Stephen Mulliner retires as WCF Secretary-General 31.8.21

Stephen with his retirement gift presented by the WCF Management Committee.

Stephen Mulliner retired yesterday 31st August 2021 as Secretary-General of the WCF. During his tenure, the WCF has taken responsibility for managing the AC Laws, GC Rules and the Rankings as well as holding many successful championships.

Stephen has worked tirelessly to support croquet and will be missed by his colleagues on the Management Committee and all the Members he has supported so efficiently.

Stephen is replaced by Debbie Lines, who takes over from 1st September 2021, after shadowing Stephen as his Deputy for the past twelve months.

We wish Stephen all the best with his future endeavours and hope to see him at many croquet events over the coming years.

WCF announce publication of Ranking Regulations

The WCF are pleased to report that Members have voted to approve the new Ranking Regulations. These are now available to view on the Statutes & Regulations page of the website >

These Regulations govern the operation of the Association Croquet Grading System (ACGS) and the Golf Croquet Grading System (GCGS) which are used to generate ranking lists of individual players and teams in relation to AC and GC respectively.

The individual ranking lists are published on the internet and relevant links may be found at The country ranking lists will be published on the website shortly after the quarter ending 30th June is complete.

Implementation of these Regulations is now the responsibility of the Rankings Operations Committee (ROC) which is appointed by the WCF Management Committee.

On a day-to-day basis the ACGS and GCGS are each operated, in accordance with these regulations, by a Ranking Officer (RO) and, when appropriate and required due to workload, by one or more Assistant Ranking Officers (AROs) appointed by the MC on the recommendation of the ROC.

Current post holders are:

    • ROC: Stephen Mulliner, Chris Williams, James Hopgood, Paul Billings and Debbie Lines.
    • AC Ranking Officer: Chris Williams
    • GC Ranking Officer: Stephen Mulliner
    • There are currently four GC AROs: Peter Freer (AUS), Richard Bilton (ENG), Felipe Mestanza (ESP) and John Christie (NZL).

WCF Working Groups Update

The WCF coordinates the development of croquet around the globe and it is one of our highest priorities. There are currently four key initiatives being investigated:

A summary of the status of each working group can be found on the new page on our Website "Working Groups" which we will update regularly.

Advantage GC

An invitation to Associations, clubs and players to try a new form of handicap GC

The current form of handicap GC uses extra strokes and is played mainly in Australia, England, and New Zealand and almost nowhere else.  It is not generally regarded as the optimal way of allowing players of different abilities to compete on equal terms.

In 2020, the WCF Management Committee (“MC”) obtained details from the Croquet Association of Ireland of a form of handicap GC that it had used successfully in recent years.  This did not use extra strokes but instead gave the weaker player an advantage in the form of a certain number of hoops.  Unlike the current form of handicap GC, this version did not require different tactics from the level game and it was believed that this made it easier for new and improving players to develop.

The MC then established a Working Group with representatives from Australia, England, Latvia, Uruguay and USA with the task of coming up with a statistically sound and yet simple-to-use algorithm which would give both players a 50/50 chance of winning a game through an adjustment of the number of hoops that needed to be scored by one or both players to win a game.

The Working Group has developed a form of GC which has been named “Advantage GC” which is described in the three documents below, namely (1) an introduction and outline of the game, (2) a table of starting scores for a GC handicap game which depend on either the handicaps or DGrades of the players and (3) the mathematical basis of the algorithm that generates the starting scores.

The MC believes that Advantage GC has an excellent chance of gaining general support amongst the playing community if they have the opportunity to try it out.  An official trial will take place during the English CA's Southern Federation 2021 League season.  However, players around the world are warmly encouraged to read at least the first two documents and try Advantage GC in their clubs and, if possible, in some handicap tournaments during 2021.

All participants in trials of Advantage GC are requested to send feedback to the MC about their impressions and observations and also provide game results which show the handicaps and/or DGrades of the players.  The MC would like to receive as much feedback and results data as possible by the end of 2021.  A dedicated email address has been set up for this purpose –


Advantage GC Proposal - Document 1 - Definition

Advantage GC Proposal - Document 2 - Table

Advantage GC Proposal - Document 3 - Mathematics


Advantage GC Table

Temporary amendment to Sports Regulations

A temporary variation to WCF Sports Regulations Appendix 2 paragraph 2.3 for the purposes of the 2022 Women’s AC World Championship, the 2022 Under-21 GC World Championship and the 2022 GC World Championship only, has been approved by Members.

For these events, Appendix 2 paragraph 2.3 will read:

2.3 Subject to paragraph 7.4, no player shall be awarded a Ranking Place unless he or she has played a minimum of 10 ranked games in the 24 months ending on the Allocation Date or, if relevant, the date on which a vacancy arises. However, no minimum game requirement applies to the award of Membership Places or Wild Card Places or to entries to any Qualifying Tournament.”

This temporary change is to allow for the reduced numbers of games played by some players due to the pandemic during 2020 and 2021.

Would you like to be WCF Treasurer?

The post of WCF Treasurer is currently vacant following the resignation of Yousry Ghamry on 31 December 2020.  The WCF Management Committee wishes to appoint a successor by no later than 30 April 2020.

Please see the detailed job specification below for more information.

WCF Treasurer job specification

The successful candidate will be given a detailed induction process on taking up the position to ensure a smooth handover.

Expressions of interest, requests for more information and formal applications supported by a CV should be sent to the Secretary-General at  The closing date for applications is 31 March 2021.

Debbie Lines (ENG) appointed Deputy Secretary-General

The WCF Management Committee is pleased to announce that Debbie Lines (ENG) has been appointed Deputy Secretary-General with effect from 1 September 2020.

Stephen Mulliner will retire on 31 August 2021 on the completion of his second four-year term and, as previously announced, the intention is that Debbie will become Acting Secretary-General from 1 September 2021 to 31December 2021 and Secretary-General from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2025.  She will be eligible to be appointed for a second four-year term from 1 January 2026 to 31 December 2029.

Debbie Lines (nee Cornelius) is a qualified accountant who spent 15 years in various finance roles in UK industry before gaining change management qualifications.  Her last full-time role was six years as Head of Florist Operations for Interflora.

Debbie grew up playing croquet from the age of six and became England's leading lady player in the 1990s.  She represented Great Britain in the 1996 MacRobertson Shield.  She is currently a part-time Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer.



Development Projects

We live in unprecedented times.

We appreciate that some of us will have far more important matters in our lives at the present time, others will be frantically busy dealing with the situation we face and to those of you involved in essential services we are particularly grateful.

However others will have unprecedented amounts of spare time on their hands. If you are looking for something to do here are a wide range of projects we have gathered from various sources from official surveys to individual chats. They have one thing in common they are all stand alone, novel and do not require significant bureaucratic input.

If you are interested in delivering one of them (and we mean actually doing, not discussing them in principle) please get in touch and we will try to allocate projects, co-ordinate interested parties etc. The idea would be that the aim should be to complete the task within the month (8&9 excepted!).

As you will see some of the ideas, which cover a variety of skills, are very fledgling and we have little idea of what might be possible but hopefully the descriptions will provide inspiration. Whilst we intend to provide a degree of co-ordination, we basically believe that this is one of those occasions where it is best to just get on and do something.

Please let us know if you are interested in doing any of the following:-

1 Create a document that can be used to help those seeking to establish a croquet club at another existing sports venue. Giving example of current co-existence and providing answers to the questions/problems that usually come up:-

a Golf

b Bowls

c Lawn Tennis

d Other

2 Create an app allowing managers and players to communicate lawn allocations and results to each other ie players register at start of event, the manager sets up games on the app, which alerts players to their next opponent and lawn, the players report the result via the app (in theory this additionally facilitates remote tournament management). Integration with croquetscores might be a further extension.

3 Create an index of web-links to existing croquet videos and matches

4 Create an app that allows players to "tick-off" croquet clubs as they visit them and also show when they are present at a club to their friends (hopefully that description might be enough for someone to have a vision)

5 Potentially possible to tie in with #4? A "twinning" app/site that allows clubs to advertise an interest in hosting [overseas, although that obviously need not be the case] players/clubs

6 Create some video content (likely by editing existing) aimed at attracting young players to the sport (or indeed any other market segment)

7 If anyone is interested in translating material from English to another language, we can ask that Member what they would most like doing

8 Increasing the scope somewhat, Global Croquet League Management System. The English Chess Federation has a system that allows each league around the country to register and manage its own league with its own rules (eg number of players, points for a win, bespoke rules on defaults etc) from a single site, saving each league to deal with the matter individually Is it feasible to create a solution for croquet globally that caters for AC, GC, Handicap, Level etc all hosted on one site for every league in the World to use?

9 If that sounds too easy how about a tournament management application that can deal with multiple venues, events and formats?

(All work would be on a voluntary basis on behalf of the WCF for the benefit of World Croquet).

If you are unable to help with any of the above but have a standalone idea of your own that you would like to see added to the list please let us know.


Ian Burridge & Roberts Stafeckis

WCF Development Group


Results of the 2019 WCF elections

The results of the 2019 WCF elections are as follows:

WCF President

Ian Burridge (Wales) 42 votes

Mike Cohn (Australia) 18 votes.

Ian Burridge is hereby elected to serve as WCF President from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2023.

WCF Management Committee

Harold Denton (USA) 41 votes

Begona Elzaburu (Spain) 36 votes

Samir Patel (England) 44 votes

Amir Ramsis (Egypt) 37 votes

Harold Denton, Samir Patel and Amir Ramsis are hereby elected to serve on the WCF Management Committee from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2023.

Voting data

President: 60 votes were cast out of 62 votes possible.

MC: 158 votes were cast out of 186 votes possible.  22 votes were withheld and 6 were not cast.

Online referee training and accreditation

A working group has been set up to investigate the feasibility of producing some online referee training and accreditation.

Our smaller Members do not have the infrastructure or geography to support on lawn courses or exams. By providing them with an online training course and exam, it will allow these countries to improve the quality of refereeing on offer.

Ideally, this online course would later be validated by some on lawn time as opportunity allows.

Videos are being taken and will be tested soon.

WCF Working Group 4 - WCF Referee training and accreditation Report