Croquet – Social Distancing

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.

Colchester Reopens

Published 03/05/20 – Essex County Standard & Sister newspapers.

Colchester Croquet Club Chairman Dr. Nick Steiner was almost in a lyrical mood when the Lexden based club was able to reopen the sporting facility last week following the Lockdown process. Having visited the Club grounds for a practise session in glorious sunshine Nick exclaimed that the setting provided ‘perfect relaxation for Club members’

The Club has benefitted from the Government guidance on the easing of restrictions on some sports. Croquet is a perfect ‘social distancing  sport’, a court is usually larger than a tennis court, so playing against a member of your own household, or one other person outside your household, is no problem at all, so states a CA spokesperson. 

Croquet is enjoyed by some 8,000 individuals who are members of some 212 member clubs nationwide.

The CA spokesperson added ‘Members are rushing to book lawn time amid mounting excitement at being able to return to this fun, challenging and mentally engaging sport’.

Colchester Croquet Club have had to introduce some new rules to ensure social distancing, although close contact is not prevalent normally. Singles games only no doubles games, gloves to be worn at all times and all games to be reserved via the Clubs online Booking system. A sanitising regime is also in place and the catering function withdrawn. Singles Competitions will only be organised during this year.

Annual Schedule

We have a full yearly schedule with Association Croquet, Golf Croquet and other forms of croquet being played thoughout the year.

Dedicated sessions are set aside for both Association Croquet and Golf Croquet. We play Golf Croquet on Monday afternoons. Thursday is Club Day where the lawns are equally divided between Golf Croquet and Association Croquet.

Croquet is played on our club’s four full-size lawns from April to October (actual dates controlled by the weather) and on reduced lawns over the winter. We also play indoors, at Aldham Village Hall, during the winter period. 

For the past few years two lawns have remained open during the winter season, although the playing area has been reduced to 28 by 22.4 yards by turning said playing area through 90 degrees. To reduce any adverse effect on these lawns players must exercise common sense.  Jump shots are not allowed and the lawns must not be played on if there is a hard frost.

During the Winter months, October to April (actual dates controlled by the start and end of the main outdoor season), we also play Association Croquet once a week, currently 0930 to 1700 hours Thursdays, on a small artificial surface set up in a hall at Aldham Village Hall.

These sessions are intended for first and second club members of the Colchester Croquet Club.

However, where spare places are available, other players will be considered at the discretion of the organiser.

The cost of these sessions is not covered by the club membership fee and, currently, the following charges are levied:

 

Morning or Afternoon £4.50
All Day £9.00
Coffee, Tea and Biscuits are included.

 

 

 

Please note that, because numbers are limited, one cannot be guaranteed a place every week.

 

A number of in-house competitions and competitions against other clubs are arranged throughout the year.

The club also hosts tournaments for both the Croquet Association (See the CA Tounaments page of this website for details) and the East Anglian Croquet Federation (EACF).

Competitions and tournaments that are run regularly at the Colchester Croquet Club are as follows:

   Locke Bowl (Association, Golf and One-Ball)

   Association Croquet B-Level Invitational Tournament

   Golf Croquet B-Level Tournament

   Other knock-out tournaments to suit all skills and ages.

Examples of other open and invitation tournaments include:

   Croquet Association Advanced Tournament

   Croquet Association B-Level Advanced Weekend

   Croquet Association 50+ Handicap Tournament

   Croquet Association Selector’s Cup

   All England Association Croquet Area Final

   Golf Croquet English National Final (Ascot Cup)

   EACF Anderson Shield (Association Croquet, Advanced, Doubles)

   EACF Association Croquet League Finals

   EACF Golf Croquet Championship

Many of the  CA and EACF tournaments are rotated amongst a select number of clubs of which Colchester is one.

New Website

Our new club website is now live.

The site is part of a Croquet Association project to provide websites to clubs around the country, and ours was one of the pilot clubs involved in testing the new system.

Check back for regular news updates.