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Handicap Advanced - the laws revealed

[<<] [>>] by Nigel Graves
2nd January 2005 (Other News)

In Tournament Reg C2(b) one of the authorised variations is advanced handicap play. Unfortunately the Laws do not mention this form of the game, and fierce argument rages particularly over whether Law 39 (Handicap pegout law) applies.

My researches have revealed the following:

In March 1991 Council passed a motion approving Advanced Handicap Croquet as an "approved variation" under Tournament Regulations. The motion stated that "when a game is played under the conditions of Advanced Handicap Play, the Laws of Handicap Play are modified as follows: Laws 36 and 42 apply; Law 39 does not apply". Red Book Law 39 is now Law 38 (Handicap pegout law). Law 42 refers to Doubles.

Due to a chapter of errors, this decision of Council was never publicised, and it never got into any laws revision. The game was however played to some extent, and from time to time gave rise to correspondence in the Gazette. The main bones of contention were whether a bisque could be taken in conjunction with a lift (Yes) and whether contact was conceded if a bisque was taken to continue a break after 1-back and then running 4-back (No, curiously).

The issue was finally settled in March 1994 when Council resolved that for the purposes of Law 36 only (Lifts and Contact) "turn" should be interpreted as "visit to the lawn". It was also reiterated that the Handicap Pegout Law did not apply, and it was confirmed the loss of entitlement to lift or contact by a player who has already pegged out a ball. The 1994 decision of Council was publicised in the Gazette.

This variant of the game has never been incorporated into the laws, and Council has never revisited the matter. The correct definition of the game is therefore:

When a game is played under the conditions of Advanced Handicap Play, the Laws of Handicap Play are modified as follows. Laws 36 and 42 apply. Law 38 does not apply. For the purposes of Law 36 only "turn" should be interpreted as "visit to the lawn".


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