Executive Committee Review and Recommendations
1. Preamble: 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." Of the two current Council awards - The Council Medal (CM) and The CA Diploma - Council members were primarily concerned about the criteria and procedures for awarding the former.
Its recommendations were adopted at the meeting of Council held on 21st October, 2017.
A The Council Medal
2.1 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 considering the criteria, the EC emphasised that the standards for the Award should be set at a very high level. Indeed, two members who had delivered highly meritorious work in connection with the Centenary Exhibition were felt not to have met the high level demanded for this Award. Furthermore, because a high bar had been set, it was expected that the award would only be made from "time to time" and not on an annual basis. This was the early practice; although in two years two CMs have been awarded. In 2010 the eligibility criterion was changed from "services to the CA" to "services to Croquet".
2.2 Regarding procedural aspects, I can find very little on how CM nominations should come forward. However, 12.3.3 of the Council Practice Book does require, inter alia, the EC, to review awards annually and in liaison with the President and Vice-Presidents, make recommendations for award of the CM. These should normally go to the March meeting of Council. Initially, nominations appear always to have been initiated by the EC which then made a recommendation to Council accompanied by a citation. In the recent past, this practice appears to have been relaxed and, for example, last year we put two nominations forward to Council based on submissions received; one from a Club and one from a member.
3. Proposal: The EC recommends that Council approves 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 CA Executive Committee (EC) is responsible for making nominations for this Award to be considered by the CA Council, normally at its March meeting. In doing so, they would liaise with the President and Vice-Presidents. Should a member wish to suggest a possible candidate, he/she should, in the first instance, seek an informal, in-confidence consultation with, and take advice from, a member of the EC.
The Council Medal is not normally awarded posthumously but may be if Council considers this to be appropriate.
B The CA Diploma
4.1 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.
4.2 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.
4.3 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. The EC recommends no change to current arrangements.
C Other Awards
5.1 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. Also, biennial Club awards are made by the Development Committee. Their award conditions and procedures are published in the Fixture Book. The EC recommends no change to current arrangements.
5.2 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 EC would make nominations and submit them to Council. Approved cases would then be submitted as an election motion to an AGM. Status quo recommended.
6. Governance Working Party (GWP): These procedures may be affected by the deliberations of the GWP. Even if they are not, they will need to be reviewed following any changes arising from the GWP.
CA Executive Committee
1 July 2017