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Coach of the Year 2019

by Sarah Burrow [^]
21st October (Other News)

Coach of the Year 2019

Nominations are invited for the 2019 Coach of the Year award.

We are looking for the person who is an established coach and has made a difference.

Dedicated, enthusiastic and has helped players improve.


The Lifetime Coaching Award

This award is for that someone really special who has made a considerable and significant contribution to coaching over a long period of time.


The Coaching Committee will be considering all nominations at their next meeting. If you know of someone you consider worthy of either of these awards, please send their name together with a suitable citation to Sarah Hayes caccommchair@gmail.com.

Nominations close on 31 January 2020.

More information on:- https://www.croquet.org.uk/?p=members/docs/committees/coaching/coty

Rachel Gee won the English National Singles Championship

pictureRachel Gee, receiving the EBSC(Ascot Cup) from CA Chairman John Bowcott (Photo: Richard Bilton)

by Richard Bilton at Hurlingham [^]
21st October (GC - Championships)

The Hurlingham Club is one of the best venues to host a major tournament, and the lawns were in excellent condition, complemented by sunny weather over the weekend. Among the 16 players, were three previous winners as the top three seeds (all members at Nottingham) whose grades were separated by only 16 points, as well as many regulars at top level GC events. It was anyone's guess whose year it would be.

The 16 competitors played best-of-three 13-point games in four blocks of four on Saturday to determine the top two from each who would progress to the knockout. Blocks A, C and D finished with players on 3, 2, 1 and 0 wins, block D going to seeding and all matches 2-0 except for Chris Roberts taking the middle game against Lionel Tibble. In block C, Rachel Gee, who had qualified for the event by reaching the semi-final at Nottingham on who-beat-who for second position in her block, was the only player to not drop a game on the first day in what looked like the strongest block, and seemed in by far the best form of the field. Block B ended with two players on 2 wins and two on one, Ian Burridge losing to Tim Jolliff in game three, neither player knowing they were first and second in the block regardless. Block A saw Euan Burridge win all three matches, although dropping middle games to Will Gee and Tim King 2-7.

The knockout consists of three rounds of best-of-three matches. The draw was made at 09.15 on Sunday morning with 6/8 of the players present. No-one dared to tell Will and Rachel Gee when they arrived that they were to play first thing, courtesy of Will coming second in his block.

Lionel Tibble came through the first round against Tim Jolliff, comfortably winning 7-3, 7-4. Callum Johnson's more measured and controlled approach saw him also come through in two games, taking out Euan Burridge 7-4, 7-6. In the other half, Ian lost the middle game to Stuart M Smith at hoop 13 but still won 7-3, 6-7, 7-4 to set up a match with fellow club member Will or Rachel Gee, who had previously played 10 ranked games (Will leading 7-3, including a previous Ascot Cup final at Hurlingham 2-1). Rachel didn't start as well as she played on the previous day, taking the first game at hoop 13. Will then found a gear and took the second, and after a tense close third game, Rachel prevailed 7-6, 4-7, 7-6.

In the battle of youth vs experience, Callum Johnson made a great start to the semi-final against Lionel Tibble who then returned the favour in game two. Nothing separated them in the much closer game three which could have been anybody's. Callum took a 6-5 lead and earned himself a shot at hoop 12 for the match but was rejected. Lionel then retook control and levelled at 6-6, and Callum's first approach to 13 being short assisted Lionel in taking the match 2-7, 7-3, 7-6 to reach the final.

The other semi-final was never going to be a quick match between two players who know each other's game inside out, already having played 18 ranked games (Ian leading 10-8) and countless hours at the club. Rachel refound her form and took a convincing first game before Ian did the same to level at 1-1. Both players continued in game three, Rachel was very impressive in taking a 6-4 lead. Ian wasn't going away and took the middle hoops to level at 6-6, but Rachel just had the edge and took her first chance to win 7-2, 4-7, 7-6 and the other place in the final, having knocked out two former champions en route.

A new name would once again be added to the Ascot Cup for the fifth year running after the final between Lionel Tibble and Rachel Gee, who had played a remarkable 28 games beforehand with Lionel leading 17-11. Rachel, who had been the most consistent and played the best croquet throughout, showed no sign of slowing down, and solid clearing and hoop running earned her the first game. However, Rachel then had a slight dip in performance and Lionel found prime form in game 2, constantly demonstrating his speciality - the irritatingly effective controlled centre-ball clearance from any range which nudges the opponent ball a dozen yards while Lionel's ball hangs around in the vicinity of the current hoop. However, there was insufficient gold left in the pot for game three and Rachel regained enough form to take control and the match by 7-4, 2-7, 7-2. Rachel's much overdue first UK triple crown victory is very well-deserved. John Bowcott was on hand to present her with the Ascot Cup.

The Plate was played as a 19-point knock-out with a best-of-three final. Louise Smith stepped in after one of the players became ill overnight, but couldn't overcome Chris Roberts who took their game 10-4. Richard Bilton slipped straight into gear, quickly overcoming Tim King 10-1 followed by Chris 10-4 with impressive long-range clearing and hoop running. Two closer matches in the other half saw Stephen Leonard and Stephen Custance-Baker beat Paul Durkin and Peter Dowd, respectively, by 10-6, Stephen C-B taking their match 10-7. In the final, Stephen's consistent near centre-ball clearing allowed him to take the first game, but Richard decided to return to form and lead the second 6-2. Stephen hung in and was level at 4-4 in game three before all three games finished at hoop 11, Richard winning 4-7, 7-4, 7-4. Stuart M Smith beat Euan Burridge in straight games, 7-4, 7-5, for 5th place.

Warm thanks to Hurlingham Club for hosting the event on their 150th anniversary weekend and preparing the courts so well, including setting four sets of Quadway hoops for the blocks and main knockout.

All results are available on Croquet Scores.

The Secretary's Shield

pictureJohn Dawson presents the Secretary's Shield to Chris Frost (Photo: Chris Frost)

by Chris Frost at Kenilworth [^]
21st October (AC)

St Albans beat Chester 5-2 in the final of the Secretary's Shield on Saturday 19th October: match played at Kenilworth.

The Secretary's Shield Final was held at Kenilworth between St Albans and Chester on 19th October, the final having to be rearranged when the previous fixture had been rained off. The teams had met two weeks previously in the 3rd/4th play-off in the Longman Cup.

In the morning session Chester's Brian Walton achieved his Silver Merit award by taking his second ball through all 12 hoops and winning his game but St Albans won the doubles and the second singles match to take a 2-1 lead at lunch. In the afternoon session all the games were close (including one going to a golden hoop) with St Albans winning 3 of the matches to win the final by a score of 5-2.

John Dawson from the CA committee presented the trophy to Chris Frost the St Albans Captain.

St Albans names first.

Chris Frost (3.5) & Stuart Stafford (16) beat John Dawson (3) & Robin Tasker (5) 26-11
Heather Bennett (3.5) beat David Boyd 26-22
Stephen Mills (11) lost to Brian Walton (8) 26-9
Chris Frost (3.5) beat John Dawson (3) 26-21
Heather Bennett (3.5) lost to Robin Tasker (5) 20-19
Stephen Mills (11) beat David Boyd 26-24
Stuart Stafford (16) beat Brian Walton (8) 26-17

Dave Kibble presented with Council Medal

by Dr Ian Vincent at Hurlingham [^]
20th October (CA Official News)

The citation for Dave Kibble, along with those of previous recipients of the Council Medal, has now been published on the website.

Report of AGM and Council Meeting

by Dr Ian Vincent at Hurlingham [^]
19 Oct 2019 (CA Official News)


John Bowcott gave the report from Council to the AGM, starting with the governance changes that would see the Council replaced by a considerably smaller one of just 12 voting members as from the end of the meeting. The Council will focus on 'high-level' policy and strategic initiatives whilst delegating the running of the game to an Executive board, whose delivery, through its committees, it will scrutinise. He emphasised that structures can only go so far and that the outcome will depend on the people who volunteer to fill them: responsiveness, consultation and transparency will be key to success. Members with issues to raise can help the structure work well by doing so with the right person initially, only escalating them if necessary.

He moved on to review successes both in play, such as the victories over the USA in the Solomon Trophy and in the first test match against Spain, and in organising the championships and many other tournaments that had been run throughout the season.

The introduction of live streaming and our presence at a second Countryfile Live event had both helped raise the profile of the sport. Much had also been done behind the scenes, though a number of challenges remained.

He concluded by thanking the many people who had contributed so generously to these activities and for the support he had received, not least from the President.

Jonathan Isaacs then gave a report from the Governance Changes Implementation Group, which he had chaired, about the transitional arrangements that had been made to give the new Council a flying start.

From the floor, Stephen Mulliner suggested that we should seek advice from other croquet governing bodies that had restructured in recent years and Hugh Carlisle raised the shortage of referees at all levels. Bill Arliss welcomed the new structure but felt that it lacked objectives: the general feeling was that it must be given space to set them and that the proof of the pudding would be in the eating. Tony Salem queried the lack of choice after winning the toss in golf croquet and John Reddish announced that National Croquet Day would be extended to a week next year, from 11th -17th May.

The President wound up this item by thanking John for his exceptionally busy year in office and the retiring members of Council for the hundreds of years that they collectively served the Association.

Peter Death reported that the 2018 accounts had shown a significant deficit, of £15K, even after a transfer from the Development Fund to meet the costs of employing a National Development Officer. Commercial income had been unexpectedly poor and sending paper copies of the Croquet Gazette to Standard Members had been costly. Both these were being addressed, though Tony Salem expressed surprise and concern about the former. It was too early to predict the outcome for this year and 2020 would be the last year of above-inflation increases in subscriptions from clubs.

Peter then gave notice of his intention to retire, due to failing eyesight, but hoped to be able to continue long enough to give a good hand-over to his successor. He was warmly thanked for his work and re-elected for a final time, along with the Independent Examiner, David Boxell.

Presentations then followed, with Daniel Gott receving the Apps Memorial Bowl and Stuart M. Smith the Spiers Trophy. Lillian Holdsworth accepted the Millennium Award on behalf of the Littlehampton Club, and Stephen Mulliner the magnificant Beddow Cup on behalf of Surbiton, which had won the AC Inter-Club competition for the fourth year in succession. Diplomas were awarded in person to Chris Roberts, Simon Hathrell, Tony Thomas and John Wallace, and will be sent for later presentation to 14 recipients. Dave Kibble was awarded the Council Medal for his many years of work developing the website.

In AOB, Hugh Carlisle requested sponsorship for the AC World Championships to be hosted here in 2022, and Stephen Mulliner was told that it was hoped to publish the successor to Wylie's book before the end of the year.

In his closing remarks, Quiller Barrett noted the tremendous amount of voluntary work done in clubs, the importance of communicating best practice by them, and wished the new Council well.

Council Meeting

The formal business needed at the first meeting of the new Council was conducted expeditiously, being uncontested thanks to extensive consultations beforehand. Jonathan Isaacs was elected to chair it, with Patricia Duke-Cox as vice-chairman. Roger Staples will chair an Executive Board with John Bowcott, Eugene Chang, Tim King and Beatrice McGlen as its other elected members, and Peter Death, Mark Suter and Ian Vincent as ex-officio ones. A new set of standing orders and practice book were adopted on a temporary basis, which stripped out much of the formality required for larger meetings and introduced procedures for more extensive decision taking between physical meetings.

This freed up the bulk of the time for a brainstorming session facilitated by Rich Waterman, to start the process of setting the CA's strategy and objectives, following a method advocated by Simon Sinek. This starts by asking Why? the organisation exists and its motivation for action, followed in broad terms by How? it is to achieve that and What? specific initiatives actions are needed to do so. Many ideas had already been contributed on a Trello software board (think electronic post-it notes), which had been arranged into logical grouping by Rich.

Those for Why? were categorised into three groups labelled emotional, outcome and role. After discussing these, we agreed that our overall aim would be "To get more people playing more croquet in more places, by promoting, developing and administering the sport", having decided that "better" was a subsidiary objective to "more" croquet.

We then moved onto the Hows? and found that they largely, but not exclusively, mapped on to the existing committee structure. Ones that didn't included Recruitment and Retention, Communication. Membership Management and Fundraising. Communication was felt to be a key one, both to and from individual members, clubs, federations and CA committees. It was left that each of the Hows? would be examined in more detail outside the meeting, to agree the specific objectives in each area.

Committees themselves are to be encouraged to engage in a similar process, but it is recognised that autumn meetings will generally not have time for that.

Breaking to complete the agenda, Brian Havill offered to write a paper addressing the question of the legal structure of the Association and a sub-group was set up to make policy recommendations to address the shortage of referees, which was raised at the AGM.

A final session considered the metrics that would be needed to assess progress in meeting our objectives, but with the warning that it was all too easy to focus on what could be measured rather than more valuable, but less tangible, goals.

St Albans beat Chester to win the Secretary's Shield 5-2

by Chris Frost at Kenilworth [^]
19 Oct 2019 (AC - Secretary's Shield)

St Albans beat Chester 5-2 in the final of the Secretary's Shield on Saturday 19th October: match played at Kenilworth.

St Albans names first.

Chris Frost (3.5) & Stuart Stafford (16) beat John Dawson (3) & Robin Tasker (5) 26-11
Heather Bennett (3.5) beat David Boyd 26-22
Stephen Mills (11) lost to Brian Walton (8) 26-9

Chris Frost (3.5) beat John Dawson (3) 26-21
Heather Bennett (3.5) lost to Robin Tasker (5) 20-19T
Stephen Mills (11) beat David Boyd 26-24
Stuart Stafford (16) beat Brian Walton (8) 26-17


by Dr Ian Vincent [^]
17th October (CA Official News)

The AGM of the Croquet Association will be at the Hurlingham Club, Ranelagh Gardens, SW6 3PR at 11am on Saturday 19th October. Please use these links for the Agenda and Council's Report and note that the District Line to Putney Bridge will be suspended due to engineering work.

Selection made - AC Elite (Mac) Squad

by Ian Lines Mac Selection Committee [^]
15th October (The MacRobertson Shield)

The Mac Selection Committee has selected the following players to form the AC Elite (Mac) Squad:

  • Mark Avery
  • Jamie Burch
  • Christian Carter
  • James Death
  • David Maugham
  • Stephen Mulliner
  • Samir Patel
  • Mark Suter

Congratulations to all those selected.

Inter Federation Challenge. Yorkshire Croquet vs. Croquet North

pictureInter Federation Challenge. Yorkshire Croquet vs Croquet North (Photo: Dennis Scarr)

by Dennis Scarr at York [^]
5 Oct 2019 (AC)

The 4th Inter Federation Challenge between Yorkshire Croquet and Croquet North was held at York Croquet Club on Sat 5th October.

The Challenge brings together 8 players representing each Federation in a one day croquet event comprising AC Handicap Doubles, GC level Play Doubles and AC 1 Ball. The aim of the Challenge is to encourage players who might focus most of their croquet playing time on one particular code to step into the world of the "other code".

We gathered at 9.30am for refreshments, a briefing from Manager Ted Flexman of Yorkshire Croquet, to learn details of the morning pairings and the number of bisques given or received.

AC Handicap Doubles got the day started. 18 point games with all clips starting on hoop 5 with a 2 hour time limit.

Your correspondent got the first break and threw down the gauntlet by running a long angled hoop one only to be reminded, to the backdrop of hoots of derision from fellow players that " all clips start on hoop 5 ". The morning saw that game as one of two lost by each Federation leaving the scores all square at 2 all at lunch.

Lunch provided by Yorkshire Croquet maintained the high standard of hospitality associated with Challenge matches as we finalised order of play for the AC 1 Ball. It is entirely up to each Manager to set the order of play for 1 Ball so until both orders of play are shared it is not known whether handicaps are matched or mixed. Today, the majority of handicaps were mixed bringing different challenges to both lower and higher handicap players.

1 hour time limits were applied to 13 point games. No games went to time and when all matches were completed the score was 4 wins each.

GC Level Play Doubles - best of 3 - 45 mins time limit per game would decide the outcome.

After 2 matches were complete, both resulted in 2-0 wins to Croquet North. Perhaps the tide was turning in their favour. The 2 remaining matches were both one game all and entering the third and final game. Croquet North needed one more win to take the overall match; Yorkshire Croquet needing to win both deciding matches to draw.

The first deciding game to finish went to Yorkshire Croquet with all players then gravitating to the lawn hosting the final match. Yorkshire were up 6-5 however Croquet North seemed to be in control of the hoop. Eventually Yorkshire Croquet missed a clearance - hoop to Croquet North - 6-6 and on to hoop 13. Clearance followed clearance until Croquet North jawsed. Yorkshire Croquet failed a long clearance from behind the hoop. Croquet North then failed a clearance on the remaining Yorkshire Croquet ball, leaving Yorkshire Manager Ted Flexman with a three yard angled jump attempt on the hoop to save both the game and the match. He made it !

At the end of the day the two sides could not be separated. A draw was in many ways a fitting result even though some on the Yorkshire side were quick to adopt the Ashes Cricket maxim whereby, in the event of a tie the "trophy" is retained by last years winners, who just happened to be Yorkshire Croquet !

Although it's a team event, individual performances were worthy of note. Mike Akester from Croquet North was the only player to win all his matches in the three formats. Conversely and im sure he wont mind me mentioning this !! Callum Johnson was the only player not to win a game in any of the three formats. Im sure, however, Callum will not allow that to detract from his outstanding season in both AC and GC.

Looking forward to the 2020 event at Middlesbrough already !

Izzy Poyntz wins GC C-Level Series National Final

by Ivor Brand at Cheltenham [^]
13 Oct 2019 (GC)

This was played as an all play all 'round robin' format involving 16 players who had already qualified by winning their local competition or had earned enough points to gain a place in this prestigious final. The players had come from all over the country and were welcomed by yet another glorious sunny day at Cheltenham croquet club. The lawns looked magnificent and all were eager to start not least of the manager, who did hold some reservations, that 8 games might be a stretch too far for handicaps of 7+ on entry to this competition? However, he was pleasantly surprised and relieved to find that very few games actually went to the one hour time limit (apart from the one maverick result of 3-2 between Robinson and Good).

By the end of the day an exhausted but content set of players had all experienced the joy of winning or taking part and the leader board was starting to take shape. The youngsters Jack Good and Henry Gosnell were showing all the confidence of hitting hard and taking on those challenging 'jump' shots that comes with youth and were playing well to stake their claim. However, David Brame, Izzy Poyntz and local boy Ray Bassett were also showing their class and playing beautifully with touch and precision. The general standard was far greater than the manager had anticipated and the idea of finishing the next day with a further 7 games started to seem like an achievable goal!!!

Unfortunately, the weather turned dramatically over night and so the manager made the decision to offer competitors the opportunity not to double bank but use the free lawns instead which was greatly appreciated by all. This allowed for us to finish by 6pm and the competitors to travel home in some day light, at least for a while. It was great to see all the lawns being used with such enthusiasm, despite the weather. The leader board was still very open with new challenges coming from Russell Robinson and another local 'boy' Edwin Bone who ended up with 9 wins (and with 3 golden hoop losses, who knows what might have been).

In the end it went down to the very last round with David Brame needing to win to take victory with a tally of 12. Unfortunately, fate decided that he and Izzy Poyntz both ended the competition with an impressive 11 wins out of 15. However, Izzy gained the trophy with a superior net points score of 19 which was fully deserved bearing in mind she had beaten her nearest 8 rivals!!!

Third position was even closer with three players finishing on 10 wins again being separated by net points in the following order, Jack Good (+30), Russell Robinson (+15), Henry Gosnell (+11).

Finally, my gratitude goes to those Cheltenham members who gave up their time to set the lawns and the caterers that made the weekend such an enjoyable experience for all. Also, to Graham who took on many of the refereeing duties for me. I'm sure we will be seeing a great deal of handicap changes in the near future especially by the youngsters.

Modification to GC Handicapping Methodology

by Sam Murray [^]
9th October (GC)

The CA has previously published guidelines for GC handicaps for the following circumstances:

Predominantly AC players establishing or updating their GC handicap

Minus GC players wishing to derive their handicap from their Dynamic Grade

Following feedback and consultation, modifications have been made to each of these. Broadly, strong AC players are given a higher GC handicap under these changes, whilst those deriving their handicap from their grade will have a lower handicap.

The new guidelines are to be found respectively at:




St Albans beat Chester in Longman Cup 3rd 4th play off 4-1

by Hilary Smith at Surbiton [^]
6 Oct 2019 (AC - Handicap)

St. Albans beat Chester 4-1 on Sunday 6th October on rain affected lawns at Surbiton. All these matches were 14 points, but I have given people's full handicaps.

St. Albans names first.

Chris Frost (3.5) and Stephen Mills (11) beat David Boyd (6) and Paul Watson (8) +2T
Heather Bennett (3.5) beat Robin Tasker (5) +2

Stuart Stafford (16) beat James Thomas (6) +7
Chris Frost (3.5) beat Robin Tasker (5) +8
Heather Bennett (3.5) lost to David Boyd (6) +8

Other two matches not played.

Bowdon beat High Wycombe to win the Mary Rose 4-3

by Will Mellor at Surbiton [^]
5 Oct 2019 (AC - Mary Rose)

Bowdon beat High Wycombe 4-3 on finals day in Surbiton on Saturday 5th October.

Alan Mayne (0) and Martin Granger-Brown (2) lost to Stephen Wright (0) and Mike Porter (0) -20 quickly in the morning and then played their singles matches whilst waiting for the other two matches to finish. Their singles matches, like the doubles, were over quickly and before lunch, with High Wycombe winning both, Alan losing to Stephen -17 and Martin losing to Mike -23TP, leaving Bowdon 3-0 down. However, Will Mellor (3.5) beat Keith Pound (2) +4 and Charles Harding (3) beat Richard Peperell (4) +7, with both matches going to time, leaving the scores: High Wycombe 3-2 Bowdon at lunch.
The afternoon matches were both over fairly quickly. Charles beat Keith +23 and within minutes of that match finishing, Will beat Richard +25 which was the deciding match, meaning Bowdon were 4-3 winners and the winners of the Mary Rose tournament.

Letchworth beat Sussex to win the Longman Cup 5-2

by Hilary Smith at Surbiton [^]
6 Oct 2019 (AC - Longman Cup)

Played as 14-point games on rain-affected lawns at Surbiton on Sunday 6th October

Letchworth names first

David Matthews (3.5) and Colin Davies (7) lost to Martin Cooperman (5) and Clive Grimley (11) -1
Jeremy Scott (3.5) beat Robin Wootton (14) +5
John Noble beat David Marcus (4) +2T

Jeremy Scott beat Martin Cooperman +10
David Matthews beat David Marcus +4
Colin Davies lost to Clive Grimley -3
John Noble beat Robin Wootton +5

Letchworth were awarded the Longman Cup

Sussex County were awarded the Longman Shield

Letchworth beat Chester 4-3

by Hilary Smith at Surbiton [^]
5 Oct 2019 (AC - Longman Cup)

Match played at Surbiton on Saturday 5th October

Letchworth names first:

David Matthews (3.5) and Colin Davies (7) lost to David Boyd (6) and Paul Watson (6) -15
Jeremy Scott (3.5) beat James Thomas (6) +13
John Noble (10) beat Robin Tasker (5) + 18

Jeremy Scott beat Robin Tasker +18
David Matthews lost to David Boyd -14
Colin Davies lost to James Thomas -4
John Noble beat Paul Watson +26

High Wycombe beat Ripon Spa in final of inaugural Inter-Federation GC Handicap

by Patricia Duke-Cox at Nottingham [^]
26 Sep 2019 (GC)

The inaugural GC Handicap Inter-Federation Shield final was kindly hosted by Nottingham CC. Patricia Duke-Cox, a Vice-President of the Croquet Association and a club member, arrived early to set the courts before Ripon Spa CC (RS) and High Wycombe CC (HW) teams arrived. RS fielded Ted Flexman (0), Jane Pringle (1), Roger I'Anson (3) and Sue I'Anson (7) and HW fielded Alan Clark (0), Keith Toovey (3), Mark Higgins (3) and Marc Allen (8).
In the doubles, Jane (taking a break from successfully jumping long angled hoops) had the bad luck of clearing a HW ball, 4 foot in front of hoop 12, through it in the 3rd game. An unsatisfactory way to decide such a close game, however HW took the point. RS, however, then proceeded to won both their singles. Lunch time, RS 2 - 1 up.
After lunch, HW fought back. Alan and Keith managed to win their singles in hard fought but sporting games. HW 3 - RS 2.
Roger then completed another tight victory over an in-form, but match inexperienced, Mark, 3 all.
Everyone's attention now focused on the final decisive match, where HW were one game to the good. Sue informed the crowd that she was 6-2 down in the second, against Marc, who kept shooting long hoops. Marc indeed carried on with this tactic, ignoring opponent balls in front of the hoop and shooting at the hoop itself, much to the concern of his teammates and amusement of the RS players. After hoop 11 the score was 6-5! Marc then ran a long hoop 12 to win 7-5 proving his tactics were sound and giving HW the overall narrow victory.
Patricia Duke-Cox, having kindly stayed on, made an eloquent presentation speech before we all retired for tea, cakes and amicable banter. It was only at this point (cake time) that we found out that amongst the crowd were some famous players. Ian Burridge, Rachael and Will Gee to name but a few. The Gees were so carried away with the celebrations that they each had a piece of cake, twice.
The inaugural Handicap GC Inter-Federation Shield final was a great day for grassroots club croquet, the Nottingham crowd and the CA.

Report supplied by Alan Clark

The details, Ripon first:
Ted & Jane lost to Alan & Keith 7-6, 4-7, 5-7
Roger beat Marc 7-2, 7-4
Sue beat Mark 5-7, 7-2, 7-5
Ted lost to Alan 5-7, 6-7
Jane lost to Keith 7-6 4-7 6-7
Roger beat Mark 7-6 7-5
Sue lost to Marc 4-7 5-7
Ripon 3 - High Wycombe 4

Surbiton beat Bristol to win the Inter-Club 5-2

pictureCA President Quiller Barrett with the winning team, plus super-fan Winifred Murray. (Photo: Ellen Thompson)

by Richard M Smith at Surbiton [^]
6th October (AC - Inter-Club)

Stephen Mulliner & Samir Patel beat David Goacher & Richard M Smith +19qp(M)
Sam Murray lost to Robert Wilkinson -16
Chris Farthing lost to Ed Duckworth -25tp

Stephen Mulliner beat David Goacher +26
Samir Patel beat Richard M Smith +26tp
Sam Murray beat Ed Duckworth +12
Chris Farthing beat Robert Wilkinson +26

Sussex beat St Albans 5-2

by David Gillett at Surbiton [^]
5 Oct 2019 (AC - Longman Cup)

Longman Cup semi-final

Sussex County vs St Albans

SCCC won 5-2

Saturday 5th October

at Surbiton

SCCC names first:

David Gillett and Malcolm Beacham lost to Heather Bennett and Stuart Stafford by 14

David Marcus beat Chris Frost by 26

Robin Wootton beat Stephen Mills by 4T

David Marcus beat Heather Bennett by 10

David Gillett beat Chris Frost by 19

Malcolm Beacham lost to Stephen Mills by 24

Robin Wootton beat Stuart Stafford by 2T

Watch the AC Inter-Club finals at Surbiton this weekend

by Andy Dibben at Surbiton [^]
4th October (AC)

The Surbiton web-cams will be on-line and can be accessed through the club's website surbitoncroquet.org.uk

There are three separate cameras:

  • Lawn 1, Lawn 2 - both for the Mary Rose final on Saturday and the Inter-Club final on Sunday.
  • Lawn 3 - the Longman Cup semi-final on Saturday and final on Sunday.

Play in the Longman and Mary Rose is scheduled to start at 09:30, whilst the Inter-Club will start at 10:30.

Consultation Draft of AC Laws

by Dr Ian Vincent [^]
2nd October (CA Official News)

The WCF's AC Laws Committee has developed a consultation draft of the 7th Edition of the AC Laws and following a period of review by national laws / referees committees is now releasing this consultation draft for public comment. The consultation draft and other documents are available on the AC Laws section of the WCF website (WCF Home > Croquet information > Association Croquet > The Laws of Association Croquet).

Accompanying the consultation draft are three other documents:

  • a summary of the principal changes proposed for the 7th edition;
  • a document summarising the suggestions for change extracted from the Official Rulings (ORLAC) document that accompanies the 6th edition;
  • summary Minutes of a meeting of the ACLC that took place in Palm Springs in Apr 2017, which produced additional proposals for changes to the Laws.

The latter two documents are the drivers for change that began the ACLC's work on the 7th edition, but as that work progressed it became apparent to the ACLC that other issues also needed to be tackled.

A new edition of the ORLAC will be produced in due course to accompany the 7th edition.

The ACLC proposes a two month consultation period on the new draft. Following the end of this period, the ACLC will review the comments received from croquet players generally and from national Laws / referees committees. It is the ACLC's intention then to produce a new draft, to be submitted to the WCF for the formal consultation with WCF members required under the WCF's statutes.

The ACLC requests that, so far as the Nottingham lists are concerned, discussion on the draft Laws should take place on the Laws list (croquet-laws@nottingham-lists.org.uk, which you can subscribe to here) rather than the general list. ACLC members will monitor the discussions that take place and respond as appropriate.

Comments or questions may also be sent directly to ACLC members, copied as appropriate to national laws / referees committee chairs.

Graeme Roberts chair, WCF ACLC on behalf of the members of the ACLC:

Elizabeth Fleming Australia

Stephen Mulliner World Croquet Federation

Graeme Roberts New Zealand

Martyn Selman United States of America

Ian Vincent England

Solomon Trophy - USA v GB

pictureThe Solomon Trophy 2019 at the Pinehurst Resort, North Carolina

by Samir Patel at Pinehurst Resort, North Carolina, USA [^]
1st October (International)

The Solomon Trophy starts today, following a warm-up match between USA and Great Britain played to American Rules. This event, with six doubles and six singles matches, saw an aggressive style of play from GB team which earned them a remarkable 6-6 draw.

Watch the Solomon Trophy Live ->> https://m.twitch.tv/globaljenkins

Team Orders

The team captains declared team orders for the Solomon Trophy during dinner yesterday evening:

1. Ben Rothman
2. Matthew Essick
3. Stuart Lawrence
4. Stephen Morgan
5. Zack Watson
6. Danny Huneycutt

A. Ben Rothman & Stephen Morgan
B. Matthew Essick & Stuart Lawrence
C. Danny Hunneycutt & Zack Watson

1. Mark Suter
2. Samir Patel
3. Ian Burridge
4. Duncan Reeve
5. Alain Giraud
6. Jonathan Powe

A. Mark Suter & Duncan Reeve
B. Samir Patel & Jonathan Powe
C. Ian Burridge & Alain Giraud

Playing Schedule

The playing order for the 21-point test is:

  • Round 1 - first round of doubles (AvA, BvB, CvC)
  • Round 2 - second round of doubles
  • Round 3 - Reverse Singles (1v2, 2v1, 3v4, 4v3, 5v6, 6v5)
  • Round 4 - final round of doubles
  • Round 5 - Paired Singles (1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, 5v5, 6v6)


Play starts this morning at 0930 local time (1430 UK time) with paired doubles (AvA, BvB, CvC):

  • Ben Rothman & Stephen Morgan v Mark Suter & Duncan Reeve
  • Matthew Essick & Stuart Lawrence v Samir Patel & Jonathan Powe
  • Danny Hunneycutt & Zack Watson v Ian Burridge & Alain Giraud

Results will be posted to Croquet Scores:

There may be video streaming available for some games; keep an eye on Facebook for details.

Nottingham beat Phyllis Court to retain the GC Inter-Club 6-1

by Ian Burridge at Phyllis Court [^]
28 Sep 2019 (GC - Inter-Club)

28th September at Phyllis Court

Nottingham names first

Ian Burridge & James Death beat Raouf Allim & Charlie von Schmieder 7-2, 7-5
Richard Bilton beat Ian Norris 7-0, 7-6
Euan Burridge beat Chris Roberts 7-6, 7-6

James Death beat Charlie von Schmieder 4-7, 7-4, 7-4
Ian Burridge beat Raouf Allim 7-5, 6-7, 7-1
Richard Bilton beat Chris Roberts 7-3, 7-6
Euan Burridge lost to Ian Norris 4-7, 6-7

Mark Avery won the South of England Championship 2019

pictureSouth of England Championship 2019 (Photo: Alison Maugham)

by Roger Wood at Compton,Eastbourne [^]
25 Sep 2019 (AC - Championships)

Mark Avery retained the South of England Championship; Robin Brown won the plate.

Although Friday and Saturday saw clear skies, memories of last year's rain were reinforced by dire weather predictions of thunder showers for the whole of Sunday. Fortunately, they proved to be entirely unfounded and, apart from a few drops at lunchtime, the final day remained dry if largely overcast.

From a strong field of 22 players, three of the top seeds duly made it through to the semi-finals. They were joined by unseeded Richard Smith who, having despatched fourth seed Jonathan Powe in straight games in round 2, then just scraped home against Ian Lines in a time-limited match that finished in darkness. David Maugham, having lost the first game of his quarter-final against Sam Murray despite his TPO, asserted his authority to win the match without Sam scoring another point, and then went on to beat second seed Jamie Burch in straight games to reach the final. Meanwhile Mark Avery had beaten Richard to set up a repeat of last year's final.

In game 1 Mark took blue to 3-back leaving David's balls across corner 4 (C4) and himself in C2 and C3. From the contact David made a superb take-off from C3 to rush partner to hoop 1 (H1) but, uncharacteristically, stuck. Mark missed from H2, allowing David to continue, only to miss a hampered continuation after H3. Mark, playing black, began by peeling 3-back after H5 and looked set to finish when his peelee stuck in rover and his jump attempt was faulted. David had the balls replaced, peeled blue, continued his break to 1-back and laid with the opponents closely cross-pegged, lying east-west, and himself in the centre of the west boundary with a short rush to the peg. Mark lifted black to C1, hit red and finished. Game 2 again saw Mark in first with a break to 4-back and the same leave as game 1. From the contact David laid himself a rush in C4 with blue west of H1. Mark shot and hit centre ball and also made a leave. David missed and Mark finished with a standard triple, the only player to complete the weekend without a loss.

In the plate event the top 8 players (on percentage of games won in the first two days) were drawn in a 3 round knockout played on Sunday. Here Robin Brown produced three triples to clinch the Sussex Union Cup. Full results are available on the croquetscores website.

Particular thanks go to Hilary and Tim Smith for their lunches, and to groundsman John Crisford whose devotion to the lawns continues to keep them in such good shape.

Heart-warming highlight of the weekend was undoubtedly the presence of 5-week-old Winifred, daughter of Ellen and Sam, who at this, her very first croquet tournament, charmed everyone and triggered unexpected parenting skills in a surprising number of individuals!

South of England Championship - for the O'Callaghan Gold Cup

Round 1
Ian Lines beat Robert Wilkinson +25tp +7
James Galpin beat Miranda Chapman -4 +15 +4
Richard H Smith beat Phil Cordingley +14 +10
Jonathan Powe beat Nigel Polhill +25tp +11
David Maugham beat Jack Wicks +2otp +17
Debbie Lines beat Chris O'Byrne +12 -17 +4tpo

Round 2
Mark Avery beat Robin Brown +19tp +14
Mark Ormerod beat Daniel Gott +17 +9
Ian Lines beat James Galpin +14tp +21
Richard H Smith beat Jonathan Powe +8 +7
David Maugham beat Debbie Lines +17 +14tp
Sam Murray beat Gavin Carter +17 -24 +26tp
Dominic Nunns beat Ed Duckworth +7 +10
Jamie Burch beat Gabrielle Higgins +18 +25tp

Mark Avery beat Mark Ormerod +21tp +26tp
Richard H Smith beat Ian Lines +4ot -7ot +3ot
David Maugham beat Sam Murray -10otp +26tp +26tp
Jamie Burch beat Dominic Nunns +14 +8

Mark Avery beat Richard H Smith +18tp +15tp
David Maugham beat Jamie Burch +4tp +11tpo

Mark Avery beat David Maugham +20 +26tp

Swiss consolation event - for the Sussex Union Cup (2 days Swiss, day 3 KO for top 8 players)

Round 1
Gavin Carter beat Ian Lines +24tp
Robin Brown beat Robert Wilkinson +24tp
Dominic Nunns beat Jonathan Powe +18
Sam Murray beat Ed Duckworth +16tp

Robin Brown beat Gavin Carter +17tp
Dominic Nunns beat Sam Murray +14

Robin Brown beat Dominic Nunns +8tpo

LONGMAN TROPHY 2019 - Chester vs. Tyneside match report

by David Boyd at Pendle and Craven CC [^]
14 Sep 2019 (AC)

Chester and Tyneside met for the second time this year, having played each other in the first round of the Secretary's Shield now competed for the opportunity to play in the final of the Longman Trophy. Once again the agreed venue for the match was midway between the clubs at Pendle and Craven CC and played on Friday 13th Sept. During the morning session, of the double and two singles, Chester achieved a comfortable lead of 3 games to 0, then, unfortunately for Tyneside, the first result in the afternoon singles was another win for Chester to secure a match victory, the final score line being Chester 5 Tyneside 2.

Chester has now qualified to play in the semi-final / final, with three other clubs, at Surbiton early in October.

Our thanks, once again, to Pendle & Craven for their hospitality

Score Sheet summary:


David Guyton (6) & Paul Watson (8) bt Terry Vernazza (4) & David Millener (6)+3 (14 - 11)
James Thomas (7) bt Derek Johnson (12) +12 (26 -14)
David Boyd (6) bt Andrew Carpenter (11) +1 (23 - 22)
David Guyton bt Terry Vernazza +12 (20 - 8)
David Boyd lost to David Millener -2 (21 - 23)
James Thomas bt Andrew Carpenter +8 (26 - 18)
Paul Watson lost to Derek Johnson -14 (12 - 26)

Final Result: Chester 5 - Tyneside 2

Bowdon won the National Short Croquet Inter-Club Final

pictureNational SC Final 2019 - Bowden vs Bury (Photo: John Harris)

by John Harris at York [^]
22 Sep 2019 (AC)

Dear all,

It was very good to welcome you all to York today for the National Short Croquet Inter-Club final. Official pictures attached as promised of smiling faces! Congratulations to Bowdon for a convincing win; thanks to Colin Irwin for 'being the CA': and well done to both Bowdon and Bury for friendliness, helpfulness, positive play and excellent team spirit.

Best wishes John

Alain Giraud won the Southport September Advanced Weekend

by James Hawkins at Southport [^]
20 Sep 2019 (AC)

Alain Giraud won an exciting final game against Paul Rigge to win the Sandiford Salver at Southport's September Advanced Tournament.

In an injury-affected event, only six players made it to the last day. Giraud and Rigge played a best-of-five final. Alain won the first two quickly, before Paul completed a TPO in the third. Both players clawed their way around, until Rigge left just two balls on the lawn, with himself for peg vs Giraud for rover. Alain hit his last shot and rolled off his hoop to win by one.

Paul Rigge bt Mark Lloyd +13
James Hawkins bt James Thomas +18
Richard H Smith bt Jerry Guest +26
Alain Giraud bt Peter Wilson +25
Paul Rigge bt James Hawkins +22 +19TP
Alain Giraud bt Richard H Smith +11 +19
Alain Giraud bt Paul Rigge +26TP +26TP +1OTP
James Thomas bt Peter Wilson +1
Jerry Guest bt Mark Lloyd +10
Paul Rigge bt James Thomas +19
Mark Lloyd bt Peter Wilson +10
Richard H Smith bt James Hawkins +11
Mark Lloyd bt James Thomas +17
Richard H Smith bt James Thomas +22
James Hawkins bt Mark Lloyd +9

ARK (Surbiton ) 14/15 September 2019 report/result

by Martin Burger at Surbiton [^]
17 Sep 2019 (AC)

Format : flexible Swiss

Players: 25

Result Winner : Gary Bennett (5/5) runner up :Nick Furse (4/5)

Report: In contrast to last year conditions were warm and dry , and the lawns were in good condition , becoming quite fast in the afternoon sun. The hoops were very rigid though not set too tight , and most games took well over 2 hours .

It was an indication of the closeness of games that most of the queries that arose related to taking bisques after time .

Handicaps ranged from -0.5 to 12 with a median of 2 .

Nobody managed more than 3 games on the first day with 24 players present . 2 of the 3 games between 2/2s were pegged down and when these were resolved we had Nick Furse, Robert Upton and Gary Bennett on 3/3 . Gary then beat Robert and Nick beat David Warhurst (who was 2/3). As it was now after lunch , there was now effectively a final with Gary and Nick which Gary comfortably won +14. Robert and Barry Holland also finished on 4/5. I will try to put the results on croquetscores when I have the complete information .

Thanks to George Noble and Barry for setting courts up at start of each day , and to Maureen and Val in the kitchen .

Bowdon beat Bury to win the Short Croquet Inter-Club 9-2

pictureBowden seated with trophy (Photo: John Harris)

by John Harris at York [^]
17 Sep 2019 (AC - Short Croquet Inter-Club)

Short Croquet is strong in the north so it was no surprise that the final of this important national knockout competition featured two teams from the NW Federation. Both teams found the journey over the Pennines to York very straightforward, allowing the day to start and finish in good time.

The level York lawns played well, with both teams achieving some accurate roquets the full length of the lawn, and nine of the eleven games reaching peg-out. Bowdon got off to the strongest possible start, winning the opening doubles and singles to finish the first round 3-0 up. Bury's Richard Leach pulled one back in the second round but the result was already sealed, and by close of play Bowdon's accuracy and strength in depth had earned them a convincing 9-2 victory. Both Bury and Bowdon made the day's croquet an object lesson in friendly rivalry, positive play and excellent team spirit.

Warm thanks were expressed to York for their welcome and hospitality, and to CA representative Colin Irwin for being Bury team chauffeur, encourager in chief, and presenter of the prizes.

PICTURE:Bowdon, seated, with trophy, L-R: Louise Cheyne, Sue Cooper, Cas Sinclair, Nigel Matthews
Bury, standing, with consolation chocs, L-R: Richard Leach, David Leach, Harry Anderton, Vi Richards

Woking lost to High Wycombe 2-5

by Mike Porter at Woking [^]
17 Sep 2019 (AC - Mary Rose)

At Woking, 17th September

High Wycombe beat Woking 5-2

(Wycombe names first)

Stephen Wright and Mike Porter beat Alan Edwards and Andrew Dutton +17
Richard Peperell beat Nick Harvey +5
Keith Pound lost to Ian Anderson -13

Stephen Wright beat Alan Edwards +13
Mike Porter beat Andrew Dutton +18
Keith Pound lost to Nick Harvey -15
Richard Peperell beat Ian Anderson +3

Welcome New Members

by Alison Jones [^]
23rd February 2018 (CA Official News)

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