The meeting minute recording the first approved regulations for the Silver Medal in 1898by Tim King
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
|Will Gee||-||2011, 2013|
Existing Silver Medal award for AC
|Reg Bamford||2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019||2005, 2009|
|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.