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 – advantagegc@worldcroquet.org

Documents

Advantage GC Proposal - Document 1 - Definition

Advantage GC Proposal - Document 2 - Table

Advantage GC Proposal - Document 3 - Mathematics

 

Advantage GC Table

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

 

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

Global Player & Games Database

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