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)

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.

 

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)

Advantage GC

2024 - Minor amendments   *March 2024 update*

The only changes from the 2023 document are:

    • Pages 7 & 8 - the addition of Scoring Scales (ratios) for unfinished timed games.
    • Page 2 - the Tournament Play paragraph concerning the ordering of tournament blocks has been revised.

Users/countries are at liberty to follow these recommendations, or not, as they wish.

To avoid distribution of out-dated documentation Countries are strongly advised to publish a link to this PAGE and not links to individual FILES. The most recent version of Advantage GC will always be accessible here.

Advantage-GC-2024-How-to-Play-Complete

If you've not tried this variant yet, then we invite you all to give the game a try and, if you wish to, please send us feedback. Please let us know your impressions and observations and also provide game results which show the handicaps and/or DGrades of the players.  Please use the dedicated email address set up for this purpose – advantagegc@worldcroquet.org

 

History of Advantage GC

The existing 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 developed a form of GC which was named “Advantage GC”. After exploring options, the MC decided to work with Roy Tillock from the Southern Federation to run a series of trials starting in 2021.

2021 Official Trial Results
An official trial took place during the English CA's Southern Croquet Federation (SCF) 2021 League season.

The MC are pleased to report that the trial was completed successfully, with both good data and subjective feedback received.

Roy Tillcock, who organised the trial, has analysed this data and it is extremely encouraging. We know that many clubs around the world tested the new variant, and their feedback was also extremely favourable. We thank everyone who has helped test the game and submitted their data.

The full results can be seen here > SCF 2021 Advantage Trial Report

2022 update - amendments identified
The trial showed that most people felt this game provided a closer experience to level play GC than using extra strokes. The data showed that this variant provided closer matches than the use of extra strokes. Previous analysis has shown that extra strokes generally favours the stronger player, however, data collected over some 836 games of Advantage GC, showed that in some cases there was a slight advantage for the weaker player. To correct this, the Starting Scores Table was been amended.

2023 update - further amendments identified
After capturing further data during the 2022 season, amendments to the tables were approved by the WCF GC Rules Committee in July 2023. Please ensure you use the file at the top of this page which includes the latest information.

 

 

2023 Advantage GC Starting Scores Table - First to 7 Points

An example Advantage Post - useful for placing starting clips to avoid overloading hoop 1

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.

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 https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/. 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.

Cheers

Ian Burridge & Roberts Stafeckis

WCF Development Group

burridge.ian@googlemail.com

roberts.stafeckis@gmail.com

 

Global Player & Games Database

April 2024 Update
Progress on this project has been slower than hoped. The Management Committee continue to work with Phil Cordingley reviewing the work completed to date. A review of the project and a discussion with Phil regarding how the speed of delivery can be addressed, is planned.


The World Croquet Federation has identified potential benefits of implementing a Global Player & Games Database and has set up a working group to establish the scope, feasibility (or otherwise) and costs of implementing such a system.

The chairman of the working group, Phil Cordingley, has now presented initial thoughts and a feasibility study.

Phil Cordingley is positive about the plan and regards it as a straightforward and feasible IT project.  He is actively working on producing a database design (Phase 0) for review and approval by the MC.  Implementation could be achieved either by harnessing voluntary IT resources from within the croquet community or by commercial expertise (e.g. from India).  Phil Cordingley hopes that Phase 1 (incorporation of the AC and GC rankings) can be achieved by end 2021.

Working Group reports to date:-

WCF Working Group 2 - Global Player & Games Database Feasibility Study 7.10.2020

WCF Working Group 2 - Global Player & Games Database Progress Report 6.2.2021

Global Handicap System

April 2024
Progress on WG2 has been extremely slow. The MC therefore decided at their April Management Meeting that this working group should be re-visited.

The previous list of concerns are still valid, but the list will be reviewed along with the scope.

During April and May 2024 the previous members of the team will be contacted and the aims, scope and issues for the project revisited.


April 2021
The working group looking at the Global Handicap System has determined that it can best be incorporated into a new Global Player and Games Database (see working group 2) . This project is therefore on hold until further progress has been made on working group 2.

Report of WCF WG1 - Global Handicap System