Covid Rules easing from May 17th

From tomorrow, the Government’s further lockdown easing means we can relax SOME of the precautions we had previously put in place, in line with the latest CA guidance received.

It is important that we all continue to exercise caution, and to observe the remaining restrictions. Issue 11 of our precautions list is now being mailed out to members, and will be posted on the clubhouse door shortly. The main changes are as follows:

  • Up to 30 people are now allowed on our grounds at any time, though everyone must continue to book their attendance on our booking system for track and trace.
  • Court use is therefore effectively now unrestricted, with 2 doubles games again able to be double-banked on each court.
  • Up to 6 people may now enter the clubhouse, though face masks should be worn – especially whenever more than 1 person is in the building.
  • All croquet equipment (eg now including clips and bisques) may now be used, and can again be stored in the clubhouse’s cupboards.
  • Food and drink may now be consumed on club premises, but only when seated.

Members continue to be responsible for sanitising all equipment and surfaces touched, as well as for their own hygiene. Social distancing rules remain, and you should NOT come to the club if you’re exhibiting any potential Covid symptoms or are meant to be self-isolating.

David Long, Club Secretary, 16th May 2021.

Courts Reopening

Following yesterday’s melt, the courts will reopen today as soon as last night’s frost has thawed.

With the ground still very soft, jump shots are still not allowed.

David Long

Courts Closed – Snow

Due to the snow fall earlier this morning, the Committee has decided to close the courts to protect the lawns. Even though the snow is melting fast, the ground is very soft and there is a likely risk that play would damage the courts.

Hopefully we’ll be OK to reopen them tomorrow but, with a deep frost forecast tonight, please check for further updates here before heading to the courts.

Additionally, whenever we re-open, please do not play any jump shots until advised it is safe to do so: there are already a number of gouge marks on the lawns from last week’s play, and we don’t want to damage the lawn further.

Courts Open – new rules

I’m delighted to confirm that our courts are now open again, with what are essentially the same Covid precautions we had last Autumn. However, there are three important changes in the very latest guidance received from the CA, which everyone should be aware of:

  1. while we have opened the club to a max of 6 players per court, NO INTERACTION is allowed between players on different courts (particularly to note for club sessions: separate guidance applies to Tournaments, as will be set out by each Tournament Manager).
  2. at this stage of lockdown easing, NO SPECTATORS are allowed on Club Premises.
  3. players are advised to wear face coverings when indoors (i.e. if entering the Clubhouse or the WC).

You may read a full set of our Issue 10 precautions.

David Long, Secretary BCC.

Courts Re-opening

I’m pleased to announce that we now plan to reopen our courts from Monday 29th March. This is in line with Step 1b of the national lockdown-easing roadmap: should that date slip, then so will our re-opening.

The CA have confirmed that we may do so under the same social distancing and sanitising regimes we had in place last year. These are reflected in Issue 9 of our Covid regulations.

The Committee has also decided to extend participation to the maximum allowed under those regulations – namely 6 per court. This would allow (eg) double-banking of a singles and doubles game on one court, or a coaching session with up to 5 participants (+ coach). As before, all attendance must be pre-booked, to allow track & trace if needed.

While this allows up to 12 people (including spectators) on club premises at any time:

a) all attendees are subject to the “Rule of 6“, with no mingling allowed between groups;

b) everyone MUST take personal responsibility for keeping themselves and others safe, by observing the 2m Social Distancing guidance (which, in our context, translates to “IF I CAN HIT YOU WITH MY MALLET, YOU’RE STANDING TOO CLOSE”).

Committee members will monitor adherence to these rules, and take action if breaches are observed.

Playing Croquet in Tier 4

With all of Oxfordshire going into Tier 4, we are still allowed to keep our lawns open, but now they may only be used:

  • by members of a single household (or support bubble)
  • for solo practice
  • for singles games (or coaching sessions) between two individuals from separate households, exercising together while ensuring 2m social distancing.

Currently a booking is required for any use of the facilities. Available slots can be seen on the calendar . To make a booking you must log in first. Access to the courts is subject to government guidance – which is currently here.

Additionally, while we leave individuals to interpret this for themselves, we note that Tier 4 Guidance advises people only to travel a short distance from their home for exercise.

No more than 2 individuals are allowed on the same court at any time (unless part of the same household/bubble), so all club sessions have been cancelled pending further notice.

There are no longer any restrictions on when courts can be booked by individuals/couples/households, apart from the scheduled lawn maintenance windows. Please continue to book the courts before turning up ad-hoc (and to cancel any bookings you have, should they no longer be needed), not least to support “track and trace”.

All other sanitising / distancing measures continue as before.

The Committee are keen to continue to provide members with the opportunity to play croquet as much as allowed, particularly recognising the benefit to people living alone through this almost-lockdown. Please don’t abuse these restrictions, or the Committee will have no choice but to close the courts altogether.

A summary of the relevant club rules has been updated.

David Long, BCC Secretary (07484 360169)

Courts Reopening

Following the recent lockdown, and a pitch inspection today, I can now confirm that our courts are reopening tomorrow (Dec 2nd) within the constraints of being in a Tier 2 area.

Arrangements will be the same as before the lockdown, with a max of 10 people booked to use the lawns at any time (and a max of 5 on either court). The same precautions must also still be followed with regards to social distancing and sanitising of equipment (as per the Issue 7 rules posted on this site and on the clubhouse windows).

Additionally:

  • The yellow swisher should be used to clear the bulk of any worm casts off the court before play (any residual casts can be trodden into the lawn).
  • No Jump shots are permitted.
  • Hoop carrots should be left partly exposed, to preserve the longevity of the latest hoop holes.

The lawns are currently quite soft, though playable. If they get much wetter, however, we will have to close them again to preserve the turf and to stop the creation of new undulations. I’ll write out further (and post again here) should that be necessary.

2020 AGM Output

16 members attended our AGM Zoom call on Tuesday evening, 17th November. The full minutes have been e-mailed to all members, but a summary of the proceedings is as follows:

  1. The Minutes of the 2019 AGM were approved and adopted.
  2. The Club’s Accounts for 2019 were approved.
  3. Stuart Parks was reappointed, as Accounts Examiner for 2020.
  4. The Club’s Annual Report for 2020 was received and briefly discussed.
  5. It was agreed to maintain 2021 subscriptions at current levels.
  6. The existing Committee was re-appointed, bar David Seed (who had chosen to step down from that responsibility this year). Minty Clinch was appointed in his place, and welcomed into the Committee: her prime role will be keeping this website’s content refreshed.

David Long, BCC Secretary

Lockdown 2.0 – Courts Closure

On behalf of the Committee, while we are still awaiting final confirmation from the CA, we interpret HM Government’s guidance to mean that we will regrettably have to close our courts to all forms of play from Thursday, November 5th, at least for the duration of England’s formal lockdown.

We will, of course, continue to follow national guidance as it evolves. I will post a further news item here, and e-mail all our members, as soon as we become aware of any change.

David Long – Secretary

BCC 2020 AGM

This year’s AGM will be held on Tuesday, 17th November, starting at 7.30pm.

Unfortunately it will not be possible to hold this meeting face-to-face, given the pandemic. So we will be conducting the meeting over a video conference, using Zoom.

All members should have received an e-mail showing the provisional agenda. This also included notice that David Seed will be stepping down from the Committee at the AGM, after his many years of excellent service to the club. We therefore now have at least one vacancy to be filled (and can recruit up to 3 further members under our constitution).

Please let me know, by close of play next Tuesday (28th October):

  1. if you wish to attend (I’ll then ensure you’re sent dial-in details)
  2. if you wish to stand for election to the Committee
  3. if you have any items beyond the standard agenda that you’ld like to table to the meeting

David Long, Secretary – Blewbury Croquet Club.