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):
if you wish to attend (I’ll then ensure you’re sent dial-in details)
if you wish to stand for election to the Committee
if you have any items beyond the standard agenda that you’ld like to table to the meeting
All our members are registered for the website. Some make heavy use of it some very little as is to be expected. I thought that rather than writing a long report for the AGM I would post a news item with most of what I wanted to say.
Joe King, David Long, Paul Wolff and I have written most “posts”. Posts are typically news items.
Nick Butler and Peter Allan are the only two non-committee members who have written anything – though any member is able to submit a news item (after logging in of course).
Twelve of our members have logged in at least once during the last week and a further nine members have logged in over the last month.
Eight of our members have never logged in – and therefore never made a court booking. They have also been unable to see the information that is only available to members – such as the results page.
About a month ago I set up monitoring for the website to see how it is used. I have done some grouping to give the following table.
Page or Group of Pages
Most people’s way in
It would appear that around half the users tried to login
Following the launch of the NHS track and trace App, members with smart phones can now register their presence at the Club – once it reopens after the current maintenance window – using the QR code posted on the Clubhouse doors.
Our full restrictions list has now been updated to reference this, and also to cover sanitising procedures for prospective or new members wishing to try out different Club mallets.
Those are the only material changes to the guidance. In particular, with the virus again on the rise:
even if some members are able to use the QR codes, everyone still needs to book their intended attendence on the Calendar (so that we don’t have too many people turning up at once);
everyone must keep 2m (2 mallets) apart, with no more than 5 people on either court at any time;
it’s as important as ever to sanitise everything you touch (for your own safety before, as well as after use) and to wash hands thoroughly.
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.
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.
There are new web pages – described in a recent email telling people about mailing lists and about mailing lists and aliases. These two links require you to be logged in as they are within the members’ area.
Another new page has been introduced to show the status of internal competitions. This lists those going on this year and will, from next year, show those from previous years. This means that the news items for the Icknield Cup, the GC Championship and the AC All England Handicap which this year was renamed to the Berkshire Handicap are now all accessible from that page. I hope that this structure will be found more convenient. Our other internal competitions will appear there shortly. This page is available under “Members/Competitions” and will shortly require login to access it.
Controlled roll-up GC sessions are now available on Tuesday and Friday afternoons from 1.30-3.30. You will still have to register your intent on the booking calendar, both to allow required logging/tracing, and to ensure that no more than 10 people turn up for any such session. With a max. of 4 players allowed on each court, and potentially 10 people on the premises, priority for play should always be given to anyone “sitting out” during the previous game.
We also now allow double-banked singles play, both during those roll-up sessions and at other times. Again, all names must be shown on a booking, and – outside the roll-up sessions – a 2nd pair may only use the court with the permission of the first pair booking it.
To avoid crowding, the number of people simultaneously allowed on club premises remains limited to 10. Double-banked doubles is still not allowed. Nor is there any change in the use of catering or waste facilities in the clubhouse – the kitchen area is decommissioned so we don’t get relays of members trying to use kettles or the fridge in that small space, and you must take home all the waste paper and food or drink containers that you brought with you or generated while at the club – please just remember to bring your own takeaway waste bag with you every time you come, and take it away when you go.
Entries for the 2020 competition are now open and anyone wishing to play should contact Joe King to register their interest. The games will be played as 18pt handicap games in the initial block stage, with the final rounds being contested on September 12th (provisionally).
The block stages will be a minimum of 4 games to be played between now and September 6th.
A Blewbury team played Phyllis Court today in a match planned for this new level play league. Blewbury achieved magnificent 8:0 victory. Congratulations to John Garnett, David Grinstead, David Seed and Mick Moore.