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

Peter Payne is elected as WCF Treasurer

The WCF is pleased to announce that Peter Payne has been elected as the new WCF Treasurer.

Peter won the election from Jose-Maria Alonso-Gamo. The WCF is pleased to have had such strong candidates and thank Jose for his interest in supporting us.

Peter had a career in banking for 44 years and now runs a financial consulting and services company.

Peter joined CERN Croquet Club in Geneva in 1989 and helped to create the Swiss CA in 1991 and the European Croquet Federation in 1993. He was on the WCF Management Committee for a while previously and during this time worked with the committee that first unified the rules of GC.

On the lawn, he was a keen and active player for many years before personal reasons led to a sabbatical from croquet in 2006. Since returning to the game in 2018 he has been improving his game (both AC and GC), and  recently was a proud member of the Swiss team that participated in the GC  World Team Championship (Tier 2) in Spain.

He is keen to contribute his time and energy to develop our sport in the future.

Peter starts his role from 1st January 2022 and his term ends 31st December 2025.

Changes to the WCF Management Committee

The WCF is pleased to announce that the Management Committee will be joined by Begoña Elzaburu (Spain) and Graeme Roberts (New Zealand).
They were both successfully elected to the Management Committee by Council earlier this month.
Also elected was Roberts Stafeckis who successfully stood for re-election.
All three officially take up their positions on the Management Committee from 1st January 2022, serving a four year term finishing on 31st December 2025.

Graeme Roberts

Graeme has been playing croquet since 1970 and has had a long and illustrious croquet history. He represented New Zealand in the MacRobertson Shield in 1982 and has played in the WCF World AC Championships twice, in 1990 and 2005.

Graeme has served on many croquet committees locally in Wellington and also at National and International level.

As a Championship referee he has officiated at many World Championships. He is one of the founding members of the NZCC Laws Committee and has served on the Committee since then. He is also New Zealand's representative on the AC Laws Committee (ACLC), and has been chair since 2017.

Graeme worked in New Zealand Public Service, within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and its predecessors. Over a period of almost 36 years he served as a physical sciences assessment analyst, assessments manager, intelligence coordinator, senior policy adviser and principal policy adviser.

Roberts Stafeckis

Roberts had a career in the diplomatic services for Latvia and went on to be Commissioner General of Latvia at the World Expos in Shanghai and Milan. He currently runs a private business advisory company.

He started playing croquet in 2009 when he established the Ogre Croquet Club in 2009, and Latvian Croquet Federation later the same year. He has been President of the Latvian Croquet Federation since 2009.

Robert has been a member of the WCF Management Committee since 2014. His objectives are the promotion of croquet (AC and GC) as a serious sport in the existing WCF Member countries, as well as reaching out to new territories. He is keen to foster croquet activities in mainland Europe through the new WCF European Regional Committee due to launch early in 2022.

Roberts has played in the 2012 and 2021 GC WTC, 2019 GC WC, 2015 and 2017 GC European Championships.

Begoña Elzaburu

Begoña, and her sons, are keen croquet enthusiasts and have supported croquet in Spain for many years. In particular, she was a founding member of the Croquet Committee of Real Club de la Puerta de Hierro, a large multi-sports club in Madrid with 16,000 members. Since 2016 Begona has helped drive growth at the club by organising coaching, marketing and organising events, and as a result the croquet section has grown from just 30 keen players to over 250 players. She is now involved in helping other clubs to grow and serves on the Spanish Federation Committee.

Begoña recently helped to organise and run the successful World Team Championships Tier 2 held in Spain in October 2021.

As a player, she is one of the top Spanish Women GC players and has played in the GC Women's World Championship. A keen croquet traveller she has also played in England, Egypt, Ireland and even in Senegal.


Retiring Management Committee Members

Peter Landrebe (Australia) and Geoff Young (New Zealand) finish their terms of office on 31st December 2021 after serving on the Management Committee for many years. We thank them both for their contributions and hard work and wish them every success on and off the lawns.

Would you like to help run the WCF?

Three members of the Management Committee (MC) reach the end of their four-year term of office on 31st December 2021. These are: Pete Landrebe, Roberts Stafeckis and Geoff Young. Roberts Stafeckis has indicated that he intends to stand for re-election.

I’d like to thank Pete and Geoff for their service over the past four years and wish them well with their future croquet endeavours. They have been valued members of the MC and their experience and insight will be missed.

In addition, Chris Clarke has found that the difficulties of managing the WCF Barclays Bank account from New Zealand cannot easily be resolved and he has therefore resigned. The MC has decided to change the bank account to one easier to use as an international organisation and is researching this now.  Nominations for the role of Treasurer are therefore being sought. All positions start 1st January 2022.

If you are interested in helping to run the WCF, please contact your governing body and they will explain in full what is required for your nomination. Applicants from RCOs are welcomed but you need to be aware that you must be nominated by a Full or Associate Member.

If we have more nominees than positions, elections will follow.

Nominations are required into the WCF by 31st October 2021 at the latest, so please allow time to liaise with your nominating Member so that they have time to process your application.

I am happy to talk to anybody who wishes to discuss what is involved.

Debbie Lines
WCF Secretary-General

Terms of Reference for the Treasurer

    1. To manage the finances of the WCF according to the Financial Regulations.
    2. To prepare the annual budget for approval by Council.
    3. To guide Council and the MC in all financial matters, and propose finance policy.
    4. To maintain a record of the non-financial assets of the WCF.
    5. To prepare annual audited accounts.
    6. To manage the WCF’s investments according to the approved investment policy..

Terms of Reference for the Management Committee

The MC shall settle urgent questions and have general administrative powers to carry out the work of the WCF and manage its financial affairs on a day-to-day basis, subject to the direction of Council.  The role includes condensing issues into a manageable size in order to facilitate Council considering them efficiently and in reasonable timeframes. Its terms of reference are:

    1. To implement policy and actions in pursuit of the agreed direction given by Council.
    2. To present to Council an annual plan for the following year including a budget.
    3. To manage the operating funds according to the budget.
    4. To inform Council regularly of progress, activity and issues.
    5. To prepare proposals and make recommendations as part of formal Consultations to Council.
    6. To distribute to relevant sub-committees the tasks they are to execute, to oversee their activity, to take decisions concerning the reports of these sub-committees, and to forward them to Council.
    7. To present to Council recommendations for the admission, the striking off the rolls, or expelling of Members, as well as for any sanctions which might be imposed.
    8. To monitor the Statutes with a view to identifying possible improvements for proposal to Council.
    9. To maintain and approve all WCF Regulations, subject to ratification by Council.
    10. To manage a rolling 10 Year Schedule of events, to solicit bids against this plan once approved by Council, to assess bids and reach formal agreement with the host Member, and to ensure the event is organised according to Statutes and Regulations.
    11. To publish the International Sporting Calendar for the year(s) ahead.
    12. To gain Council approval for any novel event types not already included in an approved 10 Year Championship Schedule, before soliciting bids.
    13. To promptly alert Council should the MC consider that the sporting interests of the WCF are not adequately defended in a particular territory.
    14. To appoint or dismiss the Secretary-General.

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.

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.

1st June update - please note that the AC Women's Championship and the Under-21 GC World Championships will now not take place until 2023. These events are therefore treated as 'new' not 'postponed'. This temporary amendment is therefore no longer applicable to these two events.

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.

** Update 25th February 2022 **

It has recently come to light that this amendment does not fully cover what was intended and is unclear. The Management Committee (MC) minutes from January 2021, minuted that “The agreed alternative was to use the MaxGrade over 24 months and require 10 games in 24 months”.

Two other clauses within Appendix 2 of the Sports Regulations also make reference to the 10 games in 12 months, and as a result, the temporary amendment, as published above, is left ambiguous.

To clarify, the additional relevant clauses in Appendix 2, where 12 months should be replaced with 24 months are:

4.2.3 in the case of the Initial Allocation Ranking List and, subject to paragraph 7.4, the Replacement Ranking List, are based on a minimum of 5 ranked games (AC) or 10 ranked games (GC) in the 12 24 months ending on the relevant day and on the highest grade achieved by players in that period; and

 7.4 Replacement Ranking List
The Replacement Ranking List may contain players who were not on the Initial Allocation Ranking List provided that they have played a minimum of 5 ranked games (AC) or 10 games (GC) in the 12 24 months ending on the date on which the vacancy arises and have informed the S-G by e-mail that they wish to play in the Event.

The Ranking Lists created for the upcoming GC World Championship will be created and applied using 24 months in all 3 clauses.

We apologise for any confusion this may have caused.

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.