Priority places for U21 players at GC tournaments
At their meeting on 24 March, the CA Council approved increasing the opportunities for under 21 (U21) players to gain places at GC tournaments. This initiative follows on from the CA agreeing to host the 2019 U21 GC World Championship, taking place at Nottingham Croquet Club from 20 to 24 July.
The 2019 U21 World Championship offers an ideal target to inspire young England players to apply themselves to practice and to enter appropriate tournaments to prepare themselves. Such players have the potential to make rapid progress during the next 16 months and to achieve good results in the event.
Until now, when young players entered a tournament, they could be at a disadvantage because they were likely to be improving rapidly but their ranking would be lagging behind and not reflecting this improvement when tournament managers were allocating places under the existing regulations.
To remove this disadvantage, Council agreed that priority places will be available in the 2018 season for U21 players at: the GC Open Championship; the GC National Doubles Championship; and all tournaments in the GC Championship, A-Level, B-Level and C-Level series. In each of these tournaments, two U21 players can receive a place even if their rankings are not high enough under the existing tournament regulations. These players will need to meet the applicable handicap restrictions of the event or (in the case of unrestricted events) have a handicap of 2 or better.
When entering a tournament, players will need to inform the tournament manager that they are under 21 and eligible for a priority place.
The full allocation process is at the end of this article.
The CA is also engaged in various other initiatives that support the development of young GC players. These initiatives include:
- the international performance development and the junior summer school programmes to nurture emerging talent through to elite levels (contact International Performance Director, Lionel Tibble anglion#btinternet.com );
- the bursary scheme offering financial support to those who would struggle to cover their playing costs otherwise (contact Bursary Scheme panel chairman, Stephen Mulliner snmulliner#gmail.com );
- a "next generation" tournament that will trial creating a tournament experience suited to the expectations of young players (contact Eugene Chang etychang#gmail.com ).
The Council very much hopes that all clubs and individual members of the CA will introduce these initiatives to young players entering the sport. These players have an exciting opportunity to compete in the 2019 U21 GC World Championship.
The updated allocation process
The following process applies to:
- the GC Open Championship;
- the GC National Doubles Championship;
- all tournaments in the GC Championship, A-Level, B-Level and C-Level series.
For a tournament size of N players, allocate (N - 2) places using CGS grade (converting from handicaps as necessary).
Allocate the remaining two places using the following steps.
(a) Take the highest ranked remaining eligible U21 player (if any) without a place and give that player a place. Repeat this step until there are either no places or no eligible U21 players remaining.
(b) For any places remaining, fill these using CGS grade (converting from handicaps as necessary).
An eligible U21 player is one who meets the handicap requirements of a restricted event or (in the case of unrestricted events) who has a handicap of 2 or better.