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CA COVID-19 Guidance Reviewed

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

The CA's Task Force has reviewed the guidance it published on 24th February in the light of representations from clubs to relax it, but also continued requests from the government not to anticipate the steps set out in its roadmap for ending the lockdown.

It has retained the restriction that there should be no more than six players (the gathering limit) on a full-sized court for informal play and added that there should be no more than four players on a half-size or short croquet court, with the provision that players on adjacent courts should not interact. The most significant change from last year is that formally organised Federation and Club tournaments/coaching are now treated the same as those in the CA Calendar, but that does not extend to club roll-up sessions.

The revised summary guidance is as below and more detailed guidance for clubs and players has now been published. Further guidance for tournaments is being prepared.

The Croquet Association's task force has reviewed the COVID-19 response for England published by HM Government on 22nd February and has kept in touch with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Sport & Recreation Alliance. It appears that national governing bodies of sports are being allowed greater latitude to set guidelines appropriate for their individual sports, within the overall framework of the national restrictions.

In broad outline, our guidance is that, subject to the four tests mentioned in that document and confirmation of the actual dates:

Step 1a, before 29th March:

  • Clubs must not open for play, but maintenance can continue.

Step 1b, from 29th March:

  • Clubs may open for outdoor play.

  • Clubhouses or pavilions may only be used for access to toilets and equipment.

  • Social distancing requirements must be met.

  • Except for organised events as described below, no more than six people (or people from no more than two households, if greater) may occupy a full-sized court. Half-size or Short lawns are permitted, with up to four people on them. The players on one court should not interact with those on adjacent ones.

  • The limit on the number of people does not apply to formally organised tournaments or coaching. Such an event is regarded as organised activity if it has been publicised in advance and is run under the direction of a manager/organiser who is present and responsible for ensuring that it is conducted in a COVID-19 secure manner.

  • Overnight stays are not permitted and travel will still be limited. Any tournaments or other organised events will therefore have to be for local players only. No catering or bar facilities are permitted.

  • Within these guidelines, outdoor (and Zoom), but not indoor, coaching, and local tournaments can take place.

Guidance for later steps will be added in due course. Changes that are expected to come into place at these times include:

Step 2, from no earlier than 12th April. As Step 1b, except that:

  • Self-contained accommodation will be available, but only for single households.

  • Travel restrictions are eased, but travel should still be minimised.

  • Outdoor catering and drinks are permitted, but only with table service.

Step 3, from no earlier than 17th May:

  • Most restrictions affecting playing, coaching and tournaments are expected to be lifted.

Please address any queries to the Hon. Secretary, Ian Vincent.

 



Next CA Webinar - More People: Pay and Play sessions - Sat 13 Mar 9.30

by Eugene Chang [^]
2nd March (CA Official News)

The CA Webinars are a webinar series for CA Members, CA Member Clubs and Federations, to learn and discuss particular topics around croquet administration. We aim to run this on the last Saturday morning of each month.

Recordings of past webinars are available via the Webinars page (member login required).

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


Next Webinar

Saturday 13th March 2021 - More People: Pay and Play sessions (Duncan Catterall & Annabel McDiarmid)

Discover how Pay and Play sessions can help your club and benefit your local community

As the country reopens after lockdown, many will be seeking new gentle outdoor activities, perhaps with their household/support bubbles. Some will be looking for a new hobby; others will just want to improve their mental health through activities.

Croquet clubs have a unique opportunity to boost their visibility, promote croquet and gain potential members, by opening their doors for public Pay and Play sessions.

CA Marketing & Communications Team encourage you and your club to set up regular Pay and Play sessions, and will offer tips on scheduling and advertising these sessions virtually (the Covid-19 secure way), as well as some thoughts on overseeing public sessions.

  • Why run 'Pay and Play' sessions; the Pay and Play model
  • Managing bookings and taking payments using Eventbrite - practical walkthrough
  • Extracting data from Eventbrite for follow-up marketing and membership drives
  • Marketing your Pay and Play sessions without spending money - virtual options
  • Practical tips for managing and overseeing Pay and Play sessions
  • Q&A

Duncan Catterall is the founder of Croquet & Cocktails, a croquet-themed event company with a storming social media presence. An architect at Fosters + Partners with an eye for design, he was previously Events Manager at Academy Music Group, responsible for booking and promoting major music acts across London's O2 venues. Duncan is a rapid improver, having won the 2020 GC C-Level series, and plays at High Wycombe and Surbiton.

Annabel McDiarmid is the CA's Commercial Events Manager, coordinating and staffing corporate croquet bookings across the country. A leading female croquet player who has won the AC Women's Championship and Mixed Doubles Championship, she is a regular on the AC tournament circuit and plays at Woking.


Details: Saturday 13th March 2021, 9:30-11:00am.

Please sign up on Eventbrite by 5pm (BST) on Thursday 11th March 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 12th March.


Past Webinars

Want to view a previous webinar? Visit the Webinars page (member login required)



2021 Fixtures Calendar Published

by Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
1st March (CA Official News)

The 2021 Fixtures Calendar has been published.



The CA Website has a new look!

by Dave Kibble [^]
28th February (Technical)

The content is the same, but the navigation is all new and now works well on phones and tablets, which are used by well over half of the visitors to the site. Take a look at one of the helper videos to see how to get around the site.



Visit the CA online shop and get ready for the season ahead

pictureVisit the CA Shop online and get ready for the 2021 season ahead!

by Alison Maugham [^]
27th February (Other News)

Visit the Croquet Association Shop today, start preparing for the season ahead.



7th Edition Laws of Association Croquet is published

picture (Photo: Roger Staples)

by Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
26th February (AC)

The new 7th edition of the Laws of Association Croquet are effective from 1st March, 2021.

An interactive version has been published on the CA website.

The Regulations for Refereeing Tournaments has also been updated and published on the website.

An A6 booklet containing the Laws is in preparation and its availability will be announced here once publication date is known. Players who wish to reserve their copy can do so by ordering it now on from the CA Shop.

Roger Staples

Chair AC Laws Committee.



Chiltern Croquet Academy Exiting Covid Lockdown

by Ian Shore [^]
25th February (Other News)

While unsurprising, it is sad that the recently announced Government roadmap for exiting COVID lockdown, supplemented by CA Taskforce guidance, means that, with the exception of our Zoom-based courses, most of our planned courses will have to be rescheduled.

Clubs will not re-open until the end of March, so all planned March courses cannot be held. Even with the lawn facilities open, and some more relaxations on 12 Apr, access to the clubhouse for all participants is important for almost all our courses due to the prevalence of cold weather and the need for some classroom sessions. As this will not be allowed until 17 May, at the earliest, most of the remaining planned courses will also have to be rescheduled.

As the CA website is being used for bookings and, for COVID reasons, it has not been possible to book (bar Zoom courses), it will not be necessary for anyone to cancel and claim refunds. The academy's course programme will be amended before the CA website opens for general bookings on 1 Mar.

Planning is now in hand to create a revised coaching programme that is both compatible with the latest Covid control measures and minimises the impact on the playing season, when lawn availability is a critical factor.

As soon as a revised schedule can be announced, it will be published on both the Chiltern Academy and CA website as well as more broadly.



Opening of Online Entries

by Ian Vincent [^]
24th February (CA Official News)

In the light of the recent COVID-19 guidance, it is intended that entries to the remaining tournaments and courses that accept them online will open on 1st March.

However, players thinking of entering early season events should be aware that overnight stays are not expected to be permitted until at least 12th April, and even then only in self-contained accommodation. Other accommodation is not expected to become available until at least 17th May. Similarly, most clubs will be unable to provide catering before then.



CA COVID-19 Guidance February 2021

by Ian Vincent [^]
24th February (CA Official News)

The Croquet Association's task force has reviewed the COVID-19 response for England published by HM Government on 22nd February and has kept in touch with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Sport & Recreation Alliance. It appears that national governing bodies of sports are being allowed greater latitude to set guidelines appropriate for their individual sports, within the overall framework of the national restrictions.

In broad outline, our guidance is that, subject to the four tests mentioned in that document and confirmation of the actual dates:

Step 1a, before 29th March:

  • Clubs must not open for play, but maintenance can continue.

Step 1b, from 29th March:

  • Clubs may open for outdoor play.

  • Clubhouses or pavilions may only be used for access to toilets and equipment.

  • Social distancing requirements must be met.

  • Except for organised events as described below, no more than six people (or people from no more than two households, if greater) may occupy a full-sized court. Guidance for smaller courts will follow.

  • The limit on the number of people does not apply to formally organised play or coaching. An event is regarded as organised activity if it has been publicised in advance and is run under the direction of a manager/organiser who is present and responsible for ensuring that it is conducted in a COVID-19 secure manner.

  • Overnight stays are not permitted and travel will still be limited. Any tournaments or other organised events will therefore have to be for local players only. No catering or bar facilities are permitted.

  • Within these guidelines, outdoor (and Zoom), but not indoor, coaching, and local tournaments can take place.

Guidance for later steps will be added in due course. Changes that are expected to come into place at these times include:

Step 2, from no earlier than 12th April. As Step 1b, except that:

  • Self-contained accommodation will be available, but only for single households.

  • Travel restrictions are eased, but travel should still be minimised.

  • Outdoor catering and drinks are permitted, but only with table service.

Step 3, from no earlier than 17th May:

  • Most restrictions affecting playing, coaching and tournaments are expected to be lifted.

More detailed guidance, for players, clubs and tournament organisers, will be issued in the coming days. A meeting specifically to discuss the effect on the fixtures calendar has been scheduled.

Please address any queries to the Hon. Secretary, Ian Vincent.



7th Edition Laws of Association Croquet

by Roger Staples [^]
18th February (AC)

The Croquet Association has adopted the new, 7th, edition of the Laws of Association Croquet for use in this country from 1st March, 2021.

An introductory statement, the 7th edition laws and list of changes from the 6th edition, have been published on the WCF website. A list of changes since the last consultative draft, which was published in August 2020, has also been compiled. A replacement for the commentary is in draft.

An A6 booklet containing the proposed Laws is in preparation and its availability will be announced here once publication date is known.

An interactive version has been published on the CA website.

Roger Staples

Chair AC Laws Committee.



Dr Stephen Custance-Baker Coach of the Year 2020

by Sarah Hayes CACC Chair [^]
16th February (CA Official News)

The CA Coaching Committee is delighted to name Dr Stephen Custance-Baker as Coach of the Year 2020. Many citations were received nominating Stephen for the award all glowing with praise of his coaching endeavours despite 2020 being far from normal.

Stephen puts tremendous effort and time into coaching and has even found time to write a book!

Many congratulations from the CACC.

Full article will appear in the Spring Gazette.



Selection Events Are Now Open

by AC & GC Tournament Committees [^]
11th February (CA Official News)

Although the opening date for online entries to tournaments or courses (other than virtual ones) has been postponed to at least the end of February, we have now opened all the 'selection' events (International teams, Eights etc). Players can therefore start to make themselves available in the usual way via the 'Availability' page in the 'Members' area. The first selection deadline in the calendar is 10 March, when 'availability closes' for the European GC Championships (Budleigh 20-23 May).



Report of January 2021 Council Meeting

by Ian Vincent [^]
1st February (CA Official News)

Report of January 2021 Council Meeting by Ian Vincent

Council welcomed Dennis Scarr to his first meeting following his election to represent the Croquet North and Yorkshire Constituency. It gratefully accepted his offer to lead a group to develop a policy for Adult Safeguarding. The Child Safeguarding policy has now been published and a National Safeguarding Officer, Dr. Ron Carter, appointed, who will deal with both. It was noted that Safeguarding was one of the priorities of Sport England's new 10-year strategy.

David Openshaw joined the meeting to update it on the progress of his Competitive Play Review Group. In consulting clubs it had found that there were various teaching styles for Association Croquet, ranging from structured courses to just starting people playing garden croquet and was concluding that the most important factor in success was enthusiasm, of both teachers and students, rather than the method used. Short Croquet was encouraged as a way to introduce people to competitive play, but other formats were needed to provide a challenge and speed up play as players progressed to the highest levels.

An ambitious, but plausible, budget was agreed, which would break even if new sponsorship and funding activities succeeded. Subscription income had so far been relatively encouraging, but plans may have to be revised if the season is badly affected by Covid-19. The draft accounts for 2020 showed a loss of about £15K, which was a better outcome than might have been expected.

It was agreed to take up the offer from Brabners LLP to give, on a pro-bono basis, advice about the CA's legal structure and execute any changes agreed.

The broad recommendations of the Membership Review Group that the membership structure should largely remain unchanged until the future legal structure had been decided were agreed, though the nomenclature of Large and Small Clubs would be changed to better reflect the existing criteria for discounted subscriptions. Clubs will be encouraged to increase the take-up of Standard membership, but the primary target was to increase the number of players and total primary club membership will be reported when measuring market penetration. Similarly, the current tournament levy system will be reviewed as patterns of competitive play had changed and were no longer being reflected by it. Ian Burridge will convene a separate group to do so.

The Executive Board's report noted the need to find a new Director for Infrastructure and mentioned the Communications Toolkit that had been produced for clubs.

The 7th edition of the Laws of Association Croquet, the first new one for 20 years, was approved to replace the current laws for use in the CA's Domain from 1st March, following approval by the World Croquet Federation. It was agreed that a free copy should be sent to clubs and referees and that referees should not be charged for courses updating them.

Ian Cobbold confirmed that he was leading a review of Coaching and Performance. It was still at the information gathering stage, but hoped to produce an interim report in March.

It was reported that consultations on a general Complaints procedure, to replace the existing Disciplinary and Appeals one, and a more specific Online Communications policy and guidance were underway. The complaints procedure will add the option of mediation.

Dave Kibble introduced two topics which highlighted the need for Council to lead in supporting its volunteers, preserving its institutional memory and publishing its policies and strategies. The theme was taken up again at the end of the meeting, when the Chairman reflected that the CA was facing the challenge of changing from a small, largely volunteer, organisation with relatively limited objectives to the larger, more professional, one now required to meet modern expectations of governing bodies. This was undoubtedly putting a strain on the existing volunteers.

The next scheduled meeting of Council will be on 27th March, by which time we can hope to have a better feel as to when play will be possible again. One member had to leave early to be vaccinated!



Consultation about Online Communications Policy and Guidance

by Ian Vincent [^]
27th January (CA Official News)

With the increasing use of social media, remote meetings and media channels it has become apparent that a policy and guidance is required to enable everyone to use the CA's technology in a way that means everyone can participate but know where the boundaries lie. This review has coincided with a review of the CA's Complaints Procedure so that the policies can complement each other. A draft Croquet-Online policy document with accompanying guidance are now available on the website. CA members, particularly those who are familiar with the CA's social media channels, are invited to have a look at this and to send any comments to Paul Hetherington by 15th March, 2021.



Consultation on CA Complaints Procedure

by Ian Vincent [^]
27th January (CA Official News)

The CA Disciplinary and Appeals Procedure has been reviewed by a small working group at the request of the Council, with the intention of producing a document which is more comprehensive than the current text but is also
easy to follow.

The current procedure is set out in Clause 8 and Appendix 1 of the Constitution; the proposal is to replace those by a new Clause 8 referring to a new document, the CA Complaints Procedure, published by the Council, to
make it easier to maintain.

A consultation version of the proposed CA Complaints Procedure is available on the CA website to allow anyone interested to comment and make suggestions.

These should be sent to Stephen Mulliner who chairs the working group. The consultation period will end on 15 March 2021.

Please note that there is also a related consultation on a proposed online communication policy and guidance.



 

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.