Published 03/07/2020 – Essex County Standard & Sister papers
Colchester Croquet Club have the perfect social distancing answer for the present day by retaining a unique advantage over other sports. The answer lies in the length of the mallet that is used to strike a ball as the majority of mallets used in the sport are one metre long and thus are perfect to measure the distance from each other on the Croquet Lawn.
Press Officer Stephen Scrase explains that Croquet is played on a grass court that is larger than a tennis court so that players, even in normal times, are well spaced apart and are not in the habit of close contact when a point [called running a hoop] is achieved. Space is also observed during play to ensure that any wayward ball does not strike players feet, a somewhat bruising encounter if concentration is lost during a game, so players stand several metres away as a matter of safety. We also, out of courtesy normally warn other players if we are about to play a powerful stroke of the ball to ensure they move away.
Stephen added that the Government quickly recognised that playing Croquet was not a crowd sport and was unlikely to become a problem. However, present rules only allow four players on the court at any one time. All games are pre booked on line to ensure less social contact and less people hanging around. Sanitising equipment is also recognised.
The current Colchester Annual Competition play is in full swing with little disruption and with the benefit of fine weather have enjoyed some exciting games and the odd competition upset.
Colchester Club has been selected to hold the ‘C-level’ series National Croquet Final during September, this is likely to attract some outstanding play from Croquet players with a seven playing handicap or above.