The Equipment Committee administers a scheme for the certification of balls which are suitable for use in major championships and tournaments. The regulations are set out in Section 1.2. The World Croquet Federation Management Committee has recognised the CA's Championship Approval scheme ('International Ball Standard') and agreed that it applies to all versions of croquet.
Balls that have current Championship Approval are as follows:
* Approval not renewed: ball production terminated
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Willhoite Tool Co. Inc., PO Box 1342, 157 Industry Rd, Georgetown, KY40324-1342, USA WILLTOOL#aol.com
It is suggested that purchasers may wish to safeguard their rights by ordering balls that comply with the current CA Championship Specification. Makers produce balls in batches and the CA is not able to test each batch, so close inspection of new purchases is recommended. Modern plastic balls appear to be produced from moulds comprising two hemispheres: it is a simple matter to check that the two hemispheres have been correctly aligned - any significant step across the joint line causes out of line rebounds and is unacceptable in play.
Manufacturers who wish to obtain or renew Championship Approval for balls are required to submit a set (non-returnable) to Equipment Committee accompanied by a fee of £50 (payable to The Croquet Association). In the event of the balls failing to meet the required specification, £20 will be returned; balls that meet the specification will be awarded Championship Approval valid for a period of three years. Test Reports will be sent promptly to the Manufacturer and those for Approved balls will be forwarded to the WCF and may be published by the CA.
(Imperial measurements are definitive; metric equivalents are given for convenience.)
Ideally, sets of balls should be tested when new and at annual intervals thereafter, but in clubs with several similar sets of balls it is likely to be difficult to keep track of a particular set. Dawson 2000 International Balls have been rebound tested annually at the Cheltenham Club for several years. The balls are in frequent use and have shown no significant change in rebound to date. To facilitate such performance monitoring, Equipment Committee would welcome the assistance of one-court clubs which are intending to purchase one or two (e.g. 1st and 2nd colours) sets of Sunshiny balls. Finance would be made available to cover costs and to provide some recognition for the effort involved. Dawson 2000 International Balls had unchanged resilience after 2 years use.
Modern cast polyurethane balls may retain a satisfactory appearance even when performance in the resilience test has deteriorated. It is also noteworthy that relatively small blemishes on the ball surface have been observed to affect the direction of rebound in the bounce test. Regular inspection and monitoring of performance is recommended.
Colours of first and second colour sets of balls with Approval in 2005 have been measured and assessed for visibility and distinguishability. Recommended ranges have been forwarded to makers and a copy of the definitive document is archived in the CA Office.