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Coronavirus - Latest Information and Advice

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

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 (9pm)

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

Coronavirus - Sport England Emergency Fund & Lawn Management

by Roger Staples [^]
1st April (CA Official News)


Sport England, through its Club Matters website, has issued a useful tool to help Sports Clubs through this Coronavirus crisis.

Sport England, is making up to £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

The package includes a £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which is now open for all clubs and community organisations to bid into. Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available.

The fund has been developed to help organisations meet their obligations, in particular fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of coronavirus, such as rent, utility costs, insurance, core staff costs, and facility or equipment hire.

Wales has announced a similar scheme.

Lawn Management

The CA has been surveying clubs on their lawn maintenance problems and is aware of the many concerns that clubs have during this lockdown period. We have been seeking specific assurance that lawn maintenance is permitted, providing the government's guidelines on safe working are followed and we are pleased to report that we received the following clarification on April 1st from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Subject: Re: Essential maintenance of sports turf during lockdown

"Thank you so much for getting in contact - you have come to the right place. We are aware of these issues and are seeking clarity where necessary. The public health guidance is of course subject to review, but I can be clear about some of your key questions. In short, contractors are indeed permitted to work - anyone who can't perform their usual work at home, can travel to work. Volunteers are able to travel to clubs to perform these functions too, as without them, as you say, the facilities are at risk. Police should not be sending maintenance staff home as they are performing their work, in the only place that it can be done. I believe the police are reviewing their guidance at present so the latter issue may lessen soon."

The Institute of Groundmanship (IoG) will be issuing some specific advice on how to manage croquet courts with fewer resources than usual and how to bring them back to playing standard later in the year. This will be circulated as soon as we receive it.

Virtual Croquet

The Victorian Croquet Association recently posted a game of virtual croquet

Brookwood Croquet 3D virtual AC or GC croquet, even during lockdown! To all owners of Brookwood Croquet programs please note that these games can now be played over the internet whilst Covid 19 movement restrictions are in place and into the future. Please refer to the page on 'Playing on the Internet' for details of how it can be done.

Keep Safe everyone

Roger Staples

Chairman Executive Board

Report of March Council Meeting

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

Council met on 28th March, with the implications of Coronavirus for the croquet community very much on its mind, in addition to its anticipated agenda. The intention to make more use of online conferencing, which was noted at the end of the report of the January meeting, was fully realised, as the meeting took place entirely by means of a Zoom videoconference. It seemed to proceed well, once we had got the hang of signalling that we wished to speak and then un-muting ourselves!

Jonathan Isaacs opened the meeting by welcoming Eugene Chang, who he had invited to present a couple of the items and provide any needed technical assistance, and saying farewell to Peter Death, who was handing over to Ian Burridge as Hon. Treasurer. We hope to be able to give Peter a more sociable send-off once normality returns.

Council and the Executive Board had previously agreed by e-mail to establish a joint Coronavirus Task Force to respond to the developing situation. Its members are Jonathan Isaacs, Ian Burridge, Ian Vincent, Mark Suter and Roger Staples and they have been publishing updates and a summary of the CA's response on the website. Current indications are that relatively few clubs are in immediate financial trouble, but are likely to suffer some loss of membership and be unable to recruit. Discussion at this meeting therefore focussed on the situation that clubs and the CA might face next year. It was agreed to get predictions from clubs as to their likely membership and subscription income this year to enable us to design a scheme for discounting subscriptions in 2021.

An interim recommendation of the group set up to review use of technology by the CA was that the website should be re-styled, particularly to make it more useable on mobile devices. Dave Kibble reported on the progress made by the team undertaking this, which had initially been rapid but had recently stalled due to higher priority work to enhance the Tournament Entry System to handle mass cancellations/postponements, withdrawals and refunds.

Peter Death presented his last set of accounts, for 2019, which had been examined and were approved for submission to the AGM. Turning to 2020, he thanked the Office staff for their considerable assistance in coping with the extra workload of entry fee refunds and reported that our cash flow remained strong. He commented that he was handing over in "interesting times" and wished his successor and colleagues on Council and the Executive Board well.

Changes to the CA's Safeguarding Policy were approved subject to drafting changes and will be published on the website and promulgated to clubs, with corresponding recommendations to their policies, in due course.

A complaint about impersonation in public comment on live streaming of the WCF AC World Championship crystallised concerns by the President about liability for defamation in such circumstances. This incident had been investigated and resolved with an apology and reprimand, so discussion focussed on prevention. It was accepted that comments were inevitable with social media, but it possible to exercise greater control over them if, as the CA was doing, we retained responsibility for streaming rather than relinquishing it to commercial platforms. Guidelines were agreed which will published in the form of a policy.

Eugene Chang then presented the results of the club survey that he had conducted at the end of last year, which usefully complemented the quinquennial surveys of individual players that have been undertaken by Kevin Carter. Headline findings were:

  • Most clubs were at 60-70% capacity (25 members/lawn)
  • GC to AC conversion rates were low, despite several approaches being tried.
  • Many clubs said they supported both forms of the game, but fewer played both actively.
  • More referees were needed and 20% of clubs didn't have a handicapper.
  • There appeared to be a North-South divide in tournament participation rates, but this may reflect travel times and the amount of federation play.
  • Free-text comments had been recorded and provided useful feedback on what the CA was and should be doing.

Finally, Samir Patel introduced the interim reports of the three working groups set up after the January meeting to recommend policy in the areas of Marketing, Efficency and Technology. Two of the Marketing recommendations, that newsletters should be published electronically between issues of the Croquet Gazette, and that the Publishing and Marketing Committees should be combined, were agreed in principle, but at that point the meeting was adjourned for a week, having filled the time scheduled for it.

The Coronavirus Lockdown - CA tips to keep in touch

by Roger Staples [^]
30th March (CA Official News)

We are all ensconced in our own little cocoons, rather like caged animals in a zoo, and no croquet!

Some are gardening, reading books, working from home, home-schooling, etc.

How do we keep in touch?

There is social media. Many clubs have their own Facebook page, and members can keep up to date with what is happening. It's good for sending messages to everyone. Then there is WhatsApp; similar to Facebook but easier to manage and no adverts!

For video link there is Facetime. This only works if you have an Apple product, iPhone or iPad. Not much good for Android users, but does allow you to have a face-to-face chat. We all know how much more we see in a conversation than what we hear. For Android and Apple users, another one that allows groups to get together for a chat say over a cup of coffee is HouseParty.

Your Council & Executive Board are using an online tool Zoom. It's the one that Boris uses for Cabinet meetings. Great if you want to have a large get-together, and it is free for users either as unlimited time for up to three people or 40 minutes max for up to 100 people. Eugene Chang has put together a useful 'how-to' video for those who have it set up on their computer. See CA News

A quick Google search will help you access each of these and there is usually someone in your club or Federation who can point you in the right direction.

Finally, pick up the phone. Is there someone in your club who is hunkered down and would just appreciate a conversation? Many of us will be experiencing cabin fever and a chat certainly breaks up the monotony.

For those in key roles, THANK YOU for your sterling efforts. Keep safe everyone and we will all be out on the courts later in the season (hopefully).

Roger Staples Chairman Executive Board

Emergency Assistance for Full Member Clubs in Financial Difficulty

by Roger Staples [^]
26th March (CA Official News)

In the crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the CA has formulated a scheme to assist Full Member Clubs who may find themselves in financial difficulties.

The CA has delegated authority to an "Emergency Assistance Panel" to determine applications for assistance. The Panel has had funds allocated to them and they are empowered to offer interest-free loans to clubs who find themselves unable to pay their bills between now and the end of October 2020 but who are otherwise financially viable. The aim is to prevent the permanent closure of existing clubs, if possible.

The criteria for an offer and an indication of the evidence that will be taken into account in relation to future viability are set out in the guidelines, which are on the web site and are also available from Federation Development Officers.

The standard form (also available from FDO's) should be used for applications and supplementary information should be attached as necessary.

When completed and endorsed by the relevant FDO, the form and additional documents should be sent to the Chairman of the Panel - John Reddish. The Panel will endeavour to deal with all applications expeditiously.

John Reddish
Chairman of the Panel

What the CA has been doing about Coronavirus

by Ian Vincent [^]
25th March (CA Official News)

This news item summarises what the CA has been doing in response to the outbreak of Coronavirus, to support its members: individuals, clubs and federations, during this unprecedented event.

As soon as the scale of the rapidly developing situation became apparent, it set up a task force to respond to it, which is continuing to review the situation on an on-going basis. 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)

The CA Council will be meeting (by teleconference) on Saturday, 28th March, to review its decisions and plan more strategically for the next few months and beyond.

A news item on the CA website has been updated with its advice as official guidelines have changed. Please follow that link to see the current recommendations.

National Croquet Week has been cancelled for the time being, with the option to re-instate it later in the season if that becomes possible.

The likely financial impact of the outbreak on clubs is being considered and it has already introduced an Emergency Assistance Scheme for Clubs and a Tournament Entry Fee Donation scheme in an attempt to mitigate it. The CA Tournament Entry System has been swiftly upgraded by Dave Kibble to better handle tournament cancellations, mass withdrawals and refunds.

Remote access to the office has been established to enable staff to work from home.

More generally, it is aware that clubs and their members will be affected in other ways. Please keep in touch with each other and to look out for your more vulnerable members. For some people, social media and teleconferencing facilities are helpful in maintaining communications and also to conduct business where necessary. A number of groups within the CA have been using the Zoom teleconferencing service. They offer free accounts that enable people to host a meeting of up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes and have one-to-one calls of unlimited duration.

Several clubs raised the issue of whether lawn maintenance could be considered an essential occupation and guidance has been obtained from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, to say that it is, whether undertaken by contractors or volunteers. The same news item also contains information about grants from Sports Englands to community sports clubs in difficulty.

We trust you stay safe and look forward to being able to start playing again when that becomes possible.

Jonathan Isaacs

Chairman of Council

New Schedule for AC and GC Inter-Club Competitions

by Jonathan Powe and Beatrice McGlen [^]
22nd March (CA Official News)

With little likelihood that matches can be played before the beginning of June, the AC and GC tournament committees have reviewed the 'play by dates' for all the inter-club competitions, in the hope that play will be possible later in the season. This does mean that the later rounds will be on a tight schedule and we therefore hope that clubs will be flexible in arranging their fixtures.

GC inter-club competitions:

Inter-Club - prelim round 5th July; subsequent rounds 26th July, 16th Aug, 6th Sept. Final, as scheduled, on 26th Sept.

Murphy Shield - prelim round 5th July; subsequent rounds 26th July, 16th Aug, 6th Sept Final, as scheduled, by 27th Sept.

Federations Shield - 6th July, 3rd Aug, 7th Sept. Final, as scheduled, by 5th Oct.

AC inter-club competitions:

Inter-club and Longman Cup (Trophies) - 6th July, 10th Aug, 14th Sept. Finals, as scheduled, on weekend of 3rd/4th October

Mary Rose - 6th July, 10th Aug, 7th Sept, 28th Sept. Finals, as scheduled, on 3rd October

Secretary's Shield - 6th July, 10th Aug, 14thSept. Finals, to be played as scheduled, on or before 4th October

Short Croquet - remains unaltered, Fed teams to be selected by 14th Aug. Finals, as scheduled, on 12-13th Sept. If the crisis continues further into the season then this schedule will be reviewed.

Jonathan Powe and Beatrice McGlen

Tournament Entry Fee Donation Scheme

by Ian Vincent [^]
21st March (CA Official News)

Clubs that were due to host tournaments may be particularly badly hit financially by the Coronavirus outbreak The CA has therefore enhanced the online Tournament Entry System to enable players withdrawing from a tournament, or unable to play in one that has been cancelled, to donate their entry fees to the club, should they wish to do so, rather than be refunded. This is done by providing an additional tick box when confirming withdrawal from a tournament to indicate that the entry fee is to be donated. Donations will be paid to the club in full, without any administration fee or levy. Donations of entry fees for CA Organised Tournaments will go to the club that was going to host them, rather than the CA itself.

We hope that many players will wish to support the clubs that host tournaments in this way.

Ian Vincent
On behalf of the CA's Coronavirus Task Force

CA Emergency Assistance to Full Member Clubs in Financial Difficulty

by Roger Staples [^]
20th March (CA Official News)

The CA has established the "CA Emergency Assistance Fund" to assist Full-Member Clubs in the most serious financial difficulty in these testing times, those that expect to be unable to pay bills as they fall due in the foreseeable short-term (i.e. for the six months or so) through to the end of the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose is to prevent the closure of an existing club because of unforeseen financial demands which cannot be met from the clubs own resources.

Outline of Key Details

  • General terms: unsecured interest-free loans of three years duration (no repayment due on the first anniversary, 50% on the second and 50% on the third).
  • All Full-Member Clubs are eligible to apply.
  • Qualifying criteria: based on expected inability to pay bills as they fall due.
  • Awards will be made only to clubs believed to be otherwise financially viable.
  • There will be a moratorium on Development Grants and Loans for the remainder of 2020 (those already approved are unaffected).
  • Initial Sum of £50,000 in total to be made available.

Any club that believes that it might need to apply for a loan from the fund should in the first instance advise incoming CA Hon 'Treasurer' Ian Burridge that it may need to do so, with an indication of the likely sum required. This is not part of the formal application process, rather the planning process for the development of the scheme and further support that it might be possible to offer clubs.

Details of the formal application process will be announced shortly but will require the submission of two years' annual accounts, a cash flow forecast and a plan indicating why a loan is necessary for the club to survive, and the level of funding required.

A committee will be established to award the available funds appropriately and in a timely manner. Once established, it will publish full details of the application process and criteria.

Roger Staples, Jonathan Isaacs
Chairman Exec Board Chairman Council

GC players can now win a CA Silver Medal; AC players also affected by changes

pictureThe meeting minute recording the first approved regulations for the Silver Medal in 1898

by Tim King [^]
17th March (CA Official News)

Individual Members of the CA may now claim a Silver Medal when they achieve (for the first time) appropriate levels of success in a Grade 1 or Grade 2 Championship (AC or GC). All players and tournament managers are encouraged to read the updated criteria for the award of the Silver Medal.

Supported by the CA Archivist Chris Williams, the AC and GC Tournament Committees have worked together to change the criteria for the Silver Medal. These changes affect how players can earn a medal in AC and also, for the first time, allow players to earn one for success when playing GC. Those players who already hold a Silver Medal are unaffected by these changes and will not be able to claim a second medal.

The CA Silver Medal is one of the CA's most long standing means of recognising the success of its members on the croquet court. In fact, the CA was still formally the United All England Croquet Association when players received the first medals in 1896.

Subsequently, on 21 December 1898, the Committee of the United All England Croquet Association approved a set of "Regulations for Prize Events" that included the first formal definition of the criteria by which players would receive a medal. These criteria have evolved slightly over the intervening years but only to tweak the number of players receiving a medal and take account of innovations such as the Draw and Process format used for some tournaments.

In 2009, when Patricia Duke-Cox was Chair of Council, she identified that the CA had fallen behind in valuing the role of the Silver Medal as heralding the entry of new individuals into the top echelon of players. She asked Chris Williams to identify individuals who had not claimed the medals in recent times to re-establish the significance of earning medals to those who participate in competitive croquet.

A few years after that activity, Tim King raised the issue as to whether the CA should also award the Silver Medal to those who achieve success in GC. He received an action from Council to investigate the matter but then proceeded to get bogged down in the details of how to adopt the existing criteria for AC to apply to the typical formats of GC tournaments.

After several years of delay, Tim finally completed some research in the CA Office to understand the origins of the Silver Medal and this dispelled any uncertainty about how to incorporate GC without corruption of the original intentions of the medal.

The main step forward was to recognise the introduction of gradings for Championships since the last occasion of changes to the criteria for the Silver Medal. These gradings make clear the pre-eminence of Grade 1 and Grade 2 Championships in the CA calendar of events; the definitions of these championships align clearly with the objectives of the medal to identify our best players.

Another feature of the beginning of the history of the Silver Medal was the award of medals to five former Champions (some of the most influential players in the early history of croquet).

As part of extending the criteria for the Silver Medal to cover GC, the CA has also decided to recognise the former Champions of GC. These Champions have won the GC Open Championship (begun in 2000) or, since moving to a best-of-three knockout format in 2005, the English National GC Singles Championship (the Ascot Cup).

Seven of those Champions will receive a Silver Medal; while the other five are already holders of the medal for previous exploits in AC and, thus, the CA website will record them as the first players to have met the criteria in both codes of croquet.

Award status Name GC Open Championship winner English National GC Championship winner

New Silver Medal award
(7 players)

Richard Bilton - 2018
Ivor Brand - 2006
Rachel Gee - 2019
Will Gee - 2011, 2013
James Goodbun - 2010
John-Paul Moberly - 2017
Tobi Savage - 2015

Existing Silver Medal award for AC
(5 players)

Reg Bamford 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 2005, 2009
Rutger Beijderwellen - 2007
Ian Burridge - 2016
Robert Fulford - 2008
Stephen Mulliner 2000, 2001, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 2012, 2014

(The eagle-eyed reader will possibly wonder if the Gees are the first married couple to earn their Silver Medals on the same day.

The early history of the Silver Medal would require much effort to check this question but, in fact, there is an occurrence in living memory when, in June 2001, Ian and Ailsa Lines both earned their Silver Medal when reaching the Open final at the Budleigh Salterton Weekend. Ian won +1 on time in the third game!)

Anyone who meets the new criteria at an eligible event should follow the instructions on the Silver Medal page of the CA website and submit their claim for a medal to the CA Office, remembering they may never claim more than a first medal.

In 2020, the Grade 1 and Grade 2 singles Championships are as follows.

Grade AC GC
  • The Western Championship
  • The Men's Championship
  • The Women's Championship
  • The Association Croquet Open Singles Championship
  • The Eastern Championship
  • The North of England Championship
  • The South of England Championship
  • The Golf Croquet Open Championship
  • The English National GC Singles Championship (Ascot Cup)
  • The Coles Championship
  • The Championship of The East Midlands
  • The 52nd Championship of Surrey
  • The Sidmouth GC Championship
  • The East Anglian GC Championship
  • The Cheltenham GC Championship
  • The Ramsgate Open GC Championship
  • The National Forest GC Championship
  • The Nottingham GC Championship
  • The Lancashire International Open GC Championship
  • The Hunstanton GC Championship

Coronavirus - CA Office & Shop

by Roger Staples [^]
16th March (CA Official News)

Following Government advice, the CA Office & Shop in Cheltenham has gone into 'lockdown'.

People should not visit the Office or Shop until further notice.

The Office remains open for email and telephone contact, and purchases can be made online from the shop.

We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause our members but it is a necessary measure to ensure the well-being and health of our employees so they can continue to help us run our organisation effectively during these unprecedented times.


by Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
13th March (AC - Longman Cup)

Fist Round
by 6 July
Second Round
by 10 August
by 14 September
by 3 October
on 4 October
Wrest Park  
St Albans
Sussex County  
  East Dorset    
High Wycombe


by Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
13th March (GC - Inter-Club)

Preliminary round
by 5 July
First Round
by 26 July
by 16 August
by 6 September
Final at TBA
on 26 September
Belsay Hall          
Croquet Durham
  Sussex County
  Camerton & Peasedown
  Phyllis Court  


by Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
13th March (GC - Inter-Club Shield)

Preliminary round
by 5 July
First Round
by 26 July
by 16 August
by 6 September
by 27 September
  East Dorset
Phyllis Court    
Crake Valley        
Croquet Durham    
Belsay Hall
  Ripon Spa
  Wrest Park
Camerton & Peasedown    
  Leighton Linslade


by Sam Murray at Surbiton [^]
12th March (AC - Inter-Club)

First Round
by 6 July
by 10 August
by 14 September
Final at Surbiton
on Sunday 4 October
  Sussex County
  York & Sheffield
High Wycombe

Call for National Junior Program Participants

by Eugene Chang [^]
6th March (CA Official News)

Do you know of any young (U25) players at your club who would benefit from participating in a national program?


One of the CA's priority areas is to encourage younger players into competitive croquet. In particular, we would like to develop a programme targeted at this (very broad) group, and foster a network/community amongst these players, so they can learn and support each other.

An idea is to emulate the model of youth croquet development in New Zealand (we are in touch with the CNZ Development Officer): this sees over 200 school-age children per year compete in regional events at the tail end of a playing season, going through to a national event at the start of the next season and the best performers of that event being invited to join their Junior Squad.

The CA already organise a number of events for younger players including the AC and GC Student Championships, the AC National Schools and Junior Championships and the U25 Summer School, but we want to do more in this realm.


I have obtained approval from across the CA to initiate a youth programme for 2020, and buy-in from leading young players who wish to support this. The initial phase is to work with U25 players who are already members of croquet clubs, rather than directly approaching schools or youth groups.

Existing U25 members and their parent clubs are invited to get involved. Once a group is established, I will set-up some regional meetups which are led by a leading young player or experienced coaches, and then build from there.

After 2020, the CA can review its success and decide whether to expand the programme further.

The proposed programme is not AC/GC-specific, although following the NZ model would suggest that aligning younger players to develop their GC game first is the way to go.

In the first instance, I need further details of u25 members who might be interested in joining this program. I would like to know:

  • name
  • age
  • club
  • stage of life (school, college, uni etc)
  • playing ability in AC and GC
  • contact details for them

Please do obtain consent from the member (or their parent/guardian if U18) if you think they would be interested.

Happy to discuss further on etychang#gmail.com

Eugene Chang
Director of CA AC Students, Schools and Junior Championships
Chair, Marketing Committee
Member of Exec Board

2020 Women's Association Croquet World Championship

by Ian Lines [Chair of International] at United CC Christchurch, New Zealand [^]
5th March (AC)

The 2020 Women's Association Croquet World Championship is being held in Christchurch, New Zealand from 29 November to 6 December 2020.

Those Women eligible for England can make themselves available (by 24 April) via the CA website here.

Further details are available at World Croquet.

2020 Fixtures Book

by Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
3rd February (CA Official News)

If you missed the deadline to purchase the Fixtures Book, we have a few spare copies from the printers and they can be purchased online at the CA Shop here.

The PDF version of the 2020 Fixtures Book is now available for download. You will find the download link here.

Beyond Expert Croquet Tactics - New Book

pictureAvailable to Buy Now - Limited Copies in Stock

by Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
20th December 2019 (CA Official News)

Keith Wylie's book Expert Croquet Tactics has been the bible for aspiring champions since it was first published in 1985. Top level association croquet has changed a lot since then but no-one has dared to publish a book to update Wylie - until now.

Limited copies available, get your copy here.

It's a few years since the idea was mooted that a team of top-ranking players might author such a publication. Putting such a multi-author book together would have been a considerable challenge for any commercial publisher - and it certainly turned out to be just that for the CA, whose members had not produced anything like this before.

The book not only covers tactical developments in the game since Wylie (including refinements of triple peeling, sextuple peels, super-shot openings, pegged-out endgames, peeling the opponent, and super advanced tactics) but psychological aspects of self-development, match preparation and how to compete most effectively; along with sections on equipment, statistics and a history of top level play.

The book as a whole is designed to help players understand how best to develop their game, and to maximise their potential - including those who will reach the very top of world-class competition.

Get your copy here now.

The authors:

  • Keith Aiton
  • Reg Bamford
  • Paddy Chapman
  • Chris and Jenny Clarke
  • Martin French
  • Robert Fulford
  • David Maugham
  • Stephen Mulliner
  • David Openshaw
  • William Ormerod
  • Samir Patel
  • Pete Trimmer
  • Chris Williams.


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