2018 Tournament News

In addition to our Leagues we also run a number of team tournaments. These are the AC Doubles, One Ball, GC Southern Challenge, AC Ladies Day, GC Ladies Day and GC Teams Day. The historic results for these can be seen here and the policy for our trophies here.


One Ball - Canterbury 2nd June

Canterbury Croquet Club Chairman Henry Bryant presents Martin Pulsford, Trudi Pulsford and Charlie Sturge with their prize
Christina Rice, two-ball break winner
 
Photos courtesy of Frank Hughes

'Canterbury?' said a doubtful voice from the capital, when an SECF team handicap one-ball croquet tournament was first discussed, 'Not sure how many will want to travel to Canterbury. For one-ball?'

Playing Association Croquet with one ball is a white-knuckle ride, and not for the faint-hearted. In the normal AC game, if something goes wrong you have other balls to hit, but in this version there's only your opponent's single ball. One slip - and a knife is at your throat. For a niche variant of a niche sport, however, it has become more popular over the last few years.

GC players find it less complicated than full AC, a game takes only half an hour, and a fun tournament can be held in a day. That was what Canterbury had offered to host.

With three new laser-levelled lawns, a sylvan valley view and a smart clubhouse, they wanted to make a mark. And they did.

Teams materialised from Ramsgate, Tunbridge Wells, Reigate and Surbiton, so with two local sides the lists were soon full for the inaugural SECF One Ball teams tournament.

On the day, the sun shone, the sylvan valley shimmered, there was a cooked ham from Hedger's of Canterbury, and a champagne toast to the CA for helping buy a lawnmower. On the killing fields, Tunbridge Wells and the hosts were soon stacked up as corpses: Ramsgate provided some star turns, such as a prizewinning seven-hoop break from Christina Rice; but Reigate and Surbiton kept a steady head, using their handicaps well.

In the end it was Martin Pulsford, Surbiton's original doubting Thomas, who took home the champagne bucket trophy and six bottles of wine.

In a gracious acceptance speech he said that East Kent had been well worth the journey after all. He and his team would be back next year.

Jonathan Lamb
Manager


Golf Croquet Ladies Day




There are some who say it is wrong in principal to run a Ladies Day in the sport of croquet as it is a sport that already allows men and women to play on an equal basis. All I can say is that you should have been at Southwick on Wednesday 15 when over fifty ladies descended on Southwick to do battle on the croquet lawns and in the view of many involved, they had a very good day. The most interesting point was that the average handicap of all players involved was 8.6 as compared with the GC Teams Day where the average was 6.5. What these figure say to me is that we managed to attract a much higher handicap player than in the mixed event and this in itself fully justifies the running of a ladies only day. As a male tournament player for more than twenty five years, I am pleased to be able to say thank you to all the ladies for the years of catering effort they have all put into the croquet scene for all that time. The ladies were all looked after gastronomically very well during the day by head chef, Jon Isaacs, and his merry men.

Our ladies had entered as twelve teams of four and their play was scheduled into six matches for each team against a selected opponent. They played three rounds before lunch, two before tea and one after. Each match comprised one doubles and two singles games. We allowed the usual SECF substitution of players and eight teams took advantage but most with only one substitute. The playing schedules were arranged such that all players had an approximately equal number of singles and doubles games. The pairing of team for each match was done on a purely random basis. By majority request, all games were played to handicap rules. A time limit of 55 minutes was used but most games were completed before time expired. Ties were accepted in time limited games.

During the day there were four teams, Reigate, Cheam, Purley Bury and Rottingdean, shared the lead for what was to be quite a close finish. However only Reigate managed to hold on in round six and move clear of the field. The next three places had to be separated on games won rather than matches. Many thanks to Mike Oulton from Rottindean who acted as Supervising Referee for the day. Luckily the British Summer was still in force and we had excellent weather for the whole day.

I personally would like to thank all teams for their support of this relatively new event (only in its second year). If we attract any other teams in future years, then the likelihood of second teams will quickly disappear and we may have to ballot for places. The absolute maximum on eleven Southwick lawns for this type of event is 14 and we already were at 12 this year. As it is we have to double bank doubles to pack everybody in.

The final placings are:

TEAMS

MATCHES

GAMES

POSITION

Reigate

5

10

1

Cheam

4

10.5

2

Purley Bury

4

10

3

Rottingdean

4

8

4

G & G

3.5

8

5

Sussex 1

3

10

6

Chichester

3

9

7

Rother Valley

3

8

8

Dulwich

3

7

9

Sussex 2

1.5

4

10

Medway

1

1.5

11

Sydenham

0

3

12


Bill Arliss
Manager

Golf Croquet Teams Day


Once again we returned to the most popular event in our calendar, the GC Teams Handicap Day on the first Sunday in August. We hit the bumpers again this year with an absolute maximum of  22 teams and only just avoided a ballot for places when Surbiton 2 had to pull out.

This event has now been running since 1993 and started as a few teams at Compton and as it grew, it had to move to a bigger venue which is why we moved to Southwick around 2000. As far as I am aware the format has remained similar over the years, one session of doubles followed by one session of singles, all played to handicap rules.  As the years have passed we have always been on the lookout for ways of packing more into the day and have eventually finished with four rounds of doubles in the morning and six rounds of singles in the afternoon. Of course ten rounds in one day would be too much for most federation players so the normal scheduling process usually  tries to arrange matters on a one on one off basis. Naturally with ten rounds to complete we have to use tight time limits and allow the management team to actually call time for all lawns on a common basis. Pam's fog horn has now become an integral part of the event and I am sure most of Southwick start and stop to its sound.

We only allow five minutes between the finish of one game and the start of the next, so everybody has to be prepared in advance with all the additional shots sorted out before they go any where near the lawn. To help find your actual opponent in advance teams establish bases under the trees and advertise their presence with flags or shields which get more fancy every year. Worthing went one better this year and erected their own gazebo.

This year we had fifteen clubs entered, seven of which had two teams making a total of twenty two. This is now typical and one cannot expect that kind of support year in year out without some good reason. I sincerely believe that it all comes from the sheer size of the event. We have in practice managed to gather some 88 players  at one venue for the day. This is four more than the AC Inter Counties collect  and most probably makes us the largest event in this respect within the UK calendar and probably the world. From our point of view it brings together a large majority of all the competitive GC croquet players in our area and turns the event from just another GC tournament to a  yearly SECF GC Festival.

I am sure many of our elite players would turn their noses up at the kind of arrangements we use for this event:

However our entry register confirms that these arrangements are no draw back to most federation players and confirms that the main requirement of  any such event is to maximise the enjoyment of  all, yes all entrants, to the playing of competitive croquet. Don't for one moment thinks our players are not competitive, they will all fight furiously to come out top but they are all quite happy to accept all arrangements that are made for the benefit of  all players entered.

It is not a usual happening for one team to collect both trophies but this year Reigate 2 proved the exception by becoming clear winners of both singles and doubles. The tables below give the overall results for the event. Well done Reigate

As we have come to expect this year, we played throughout the day with wall to wall sunshine. Southwick have been looking after their lawns with regular watering so we did not have to play all games on "concrete". Congratulations to the Southwick caterers who managed to serve over seventy lunches and fit in with our very tight time scale. Handicaps ranged from 1 to 14 with an overall average of 6.6.

Doubles

TEAM

PLAYED

WINS

POINTS

POSITION

Reigate Priory 2

4

4

11

1

G & G

4

3.5

11

2

Surbiton

4

3.5

7

3

Worthing

4

3.5

3

4

Cheam 1

4

3

10

5

Littlehampton 1

4

3

2

6

Dulwich 1

4

2.5

7

7=

Sussex 2

4

2.5

7

7=

Lodsworth

4

2.5

6

9

Rother Valley

4

2

2

10

Reigate Priory 1

4

2

0

11

West Worthing

4

2

-2

12

Rottingdean 1

4

1.5

-2

13

Littlehampton 2

4

1.5

-4

14=

Rottingdean 2

4

1.5

-4

14=

Canterbury

4

1.5

-5

16

Dulwich 2

4

1

-1

17

Cheam 2

4

1

-3

18

Sussex 1

4

1

-9

19

Tunbridge Wells 2

4

1

-11

20

Tunbridge Wells 1

4

0

-8

21

Purley Bury

4

0

-17

22

Singles

TEAM

PLAYED

WINS

POINTS

POSITION

Reigate Priory 2

12

11

31

1

Cheam 1

12

9.5

15

2

Sussex 2

12

7.5

14

3

Dulwich 1

12

7.5

9

4

Dulwich 2

12

7

18

5

Reigate Priory 1

12

7

13

6

Lodsworth

12

6.5

2

7

Worthing

12

6.5

1

8

Rottingdean 1

12

6

4

9

G&G

12

6

-1

10

Purley Bury

12

6

-2

11

Canterbury

12

6

-4

12

Tunbridge Wells 2

12

6

-5

13

Littlehampton 2

12

6

-10

14

West Worthing

12

5.5

-2

15

Littlehampton 1

12

5.5

-3

16

Sussex 1

12

5

-1

17

Cheam 2

12

4.5

-13

18

Tunbridge Wells 1

12

4


19

Surbiton

12

3.5

-10

20

Rother Valley

12

3

-13

21

Rottingdean 2

12

2.5

-14

22


AC Ladies Day

The first Wednesday in July has been the date for the Ladies Day for many years This year five clubs entered six teams battling out for their name to be engraved on the Shield. The weather was perfect and the lawns were in very good condition which made for a good tournament.

The format for Ladies Day was changed slightly from previous years by request of the participating teams. Before lunch an 18 point game was played by both singles and doubles in each team.

After an excellent lunch served by the Gentlemen of Sussex County who host this event, two 14 point games were played, singles and doubles. At 5.30pm when each club had played their 9 games the result was as follows:-

1st Place Sussex Sizzlers who won 6 games and pegged out 3 times

2nd Place Surbiton Smarties who won 5 games and pegged out 3 times

3rd Place Queen Bees (Purley Bury Club) who won 5 games with none pegged out.

The new format was endorsed by everyone and will be repeated next year. It would be nice if there were more teams competing, so how about your club entering a team on the first Wednesday in July 2019.

Anne Sugarman
Manager


Southern Challenge

Division 1 - Southwick

Dulwich win the Simon Carter Cup

This was the seventh staging of the event, played at Southwick over the weekend of 31June/1 July in glorious weather at the start of a heat wave. A full compliment of twelve teams had entered and we were very pleased to welcome two newcomers from High Wycombe and East Dorset. The lawns were very fast and dry and no doubt we got the benefits of all the extra preparation for the national GC Opens which were held during the previous week,

All the regulars were in attendance including Dulwich, the winners for the first four years, with a very strong team fresh from the Opens All players arrived on time and played a schedule of seven rounds. Each match between two teams included one doubles and two singles games all played to level play rules, Time limits of one hour were used which ensured we kept to schedule but obviously proved to be no serious obstacle as very few games went to time. As we really need twelve lawns to accommodate the six matches in each round, we are one lawn light each round so we play a preliminary round first to complete all the games we miss in future rounds.

Only a further five rounds were necessary on the Sunday to complete eleven matches for all of the teams and showed how very strong the Dulwich team were winning all matches and only dropping one more game. Regular visitors, Ryde, gave a very steady performance and finished second with eight match wins.

Many thanks to all the Southwick caterers, bar staff, hoop setters and grounds men for all their efforts which contributed to a very enjoyable event. The full results were as follows:

Team

Wins

Matches

Position

Dulwich

11

31

1

Ryde 1

8

19

2

High Wycombe

7

21

3

Winchester

7

19

4

Ramsgate

6

19

5

Sussex 1

6

14

6

Tunbridge Wells

5

13

7

Cheam

4

16

8

Sussex 2

4

13

9

East Dorset

4

11

10

Rottingdean 1

3

13

11

West Worthing

1

5

12

Bill Arliss
Manager

Division 2 North - Surbiton

The 7th Southern Challenge Division 2 North was held at Surbiton on 30th June/1st July and enjoyed brilliant lawns to match the weather.

The management was grateful to Sydenham, who having warned three days before the event that they might have to withdraw due to difficulty in raising a team, came up trumps at the eleventh hour with a full complement.

Once again there was a noticeable improvement in the standard of play, knowledge of the Rules and keeping of Index Cards.  The tournament provides a unique opportunity to meet up with lots of old friends (and some of them very old!) as well as to meet many newcomers from different clubs.

The end of the first day saw Ryde 2 leading the field with 4 wins out of 5 with Merton, Reigate Priory and Surbiton all just one win behind.  Merton called in a couple of substitutes on the second day and proceeded to win all of their four matches 3-0 to end up overall winners.

Results:

Position

Winner
Merton
Runner-up
Ryde 2
3rd
Surbiton
4th
Reigate Priory
5th
Cheam 2
6th
Purley Bury
7th
Sydenham

Michael Hague

Division 2 South - Southwick

This was played at Southwick on the weekend of 7/8 July. The original entry was for seven teams but unfortunately Worthing could not raise a team and had to withdraw but gave the Manager plenty of time to revise the plans. In fact six teams allows a very simple format of all play all twice with the added provision that no player is allowed to play two doubles or two singles against the same team.

The schedule was arranged such that all teams played each other once before meeting for a second time with six games on Saturday and four on Sunday. No team was really dominant and day one finished with Canterbury just in the lead with four wins, closely followed by Rottingdean on three. It looked as if Canterbury would land the title with one round to spare as they won their first two matches on Sunday morning but bottom of the table Medway had other ideas in the third Sunday round and pulled off a creditable 2-1 win leaving it all to play for in the final game. Canterbury claimed a 2-1 win in their final game against Sussex to win the event with 7 match wins. Littlehampton had a good second day with four match wins and making a total of six wins to match Rottingdean, also on six, but the second place going to Littlehampton who had just one more game wins than Rottingdean. It therefore looks as if we will see Canterbury back in the first division next year with a clear indication that they may look to form a second team for division two if they are promoted.

The weather was glorious for the two days with the heat wave continuing and the occasional cloud provided a short respite from the very warm temperatures.

It was very pleasing to see the wide range of handicaps that this event attracted with most handicaps being in the 3 to 9 bracket. There was one 0, three 11 and one 12. This form of level play must surely be one of the best ways on introducing the higher handicappers into tournament play and is one big advantages we have over our colleagues in the AC world.

The full results are:

Team

Wins

Matches

Position

Canterbury

7

15

1

Littlehampton

6

18

2

Rottingdean 2

6

17

3

Sussex 3

4

15

=4

Rother Valley

4

15

=4

Medway

3

10

6

Bill Arliss
Manager


AC Doubles Weekend

Unfortunately this event is a sad pointer to the decline of AC play in many of our clubs these days and we have to work hard to keep the number of entrants up. This year we managed eight teams which is quite adequate to make good competition. The competition is for doubles play only, played to handicap AC laws. Each team has two pairs so each round comprises ten separate matches. Overall five rounds are played during the weekend. The first three on Saturday are shortened to 2hr 45 mins with appropriate reduction of the number of hoops for the high handicappers. Sunday’s games are all full 26 points with a time limit of 3 hr 15min. In the first round, both pairs from one team play the pairs from another club, but thereafter the pairing is decided on the Swiss principle, with winners playing winners.

The Saturday rounds rovide a possible six wins for one team with each pair winning three matches. However the better teams were evenly balanced and we had three teams, Cheam, Caterham and  Sussex 2, each with a total of four wins and two with three wins, leaving matters wide open for the Sunday results.

On the second day only Cheam from the leading three managed three wins to give themselves an outright win and leaving the other three in a close fight for the minor places. Each of them managed a total of six wins and were separated by net points. Purley Bury gained second place with  grand total of +49.

The weather was quite reasonable with only a few minutes of very light rain and most anoraks remained in the sports bags.

The full  results are:

Team

Wins

Matches

Position

Cheam

7

+49

1

Purley Bury

6

+49

2

Sussex 2

6

+6

3

Caterham

6

+1

4

Reigate Priory

5

+10

5

Sussex 1

5

+9

6

Guildford & Godalming

5

-16

7

Rother Valley

1

-99

8

Bill Arliss
Manager