Communications

Working group 6 - start April 2024

The full scope and Terms of Reference for this Working Group are in the process of being defined.

In general terms, the new Working Group 6 will tackle the 2024-2027 Business Plan initiatives of:

Publicity and Promotion of Croquet

To continue to improve the website and our social media presence.

To improve communication with Members by the MC and between Members in the WCF Council.

Specific ideas to be investigated further include:

▪ How to efficiently advertise croquet competitions between members, specifically those open to overseas players (to facilitate cross Member travel and play).

▪ Set up of WhatsApp communication groups between Members for the broader discussion of items.

The Working Group currently includes:

Begoña Elzaburu (Spain) - Chair
José Álvarez-Sala (Spain)
Kristie Middleton (ACA)
Alison Maugham (England)
Duncan Catterall (ERC)

WCF 2024-2027 Business Plan

Key Objectives


Organisation

To provide an effective infrastructure to manage the sport globally.

To investigate amending our non-incorporated status and liability.

 

World Championships

To continue to organise successful World Championships which are well supported by the top players.

To monitor the World Championship portfolio of singles and team events and to ensure it continues to meet the needs of its various stakeholders (players, Members and host)

 

Membership

To increase the number of WCF members and RCOs in under-represented areas of the world. To target a 15% increase by the end of the plan period (this equates to circa 5 new Members).

To facilitate the upward progression of RCOs to Associate Membership and Associate Members to Full Membership.

To continue to work with our Members and RCOs to provide developmental assistance as needed.

 

Regional Committees

To support the ERC as it continues to develop the growth of croquet in Europe.

To provide support as needed for the successful administration and organisation of ERC events.

To ensure the ERC is financially viable.

 

Publicity and Promotion of Croquet

To continue to improve the website and our social media presence.

To improve communication with Members by the MC and between Members in the WCF Council.

Specific ideas to be investigated further include:

    • How to efficiently advertise croquet competitions between members, specifically those open to overseas players (to facilitate cross Member travel and play).
    • Promotion of the sport through live streaming, YouTube and other audiovisual material and outlets.
    • Set up of WhatsApp communication groups between Members for the broader discussion of items.

 

    • Sponsorship:
      • To investigate and understand the key drivers behind previous hosts successful attraction of sponsors and share this as recommended best practice.

 

    • To produce a feasibility study to investigate the viability of obtaining sponsorship for the WCF as an entity, the income to be used to fund a variety of projects, including improving the website, extending our social media footprint and supporting live streaming activities (but see also longer-term objectives below: Multi-sport Events).

 

Supporting our Sport

On-going activities:

To continue to maintain World Ranking Systems (MC).

To continue to manage the Laws of Association Croquet and the Rules of Golf Croquet.

To continue to review and improve our Statutes, Regulations and Policies as needed to ensure they are up to date and fit for purpose.

To continue to manage equipment testing and the associated regulations. To support manufacturers as required to ensure that essential equipment remains available and affordable.


New or in-progress initiatives:

To assist Members to increase the number of players playing croquet, both GC and AC. For AC specifically, to assist Members to understand the key drivers behind the decline in AC and to support initiatives that assist with its regeneration and growth.

To put in place a Disaster Recovery Plan, ensuring our key systems are protected, such as the Rankings and Croquet Scores.

To increase the number of referees and coaches, particularly amongst smaller Member with WCF financial aid if needed.

To provide video and online resources for the training of referees and coaches for GC and AC.

To facilitate and standardise the use of video refereeing by continuing the current trials and producing best practice guidance. To ensure the regulations, Laws and Rules are updated as needed.

To consolidate the implementation and use of global handicapping systems for both AC and GC.

To facilitate the sharing of Member best practice, particularly on such subjects as:

    • Increasing the number of young people, including children, playing the sport.
    • Encouraging the recruitment and retention of volunteer resources, essential for the effective administration of our sport.
    • Facilities and equipment innovations.
    • Successful recruitment techniques: what works across all age groups and demographics.
    • Introduction of croquet to those with disabilities (or other minority groups).

Longer Term Objectives

Multi-Sport Events

The growth of croquet would benefit from entry into multi-sport events such as the World Games, Masters Games, Commonwealth Games or of course the Olympics.

A first step to gaining entry into one or more of these events is to be recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or one of its various sub-organisations, such as ARISF (Association of IOC Recognised International Sport Federations). This requires the WCF to be recognised by WADA (World Anti-Doping Association).

We propose preparing a Feasibility study to research the potential benefits and to set out a pathway toward attaining this goal, and in particular, whether this matter should be reconsidered in association with efforts to obtain a global sponsor who would cover the associated costs.

WCF Statutes and Regulations Update

On 28th March 2024, Council voted to amend various regulations and our Statutes, as listed below:

WCF Statutes version 13.5

WCF Administration Regulations version 6

WCF Event Regulations version 5.2

WCF Sports Regulations version 9.3

WCF Finance Regulations version 1.5

These regulations apply as of 29th March 2024 and supersede all previous regulations.

 

WCF Sports Regulations Updated

On 14th January 2024, Council voted to amend the method for seeding the GC Knock Out at our Singles Events. The result voted to move towards a new system of seeding: Block Separation by Grade.

The Sports Regulations have now been amended to reflect this vote and version 9.2 uploaded to the website: https://worldcroquet.org/wcf-business/statutes-regulations/

All future WCF and ERC GC events will use this method of seeding.

Other changes to the Sports Regulations are currently in progress following a recent consultation.

 

 

 

Online GC Rules Study Pack

Our smaller Members do not have the infrastructure or geography to support on lawn courses or exams. This material has been created to provide them with an online training course (and in due course a test). It will allow these countries to improve the quality of refereeing on offer.

The material covers all the GC Rules.  It has been designed so that it can be used by players wishing to understand the GC Rules better with additional modules for those wanting to become qualified referees. Laid out as a study plan it takes students through everything they would need to pass the written elements of a typical GC Referees exam. It also covers, via video links, some of the on-lawn material, but obviously this is limited.

This material has been created for the WCF by Ian Shore of the Chiltern Academy as a global resource that will be available to all. The WCF are extremely grateful to Ian for producing this useful resource. The material sometimes links to material published on the Croquet England website and we thank them also for access to these resources.

It can be used in multiple ways:

i) as above, by smaller croquet nations who cannot easily access examining referees;

ii) for existing fully qualified GC referees who want to refresh their knowledge on some or all of the content;

iii) as a training aid for those to use before attending a course;

iv) for anyone who wants to understand the rules of GC. It is generally considered that a good knowledge of the rules will help players to improve their play.

Frequently Asked Questions
The introduction to the course includes a complete study guide and explanation, however, we list below some answers to typical questions.

How long does it take to complete the course?

There are 28 modules overall, including one designed specifically for those who wish to train as referees. All the rest are suitable for anyone wishing to learn the GC Rules better. We estimate each one should take around 1-2 hours to complete.

Each module stands on its own and can be studied in isolation. There is no requirement to do the whole course.

What support is available while studying?

    • We have set up dedicated Facebook and WhatsApp groups. We invite both students and fully qualified examining or championship referees.
    • For our small Member countries: Examining referees from around the world are being approached who will be able to provide telephone, email or conference call support for our remote learners. This volunteer resource is kindly offered and limited, so we will restrict their time to just those serious students forced to learn the rules remotely due to geographic constraints.  *Note: this resource to follow soon*

Does this provide a qualification?

Those who complete the on-line test will be issued with a "Certificate of Completion". The certificate will show the score they have achieved.  Coming soon. We hope to have the test ready by the end of March.

Will students be able to use this worldwide?

The main aim of the material is to improve the quality of refereeing within our smaller Member countries.

Each of our Members may decide for themselves how to work with students who have completed the on-line test.

Is it possible to upgrade to a Qualified Referee?

This must be done via a face to face exam including the on lawn elements. Many Croquet Academies around the World offer 1 or 2 days training courses. Students who feel they are ready without further study, would need to arrange to sit the exam with an Examining Referee.

DOWNLOAD THE PACK

The material is found here: WCF GC Rules Study Pack

Please note: some modules include videos. These modules need to be downloaded in order to run the videos.
Please note: we do NOT recommend running this course from a phone

Ian Shore

SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS

A closed Facebook page has been set up which is open to those studying and to experienced referees who are happy to answer questions posed by the students.

Facebook Group: GC Rules Training

 

WHATSAPP

There is also a WhatsApp group. To request entry please email the Secretary -General on secretary@worldcroquet.org.

THE TEST

When you have completed all the modules in the 'Online Rules GC Study Pack' and feel that you are ready to sit the test, please email Debbie Lines, the WCF Secretary-General @ secretary@worldcroquet.org.

Please do not request to do this too early. You may only resit the test once and we require at least a 3 month gap between sittings.

We will email out a link to the test, together with the necessary instructions.

After completion, the results will be sent out together with the correct answers. You will separately receive a 'Certificate of Completion' which will show the score achieved and the date.

Please note: it will be up to each Member to decide how to use this online certificate and to decide what authority it conveys. The WCF have not set a 'pass' or 'fail' mark. Holders of this Certificate of Completion are not qualified GC Referees. To become a GC Referee you will need to separately sit and pass an exam recognised by your Member Governing Body.

 

Results of the 2023 WCF elections

Congratulations to the successful candidates in the recent WCF Elections. All three will serve a four year term of office starting from 1st January 2024.

WCF President: José Álvarez-Sala from Spain

José won the election with 36 votes. Jeff Soo polled 25 and Andrew Hobbs 2 votes.

Management Committee (2 positions): Samir Patel from England and Jeff Soo from USA.

Samir Patel gained 60 votes, Jeff Soo 49 and Stephen Wright 15.

All WCF Members voted in what was a close election.

Thank you to Lewis Palmer and Chris Williams for being the election scrutineers.

Thank you to all the candidates who we hope will try again in future.

AC Regeneration

The AC Regeneration Working Group was re-formed in March 2024. It aims to identify ways in which the WCF, as the Global Governing Body for croquet, can encourage and promote the regeneration of Association Croquet.

AC is in decline in all of our Member Countries. Clearly most of the effort to regenerate AC need to remain at grass-roots level, however, the Working Group will explore whether any initiatives at World level could help, for instance, changes to the rules, online resources, coaching material, or similar.

The Working Group was set up to include one person for each of the four major AC Member Countries. The current members of WG5 AC Regeneraton are:

Debbie Lines (Chair)
Jeff Soo (MC)
Graeme Roberts (MC)
Alan Sands (ACA)
Bonnie Johnstone (CNZ)
Stuart Lawrence (USCA)
Stephen Wright (England)