ERC Meeting 8: Summary

Summary of the meeting of the ERC held on 7th November 2022

Present: Roberts Stafeckis, Debbie Lines, Ian Burridge, Peter Payne, Begoña Elzaburu, Andrés Álvarez-Sala, John Swabey

ERC events 2023

a) Event agreements for the 2023 Teams Championship and 2023 Singles Championship are with their respective hosts for signature (Cheltenham and Budleigh).

b) Singles Championship

i) allocation principles. It is proposed to have a cap of 5 players per country, to avoid swamping with English / Spanish players. Ian to draft wording.
ii) Event Lead Ian Burridge

c) Team Championship

i) Squad size. Squad to be up to 5 players
ii) Cheltenham are happy to host coaching the day before the event. Funding still an open issue. Sarah Hayes happy to do AC coaching also the day before the Team event
iii) Event Lead Andrés

d) U21 Event, Latvia.

i) Format - to have maximum 28 players (4 blocks of 7)
ii) Potentiallly Begoña - tbc

ERC Budget

Overall budget for trophies to be 270 euro.

Team Championship trophy is with Tony Le Moignan. TBD whether Peter can pick it up or Gavin bring it to the Inter-Counties tournament in England, or get it couriered.

U21 should have a perpetual trophy (not too expensive?) plus a personal memento for the winner. Suggestions invited

European Clubs League

a) Grand Final … Madrid still doesn’t know if it will get local authority permit for extra lawns. Andrés to ask Madrid same question about hosting if delayed till 2024

b) last weekend’s event in Portugal was won by Roehampton club. Players seem to have enjoyed themselves overall despite issues over paying an unexpected green fee and for lunch. Clarity of communications with host clubs must be improved.

c) for 2023 there should be 4 heats announced (4 clubs want to act as hosts) and a 6 team final but if a lot more clubs want to play we can be flexible. The need is for there to be at least 3 lawns available

General issues

John will coordinate collecting a timetable of member countries Open events. Debbie to send him a link to the existing database

AOB

Roberts will draft a reply to the message from the German Federation request for the Team event to have 2 AC and 1 GC. The ERC maintains its position that we keep things as published but ask members for feedback after the event in 2023

Latvia will run their traditional Baltic Open GC 1-3 September 2023 and also want to host one of the weekends of the Clubs League

 

ERC Meeting 7: Summary

Summary of the meeting of the ERC held on 10th October  2022

Present: Roberts Stafeckis (Chairman), Kerstin Loretz, John Swabey, Andrés Álvarez-Sala, Daniel Larsson, Ian Burridge, Peter Payne, Begoña Elzaburu

Apologies: John Swabey, Samir Patel, Debbie Lines

ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
The items of the agenda were addressed as follows:

ERC event list
Discussion was held regarding the events held by the ERC.
No immediate comments were made regarding format nor amount of events. A window for comments or questions etc is open until October 12th. They should be sent to the chairman of the ERC, Roberts Stafeckis.

Regarding the ERC events, they use the same template as the world events.

ERC budget 2023 (entry fees, event income, expenses)
Questions regarding perpetual trophies for certain events was discussed to keep costs down a bit. Otherwise the fees looked alright and should pose no real issue.

The ERC agreed that the WCF method of funding and costing events would be followed going forward. As such, the entry fee, if adopted by the WCF, will henceforth be £17 per player per day.  This will be split £10 to hosts and £7 to the ERC for singles events, and £15 to hosts and £2 to the ERC for team events.  It was further confirmed that there was no provision for the WCF to fund the ERC and that the ERC would need to stand, financially speaking, on its own two feet.

European Clubs League
A first trial heat will be held in Portugal in November, with 4 teams. Entry fee is 50 Pounds Stirling or 60 Euro.

It was decided that the payment of the entry fee will be postponed until a payment to the WCF is set up and ready later this year.

According tot he regulation, each team will compete with 4 players.

The host will arrange for meals etc, which brought up the discussion of accompanying people. Accompanying people is not part of the competition, therefore not covered for any costs otherwise covered by the host.

Situation regarding the Grand Final of the Club League
No updates has been received from the Spanish Association regarding this. They can’t comment on this matter until the regular tournaments in Spain are completed. The clubs in question will get back tot he ERC within a matter days.

Procedure and calendar for 2023
We can potentially get hosts from the clubs that has already experessed an interest. So far, 7 teams have shown an interest in the event.

Until end of October, we will know the host for the grand final. Once we have that, we can make another round of advertise, in November we till have the first heat done. After that we can start planning for the league next year.

Allocation principles for ERC singles events (distribution of membership places, limits of players per member)
By January, decisions regarding allocation for the ERC singles events will be made.

Since this is a ERC/WCF event. Depending on your membership status, you get different amount of seats.

The remaining seats are under advisement on how to allocate.

General issues - what can ERC do apart from events?
The possibility of the ERC arranging coaching courses was up for discussion. One way to achieve these is to place these courses adjacent to an event such as a championship or club league event. The ERC recognized that a coaching coordinator might be preferable for this task.

A wish for an international European calendar was requested where not only events held by the ERC is registered but also individual countries Open games.

That way players can easily access all open tournaments, happening in Europe.

AOB
Estonia has shown some interest in starting playing croquet. The chairman, Roberts Stafeckis of the ERC has had some communication with some of the people in Estonia regarding croquet.

First heat of the European Club League takes place in the Algarve

This first heat was greeted with beautiful weather with no clouds whatsoever.

The four competing teams of Roehampton, Vilanueva, Algarve and SigLig all arrived safely and had a little practice on Friday evening.

Each day started with 30 minutes practice/preparation and then continued with 45 minutes games double-banking on our 2 lawns. We applied a 4-minutes rule to avoid delays.

All games went smoothly except for 2 where players forgot to measure their starting time, but these were resolved to achieve a fair result for both sides.

Each day we had a nice lunch at the club house from 13.00 to 14.00 and on Saturday we enjoyed lovely Portuguese food in the best restaurant in the area. Our club arranged the Buggy Bar right next to the lawn and provided cakes and biscuits for everyone free of charge.

As expected, the 1st place goes to Roehampton Team after they managed to win all 3 matches and were clearly the best squad by a comfortable margin.

All teams enjoyed the event thoroughly and assessed the quality of the lawns as good. There were no complaints received, so all in all, a great success.

Results: https://croquetscores.com/2022/gc/european-club-league-algarve-1/summary

The players in the first heat in the Algarve
The Algarve Croquet Club (stock photo)

ERC Meeting 6: Summary

Summary of the meeting of the ERC held on 23rd August 2022

The key items discussed were:

Under 21 Survey
It was agreed to publish the results to all WCF Members.

The high numbers of young players in Czech Republic are based on the initiative in a private school. In England most are around 20 years old and come from the Universities. In Latvia, most of those playing are children of club players.

It was felt that recruitment and retention of young players is a job for local clubs. The WCF and National Federations can only provide some guidance and best practice examples.

Events involving young players should ensure they have the necessary safety checks in place.

Future Events
The dates for 2023 events are fixed and can be found on the ERC page of the WCF Website.
Members are to be emailed asking for bids for 2024 and 2025.

European Club League
The Madrid venues, which had been the planned venue for the Grand Final, will not  be ready in time with sufficient lawns. Other clubs in Madrid are too small with only 2 lawns. England is not a good place for an event in October/November as season ends there much earlier than in Spain.       Potential solutions would be to host the event in Spain: 1) at Vista Hermosa and Seville (a total of 6 lawns), 2) at Vista Hermosa, Sancti Petri and Cherry (a total of 7 lawns).

Update re the trial events in 2022
Ian informed that 4 clubs are still in negotiations. There were 7 clubs for the events in September, but coordination has been difficult. Still there is a chance to hold an event in Portugal in November.

The format and dates for 2023 events are being discussed again given the above issues with lawns for the final.

    • The entry procedure has 2 steps: 1) find hosts and then 2) the clubs can apply for them. The hosts can offer the dates: 1 or 2 weekends.
    • The number of clubs at the Grand Final should be reduced from 12 to possibly 8(?) depending on the number of lawns available.
      Send out information in November, and move deadlines for 2023 entries earlier: 1) hosts till December, 2) other clubs till January.
      It would be better to allow a heat of just 3 clubs, if 4 not available
    • Number of clubs from a country in each heat should be limited to two (ideally one), but that might be difficult to achieve.

Ian agreed to make an improved version of ECL Regulation

Other Items

Referee courses are recommended prior to Championships. It was agreed that the Teams Event due to be held in Cheltenham next summer would potentially be a good time.

A coaching session prior to the U21 event should be offered to the young players one day upfront of the tournament.

The next ERC meeting will be held on September 27th at 7pm UK

 

ERC Meeting 5: Summary

Summary of the meeting of the ERC held on 5th July 2022

The key items discussed were:

Report about the Women's Championship 

The European Women's Championship had just finished. It was a sucessful event held during a Latvian heat wave.

Referees: different opinions about situation in the game, speed of the game, language difficulties between the different nationalities.

Change of DGrades: Spanish players achieved 38 points per player, Latvian gained 21 per player, all others lost on average 42 points per player. Debbie advised that the Ranking Operations Committee are looking into this.

Streaming: sometimes 3 games were parallel streamed. Facebook blocked streaming partly because there was music in the background.

Format of the 2023 Teams Championship - duration, etc.
Venue: Chaltenham is still ready to take this tournament. Host is the CA.
Date and duration: it was agreed to hold a 4 day event on August 2nd – 5th 2023.  

Format of the 2023 U21 Championship - number of players, age groups
Latvia offered to be the host and use the same format as for the recent Women’s event.
Dates: best would be first half of August, but there could be a clashing with the Team event, so 18th/19th is best.
Under 16 as a sub-event? There is no better solution than all play together, and a sub-trophy is given to the highest placed players of the sub-age group.

Ian Burridge suggested to talk about a general issue next time – what else can ERC do apart from event organisation

The next ERC meeting will be held on August 23rd 7pm UK

 

European GC Women’s Championship Winner: Begoña Elzaburu

Congratulations to Begoña Elzaburu, from Spain, winner of the 2022 European Women's GC Championship.

 The  first ever Women's European Golf Croquet Championship took place in Latvia between Thursday 30th June  to Sunday 3rd  July 2022. The event was played across two venues: the Ikskile Croquet Club (IKK), Vecnorinu iela 18, Ikskile, LATVIA, where there are three full size courts, and a satellite venue in Sigulda with one full size court.

Latvia surprised the foreign players not only by perfect lawns, excellent organisation, and warm hospitality, but also by tropical temperatures of 30 degrees and above. There was not a single drop of rain during the four days of the games, although the lawns were flooded by a sudden thunderstorm just a few hours before the opening ceremony.

Among 28 players from 7 countries, 5 countries were represented by their women’s ranking leaders, Jane Morrison from Ireland being the top seeded player with DGrade just over 2000.

Spain was represented by 10 players, Latvia benefited from the host country status and was able to enter 6 players.

Players were seeded into 4 blocks of 7, and top 4 players of each block were promoted to the main knock-out. After the block stage, there were 6 Spanish, 5 Latvian, two English, two Irish, and one Swiss player among the top 16.

There have been several surprises during the Championship. Sabine Martinsone, from Latvia, won the Shield trophy having been seeded just number 19. Rocio Mato, from Spain, was seeded number 27, and finished 8th. At the same time, the third seed missed the knock-out, and the number one seed lost in the first round of the knock-out.

The first semi-final on Sunday morning between Paz Gonzalez de Aguilar, from Spain, and Michelle Leonard, from England, finished relatively early in two games in favour of Paz with 7/5, 7/6. Another semi-final between Begoña Elzaburu, from Spain, and Silvija Freimane, from Latvia, required 3 games and lasted over 4 hours before Begoña secured an all-Spanish final by beating Silvija 7/6, 6/7, 7/5.

The final match presented some high-quality croquet, however Begoña gave very few chances to her friend and opponent Paz, beating her in two games 7/4 and 7/5.

The third-place match between Silvija and Michelle was the last one to finish before the awards ceremony could start. Silvija secured a victory in two games, 7/4 and 7/6.

Another two young Latvian players, Sabine Martinsone and Tania Varsa, won the Shield and Plate trophies respectively, and the top seeded Jane Morrison, from Ireland, won the Bowl.

The Championship has contributed greatly to promotion of croquet. There have been a number of interviews on printed media, two rather long stories on television, and non-stop streaming of the games throughout the days.

The Opening ceremony was attended by three Ambassadors. The Spanish Ambassador also arrived on the final day to watch the finals and awards ceremony.

Apart from the opening and closing ceremonies, the was a river cruise on Thursday night and an official dinner on Saturday night.

According to the forward calendar of the WCF, the next Women’s GC European Championship is scheduled to take place in 2024.

Report by Roberts Stafeckis

Winner: Begoña Elzaburu from Spain, Runner Up: Paz Gonzalez De Aguilar from Spain, 3rd Silvija Freimane from Latvia, Shield Winner - Sabine Martinsone Latvia, Bowl Winner - Jane Morrison from ireland and Plate winner, Tania Varsa from Latvia.

 

For full results go to Croquetscores.com

https://croquetscores.com/2022/gc/womens-european-championship

Winner: Begoña Elzaburu from Spain, Runner Up: Paz Gonzalez De Aguilar from Spain, 3rd Silvija Freimane from Latvia, Shield Winner - Sabine Martinsone Latvia, Bowl Winner - Jane Morrison from ireland and Plate winner, Tania Varsa from Latvia.

ERC Meeting 4: Summary

Summary of the meeting of the ERC held on 8th June 2022

The key items discussed were:

Current events
- The European Championship at Budleigh Salterton Devon was successfully held. Winner Aston Wade from England.
- The European Women's Championship is full. The trophy has been agreed and ordered.

Forward 5 year European Calendar
- The forward calendar is now ready for publication. Since the meeting this has been published on this website.
- Number of players for each event will depend on the hosts and number of lawns.

European Club League
See Meeting 3 for launch info relating to this new event. The meeting discussed some fine points in relation to the rules. It is expected that these will be finalised within the next few days, at which point the new league will be formally announced.

European Team Championship AC+GC - August 2023
It is proposed to restart this event which has lapsed in recent years. The format will still be a mix of GC and AC.  The format proposed is for 10-16 teams, over 3 or 4 days. The size of the event may depend on lawn availability, which would optimally be 10. Conversations with potential clubs have been initiated. We hope to hold it in Cheltenham in August 2023. Since the meeting Cheltenham have initially confirmed interest in hosting this - to be confirmed.

General procedure of finding a host of an ERC event
It was agreed that the WCF Event Regulations provide a very formal procedure to find a host. It was agreed to follow these rules as much as possible but not strictly.

Event budget principles
It was agreed to follow the usual WCF procedure that players pay to the WCF, and WCF pays to the Host which is a national CGB.

AOB
Discussion about the design of the forward event calendar
Robert will send a draft to Debbie Lines for publishing. Before publishing Robert will send it to the members. Together with the calendar, members will receive an invitation to consider the hosting of future events.

The next ERC meeting will be held on July 5th 7pm UK

 

European GC Open Championships: Winner Aston Wade

Congratulations to Aston Wade, winner of the 2022 European GC Open Championship.

The  European Golf Croquet Championship took place in Budleigh Salterton, Devon between Thursday 26 May to Sunday 29 May.

Aston beat Rachel Gee 7:3, 7:2 in the final.

Aston Wade is presented with the trophy by Roberts Stafeckis, Chair of the European Regional Committee of the WCF

For full results go to Croquetscores.com 2022 European GC Open Championship Results