of the CA Diploma are well publicised; well understood; and generally non-controversial. The process is straightforward and works well. The award is much appreciated not just by recipients but also by their respective club members.
C Other Awards
Individual and Club Awards: There are a range of other individual awards, mainly for coaching and playing achievements which are made by the Coaching and Handicap Committees respectively. These include the merit, most improved player and coaching awards. Also, biennial Club awards are made by the Development Committee.
Honorary Members and Vice-Presidents:
The Association's Constitution makes provision for these two exceptional classes of membership: election to Honorary Membership is covered by clause 3(d) of the Constitution; and the procedure for electing Vice-Presidents is covered by clause 17(b). These exceptional awards are for persons who have rendered special services to the Association, normally on a national basis, and in one or more of the official posts recognised by the CA. The Awards Scrutiny Committee makes nominations and submits them to Council. Approved cases are then submitted as an election motion to an AGM.
CA Awards Scrutiny Committee
Revised May 2020