Golf Croquet Refereeing
Players are jointly responsible for applying the rules in all games, even in tournaments. However a qualified referee, if available, should be asked to adjudicate any stroke in which a player suspects a fault may be committed, or in the event of uncertainty as to how to proceed with the game.
A number of resources are available to help players, existing GC Referees and those considering becoming a referee:
- Wrong Balls. The Wrong Ball Rule (Rule 10) has been simplified and amended in the 6th Edition. An explanation of the rule is available Resolving Wrong Ball Plays.
- Court Surface Damage. (Rule 11.2.10) A guidance note on Interpreting Lawn Damage explains what is and what isn't a fault, and how to decide from the evidence.
- Hammer Strokes and Jump Strokes. Hammer and jump strokes also can often cause faults (Rules 11.2.4.and 11.2.5 in particular). Guidance to Referees and Players on Hammer Strokes and Jump Strokes explains the basis on which such strokes will be refereed.
- Short-Range Clearances. Rules 11.2.4 ("Double Taps") and 11.2.6 ("Ball Crushes") can be difficult to apply on court. Appendix 5 of the GC Rules booklet and Guidance to Referees and Players on Short-range Clearances explain the basis on which such strokes will be refereed.
- Advantage Play. To support the introduction of Advantage Play (Rule 21) in the 6th Edition of the GC Rules, guidance, including a PowerPoint briefing, have been provided in a separate web page Advantage Play
- Slow-motion Videos. The Croquet England slow-motion videos give guidance for players and referees. When made in 2006, these videos revolutionised our understanding of what happens in many normal strokes played in GC and AC. Any serious player or aspiring referee will benefit from studying these videos.
- The Rules Quiz allows you to test your knowledge of the rules.
- Online Briefings. A range of stand-alone in MS PowerPoint format, are currently under development to assist in the understanding of selected rules.
There are two grades of GC referee:
GC Referee: a qualified referee can officiate at any GC game, match or event (for major tournaments: if so authorised by the Tournament Referee).
GC Championship Referee: some of the most experienced GC Referees have qualified to officiate at top-class events.
In addition, there are GC Examining Referees who train and qualify new referees - most Academies and Federations have at least one.
Most often, a referee acts as a Referee on Request called on by the players either to watch a problematic stroke about to be played, or to sort out a problem after it has happened.
Occasionally, when the situation demands, a referee may be asked to supervise a match and become a Referee in Charge.
All significant tournaments controlled by Croquet England or a Federation will normally have an appointed Tournament Referee: the official with responsibility for nominating and allocating authorised referees, checking hoop and court settings and hearing appeals.
4. Becoming a GC Referee
The Fixtures Calendar lists referee courses running around the country, often at the start of a season, and an Academy or Federation might organise additional ones, subject to demand.
A typical GC Referee course takes two days, and candidates are usually examined on the second day. Alternatively, some candidates might be examined on a separate occasion.
To be successful on such a course, and thereby qualify as a GC Referee, it is essential that a candidate devotes significant time to pre-course study. To help candidates focus their study on the areas of most concern, What comes up most often identifies the most frequent issues that GC Referees are called on to decide.
Candidates attending a refereeing course will be expected to have:
1. Read through the:
a) The WCF Refereeing Regulations v1.6,
b) The Golf Croquet Rules - 6th Edition, at least once and to have studied carefully the rules on Offside Balls (Rule 8), Playing a Wrong Ball (Rule 10) and Faults (Rule11),
c) The Tournament Regulations regarding refereeing.
2. Used the resources listed in paragraph 2 above, and
3. Completed the Practice Questions
Successful candidates who are Croquet England Subscribers and who pass the on-court and written exams will be added to the Croquet England Directory list of GC Referees and receive a red 'GC Referee' badge.
AC Referees attending a Becoming a GC Referee Course will need to pass the full GC Referee written exam and a cut-down GC on-court test, focusing on the chief areas of difference from AC such as double taps in clearance strokes.
5. Becoming a GC Championship Referee
The criterion to be eligible for consideration as a GC Championship Referee is to have been an active GC Referee for at least two years (having refereed at two or more Croquet England Calendar Fixtures).
If eligible, the candidate will have to pass a more thorough on-court test with a higher pass mark, which will be conducted by two GC Examining Referees. There is no further written exam.
Candidates may apply to the Chairman of GC Rules Committee for consideration at any time. Tournament Referees are also requested to identify any good candidates to the Chairman of GC Rules Committee.
The GC Rules Committee may consider exceptional cases, who might not meet the standard criteria given above, but are still adjudged worth inviting to take the on-lawn test.
Successful candidates who pass the on-court test will be added to the Croquet England Directory list of GC Championship Referees and receive a blue 'GC Championship Referee' badge.