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Coaching under 18s

From 2024 onwards, all coaches who lead coaching sessions with under-18-year-olds must be licensed by Croquet England.

In this context, 'coaching' is distinct from 'introducing newcomers'. 'Introducing newcomers' - guiding first-timers on some of the basics - needs no special licence. Once U18 players look to improve their skills, 'introducing newcomers' transitions into 'coaching', triggering the need for the coaches involved to be licensed. The examples below are to help determine whether a Licensed Coach is required or not:

This approach allows U18s to be introduced to croquet without the need for a licence.

To obtain a licence to coach U18s, a coach must:

All lead coaches of U18s need a Coaching Licence. This applies whether the 'coaching' (as opposed to 'introducing newcomers') is being delivered at a club or elsewhere, for example at a school.

Once licenced, such coaches can ask unlicenced club members to assist them in their U18s coaching sessions as Coaching Assistants. The role is defined below (Annex A). There are two important aspects of this procedure:

  1. Coaching Assistants must operate at all times under the direction of a Licenced Coach and also must stay within their sight when coaching U18s.
  2. If Coaching Assistants support U18s coaching 'frequently, intensely or overnight', they will need the appropriate Enhanced DBS Certificate, registered with the DBS Update Service. 'Frequently' and 'intensely' are as defined in the CqE Child Safeguarding Policy: 'frequently' = once a week or more; 'intensely' = on 4 or more days in any 30-day period.

Can a qualified coach, without a Licence, be asked to support a Licenced Coach in an U18s coaching session? They certainly can, but such a supporting coach, however well experienced and qualified, must then work within the constraints associated with a Coaching Assistant.

Annex A: The Coaching Assistant Role

There are no specific experience requirements for the role of Coaching Assistant other than being enthusiastic about croquet, being able to explain how the game is played, having good interpersonal skills and wanting to help others.

  1. Wishes to introduce new players to croquet
  2. Is able to work with others to communicate the rudiments of the game
  3. Has no specific training or guidance, beyond that given to all Croquet England Associates
  4. Is capable of taking up to two complete beginners at a time to introduce them to the game (either AC or GC) over a short time period (e.g. 30 minutes)
  5. Is able to demonstrate basic elements of croquet such as swing, hoop running, how a hoop point is gained, and the format of a game
  6. Is able to inform beginners how they will be able to continue to play croquet within their club
  7. If instructing U-18s, does not do so frequently, intensely or overnight*
  8. Does not need a Croquet England U18s Coaching Licence
  9. Always works within the oversight of a coach with an U18s Coaching Licence, and, whenever with any U18, must always remain within sight of the Licenced Coach.

* The definitions of "frequently" and "intensely" are as in the CqE Child Safeguarding Policy: i.e. Frequently: if they are carried out once a week or more. Intensely: on four or more days in any 30-day period.

Annex B: Code of Conduct for Coaches

Anyone within Croquet England who is providing coaching should:

UK Coaching's Code of Practice for Sports Coaches provides full details of what is expected.