The Administrative body of Croquet in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire & Isle of Wight


Golf Croquet End of Season Meeting - 10/11/2012


Meeting Chaired by:
Frances Colman     - Phyllis Court CC (SCF Committee member i/c Golf Croquet)

Attended by:
Chris Roberts         - Phyllis Court CC (SCF Development Officer and GC Handicapper)
Roger Barnacle    - Dogmersfield CC & Winchester CC
David Cooper        - Hamptworth CC
Ann Gosden        - Winchester CC
Val Harris        - Winchester CC
Ian Harrison        - Basingstoke CC
Richard Keighley     - Wingrave CC
David Morgan        - White Horse CC
Roger Parsons        - East Dorset CC
Norma Rayne        - Thames Valley CC

Jim Bartlet (Harwell), Rupert Catt (Dogmersfield), Brian Hitchins (Eynsham), Margaret Skelton (Lymington), Vic Stilwell (Hamptworth), Susan Tilbrook (Blewbury), Roy Tillcock (Ryde), Alan Truckle (Ryde)

Chairman's Welcome
Frances Colman welcomed Roger Parsons, the Chairman of East Dorset CC who are hopefully joining the SCF and our GC Leagues in the 2013 season.

Adoption of minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the 2011 GC meeting, having been circulated to all Clubs prior to the meeting, were
proposed as a true record by Richard Keighley, seconded by David Morgan and agreed by the those present.
Clarification of 2012 League winners
Level League        - Winchester
Handicap League    - Hamptworth
Doubles Only League – Ryde
(Full results and final League Tables are available on the SCF web site

Purpose of the meeting
Frances then outlined the purpose of the meeting, which was principally to review the past season and to discuss arrangements for the coming year.
She also read out the object of the SCF from its constitution:
“The objects of the SCF are to promote and facilitate the game of croquet by supporting croquet Clubs and organisations within the region and to organise tournaments and competitions in which the membership may participate. It aims to support the objects of the CA”.
Stating, also, that the CA / SCF have a desire to promote competitive play and the use of  the Automatic Handicap System.
She also advised that, since our last meeting, Chris Roberts had been appointed as a GC Handicapper by the Croquet Association.

Match Formats for 2013
It was generally agreed by all present, and by e-mails from those that had tendered apologies, that all Clubs were happy with the formats laid down and played during the 2012 season. However, the playing of fixtures at Clubs with only one court, had reportedly taken too much time because the formats clearly are meant for a two court facility. Where fixtures are due to be played between two single court Clubs, those Clubs were advised to either, seek an alternative venue neutral venue (as some did) or be prepared for long day! The only option to resolve this would be to revert back to the 2011 format (where the players played in two separate groups, allowing fixtures to be split into two different venues) and this was disliked by all at that time. It was felt that then, and now, that a team should play together at one venue.
Handicap & Doubles Only Leagues
Thames Valley requested that the layout of the score sheet for the Doubles Only League be amended slightly to show 'rounds of play' rather than by game number. This will be actioned.
Once again it was clear that there was no appetite for any change to be made to the (4 games) duration of the match day in the Handicap and Doubles Only Leagues.
David Cooper (Hamptworth) made a suggestion for the Handicap League, that the doubles element be removed and all games be singles such that all players would play one singles game against all of the opposition players. This did not find favour with the floor, who preferred the status quo.
Therefore, the formats for these two Leagues will remain unchanged for 2013.
Level Play League
Chris Roberts (Phyllis Court) put forward the proposal that for the Level Play League only, consideration be given to the adoption of the CA's National Inter-Club Competitions format, which involves the possibility of the match day extending to a maximum of a six game duration. There are two rounds, the first being a doubles match and two singles, and the second round featuring four singles. This means a total of seven rubbers, each rubber being best of three, eliminating the possibility of a draw.
Round One (best of 3): Home 1&2 v Away 1&2 (doubles), Home 3 v Away 4, Home 4 v Away 3
Round Two (best of 3): Home 1 v Away 1, Home 2 v Away 2, Home 3 v Away 3, Home 4 v Away 4

Roger Barnacle (Winchester) and Roger Parsons (East Dorset) were in favour of this change, along with Phyllis Court. It is also known that Ryde are in favour of this format. The CA's Inter-Club rules also dictate that players must play in a certain order, unlike the free choice that we in the SCF gave to our Clubs last season. It was decided that we too should specify the players order, but due to some of our players not having a CA Ranking, we will order by handicap, with equal handicaps being ordered at the discretion of the team Captain.
Therefore, this format will be adopted for the Level Play League for the 2013 season.

League Rules
Frances said that she was disappointed that a few fixtures had remained unplayed this season and she reminded all Clubs of the League Rules that require all scheduled games to be undertaken.
Frances informed the meeting that she had written the following clarification into the rules for 2013 regarding the unwillingness of a Club to play an away fixture and the consequences concerning the venue in the following season:

“If a fixture is left unplayed due to the unwillingness of the away team to travel, then the next time that the two clubs are scheduled to play, the venue will still be that of the original home Club.
If a fixture is left unplayed due to the unwillingness of the home team to accommodate their scheduled visitors, then the next time that the two clubs are scheduled to play, the original home team will be required to travel”.
A discussion then followed and this addition to the rules was agreed.
It was also suggested and agreed that a reminder about Clubs' commitment to complete all fixtures be highlighted on the 2013 provisional entry form.

The meeting then moved on to the awarding of the League points for a match that was left unplayed.  It was agreed that the current rules were adequate in this regard.

The North / South' split
Frances reminded all Clubs that it was only possible to split a League geographically if there were sufficient entries. At this point Ian Harrison (Basingstoke) said that his Club would rather play in the South Division of any split if possible. Roger Barnacle (Dogmersfield) pointed out that in fact his Club were actually more Northerly than Basingstoke. Frances admitted that she had not realised this and bowed to the two Gentlemen's superior local knowledge and would order any splits accordingly in the future.

The two stage entry procedure employed last season had proved popular and so will be repeated again for the coming season with entry forms being despatched shortly.
Initial entries by Sunday 13th January please.
        A list will be published for all to consider and 'change mind'.
Final decisions by Sunday 3rd February
        Allowing all plenty of time to organise fixtures.

Fixture dates and deadlines
Frances reminded the meeting that she requires all Clubs to furnish her with their fixture dates as soon as they are know. These will then be published on the SCF web site for all to see.
Also will everyone please note:
Our League rules require all Leagues Fixtures to be completed by 31st August.
This is so that all necessary Finals can be completed in early September whilst all Clubs are still playing. Please don't leave the organisation (or playing) of  fixtures until that last week of August, as this will leave you no     time to re-arrange any that are weather effected.
There will be no exceptions to the 31st August deadline in any circumstances.

A final will only be played if there is a North/ South split in any League.
In which case the North winner will play against the South winner.
Frances thanked Hamptworth for hosting the Final of the Handicap League this year (they were in fact the only Club who applied to do so).
The 2013 Final(s) will take place in early September and all Clubs are invited to apply to host these. Please let Frances know ASAP and certainly by the 13th January,  the provisional entry deadline.

Reporting of Results
Frances congratulated all Clubs on their timely reporting of results which were displayed on the SCF website as soon as possible with updated league tables.
She also thanked Chris Roberts for getting the web site up and running.
Clubs were asked to inform Chris of any scheduled events and news for inclusion onto the web site.

Chris Roberts spoke on this topic as both Federation GC Handicap Officer and CA Handicapper.
He said that he had encountered only a relatively few incidences of glaringly incorrect handicaps and these had been dealt with by appropriate changes for those players, and a few others were also in hand. The teething problems that had been envisaged by the introduction of handicaps to all SCF players has been less that expected in general terms. Both he and Frances had tried to attend as many clubs league fixtures as possible to view playing standards and had seen all Northern Clubs and a few in the South during the season. Chris volunteered that he is available to advise all Clubs on handicap matters upon request.

Solstice Challenge
This has traditionally been a GC Open Doubles tournament for 16 pairs
Frances highlighted the disappointing number of Clubs entering a pair(s) into this Tournament in recent years and that the actual quantity of entries was also very much down this year.
She detailed participation in the last three tournaments:
Phyllis Court hosted in 2010:        5 pairs from Phyllis Court
Hamptworth hosted in 2011:        3 pairs from Phyllis Court and 5 from Ryde
                    (half the field provided by two Clubs)
Ryde hosted in 2012 (only 8 entries):2 pairs from Phyllis Court, 2 Thames Valley, 4 Ryde
                    (this time, the half field was provided by just one Club)
Having spoken to a number of players, Frances reported some of the reasons quoted for not entering. These included: The playing standard thought to be too high, lack of knowledge of the event, dislike of format, doubles or timed games. Some also sighted the venue.
A discussion then took place about making the tournament more attractive for the 2013 season.
The holders Ryde, had proposed to Frances prior to the meeting that having a 'restricted' tournament (of say a joint handicap of 6) might help. This was a magnanimous gesture given that their winning pair would, therefore, be unable to defend their title in 2013.
The meeting agreed that this was a good way forward and would adopt this for the 2013 Solstice.
To restrict the playing standard - Pairs will now have to have to have joint minimum handicap of 6.
Frances then said that she had had received two applications to host the 2013 tournament; a verbal  request from Jim Pertwee (Thames Valley) and a written request from Richard Stevens (Hamptworth).
No other interest in hosting was forthcoming from the meeting, therefore, as Hamptworth had hosted recently, Thames Valley were given precedence. Norma Rayne (Chairman of Thames Valley) expressed surprise at Jim Pertwee's application given that their ground is usually used for cricket at a weekend, and the meeting discussed the merits of staging this event midweek. Norma agreed to advise Frances as soon as possible with regard to the hosting. Meanwhile Hamptworth have kindly agreed to stand by.

It was subsequently agreed that The 2013 Solstice Challenge will be held on FIRDAY 14th June.

Any Other Business
Chris Roberts, as a member of the CA's GC Competitions & Tournaments Committee, highlighted the National Competitions that were available for players from all Clubs to enter and championed those designed for players of all skill levels and encouraged entries:
The All England GC Handicap (open to all players, irrespective of handicap grade)
The Centre Stage Competition (Handicaps 5-8)
The Grass Roots Competition (Handicaps 9-12)
Entry forms are distributed with the CA fixtures book which is sent to all Club Secretaries in January and Chris highlighted that all those i/c of GC at Clubs should look out for this.

Advised date of AGM
Saturday 24th November 2012 at Winchester (2 weeks time)

Meeting closed 1220 pm.                                                                                       

Frances Colman
Past  seasons' GC results & tables