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All-play-all blocks under CA "Guidance to Clubs and Tournament Managers for holding tournaments in England during Covid-19" (2 July edition)

by Tim King [^]
3rd July (CA Official News)

The recent National Forest GC Championship showed the feasibility of running top-level tournaments under the CA guidance for tournaments during the current pandemic. This included use of an all-play-all block for the consolation event. To this end, the most important feature of the guidance is the need to identify explicit, separate sessions of play to avoid the block becoming at any point a group of more than six people. These sessions then mean the block can consist of more than six players.

In the case of an all-play-all block of eight players, there needs to be three separate sessions of play during the day to provide the seven rounds necessary to complete the block.

The following workbook on Google docs provides three different formats to address different types of event:


The different types of event are as follows:

  • a competition block (i.e. the winner of the block wins the event);
  • a qualifying block where the top two players qualify;
  • a qualifying block where the top four players qualify.

If Tournament Managers want a version of this spreadsheet into which to insert actual names of players then they may contact Tim King, who can provide access.

Coronavirus - Latest Information and Advice

by Roger Staples [^]
2nd July (CA Official News)

July 2nd Update

Guidance to clubs and tournament managers about running tournaments during the current stage of the Covid-19 pandemic has been updated, in the light of changes to government advice since it was published. The general guidance to clubs and players has been further updated in response to queries about the version published on 30th June and is published in both PDF and MS-Word formats.

June 30th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force has updated its general guidelines to clubs and players in the light of the relaxation of the lockdown regulations that is to take effect from 4th July in England. The revised guidelines are published in both PDF and MS-Word formats, together with a checklist of items which clubs could consider when performing a risk assessment, again in both PDF and MS-Word formats.

The major change relates to the possibility of re-opening catering and bar facilities and the requirement to keep a record of contact details of all people entering the club for at least 21 days. The ban on roll-up or public sessions has been lifted provided that is done. Little has changed regarding play, except that the advice against using clips and chairs has been removed, but they should be cleaned in accordance with the club's practice for other playing equipment.

June 26th Update

The Coronavirus Task Force is to meet on Monday, 29th June, to review the latest government advice and it intends to publish a further update once any queries arising from that discussion have been resolved.

June 12th Update

Guidance to clubs and tournament managers about running tournaments during the current stage of the Covid-19 pandemic has been published, following approval by DCMS. The Coronavirus Task Force is grateful for the work of the representatives of the tournament committees who drafted and submitted it.

June 8th Update

Representatives of the CA tournament committees have drafted guidelines for the possible resumption of tournaments and have submitted them to DCMS for a ruling as to what is permissible under the current lockdown regulations.

June 4th Update

Information about a potential new source of publicly funded grants for clubs in England has been published.

June 2nd Update

The Covid-19 precautions infographic has been updated to reflect the changes in the CA's advice since the original version.

May 31st Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force has reviewed the updated government advice on social interaction issued on 28th May, consulted DCMS about it, and updated its guidelines to clubs and players, with effect from 1st June for clubs in England.

The Cabinet Office have since issued a FAQ which may be helpful: it even mentions croquet in the heading to section 1.5!

May 26th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force has reviewed the further government advice that has been issued over the past few days, but it relates to elite sport (defined as professional, or relating to Olympic or Commonwealth Games events) and shopping, rather than amateur or community sport. It is not, therefore, updating its guidelines for clubs opening at present, but is clarifying their applicability to recruitment and coaching.

Whether a club accepts new members or not is the decision of its committee. So long as the club has adequate precautions in place to safely follow the guidelines and new members are fully aware of that guidance, then there is no reason why not. The club should also make sure that it has proper records of its new members in the event of having to do contact tracing, It is also perfectly acceptable for a club to decide that it would prefer not to accept new members in the current situation.

One-to-one coaching is permitted at present, providing coach and student remain 2m apart, but the CA's guidance is that group coaching is currently not permissible.

A statement about scheduling of CA run tournaments has also been issued.

May 17th Update

The CA Coronavirus Task Force has been strengthened by the addition of Beatrice McGlen to its number. She has been liaising with the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS), who have now reviewed our guidelines to clubs and players.

May 14th Update

The CA Coronavirus Task Force has updated its guidance to clubs and players and about re-opening clubs in the light of more specific Government guidance and consultation with the CA's and clubs' insurers.

May 12th Update

The CA Coronavirus Task Force has published guidance to clubs and players about re-opening clubs in the light of recent changes to the Government's lockdown regulations.

May 11th Update

Following government statements and publications yesterday and today the CA Coronavirus Task Force is seeking further clarification and is considering whether or not it is possible that the playing of croquet, along with other sports, can resume in England from Wednesday. It hopes to be able to make a statement on the matter tomorrow. In the event that play at clubs can resume appropriate guidance will be provided about precautions clubs should take to mitigate the risk of passing on the virus when they are permitted to open.

May 6th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force plans to meet on 11th May, to decide what further advice to give in the light of whatever is announced by the Prime Minister on Sunday. In the meantime, it has been in consultation with the
Sport & Recreation Alliance about the possibility of croquet resuming and drafting guidelines to minimise risks when that becomes possible.

April 24th Update

A news item drawing attention to advice from the National Cyber Security Centre about the security implications of using VideoConferencing software has been published.

April 17th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force considered the anticipated announcement of the Government's review of the lockdown, but has not changed its advice.

April 10th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force met (by Zoom) this morning with the chairmen of the Tournaments Committees to review the situation in the light of the anticipated extension of the lockdown next week. It decided to maintain its current position that CA Tournaments scheduled to take place up to the end of May have been cancelled, but that the position of future ones will be kept under review. An exception is that the AC Veterans Championship has been cancelled after discussion with the host club. Further information and advice was published in an Easter Update.

April 2nd Update

The CA has obtained advice from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that people, whether contractors or volunteers, are permitted to travel to conduct essential lawn maintenance, to prevent long term damage. The same news item also contains information about grants from Sport England for community sports clubs in difficulty.

March 27th Update

Having used Zoom within the CA for virtual meetings, we have recorded a short YouTube tutorial to show how to join a call, navigate the controls within a call, and how to schedule a meeting. Hopefully this will prove useful for clubs and Federations - either to organise your own committeee meetings, or arrange 'keep-in-touch' sessions within your membership.

March 25th Update

The CA has decided that it is no longer feasible to hold National Croquet Week on the intended dates, but will keep in mind the possiblity of rescheduling it later in the year if that becomes an option.

A separate news item has been published summarising the CA's response to the outbreak in a message from the Chairman of Council..

March 24th Update

The CA Coronavirus Task Force has reviewed the Government advice issued on 23rd March.

Its interpretation is that all clubs must cease play for at least the next three weeks, but maintenance such as grass cutting can still continue provided that social distancing measures are implemented.

CA organised tournaments have been cancelled until the end of May. It recommends that Clubs and Federations should also cancel all competitive play until then, to give certainty to players. Further guidance about how to do this using the online tournament entry system will be sent to Tournament Secretaries.

CA staff will be working from home. E-mail can be used as normal and an answerphone service has been set up on the Office phoneline, which will alert staff when a message is left there.

The CA Shop is physically closed. Its website is still accepting online orders. Delivery of items may be delayed.

This advice will be reviewed on an on-going basis as further information becomes available.

March 23rd Update (9 pm)

The Government has issued the following advice.

"From this evening people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work.

Shops selling non-essential goods will also be shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together prohibited.

If people do not follow the rules police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship must also close immediately.

Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed."

Many clubs located within municipal parks will have found that their landlords have closed them for the foreseeable future. Others landlords are also closing their recreational facilities.

It is all our interests that we follow the advice and distance ourselves from anyone when outside and ensure maximum hygiene measures. Indoor gatherings must be discouraged.

The CA will follow this advice and recommends all clubs to ask their members to do the same.

The CA organisation is run by a large number of volunteers and this will continue. Please contact the CA via email using the usual address. If you leave a message on the CA telephone answer machine, someone will get back to you as soon as is practicable.

Stay safe and we will get through this.

A further update will be posted here on Tuesday once the details of our new way of working are known.

Roger Staples
Chairman Executive Board

March 22nd Update

Government advice has strengthened over the last few days, so clubs and individual players are advised to review their position in the light of it. In particular, this press release, asks businesses serving food or drink, and indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms, to close, and urges people to stay at home unless they need to get essential supplies, or at least only travel when necessary.

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force has been considering the financial impact of this on clubs and has introduced an Emergency Assistance Scheme for Clubs and Tournament Entry Fee Donation Scheme in an attempt to mitigate it.

The schedules for Inter-Club competitions have also been revised.

March 17th Update

Based on the Government advice yesterday, all CA Tournaments and Coaching are suspended until further notice. CA Tournaments and Coaching refers to those events for which the CA is responsible for organising, such as the Inter-Counties. Typically these are highlighted in bold in the Fixtures Book.

The other Tournaments are created and owned by clubs and Federations, who are responsible for organising them.

CA Tournaments planned until end May are cancelled or postponed. It may be possible for these to be re-arranged to dates later in the season.

Clubs and Federations are asked to consider their own competitive programmes and other activities (coaching, etc) and are urged to follow the Government advice. Detailed advice on refunds of Tournament entry fees has already been published. Further updates will be published on the CA website.

Roger Staples
Chairman Executive Board

March 15th

The CA's current stance with regard to Coronavirus (COVID-19) is that members adhere to the advice being given by the Public Health England (PHE) and Government agencies.

The Government has declared that the nation has moved to the 'delay' phase of this pandemic and made specific proposals that the nation must take. PHE has declared that the risk level to the UK has been raised to high. The Government is providing regular updates at https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response.

Concerned members should refer to this link for detailed advice and up-to-minute Press Releases.

Based on these assessments, the CA recommends that its members consider their own circumstances and take necessary precautions for their own health and well-being.

Tournament Managers & Club Secretaries have been given advice on how to manage Tournament Entries and Withdrawals. Specific advice about the impact of Coronavirus on Tournaments has been published, including information about how to withdraw from events if players need to.

The CA has set up a task force to manage the affairs directly related to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Task Force consists of:

Roger Staples (Chairman Executive Board)
Jonathan Isaacs (Chairman of Council)
Ian Vincent (Hon Secretary)
Ian Burridge (Incoming Hon Treasurer)
Mark Suter (CA Manager)

Members of various Committees will be consulted by the task force as appropriate to their particular function.

Advice to the croquet community will be posted on the CA website. CA Committees, Federations, Clubs & Players should check the website regularly for updates.

Any further updates specifically relating to the Croquet community will be posted on the Home page of the CA website.

Roger Staples
Executive Board

Roehampton beat Sussex 5-1

by Tim Russell at Roehampton [^]
28th June (GC - Inter-Club)

Roehampton beat Sussex County 5-1 on a windy Sunday at Roehampton.

Morning session (Roehampton names first)

Harry Fisher & Mark van Loon lost to Bob Clark & Elizabeth Farrow 3-7, 3-7
Tim Russell beat Richard Brooks 5-7, 7-5, 7-4
Dan Pearson against Roger Sutton was unfinished at 5-7, 7-5

Afternoon session
Harry Fisher beat Bob Clark 7-1, 4-7, 7-4
Mark van Loon beat Elizabeth Farrow 7-4, 7-5
Tim Russell beat Roger Sutton 7-3, 7-1
Dan Pearson beat Richard Brooks 7-3, 7-6

Tim Russell

Media coverage of croquet during COVID-19

by Eugene Chang [^]
25th June (CA Official News)

A list of media coverage of croquet during COVID-19, national and by Federation (last updated 18/6/2020). Contact CA Marketing & Comms to update the list.


  1. May 24: Sunday Times - Social distancing sees sales of croquet sets boom
  2. May 24: Sunday Times - Hoop and Glory
  3. May 25: talkRADIO - Breakfast with James Max, around 8:55
  4. May 28: Daily Mail - CRAIG BROWN: Warning - don't play croquet in front of the telly
  5. May 28: Daily Telegraph - page 2, picture of Bamburgh croquet club with castle in background
  6. May 30: BBC Radio London - Sports Show, 1hr 36 mins in


  1. May 24: International Business Times - Croquet players hope grass is greeener after Virus Lockdown; same story translated in the French media in separate publications - here and here.
  2. May 25: Taipei Times - Croquet, bowls taking steps to return

South East & Central London

  1. May 15:Shoreham Herald - Sussex County Croquet Club reopen their lawns
  2. May 16: BBC Radio Sussex - Radio interview, 47 mins in
  3. May 27: ITV Meridian News - Evening news 6.00-6.30 Sports report (link TBC)
  4. June 2: The Argus - Players flock to Southwick Croquet Club

North West

  1. Blackpool Gazette - link tbc
  2. June 9: ITV Granada News - Granada Reports featuring Bowdon Croquet Club

West Midlands

  1. May 22: Kenilworth Weekly News - 'Great to be back again'
  2. May 25: BBC Radio West Midlands - Mid-morning on BBC WM, 1hr 51 mins in
  3. May 26: BBC Radio Coventry West Midlands - Evenings with Lorna Bailey, 1hr 17 mins in
  4. June 12: BBC Midlands Today - Midlands Today, 13:30 and 18:30 reports

East Midlands

  1. May 26: West Bridgford Wire - Outdoor activities in Nottingham: These facilities starting to reopen with safety measures in place
  2. May 30: BBC Radio Nottingham - broadcast 30th May on news bulletins. Link TBC.
  3. June 12: South Holland News - Surge in popularity to booost membership

South West

  1. May 23: Exmouth Journal - Budleigh Salterton return to action after lockdown rules relaxed
  2. May 29: BBC Points West - 6pm Evening news - 23 mins in - original broadcast now uploaded to CA YouTube channel, courtesy of BBC Points West
  3. June 8: BBC Hereford & Worcester - Breakfast Show - audio recording on Worcester Norton's Facebook page.


  1. May 21: The Scottish Sun - Coronavirus Scotland: Tory MSP sparks laughter asking Nicola Sturgeon if he could play croquet when lockdown eases

Deadline extended for Ladies Sixes

by Beatrice McGlen Tournament Director [^]
25th June (AC)

The Ladies Sixes (Barlow Bowl and Longman Bowl) will be held at Cheltenham as scheduled on August 8th-9th.

However, due to the exceptional circumstances this year and after consultation between the tournament director, tournament manager and AC Selection committee, the cut off and selection dates for this event have been extended. If you are interested in playing, and you meet the main criterion of being female, please make yourself available via the Members > Availability page on the CA website. The deadline for doing this is July 4th and the selections will be announced on July 6th.

25 hours of croquet - solstice fundraiser at Dulwich

pictureGuy in training for his 25 hour croquet marathon!

by Guy Scurfield at Dulwich Croquet Club [^]
23rd June (GC)

On Weds 10th June my croquet buddy Pete and I were shooting the breeze on social media, when an idea popped into my head...

Guy: "Remember when we were in Ripon last year and Fergus told us about the 24-hour croquet game he did over the summer solstice one year? Why don't we do it this year?"

Pete: "But that's just a week or so away? Who would do it?"

Guy: "Well me, obviously, and you, clearly!"

Pete: "Ah . . ."

So, on Saturday 13th we launched our fundraising page - to raise £2,000 to split between Dulwich Sports Club (home to Dulwich Croquet Club) and St Christopher's Hospice.

We wanted this to be a whole-club effort, so asked for volunteers from hockey, squash, tennis and cricket to partner Pete and me to play each other throughout - and at some point someone said: why not do 25 hours, not 24, then you can have 50 different partners ... great idea! So, we set up to play from noon 'till 1pm the following day over the Summer Solstice.

Members volunteered from all sections of the club, from age 9 to 89, with people filling the less social hours in the middle of the night very quickly. With generous help, the lawns were lit with strings of LED bulbs and spotlights, and yet others offered to keep us going with cake and bacon rolls from dusk to dawn.

Our opening partners were Cindy Rutherford, a croquet player and frequent fundraiser for the hospice, and Nikhil Roy, our squash-playing Club President.

Early on saw our youngest participant, budding cricketer Freddie (9), take to the game and he was soon followed by Patricia Goodman; our oldest (89) reminding us that croquet, which doesn't care about age or gender, is a sport where your playing days are never behind you.

Incredibly, hour after hour, new partners arrived, all keen to play, right through the night, with not a single 'no show', which was a great boost for Pete and myself who, at about 3.40am, were starting to seriously ache all over as the night-time temperature dropped and the dampness in the air rose.

Without the cheerfulness of new recruits, this would have been the point at which we would have been convinced that some hours were longer than other and even the year's shortest night was a bit too long. Druids being scarce in South London, the solstice sunrise was greeted with generously donated champagne, and the 6am round of bacon rolls were washed down with a pick-me-up Bloody Mary.

There was an accompanying sweepstake ("How many combined steps will Pete & Guy do in 25 hours?") to encourage more participation - the numbers were in some cases scarily high - depressing us no end!! Won in the end by our youngest participant.

After which, time was flying, even if we were not, and before the last of many espressos wore off, the final game was upon us, which we played with our respective wives. This emotional game, which - by chance - finished at 1.01pm, twenty-five hours and one minute after we struck our first ball, was made very special by being watched by a lovely (socially distanced) crowd of friends and club members.

A total of £4,200 was raised for St Christopher's Hospice, a charity that is close to the hearts of very many people in South London and for Dulwich Sports Club, which, in these lockdown days, it's members have learned to appreciate anew.

Would we ever do it again we were asked, "yes, like a shot!" the answer.

Thanks to all those who supported us in many ways throughout the event, start to finish 10 days…

You can see pictures of nearly everyone on our Dulwich FB page.

Guy Scurfield - Dulwich Croquet Club President

WCF starts search for next Secretary-General

by Ian Lines [Chair of International] [^]
22nd June (International)

The WCF Management Committee has emailed all WCF Members and RCOs to inform them that it is seeking a successor to Stephen Mulliner who will retire as Secretary-General on 31 August 2021 on the completion of his second four-year term of office.

The successful candidate will be appointed Deputy Secretary-General from 1 September 2020 and will work alongside Stephen until 31 August 2021. The intention is that they will then be appointed Acting Secretary-General until 31 December 2021 and then begin a four-year term on 1 January 2022. They will be eligible to be appointed for a second four-year term.

The advertisement and job specification may be found here.

The closing date for applications is 31 July 2020.

All Systems GO for GC Vets

by Bill Arliss at Southwick [^]
21st June (GC)

I am very pleased to be able to announce that following the government's approval of the CA's proposals for running a tournament, we have been able to make arrangements to run the GC Veterans this year at Southwick. However to meet the requirements of social distancing, we have had to reduce the number to a maximum of 18 players and at the same time, reduce the days to two, Tuesday and Wednesday, 21/22 July.

Priority of entry was given to players who had previously entered the event and purely by luck, 18 of the original entrant wished to go ahead. So the event must be considered as full for the present but as soon as the web site is brought up to date with the present situation, an entry as a reserve may be taken.

Bill Arliss
Tournament Director

Update on Opens and other CA Tournaments

by Samir Patel [^]
20th June (CA Official News)

The status of all future CA events remains uncertain. The CA's approach is to take into account the views of the host club when evaluating government advice, and in particular any restrictions on sports fixtures, club operations, player travel, accommodation and hospitality.

Further to the immediate response to cancel all CA tournaments to the end of May, the following events have subsequently been cancelled, in consultation with the host club:

  • The AC Men's and Women's Championship 10-14 June
  • The AC Veterans Championship 22-27 June

In addition, the following international events have been cancelled in consultation with the relevant nations:

  • AC Home Internationals, Ireland, 6-7 June
  • England v Spain GC Test, Hurlingham, 12-14 June
  • GC Home Internationals, Nailsea, 18-19 July

The GC Open Championships has been reduced to 4 days (singles only) and postponed to 13-16 August.

The AC Open Championships has been postponed to 1-6 September.

For all future events, we intend to make a decision prior to the Allocation Date or 4 weeks prior to the event (whichever comes later) and we continue to advise that entrants and other parties avoid committing to non-refundable expenditure until that date. We will endeavour to avoid short-notice changes closer to an event, but this may be unavoidable if we have to react to changes in government advice in the immediate lead-up to or during an event.

Samir Patel, Beatrice McGlen, Jonathan Powe

New date for the National AC Seniors Championship

by Dave Kibble [^]
20th June (AC - Championships)

To make sure that players have a safe and enjoyable tournament, the date of this year's National AC Seniors Championship has been moved to 14-19th Sept. 2020. The venue is unchanged, so players will still be able to enjoy the fabulous Budleigh lawns and hospitality.

Although the Fixtures Calendar presently shows the tournament is full, we know there will be a number of withdrawals, and the Closing Date has been extended to 7 Sept to allow for these. So, if you fancy a trip down to the sunny South West and some great games, get your entry in!

Introducing monthly CA Club Webinars

by Eugene Chang [^]
19th June (CA Official News)

The CA Club Webinars is a newly established webinar series for CA Member Clubs and Federations, to learn and discuss particular topics around club administration. We'll aim to run this on the last Saturday morning of each month, and will soon set up a webpage to display the future webinar schedule.

Have a suggestion for a topic? Wish to present? Email cainfo#croquet.org.uk

Next webinar:

Recruiting Young Players Over Lockdown

Saturday 27th June 2020, 9:30-10:30am (stick around for post-webinar Q&A).

This online webinar is an opportunity to hear from a range of clubs who are developing youth programmes, to hear about the new CA Junior Program, to ask questions and share your own club's experiences.

Please sign up on Eventbrite by noon (BST) on Thursday 25th June to reserve your place.

The webinar will be held on Zoom and broadcast live on YouTube. Meeting details (how to join the webinar) will be shared with registered attendees on Friday 26th June.

Wanted - Volunteers with appropriate skills who get things done

by Roger Staples [^]
18th June (CA Official News)

The CA's new governance structure started in 2019 with a newly-elected Council charged with policy development (top-line policy, CA strategic plans) and scrutiny of delivery, and an Executive Board charged with routine operational delivery.

The prime aim of the CA is "To get more people playing more croquet in more places, by promoting, developing and administering the sport."

Since autumn 2019 Council has set up working groups to develop the Association's future strategic plans. A number of these plans have been finalised and have now been passed to the Executive Board to turn into practical solutions.

Council is looking to appoint several new members of the Executive Board who, in conjunction with the Association's Officers, will be tasked with forming a cohesive team to implement these strategies through its committees and working groups.

These volunteer roles are vital to the success of the new governance structure. We are looking for people with managerial skills who can really make things happen.

We urge members of the CA who feel they have something to offer to apply to be one of the team and help us to grow our sport.

If the new governance structure is to be really successful, having suitably-qualified people who get things done will be fundamental to the structure's success.

Roger Staples, Chairman, Exec Board

Jonathan Isaacs, Chairman, Council

Press Release: National Junior Programme gets underway

pictureParticipants and mentors attend National Junior Program Zoom meeting

by Eugene Chang [^]
18th June (CA Official News)

The CA's National Junior Programme for 2020 kicked off virtually on Monday 15th June with 11 participants and 10 'Taskforce' (coaches, mentors and CA officials) members in attendance.

Download Press Release.

The aim of the programme is to:

  • build a community of young players,
  • create a safe environment for support and learning (in conjunction with local coaching programmes),
  • organise activities and events led by top young players and coaches.

A round of introductions was followed by an icebreaker quiz, after which participants and Taskforce split into smaller groups to discuss what they enjoyed most about croquet and what they hope to get from the programme. Participants highlighted the strategy of croquet, challenging themselves, and just generally having fun on the lawn! All were hoping to improve and learn from the coaches and mentors who will be a big part of the programme.

Participants will be meeting regularly throughout the season (virtually for now, and physically at some point) to improve their croquet skills and share their experiences with everyone. We hope to run a programme weekend for all participants at the end of the season.

Know any young players who might be interested in joining the programme? Contact Eugene Chang.

Cheltenham prepares to celebrate 150 years

pictureCheltenham celebrate 150 years with new logo

by Eugene Chang at Cheltenham Croquet Club [^]
18th June (Other News)

"Croquet owes much to Gloucestershire and Cheltenham in particular…." So wrote Prichard in his "History of Croquet".

Indeed, Cheltenham was fortunate to benefit from the coterie of croquet enthusiasts who had made their homes in the area.

Although Walter Whitmore Jones died not long after the Club was founded, both Arthur Lillie and Rev Arthur Law continued to play and contribute to the development of the game until Edwardian times.

There are several reasons to celebrate in 2020.

The 1870 tournament played at the end of May was "held under the auspices of the Cheltenham Croquet Club"

Fifty years later in September 1920, the Club was so well established that it was able to purchase its current grounds for £800!

Like many clubs, Cheltenham has a number of players who have been members for many years, but is it a record to have one person who has played continuously at Cheltenham for 50 years?

CA Vice President Andrew Hope is our member with that longevity of devotion to croquet and his Club, and I wonder if Gazette readers will be in touch with the editor to challenge this record.

Unfortunately, the Open Day which we had planned for Saturday 30th May has now been cancelled in response to the advice on COVID-19, but it is hoped the Club will still be able to celebrate our 150-year landmark later in the year.

Calling all former members

Inevitably there has been much looking back over such a long period, and there have been many individuals who contributed to the Club in its history.

If you know any former Cheltenham members or their descendants, please let them know; we would be very pleased to hear from them, and maybe some of you can tell us what happened to our founder members and their families?

Pat Francis, Cheltenham 150 Co-ordinator

Heather Hardy wins the Ashby Handicap AC Singles Weekend

pictureAshby Handicap AC Singles Weekend

by Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
15th June (AC)

Six players contested this event in delightful summer weather at Ashby over the weekend of 13-14 June. This meant that it was an all-play-all competition, and the Egyptian scoring scheme was adopted to increase the likelihood of a discrete winner after 5 rounds. This was fortunate as 3 players finished with 4 wins, having all beaten each other! Heather Hardy emerged as the winner as she had lost her first game, so ended up with a higher index than Roger Watson and Arthur Rowe. The eagle-eyed will notice two players in the picture less that 2 metres apart - they were husband and wife Roger & Debbie Watson who had to play each other in the final round on Saturday.

[This appears to be the first fixture in the CA calendar to be completed this year]

Arthur Rowe

New Arrangements for this season's Murphy Shield

by Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
15th June (GC - Inter-Club Shield)

A revised draw for the GC Inter-Club 2020 can be found here

New arrangements for the GC Inter-Club

by Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
9th June (GC - Inter-Club)

A revised draw for the GC Inter-Club 2020 can be found here

CA Shop Website Now Available Again

by Ian Vincent [^]
8th June (CA Official News)

The CA Shop website, www.croquetassociationshop.org.uk, is now available again. A technical problem with the commercial platform it runs on has been fixed by the supplier.

Is your local club open?

by John Reddish [^]
8th June (Other News)

A list of clubs that have opened following official guidance. Contact John Reddish to add/amend.

South East & London

Bexley Finchley Victoria Preston (Brighton) Sussex County
Bromley Guildford & Godalming Purley Bury Sydenham
Canterbury Hampstead Heath Ramsgate West Chiltington
Caterham Hassocks Reigate Priory West Worthing
Cheam Hove Beach Roehampton Woking
Cheyney Hurlingham Rother Valley  
Chichester & Fishbourne Ivychurch Rottingdean  
Compton (Eastbourne) Littlehampton Royal Tunbridge Wells  
Dulwich Lodsworth Rye  
Ealing Medway Surbiton  
Ember Merton    

South West

Barnstaple Budleigh Salterton East Dorset Plymouth
Beckford Camerton & Peasedown Fowey St Agnes
Bristol Cheltenham Jersey Swanage
Bath Glamorgan Kington Langley Taunton Deane
Broadwas Cornwall Lymm Valley Llandovery
Bude Dowlish Wake Nailsea  


Basingstoke Eynsham Little Gaddesden Winchester
Blewbury Hamptworth Littleton Wingrave
Caversham Harwell Phyllis Court  
East Dorset High Wycombe Ryde  

East Midlands

Ashby Dunston Pinchbeck
Boston Spa Long Eaton Park Torksey
Branston & District Melton Mowbray Leicester
Darley Dale Nottingham  

West Midlands

Broadwas Himley Hall Stourbridge
Church Stretton Kenilworth  
Eardisley Ludlow Castle  
Edgbaston Shrewsbury  

East Anglia

Colchester Leighton-Linsdale Norwich Wrest Park
Downham Market Letchworth St Albans Watford
Enfield Maldon Stony Stratford Newport
Great Dunham Meldreth Unity Ipswich
Bury St Edmunds


(4 July)


(at Wellingborough)


North West

Bowdon Fylde Penrith Pendle
Bury Keswick Southport Ellesmere
Crake Valley North Lakes Tattenhall Chester
Culcheth Lanfairfechan    

Croquet North

Alnmouth Bamburgh Tyneside


Ben Rhydding Hebden Bridge Sheffiled U3A
Beverley & East Riding Ripon Spa York
Bishop Monckton Ryedale York U3A


by Sam Murray [^]
8th June (AC - Inter-Club)

Quarter-finals by 10 August Semi-finals by 14 September Final (Surbiton 4th October) Winner
High Wycombe
York & Sheffield
Sussex County

Local Discretionary Business Grants Fund

by Ian Vincent [^]
4th June (CA Official News)

For clubs in England that were ineligible for the Coronavirus Small Business or Leisure & Hospitality grants, a further funding scheme has opened up for which they could be eligible. A Local Discretionary Business Grants Fund has been established which, as its name implies, offers grants, administered by local authorities, on a discretionary basis, to businesses which have fixed property costs, but which have not been eligible for grants from the other schemes. The precise details may vary by local authority, but in at least one case there is a closing date of 30th June or earlier if oversubscribed, so clubs which may be eligible are advised to apply as soon as possible.

Many clubs, large and small, have now received a £10,000 award from the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, for which eligibility is based primarily upon being in receipt of a rates bill. Such clubs should have been contacted directly by their local authority, but where this has not happened clubs are advised to raise the matter with them directly to see if they are eligible.

We believe that all clubs should be considering their eligibility for these funds and encourage them to contact their local authority if they think they could be eligible (but note that a club can only get a grant from one of these funds).

We have been asked the question specifically if CASCs (Community Amateur Sports Clubs) are eligible to apply for these funds. We have tried to obtain guidance on the matter at a national level but have failed to obtain an answer. We advise such clubs to raise the question with their local authority who are responsible for administering the various schemes.

CA Coronavirus Task Force

Small Group Coaching (Both AC and GC) Is Now Available At High Wycombe

by Ian Shore at High Wycombe Croquet Club [^]
4th June (Other News)

The CA website tournament booking system has recently been updated to include a range of small group courses, covering AC and GC, being run at High Wycombe Croquet Club over the next few weeks and open to all CA members.

While their clubhouse is closed (so all coaching will be on the lawns), a toilet is available. Social distancing and extra hygiene arrangements will be in place - see details against each course.

Please note each course is for only up to 4 players. If a course is over-subscribed, the available places will be balloted (with the usual priority for CA Premium members) on the published allocation date.

2020 AC Open Championships Postponed to 1-6 September

by Samir Patel at Cheltenham Croquet Club [^]
2nd June (AC - Championships)

The Croquet Association (CA) and Cheltenham Croquet Club (CCC) are not confident that it will be practical to meet government COVID-19 guidelines for either amateur or elite sport on the scheduled dates. Without this confidence in our ability to ensure the safety of players and volunteers, the CA has postponed the 2020 AC Open Championships (both Singles and Doubles) to 1-6 September.

There is still considerable uncertainty about the feasibility of holding one or both Championships on these revised dates. The CA will, in consultation with CCC, review the situation nearer the time and make a decision and further announcement before the end of July. The revised Allocation, Closing and Draw date are now 4 August, 18 August and 19 August respectively.

Samir Patel (Tournament Director)

Guidelines for Club Opening Updated from 1st June

pictureLatest CA COVID infographic. Click link in text for full size version.

by Ian Vincent [^]
31st May (CA Official News)

Following the Government's announcement on 28th May and clarification from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the CA's guidance to clubs and players has been updated, with effect from Monday 1st June in England, as follows:

1. If clubs decide that they can safely accommodate greater numbers, up to 4 people can be allowed on a court at one time to play either a game of doubles or two games of double-banked singles or a single game of singles. All players must keep 2m apart at all times unless they are in the same household. Particular care should be taken in all doubles, including alternate stroke Association Croquet and in Golf Croquet games.

2. In double-banked games players are advised to mark balls from the other game only when necessary and to use their own markers. Balls should be moved and replaced by foot.

3. Up to 6 people can be allowed on a court for coaching purposes i.e. 5 students and one coach. The coach is responsible for maintaining social distancing throughout the session.

4. Guests, visitors and spectators can be permitted so long as they do not gather in groups of more than 6 and they obey the social distancing rules. It is recommended that a record should be kept of who has been at the club to facilitate contact tracing.

Everyone is reminded that it is entirely at the discretion of individual clubs whether, or when, they incorporate this relaxation in their own rules. All other aspects of the CA guidance remain in force. The updated full guidance can be seen or downloaded in MS-Word or PDF format. The infographic has been updated to reflect the changes since the original version.

CA Coronavirus Task Force


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on this news web page are those of the Editor and contributors. The Croquet Association is not responsible for statements other than those clearly identified as being made on its behalf. The full editorial policy is available online. The Web News Editor is the CA Office.