Phil Dunk wins our inaugural AC 14-pointer

This is the first year that we’ve had the short form 14-point Association Croquet events in the South East Federation, intended to be 6 events shared between Sussex County and ourselves. Of course, Covid-19 has caused this monthly schedule to be put on hold, so our July tournament was the first one to be held.

Given the late start to the season there was a lot of pent up demand, so we were able to have a full house, of 12 players, ranging in handicaps from -2 to 12 and  6 different clubs up to 50 miles away. Parking as usual was a problem, but only expensive for those who didn’t read the joining instructions…

The lawns are in reasonable condition with the exception of Lawn 3 which has suffered due to some sad person who decided to practice turning circles with their Segway over the winter. It’s now bumpy and slow, since we can’t cut the grass very short until the bumps have gone… The weather was mostly gray and fairly cool, but at least the rain held off.

So, to the play: given the CA’s Covid-19 guidance the players were split into 3 groups of 4 in the morning playing Advanced all-play-all with 80 minute time limits. This was organised as three bands by handicap. Only a few games went to time, so lots of games pegging out and it feels like this time limit is acceptable, especially for the better players. Disinfecting balls and clips between games didn’t manage to affect the timing or the players’ enjoyment of the games.

Sam Murray from Surbiton was clearly in form, as the lowest handicapped player, making some really good leaves and the only player winning all three games in the morning, allowing his three opponents a total of just 5 hoops.

Alison MaughamPlaying, just like normal

After lunch the players were divided into three all-play-all groups again, ordered by success in the morning. This time it was still Advanced, but if the handicap difference was more than 5 the higher handicap player could opt for the Advanced Handicap format, which they mostly did.

Sam couldn’t quite keep his success rate up, losing narrowly to Phil Dunk from Reigate Priory by two hoops. Phil did lose one of his games, but was declared the winner on tie-break from Sam and received his socially distanced and disinfected prize of a bottle of wine; also a handicap reduction to 1.

Phil Dunk with his prize (on right) for our first AC 14-point tournament

Social distancing at workI think the day was enjoyed and adjudged a great success by all, with everybody managing to comfortably play six games and have at least one win.

The next 14-point tournament is at Southwick and we’re back at TW on 3rd September.

 Full results are here

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Club News

  1. Due to demand we’re moving our club session on Wednesday pm to the morning, starting at 10am
  2. Our Introduction to Croquet courses next week are nearly full with 14 out of the 15 places taken.
  3. Our first competitive competition, an AC 14-point one on 9th July is also nearly full, with just one space left out of the 12 possible
  4. We’ve updated our Club rules during Covid-19. These are posted on the window of the clubhouse
  5. Our competition draws are also posted inside the clubhouse
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Courier greets our return!

The Kent & Sussex Courier welcomes us back:

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We’re back and recruiting!

After a pause to evaluate our Covid-19 opening policy (our members have been playing for a couple of weeks now) we’ve decided that we can now start allowing non-members to enjoy the benefits of playing croquet.

This will start with non-members coming on our one day Introduction to Croquet course, hopefully ending up with them becoming members (£35 for the remainder of the year).

Sadly, we’ve had to change the dates from those originally announced in May (seems such a long time ago!) and the new dates are Friday 10th July and Saturday 11th July.

Full details can be seen here

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Competitive play and coaching restarts!

Having had a couple of weeks of general social play, with bookings organised via our WhatsApp group, we’ve moved on to some competitive stuff.

With the current Government guidelines restricting us to 6 players in a group we started out with one such group playing in an all-play-all round-robin last Wednesday, despite the first real rain for a while.

Bruce Edwards and Derek Crocombe both won 4 games, so Bruce was declared the winner as he won in his game against Derek.

We’re now hoping to continue with this at least weekly in additional to other social play.

The first GC coaching session by Jon Diamond has taken place and will probably continue every other week.

Finally, John Greenwood has started his Thursday evening AC friendly games and coaching. So turn up and play…

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We’re re-opening!!!!

Following the changes to HM Government’s Guidance in relation to Covid-19 we are now able to open our season starting opening tomorrow, Wednesday, for a limited amount of play. Sadly, we’re not able to have the usual opening events, but nevertheless we’re opening!!

Please read the following guidelines, based on the Croquet Association advice as to what is allowed and not allowed for the next phase of the Lockdown easing.

  • The Clubhouse is open only to the extent required to access equipment, toilet and hand washing facilities.

  • We have provide hand sanitiser for players, but it’s safer to wash your hands with soap and water.

  • We’re not having any regular (social) sessions. Only pre-arranged singles games or individual practice are permitted, but you can double-bank games.

  • No extra-curricular or social activity is permitted.

  • No guests or visitors are permitted. Spectators must remain outside our fencing.

  • To avoid sharing mallets, members can borrow a club mallet for a while. Personal mallets should not be stored in the clubhouse or equipment store

  • Corner markers and clips have been removed from the trolleys, as they shouldn’t be used


  • Do not go to the club if you are experiencing any symptoms of a cold or flu, in particular a cough or high temperature. Use the NHS helpline and seek advice. For your own protection, follow the advice about self-isolation if you are, or are living with, someone in one of the vulnerable groups.

  • You should only play with people from your own household or by yourself or, as long as you stay 2 metres apart, with one other person from outside your household. Groups of more than two people must all be from the same household. This means you cannot have two or three people from one household plus one person from outside the household playing together. But two people, from two different households, can play together as long as they stay 2 metres apart.

  • To arrange a game please ask for a game or let others know that you’ve organised one via our WhatsApp Group, otherwise you may have to wait (walk around the park)

  • If all 3 lawns are being played on and someone else arrives could the people who’ve been playing longest, or just practising, give way as soon as possible

  • Any activity should be in line with the Government’s social distancing measures at all times, including when going to or from a lawn. Consequently, do not shake hands before or after a game.

  • Wash your hands and clean any equipment you use, such as hoops, balls and club mallets, before and after you play with the wipes (make sure you put the lid of these back on after use please)

  • When setting out and taking in a court, only one person should handle the hoops and the peg

  • Clean padlocks, keys and door handles before and after use

  • Avoid using toilets wherever possible and clean after use

  • If possible, dress appropriately prior to travelling to the club, rather than changing there

  • Bring any food or drink you might need and do not use the club crockery, glasses etc.

  • Players should agree the score at the end of each scoring turn. Personal counters should be used to keep count of bisques/extra turns

  • Avoid using movable chairs as far as possible, otherwise clean them before and after use

  • Use your feet, rather than hands, to position balls where you can do so with sufficient precision

  • If it rains and you need to shelter you can wind out the awnings (but please not to their maximum extent and definitely not if it’s windy)


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£450 for Macmillan Cancer Support

Despite our CA Charity One Ball heat not taking place, given the current crisis for charities, we decided to make it a special fund raiser for the nominated charity.

So we managed to raise £450 plus Gift Aid, which is approximately four times the sum we normally raise.

Hopefully we’ll be able to run our heat later this year…

Thanks to everyone who contributed!

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End-March update

On this lovely sunny, if somewhat cold day, we’d like to play croquet, but obviously our club is closed and will be so for the duration.

Following HM Government and Croquet Association guidelines, our groundsman is continuing to look after the lawns. He managed to white-line them once, but probably won’t be doing that again for a while…

As I said in my email we’re trying to raise more money for charity in these straitened times for them. Our chosen one is that of the CA One Ball Charity event – Macmillan Cancer Support.

I’m glad to see the generosity of those who’ve contributed and am pleased to say that we’ve already raised more than we normally do for this event. Please continue to send me your pledges.

Your committee has been thinking about the future, but thankfully we’re in a strong financial position, so unlike some other clubs we don’t have to worry about money. I suspect some clubs may have to close.

We haven’t discussed what we’re going to do when we re-open, since what kind of events we can hold depends on the date of re-opening and what the South East Federation decides about its leagues and events, which are currently all cancelled. So when we have a better idea about re-opening we’ll put our thinking caps on and let you know.

With best wishes

Jon Diamond

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Covid-19 emergency arrangements

In the light of the current crisis the Committee has decided that we can continue to play croquet by making it essentially a non-social activity by small numbers of people playing simultaneously, keeping at least 1-2 metres apart. 

So we have decided to keep the club open, but we have cancelled Opening Day, all local tournaments, courses and social events until at least the end of April and probably much longer, and we are advising you to use your own judgement about coming to the club.

However to help you we’ve created a set of Guidelines which we hope you will observe:
Rule 1: wash hands when arriving at club and also when leaving.
Rule 2: try not to use toilets.
Rule 3: don’t use cutlery/crockery/glasses
Rule 4: preferably only use your own mallets (if you don’t have a mallet please label one of ours as yours)
Rule 5: avoid touching balls – use feet to move/position them as much as possible
Rule 6: minimise interaction in the clubhouse and keep 1-2 metres apart
Rule 7: please help others by cleaning the surfaces you may have touched with a dilute bleach solution (NHS recommendation) before you leave

But obviously observe the current NHS recommendations about movement etc., as these may change from day to day, and don’t come if you have a serious long-term health condition.

Lawns 1 and 2 are open and playable with hoop holes, but there are no white lines.

Take care, keep safe and enjoy playing croquet.

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2020 AGM minutes

2020 AGM minutes

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