To provide security for clubs considering purchasing new types of hoops, the CA initiated an Approval Scheme in December 2000. Approved hoops are recognised for use in CA Tournaments and Championships, but the use of Approved hoops is not a requirement in such events.
Standard Approval may be given to hoops of unstressed upright separation 311/16 inches to 313/16 inches, and both Championship and Standard Approvals to those with separation in the range 311/16 inches to 33/4 inches. The Championship range provides for a 1/16 inch clearance on all Championship Approved balls and the different upper limit of the Standard range accommodates a 1/8 inch clearance. By stressing the hoops in the ground it is expected that most designs will produce both 1/16 inch and 1/8 inch settings at ball half-height; the rules for Approval also aim to cover fixed width hoops such as may be more suitable for use with artificial surfaces.
The requirements in Section 2(c) were revised in 2009 to recognise widespread use of hoops of greater upright diameter than 5/8 inch diameter, problems with the production of cast iron hoops with 5/8 inch, and a strong interest in the upper reaches of the game in providing hoops of significant challenge. The revision of the Laws in 2008 to increase the upward tolerance on the 5/8 inch dimension to 1/8 inch was therefore interpreted in Approval regulations 2(c) and 2(e) to permit the use of 3/4 inch diameter uprights and crown.
Currently Approved Hoops are as follows:
See the CA online shop for hoop details.
The design of a hoop system for use with artificial surfaces by R. H. Rawden of the Bury St Edmunds Club was Approved in 2003.
Makers intending to produce Approved hoops are invited to make contact with the Chairman of the CA's Equipment Committee.
Manufacturers seeking Approval are required to submit one (non-returnable) fully finished hoop for testing, to arrange a Field Test at an agreed venue and for an agreed period, and to provide written assurance that the manufacturing processes are adequately reproducible. The Equipment Committee is responsible for preparing a report of performance in relation to the stated criteria and will provide a checklist of items for the Field Test. The report will include a general description of the hoop system and indicate whether the hoop is suitable for fixed or adjustable setting. Approvals will be announced in an appropriate manner by the CA. A hoop system may be accorded Approval in either or both of the Standard/Championship categories. The report will be made available to the maker and for an Approved hoop it may be published by the CA.
Imperial measurements are definitive; metric equivalents are given for convenience. The criteria apply to hoops of fixed setting and to hoops whose setting may be adjusted by stress through the anchorages or otherwise.
Notes of explanation are enclosed in square brackets. The specifications for Approval are derived from the requirements for clearances of 1/8 inch ('handicap setting') or 1/16 inch ('advanced setting') with any ball meeting the internationally recognised Championship Approval standard - i.e. diameter 319/32 - 321/32 inches.
The ranges are derived as follows.
The uprights between the high and low positions will be tested for coplanarity: when one upright is in contact with a plane surface, no point of the relevant length of the other upright may depart from the plane by more than 1/16 inch.