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.


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


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



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


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 @

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 formed in October 2022. It aims to identify ways in which the WCF can encourage and promote the regeneration of Association Croquet.

AC is in decline in all of our Member Countries. The growth of GC has helped to keep many clubs vibrant, but sometimes this has been at the expense of AC. Clubs are finding it increasingly difficult to attract players to AC or to find volunteers willing to run coaching courses in this code. In some clubs (and indeed countries), lawns are used exclusively for GC, limiting the time available for AC play.

Clearly most of the efforts to regenerate AC will 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:

David Openshaw (Chair)
Ian Burridge (MC Representative, Croquet England)
Alan Sands (ACA)
Bonnie Johnstone (CNZ)
Stuart Lawrence (USCA)

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.


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 –


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.

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