League Rules

General Rules

Changes for 2018 are in italics, changes for 2019 are in bold.

Each club has 4 fixtures in each league; the home team has responsibility for contacting their visitors to arrange a mutually convenient date. No extra fixtures can be arranged. If a match cannot be arranged please contact the League Secretary as soon as possible to arrange an alternative match with another team in the same situation. Teams consist of 4 players (except for the One Lawn League), but up to 2 substitutes may be used by a team during a match (for any subsequent rounds of play).

The exact number of games played is set in the individual League Rules, but unless agreed in advance, any other games played will be treated as purely friendly and will not count towards the league match.

The winning team earns 3 league points and the losing team earns 1 league point (thus giving credit for arranging and turning up to matches). If a team is missing players the relevant game(s) are forfeit.

A walkover (for 3 points) can be claimed if the opposing team fails to appear or if the match is cancelled within 48 hours of the start time. Furthermore, if a match has been arranged and a team then withdraws and no alternative date can be agreed, a walkover may be claimed against the defaulting team.

The league winners will be the teams with the most league points. Ties will be decided by head to head matches, percentage games won and then by a play-off of 2 or more teams. Any play-off will be held before April of next year. 

Only members of a club may play for that club. A team may comprise more than one small club.

A player may only play for a single club in each league, but may play for different clubs in other leagues. When a club enters more than one team in a league, players may only play for one team.

All players should bring their handicap cards to the match. If a player doesn't bring one this should be reported to their Club Handicapper and the League Secretary and the handicap to be played off is a maximum of 6 for Golf (or the handicap specified in table 4 of the CA’s Golf Croquet handicapping guide - initial handicap setting where they have an Association handicap below 10).

All singles games on full-size lawns should be entered in the appropriate CA Automatic Handicap System.

These rules may be varied by agreement between the two teams involved in a match, e.g. having an additional round of 4 singles counting in the B League.

The time limits are defined in the rules pertaining to each league below and are mandatory. Only in very exceptional cases should a game end in a draw (for example, a player is taken ill). In all other cases a winner is required. For Association Croquet matches, CA Tournament Regulation T2 shall apply. For Golf Croquet matches CA Tournament Regulation T4 shall apply.

Association Croquet: If all four players agree, prior to the start of a doubles game, then Regulation L4 Alternate Stroke Doubles Play Variation (Association Croquet) shall apply; otherwise conventional doubles play laws shall apply to that game.

Golf Croquet: Playing with Reasonable Despatch New - GC Rule 16.3 shall apply to all SECF GC League matches.

All matches should be completed and reported by 1st October, except for the Golf Handicap League which has an earlier date (see below).

Advanced Association League (A)

Each game will be played under Advanced rules. Teams will be listed in ascending handicap order A to D versus a to d. In the morning A and B will play doubles against a and b and C will play d and D will play c. In the second round of play the players will play singles in order (a total of 7 matches).

Each game has a time limit of 3 1/4 hours.

All single games on full-size lawns should be entered into the CA ranking system.

Unrestricted Association Handicap League (U)

Each match consists of 7 games, a round of 2 singles and a doubles and a round of 4 singles. There is no restriction on which 2 players play in the doubles game. The singles games will be paired in handicap order for the round of 4 singles.

Each game will be a full 26-point game, with a time limit of 3 1/4 hours.

All games are played handicap, with a maximum handicap of 20. If a lawn is less than 2/3 size normal handicap differences are reduced by a factor of 2/3. 

If there is a two-way tie at the top of the league between teams that have not played, there is a play-off. If not, then the general tie-breaker rules apply.

The winner of the league is eligible for entry into the CA's Secretary's Shield competition for the subsequent year.

The matches should not be changed from 7 games unless there are extraordinary circumstances.

Beginners Association Handicap League (B)

Each match consists of 3 games, 2 singles and a doubles. All games shall be played with full bisques to a base of 6; Appendix 3 of the Laws of Association Croquet shall apply. There is no restriction on which 2 players play in the doubles game. The singles games will be paired in handicap order.

All games are played handicap, with a maximum handicap of 20 and a time limit of 3 1/4 hours. If a lawn is less than 2/3 size normal handicap differences are reduced by a factor of 2/3.

The sum of the 4 players' handicaps must be at least 48 at the time that the fixture is arranged.

When a fixture is played at a club using only a single lawn the home team must contact their visitors well before the match to explain the planned schedule of play.

One Lawn Association Handicap League (S)

Each team consists of 3 players and each match consists of 4 games, two rounds of a singles and a doubles.  The doubles pairings may not be the same in each round.

All games are played handicap, with a maximum handicap of 20 and a time limit of 3 1/4 hours. If a lawn is less than 2/3 size normal handicap differences are reduced by a factor of 2/3.

Level Golf League (GL)

League teams will be listed in ascending handicap order A to D versus a to d. In the first round A and B will play doubles against a and b and C will play d and D will play c. In the second round the players will play singles in order (a total of 7 matches).

All games are played level, with a 1 hour time limit. Each match comprises a best of 3 13-point level play games. 

Results of singles games should be sent to the CA rankings officer following the method described at https://www.croquet.org.uk/golf/gcrankings.html.

Restricted Level Golf League (GR)

League teams will be listed in ascending handicap order A to D versus a to d. In the first round A and B will play doubles against a and b and C will play d and D will play c. In the second round the players will play singles in order (a total of 7 matches).

All games are played level, with a 1 hour time limit. Each individual match comprises a best of three 13-point games.

Results of singles games should be sent to the CA rankings officer following the method described at https://www.croquet.org.uk/golf/gcrankings.html.

The sum of the four players' handicaps must be at least 16. No player with a handicap of 1 or below is eligible to play. If a selected player’s handicap becomes altered outside competition ranges up to 30 days before a pre-arranged match, the person may still play in that match.

Handicap Golf League (GH)

There are two leagues split according to regions designated West and East, the winners of the league in each region are determined after the Sunday following September 12th and the play-off for the trophy before the end of the year.

Each match consists of nine 13-point handicap games played according to rule 19 of the CA GC Rules 5th Edition. There will be three rounds: 2 doubles, 4 singles, and 2 singles and 1 doubles. There is no restriction on which 2 players play in the doubles games.

All games are played handicap, with a 1 hour time limit.

When a fixture is played at a club using only a single lawn the home team must contact their visitors well before the match to explain the planned schedule of play.

Association Croquet: Playing with full bisques

The B League is now played with full bisques to a base of 6. This means that any player in a singles game whose handicap is above 6 will receive bisques, not just the higher handicapped player or side. It also applies in doubles matches, and both teams may receive bisques, depending on the handicaps of the two players in each team.

Here is a reminder of how to work out the bisques, with some examples.
Singles
Is the handicap of either (or both) of the players 6 (the base) or below? If so, normal handicap calculation method applies. Otherwise, each player gets their handicap minus 6 bisques.
Examples:
1. Player A h/c 18 v Player B h/c 10.
Neither player is below the base of 6 so Player A gets 18 minus 6 equals 12 bisques and Player B gets 10 – 6 = 4 bisques.
2. Player A h/c 10 v Player B h/c 4.
Player B is below the base of 6 so normal method applies: Player A gets 6 bisques (10 – 4) and Player B gets none.
3. Player A h/c 2 v Player B h/c 5.
Both players below base so normal method applies: Player B gets 3 bisques.
Doubles
First follow normal procedure: add both handicaps and divide by two. If one or other team has a joint handicap of 6 or less, normal method applies. Otherwise each side gets their joint handicap minus 6 bisques.
Examples:
1. Player A h/c 12 & Player C h/c 14 v Player B h/c 8 & Player D h/c 16.
Team A/C has joint handicap of 12 plus 14 then divided by two equals 13. Team B/D has (8 + 16) / 2 = 12. Neither team’s joint handicap is below the base of 6 so Team A/C gets 13 – 6 = 7 bisques and Team B/D gets 12 – 6 = 6 bisques.
2. Player A h/c 4 & Player C h/c 12 v Player B h/c 3 & Player D h/c 20.
Team A/C joint handicap is (4 + 12) / 2 = 8 and Team B/D is (3 + 20) / 2 = 11.5. Neither team’s joint handicap is below the base so both get bisques: Team A/C gets 2 and Team B/d gets 5.5.
2. Player A h/c 6 & Player C h/c 5 v Player B h/c 8 & Player D h/c 12.
Joint handicaps are 5.5 and 10 for the two teams. One team’s joint handicap is below the base of 6 so normal method of calculation applies. Team B/D will get 4.5 bisques.

Please note there have been changes to the laws governing Alternate Stroke Doubles Play. See Laws Appendix 3 and Appendix 4. The AC laws committee agreed that there should be no restriction on using bisques in that form of the game.