Croquet Canada Looks at Major Changes When Croquet Canada was first organized, its membership consisted almost exclusively of players looking for access to national and international competition in Association Croquet and US Rules Croquet. Since that time, though, Golf Croquet has emerged on the international scene as a serious game, and, thanks in part to its simpler rules, shorter games, and less demanding strategy, a more popular one. At its most recent executive board meeting, Croquet Canada made a commitment to provide greater support to social players and clubs across the country, without reducing its efforts for its competitive community.
This change is going to require active participation by a new group of members, as Croquet Canada looks at methods for providing useful support. Clubs with large contingents of socially-oriented members — that is, members who play croquet as a social pastime rather than to achieve international glory — will need to work with the national organization to determine what kinds of support they and their members need.
First thoughts for possible support include workshops for players and coaches, development of a trained group of referees who can help clubs develop uniform standards of play, assistance with planning and hosting local tournaments, advice for establishing new clubs, help with fundraising, and so on.
CC executive board member Gayle Fortnum, who identifies herself as a social player, was selected to serve as chair of a committee to explore and develop the options for better serving the needs of this growing community of players. She’ll need input, especially from the non-competitive wing of the membership (and from players who might become members if they feel better supported!). Please send contact information or suggestions and feedback to me (<email@example.com>), and I’ll pass them on to her.
Liability insurance for croquet has also been a recent topic of discussion by the CC board. Clarification of that coverage has been obtained from the insurance brokers, and will be reported on soon, but we can report that participants in most croquet-related activities conducted by Croquet Canada and its member clubs are covered. What remains to be resolved is another aspect of Croquet Canada’s insurance coverage — sports injury insurance. This coverage is not medical coverage, but does provide relief from certain damages felt by players as a result of injuries suffered during play. As before, we need to determine exactly who is covered and under what circumstances. We hope to have this information and the liability coverage information ready to go out to members and to place on the Croquet Canada website in the not-too-distant future.
In other Croquet Canada news, members will soon be receiving invitations to participate in the upcoming AGM, to be held in the form of a Zoom meeting on December 7th. Among other business, members will vote on retaining or replacing two of the eight current board members, Rob McCrea and John Richardson. Croquet Canada has also decided that the 2022 national championships (CroqCan) in the Golf, AC, and US Rules variations of the game will be held at the Toronto Cricket Club, the Bayfield International Croquet Club, and the North Toronto Croquet Club, respectively, if those clubs will commit to hosting. The board is also looking at British Columbia as a possible venue for 2023 for either AC or Golf. The hosting of the Golf championship might hinge on BC holding a successful major Golf tournament (not a club or local event, but a tournament inviting international competitors) sometime in the next year.
World Team (Tier 2) Championship Oct 11-16, 2021 Cadiz, Spain
Despite the late notice, Croquet Canada Selection Committee Chair John Richardson cobbled together a Team Canada entry for this event.
Unfortunately, it became uncobbled at the last moment due to injury (too much play?) and scrambled travel arrangements. And so our intrepid standard barriers: Captain Hesham Elzoghby from Oakville and Patrick Little of St. Catharines - set off for southern Spain, intent on a holiday, with or without croquet.
How a two man team would fit into a four person team format, let alone how we would fare against the best golf croquet players (who could afford to pay their own way!) from Latvia, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland and Wales, plus a Select Team from Spain - remained to be seen.
Fortunately, we were able to recruit the reigning English female champion (whose father happened to be playing for Wales), Rachel Gee, and a strong local player, Pedro Lozano. They knew the lawns we played on at Vista Hermosa CC and Sherry CC.
We made them Honorary Canadians by giving them each a Croquet Canada ball marker. Unfortunately, they were only available Tuesday and Friday.
Your redoubtable Canadian stalwarts, even with two delightful ladies from Portugal, Margot and Letitzia, who filled in on Wednesday and Thursday, were not enough. Team Canada was dispatched under a wave of talented play by our opponents in our block of 4.
This gave us ringside seats for the playoffs. And what a display of youthful talent there was by the official Spanish team, anchored by the three Alvarez-Sala brothers.
Set-ups, blocks, hits - set-ups and blocks after hits, done intentionally - hits from any boundary - and successful wicket shots from almost any angle - these were common place. In the final, Wales had no chance and succumbed to the onslaught 12 - 1.
The weather, the organization, the facilities, the camaraderie among the players, the friendliness and willingness of the administrators to help (driving to venues and functions - even arranging for Covid tests to return to Canada) were exemplary.
What this trip has taught me is that there is so much more to the strategy and execution of Golf Croquet than I thought.
You owe it to yourself to consider experiencing the fun and the challenge of participating in a tournament - club, local or around the world - you won’t regret it.
By: Arlene Parker October 12th, 2021
The Canadian Open Golf and Association Tournaments sanctioned by Croquet Canada were hosted by Bayfield International Croquet Club (BICC) between September 19th and September 26th. The Canadian Championship Golf Tournament was called due to weather and court conditions resulting in Mohammad Kamal from Pasadena, California sharing the title with John Richardson from Acton, Ontario. The A Flight Golf Tournament was played later in the week under improved weather and court conditions. The Canadian A Flight Golf Tournament was won by Brian Waslyk from Campbell River, B.C.
David Druiett emerged as the Canadian Champion of the Association tournament at the top level while BICC's John Davies prevailed as the Canadian Champion at the A Flight level.
Dear Croquet Canada Member,
2021 was a slim year for croquet outside of home clubs.
Nevertheless, here is some news.
Thank you to the Members that contributed to this issue.
For Immediate Release: Golf Croquet Introduced at Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club Bracebridge, ON – The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club will be introducing a new sport to the community: golf croquet. Starting this July, several times a week the members will put aside their bowls, bring out the mallets (NOT golf clubs), wickets and croquet balls, and start swinging!
“Golf croquet is a relatively fast-paced, strategic game, with simple rules”, explained Sally Mills, President of the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club. “Similar to lawn bowling, croquet is a low-impact sport open to all ages and abilities. Men and women play together. You don’t have to be athletic. Shaded benches are situated around our green, so you can rest if necessary, but most want to be right there to see the action.”
The club, which is located on the grounds of the Muskoka Highlands Golf Course, will set up the croquet wickets on Saturdays afternoons, through Sunday. Golf croquet lessons, registration and game times are listed on the club’s website. The seasonal membership is $200, or $100 for a one-month membership, which includes instruction and all equipment. Members have access to both croquet and lawn bowling. http://muskokabowls.ca/?page_id=1775
The club doesn’t require members to wear “all whites”, so comfortable clothes of any colour are acceptable, but shoes with smooth soles, like running shoes, are a must.
The safety of all participants is of utmost concern to the club, which adheres to the extensive safety protocols outlined by the Ontario Lawn Bowling Association. The club is also a member of Croquet Canada, whose website states: “The game of croquet is played at a stand still while shooting, and a walking pace to retrieve balls. There is minimal risk to infectious particles from high energy activity. This is not a team sport. The only items of equipment that are touched during the progress of the game are personal to the player. The exception would be croquet balls which can be retrieved and placed in position using the player’s feet, thus avoiding touching. In short, it is an ideal sport for safe, distanced playing while providing important exercise to players.” For more information and golf croquet rules, visit: http://www.croquet.ca/golf-croquet.html
“Croquet Canada, the national association that represents croquet players across Canada, is excited to welcome the Muskoka Lawn Bowling (& Croquet) Club to our family of clubs,” said Jim Wright, President of Croquet Canada. “Croquet is a wonderful, healthy and safe game for all ages and all abilities from beginners to pros alike. We stand ready to help make this new venture a great success; a new recreational outlet for the whole Muskoka community.”
Mills, who learned how to play golf croquet in Florida, reached out to Croquet Canada for help in acquiring croquet equipment. Within a short time, two Ontario croquet clubs offered to donate enough equipment so that the club would be able to start their own activity. “We are still hoping to acquire more mallets, but I am excited that we will be able to introduce limited golf croquet to the community starting in July,” stated Mills. “I am fortunate to have learned this fun new sport. It helps me to stay active physically, and mentally.”
Mills explained why the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club decided to introduce croquet at their club. “It is not uncommon for lawn bowling clubs to share their facilities with croquet clubs, so we decided to start our own croquet program. Our large green is ideal for croquet; absolutely flat, with very short grass. We think that our bowlers will enjoy the challenge of the new sport, and hope that others from the community will join for the croquet.”
The lawn bowling & croquet facility is located on the grounds of the Muskoka Highlands Golf Course in Bracebridge. Information about the Golf Croquet program can be found at www.muskokabowls.ca, or by contacting Sally Mills at 705-646-0086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Numerous Member clubs have recently been given permission to open but are under strict limitations of Covid protocols imposed by local public health authorities. Please consult your local club for details.
Objective To assist member clubs in the creation of a safety protocol for croquet play across Canada designed to permit the enjoyment, exercise and social interaction inherent in the game of croquet while minimizing the risk of Covid-19 virus infection.
Background: (for those regulatory agencies unfamiliar with the game) The game of croquet is played outdoors on a standard green grass lawn which typically measures 28 by 35 yards. (25.6/32m.) It is a game played at a stand still while shooting, and a walking pace to retrieve balls. There is minimal risk to infectious particles from high energy activity. This is not a team sport.
Two to four people play in a 90 minute to 2 hour game, with only two persons occupying the court at any time. The only items of equipment that are touched during the progress of the game are personal to the player. The exception would be croquet balls which can be retrieved and placed in position using the player’s feet, thus avoiding touching. In short, it is an ideal sport for safe, distanced playing while providing important exercise to players, many of whom are seniors.
The following is designed as guidance for a club to provide a safe environment for their members and the community but is not comprehensive. It is expected that each club will adapt and expand on these suggestions for its particular situation and to meet local health regulations.
Considerations: 1. How to maintain a safe environment at the croquet club, while playing and using club facilities. 2. How to manage the handling of equipment for play in a safe way to avoid virus infection. 3. How to schedule play to maximize safety for players and minimize personal interaction. 4. How to use facilities at the club (washrooms, kitchens etc) safely.
Disclaimer: The following guidelines are offered with the understanding that Croquet Canada does not possess medical or scientific expertise or knowledge but is using established advice from Federal, Provincial and local Government and Public Health Authority guidelines and directives which should be used as the final authority when developing local club safety protocol.
Introduction The Safety Protocol is offered to assist in the gradual reopening of facilities. Further information will be sent to members and member clubs as government and public health units remove restrictions on activity and physical distancing.
Insurance and Liability Insurance held by Croquet Canada for the protection of members and their clubs is currently being reviewed to maximize coverage, protect officers and governors, and provide appropriate liability coverage. Some insurance providers are insisting on a Covid-19 rider to the policy excluding coverage for those who fall sick from the virus. Croquet Canada recommends strongly that each club require all players to sign a waiver of liability with specific reference to Covid-19 before they enter the club premises. Clubs should also review their own insurance to ensure appropriate coverage.
The above mentioned waiver should include a statement by the player confirming that he/she is free from Covid-19 symptoms, is healthy to play, will examine their health prior to each visit to the club for symptoms, and if ill, will not come to the club.
The player will also affirm on the waiver that he/she will adhere to all safety protocols established by the club to maintain the health and safety of themselves and their fellow players.
Safety To keep players safe, clubs need to: • Educate members on proper hand washing and hygiene techniques. • Make available sanitizing gel wipes, soap and disposable paper towels for frequent and easy cleaning of hands and equipment. • Ensure hand washing signage is present at all hand washing stations. It is recommended that players wash their hands frequently rather than wear gloves which might carry infection. • Ask players to wear a mask to protect themselves and others, and especially when using a washroom or inside facility. • Ask players to examine their health, and, if they have any doubts about their health, or possible exposure to the Covid-19 virus, stay away from the club and other members. • Require players to report any failure to maintain safety standards to a club executive who can take steps to correct the problem.
Getting to the club and lawns • Advise players not to travel to the club with others. Experts who have observed the nature of infection of this virus note that there is an enhanced risk when time is spent with an infected person in a contained space. Therefore, players should travel to the club on their own, either walking, biking, or driving. The club property should be restricted to members and maintenance staff only. • Ensure that all club members are aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and avoid traveling to the club if they show any symptoms.
Club Operations - Preparing and opening facilities Clubs will need to determine if the following safety measures can be implemented and followed. If not, then the club should consider whether or not the clubhouse can be safely opened. At all times, the guidelines and legislations of Provincial and local Public Health Authorities must be respected and will take precedence over these recommendations.
The Clubhouse • Eliminate the virus on surfaces through the use of soap and water and sanitizing gel and wipes for hands and equipment. • Minimize the number of persons in the clubhouse at any one time, each person keeping proper distancing. • Wash hands carefully after unlocking the facility, opening doors, turning on lights etc. • Wash hands before and after handling game equipment, door handles, light switches or other surfaces. • Place signage by all entrances and storage facilities outlining the physical distancing guidelines in place, as well as hand-washing recommendations/protocols. • Disinfect all surfaces and materials before and after use. • Turn off all water fountains. Players should bring their own water.
Facilities: (if permitted to be open by local health authorities)
Kitchen • Limit use of the kitchen to one person who can prepare refreshments as needed. • Minimize touching of surfaces. Players should use paper towels to touch handles and light switches. • Use disposable cups, plates and cutlery to eliminate the need for clean up or sharing. • After each use, disinfect all surfaces with sterilizing wipes and wash non-disposable cutlery and cups in soapy water. • Provide sanitizing wipes and gel for members using the kitchen, outside areas, equipment rooms and in washrooms. • Where feasible, players should take their own waste home with them. If the above protocols are not adhered to by members, clubs should close the kitchen area and require all refreshments or food to be brought in by each member.
Washrooms • Limit the washroom use to one person at a time. • Post signage to indicate when the washroom is occupied. • Post a clean-up protocol in each washroom to be followed by every user. • Upon completion of the cleanup, users must wash hands carefully and use paper towels to close faucets, turn off lights, and open and close doors. Court setup and tear down • Limit equipment setup and tear down to as few persons as possible who will observe proper distancing at all times. Cleaning equipment • Between games, clean club mallets, clips, boards and balls, and any other items to be reused, in a designated location where there is easily available soap, water and disinfectant wipes. • At the end of play each day, wash or disinfect all equipment including wickets, string storage wheels and hammers then store in a designated location which will contain only equipment which has been cleaned. Only clean equipment should be stored and used for play.
Scheduling of Games To ensure that players don’t congregate at the club in numbers that threaten their health, clubs should: • Limit players to four people per game, with only two players on the lawn at a time. • Maintain a two meter distance between players at all times. • Limit touching of equipment during play to player’s own mallet, clips and ball. Players are encouraged to use their feet and mallets to lift balls from gutters or position them for play. • It is recommended that no tournaments or competitions that involve more than 4 persons per lawn take place until health restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so. General Rules for players • Book a game, date, and time in advance with the club. Do not just show up and expect to play. • Arrive no more than 5 minutes before your scheduled time, and leave promptly when you are finished. • Practice physical distancing by staying a minimum of two meters (6 feet) away from each other at all times. • Use your own mallet where possible. If you do not own your own mallet, you must follow the posted safety protocols for using club mallets. • Do not share equipment. • Do not shake hands or touch other people. • Do not bring visitors or other non-players with you to the club. • Do not loiter in the parking lot or at the club before or after you have finished playing. • Bring your own water and refreshments. • Take home your own waste material where possible. • If you are feeling unwell, regardless of the symptoms, stay home.