Inaugural Short Croquet Tournament

On Saturday 10 players contested the inaugural short croquet tournament at Blewbury. The weather was good and we were all tired at the end of 8 rounds of play, having had only one or two byes during the day. The games were each an hour long and were pretty interactive being played to handicap.

The competition was in two phases. The first phase had two all-play-all blocks ranking the players for the finals phase which comprised quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final, as well as other games for players out of contention. Tim Lacy-Hulbert from Kington Langley ran out the winner and received a presentation pack of Blewbury Honey.

Our visitors complemented us on the lawns!

We’ve been encouraged to hold a repeat performance next year as this is the only short croquet tournament on the CA calendar. Hopefully next year we will be able to accommodate 16 players!

Short croquet is a good format for all players, from the least experience to those with a low handicap, as it is fast moving, interactive and with bisques helps to develop skills and tactics at all levels. If you’d like a go, then please speak to me and I’ll organise a session for you.

An enjoyable tournament

Recently, Anthony Hardwicke and I took part in a C-level advanced AC tournament held over two days at Phyllis Court and High Wycombe. My reason for doing so was that I was advised last year that in order to improve, I should try some level play tournaments. That sounded a bit scary at first, but I discovered that there are level play tournaments restricted to handicaps of 8 and higher, so as a 9, I should have a reasonable chance. There were eight entrants (limited due to COVID-19 restrictions), which proved to be an excellent number. Everyone played a total of five games, organised as a Swiss tournament. You can find a full report of the tournament in the News section of the CA web site, posted on 29th July.

I enjoyed the tournament tremendously. It was well organised and played in a very friendly spirit. I would recommend giving this type of tournament a try if your handicap is in a suitable range. The entrants had handicaps in the range of 8 to 12 and everyone won at least one game. In fact, the winner and second placed players had handicaps of 9 and so did better than the two players with handicaps of 8. We are hosting a similar tournament at Blewbury on 29th & 30th August and there are still places left. I hope to see some of you there.

Oh yes, the Advanced Rules part. The tournament was played under so-called Advanced Rules, but there is only one such rule – law 36. If you are not familiar with this, then if you run either 1-back or 4-back in your turn, then on your opponent’s next turn, they can have a lift to A-baulk or B-baulk. This makes you think carefully about your leave at the end of your turn which I find adds to the enjoyment of the game. There is a bit more to it than that, but consult the laws of AC to find out more.

Peter Allan

Prebendal Manor Cup kicks-off

For those involved in the competition please refer to the outline and instructions posted under the ‘Results’ page here.

12 players, including the current holder Peter Allan, will contest the trophy, with finals day being on Saturday 12th September.

Prebendal Manor Cup 2020

Holder: Peter Allan

The Prebendal Manor Cup handicap competition is commencing. This will be contested by 12 players with a block phase being played in three blocks of 4; the top 2 players from each block automatically advance to the finals phase on September 12th. They will be joined by the two remaining players with the best records from the blocks phase. All the conditions and criteria can be found on this page:

Blocks phase and results

Games should be played as 18pt (1 and 3-back variation) games with a 2.5 hour time limit. Games will be handicap using a base of 9. Each player needs to complete their three block games by the end of September 6th. Results should be sent to me using this link below:

Send in results

Draws are not permitted, and the rules for resolving the winner when the scores are level after the time turns should be followed. I will explain if you are in doubt.

The best record will be determined by the following criteria, in this order:

  • Number of games won
  • Who-beat-who
  • Net points accrued from all games
  • Total points accrued from all games
  • Who reported the result of their third game to me first

It is generally not ideal to have to depend on net and total points to determine standings in handicap play, but it is necessary to have a tie-breaker that works across blocks.

Finals phase

Games will likely again be 18pt with a 2.5 hour time limit until the final which will be contested as a 26pt game with a 3 or 3.5 hour time limit, depending on the playing conditions that day.

Losers from the quarter and semi finals will have additional games that day if they so wish.

Block allocations and results

Block allocations have been made using the recommended seeding approach based on handicap. This should provide all players with a good variety of opponents. The blocks (and results when posted) are as follows:

Block 1

1Steve Fisher+18+3-4231744
2Joe King-18+13+323-236
3Andy Robertson-3-13+913-734
4Minty Clinch+4-3-913-840

Block 2

1Brian Jamieson+7+12+12333154
2Peter Allan-7+6+923847
3Deirdre Cochrane-12-6+313-1532
4Edmund Shirley-12-9-303-2426

Block 3

1Anthony Hardwicke+2+4+16332242
2Bruce Gallop-2+5+14231746
3John Harrison-4-5+313-633
4Paul Wolff-16-14-303-3315

Players and handicaps

The initial handicaps I have recorded for each player from the CA website are as follows. If any is incorrect then please let me know. If your handicap changes because you pass a trigger point please make sure that you update this on the CA website and on the club website under personal details :

Player name Handicap
Peter Allan 8
Minty Clinch 26
Deirdre Cochrane 4
Steve Fisher 11
Bruce Gallop 7
Anthony Hardwicke 11
John Harrison (tbc) 16
Brian Jamieson 12
Joe King -1/2
Andy Robertson 10
Edmund Shirley 24
Paul Wolff 4

The base 9 means that in games involving players of handicap less than 9, normal bisque allocations apply, subject to the reduction for 18pt games. For games played between two players with handicaps above 9, then each player gets a number of bisques equal to the difference between their handicap and 9, reduced according to the schedule for 18pt games.

So in Paul Wolff vs John Harrison, John is allocated 12 bisques reduced to 8.5

And in Andy Robertson vs Steve Fisher, Andy is allocated 1 bisque reduced to 0.5 and Steve is allocated 2 reduced to 1.5

All results should be recorded on handicap cards. If you then pass a trigger point please amend your handicap accordingly for future games. If you need guidance on this please let me know, or see the CA website here.

Other questions

If you have any residual questions or encounter any issues please feel free to call me on 07768 182 885 and I’ll do my best to help.

Joe King

AC Captain