2021 – The Season Ahead

Following a well-attended AGM on 13 March (21 attendees by Zoom), Croquet North is looking forward to the resumption of near normal play in 2021, although the pace of this will necessarily depend on how the relaxation of government covid rules progresses.

A number of events are now in the Calendar and are expected to take place. We hope that the list to expand as we get later into the year.

The main constraints, are of course those government rules together with the fact that a number of clubs use greens hired from third parties (e.g. local councils) who are controlling the speed of opening up.

One consequence is that there might not be enough time for League competitions to get back to normal in 2021. The situation will be clarified as soon as possible.

2021 Annual General Meeting of Croquet North

The 2021 AGM of Croquet North will take place online via Zoom on Saturday 13 March 2021 at 10 am and is open to all CN club members

Those wishing to ‘attend’ must register their intention to do so by 9 March. The AGM Agenda and AGM registration process may be found in the Members’ Area of this web site. (Members who have not accessed this section before will need to register to do so).

Covid-19 update

The CA have again updated their website (see this link). Please continue to refer to the CA guidelines if advice is needed.

Currently only Alnmouth and Bamburgh clubs are known to have started croquet play. The Tyneside club is preparing to open soon, but other CN clubs are having difficulty accessing their playing areas.

Individual clubs will be able to provide more detail about their circumstances.

Covid-19: CA advice to clubs

Following the relaxation of the pandemic regulations in England by the Government, the Croquet Association has issued new guidelines to allow clubs to restart limited playing under strict conditions.

At the moment Croquet North is consulting clubs on their intentions, and the advice for anyone who wants more information is either to look at the club web sites or contact them directly.

We will issue more information when the situation is clearer.

Covid-19 – CN Leagues in 2020 are cancelled

Following consultation with the clubs, the Croquet North Committee has concluded that there is no realistic prospect of completing any of the league programmes (AC, GC and EPL) for 2020, and has therefore cancelled them as of today, 23 April 2020.

While there is an outside possibility of play resuming later in the season, the feeling is that clubs may well want try to arrange ad hoc friendly matches if and when that arises. The Committee will also then look at what other competitions might be organised to maintain competitive play across the Federation.

We are in unknown territory, and the health and well-being of our members and the wider public must be our first priority.

The Croquet North Committee wishes everyone well in these difficult times.

Covid19 pandemic

Taking our lead from the Croquet Association, Croquet North is cancelling/postponing all competitions until at least the end of May. The dates in the various calendars have not been changed, but those events affected are marked “TBR” (to be reviewed).

Each club should decide to what extent they can play croquet on their own grounds.

2020 Croquet North AGM

The 2020 Annual General Meeting of Croquet North Annual will take place on Saturday 7 March at Tyneside Croquet Club, Exhibition Park Newcastle-upon-Tyne starting at 10.30 am.

The agenda, the minutes for the 2019 AGM, and the 2019 Treasurer’s report may all be found in the Members Area (login required).

2019 Inter Federation Challenge

The 4th Inter Federation Challenge between Yorkshire Croquet and Croquet North was held at York Croquet Club on Saturday 5 October.

The Challenge, which brings together 8 players representing each Federation in a one-day croquet event comprising AC Handicap Doubles, GC level Play Doubles and AC 1 Ball, aims to encourage players who might focus most of their croquet playing time on one particular code to step into the world of the “other code”.

AC Handicap Doubles got the day started, playing 18-point games with all clips starting on hoop 5 and a 2-hour time limit.

Your correspondent got the first break and threw down the gauntlet by running a long-angled hoop one only to be reminded, to the backdrop of hoots of derision from fellow players, that “all clips start on hoop 5“. In the end each Federation won two matches leaving things all-square at lunch.

During lunch (provided by Yorkshire Croquet at the usual high standard of hospitality associated with Challenge matches) the order of play for the AC 1 Ball was agreed, with each team manager deciding the order of their own players. On the day, the majority of handicaps ended up mixed bringing different challenges to both lower and higher handicap players.

1-hour time limits were applied to 13-point games. No games went to time and when all matches were completed the score was still level at 4 wins each, so that the GC Level Play Doubles (best of 3 with 45 minutes time limit per game) would decide the outcome.

After two 2-0 wins to Croquet North things were looking good for us, but the remaining two matches went to the deciding game wo that one more win would see Croquet North winning overall, otherwise it would be a draw.

The first deciding game went to Yorkshire Croquet and all players then gravitated to the lawn hosting the final match. Yorkshire were up 6-5 but Croquet North seemed to be in control hoop 12. Eventually Yorkshire Croquet missed a clearance, the hoop went to Croquet North, and everything depended on hoop 13. Clearance followed clearance until Croquet North jawsed. After Yorkshire Croquet failed a long clearance from behind the hoop, Croquet North then failed a clearance on the remaining Yorkshire Croquet ball, leaving Yorkshire Manager Ted Flexman with a three-yard angled jump attempt to save both the game and the match. He made it!

At the end of the day the two sides could not be separated, so under the Ashes Cricket protocol, the “trophy” was retained by last year’s winners, Yorkshire Croquet.

Dennis Scarr