The 2023 WCF GC Women’s World Championship was held at the Sussex County Croquet Club, near Brighton England, between 7th and 14th August 2023.
Congratulations to Jamie Gumbrell, our 2023 GC Women’s World Champion.
For the full scores please go to Croquet Scores
To see the recorded live-streaming, all day every day, please go to the WCF YouTube channel GC Women’s Playlist
A huge thank you to everyone at the Sussex County Croquet Club for their hard work before and during the event. Everything ran smoothly and seamlessly as always when we visit Southwick. Thank you to the groundsmen, cooks, barbequers, bar staff, admin people, registration staff, car park attendants, shirt organisers, ball-boys, referees, and everyone else who contributed to making the players and officials feel so welcome. Specific thanks go to Mike Town for giving up so much time to manage the event, to Tim King as Director, to Alison Maugham who masterminded a whole week of live-streaming, to Jonathan Isaacs as Chair of the Organising Committee and to Ian Cobbold as the Tournament Referee.
The WCF is really appreciative of the time and effort by so many that went into making this event so enjoyable. We could not run these events without the time contributed by this host of volunteers. Well done and thank you.
17 countries were represented, with several countries sending competitors for the first time. The 56 players were divided into 8 blocks of 7 with 4 going through the blocks into a last 32 knock-out stage. Monday morning saw the start of the block play. The lawns at the club had been well prepared and were newly set with challenging Quadway hoops.
Thank you to the Compton Croquet Club in Eastbourne for hosting this event for us in the week prior to the Championship. Thank you to the Manager, John Low, the many referees and the club volunteers who helped maintain the lawns and feed the players.
Congratulations to the 4 qualifiers, who made it into the Championship: Bev Cardo (USA), Paz Gonzalez de Aguillar (Spain), Liz Drury (England) and Lynn Pearcy (England).
The Opening Ceremony went very smoothly with the flags duly positioned at the north end of Lawn 1, the John Solomon lawn. They looked great there for the rest of the week. A huge thank you to Mary Berry, our Guest of Honour, who came, cut a themed croquet cake decorated with flags from each country, and then stayed to mingle with the players.
Well done to Egypt for getting 10 of their 13 players through to the last 32 knock-out stage, and also to the 9 out of 11 from England who made it through, by far the best result from England so far in this event. Spanish players also did well with 4 of their 5 players making it through. This reflects the growing strength in depth in all these countries. Overall, players from 7 different countries were represented in the knock-out.
There were no major surprises in the first round of the knock-out with the best ranked players winning through as expected.
In the second round, Virgina Arney, Australia, had a great win, to beat the 2019 Silver Medallist Manal Khodeir. Other tight matches were Jayne Stevens vs Jamie Gumbrell – Jayne took the first but Jamie then stepped up a gear to win the next two games fairly easily. Debbie Lines took the second game against Rachel Gee, the 2011 Champion, and it was 5:5 in the third before Rachel’s superior hitting and hoop strokes won the day.
In the Quarter-finals, which were best of 5 matches, both Rachel and Jamie played superbly winning both their matches in 3 games. A tight 5 game match between Maram Nabil and Pouline Salib was enjoyed by the crowds watching on lawn 5. Well done to Maram for winning the crucial 13th ‘Golden’ hoop in the 5th.
Jamie went on to beat Maram in 3 games the following day in the semi-finals. However, the livestream and spectators were treated to some excitement in the other semi-final between Rachel Gee and Soha Moustafa.
Soha was the defending Champion from 2019 and had been playing brilliantly throughout. Rachel won the first two games before Soha switched up a gear. In the next 3 hours, during games 3 and 4, she didn’t miss a shot and took the match to the 5th game. It seemed to be going well for Soha. Rachel missed a couple of roquets and a longish jump shot early in the game but then made a come back before Soha went into a 6:4 lead. Rachel dug deep and fought back, winning the last 3 hoops with some great long clearances and positional play.
Soha Mostafa during the semi-final (photo by Sarah Patton)
The Championship Final: Rachel Gee versus Jamie Gumbrell
Jamie controlled throughout, with a display of technical excellence. Her centre ball clearances, long hoops and good jump shots, were consistent through the 4 games.
Rachel fought back after going two down, but in the 4th game Jamie didn’t miss anything and won 7:2. Commiserations to Rachel who played brilliantly throughout the week. This is only the second time Rachel has competed and she now has a silver to add to her previous gold medal.
Well done to Jamie Gumbrell, who at her first appearance, is our new GC Women’s World Champion.
The plate was won by Jessica Bullen from New Zealand who beat Cheryl Bromley, USA, 2:1 in the final. Jessica was the youngest play in the event at 18 years old and her play was excellent all week. She narrowly failed to get through to the knock-out. I am sure we will see her again in the future.
Managers Invitational Doubles
Instead of a 'Z' the Manager ran an Invitational Doubles for those out of all other events. Congratulations to Silvia Short and Vanesa Fernandez on their win.
Judith Hanekom, the 2016 Champion, played Kate McLoughlin from Australia. Judith went 5:1 down in the first game but held her nerve to take the Bowl.
Perihan Elwy lost the first game to Debbie Lines who cleared better in the first game. However, Perihan’s consistency and straight shooting, especially under pressure over the last two or three hoops in each game, was excellent, and she came through to win the second and third games, both on the golden hoop.
A huge thank you to the catering team at the SCCC who prepared and served a 3-course meal for the players and officials on the Saturday night.
Thank you to all the competitors for a fantastic week of croquet.
The 2023 Women's Golf Croquet World Championship will be held at Sussex County Croquet Club in West Sussex, England between Monday 7th August to Monday 14th August 2023.
The dedicated Event Website is now live. This is where player bios, the draw and other useful information will be posted as it becomes available.
A Qualifying Tournament will be held from 3rd August to 5th August 2023 at Eastbourne, Sussex.
Director: Richard Bilton
Manager: John Low
Format: tba after closing date 9th July
How to enter * Now Closed*
The qualifier can be entered via the English CA's Online Tournament Entry System, which is found on the Compete page of the CA Website. To enter you must first register for (or renew) a Reciprocal Rights Account. If you have any problems, you can contact the CA Office (caoffice.org.uk) for assistance. Once submitted, the office should take approximately one working day to provide the necessary access so that you may enter online.
Main Event Format
The 56 players will form 8 blocks of 7 players each generated in accordance with WCF Sports Regulations Appendix 4. All matches will be best-of-3 13-point games. Matches will generally be single-banked, with double banking only used if scheduling so requires. Except in emergency conditions, games will be played without time limits.
Qualification for Knock-Out Stage: the top 4 players from each block will qualify for the WGCWC Knock-Out Stage. Ties on match wins for qualifying places will be resolved in accordance with WCF Sports Regulations Appendix 6. Non-qualifiers will be eligible for the Plate Event.
Knock-Out Stage: the Knock-Out stage will be drawn and seeded conforming to the WCF Sports Regulations Appendix 7 Section B. It will be single-banked, except in emergency conditions, and played without time limits. Knock-Out Round 1, 2 and quarter-final matches will be best-of-3 13-point games. Semi-final and Final will be best-of-5 13-point games.
The Plate: this will be played in accordance with WCF Sports Regulations Appendix 8 paragraph 2 and will consist of block play followed by a knock-out stage.
The Bowl: this event is open to all players who lose in the first round of the Knock-Out Stage and will be played in accordance with WCF Sports Regulations Appendix 8 paragraph 4.
The Shield: this event is open to all players who lose in the second round of the Knock-Out Stage and will be played in accordance with WCF Sports Regulations Appendix 8 paragraph 5.
Z Event: the TM or a deputy will manage a Z Event for all players who have been eliminated from all other events but wish to continue to play.
Hours of play: players should be available to start play at 9.30 am each day. There are no floodlights at the club but at this time of year the light will be good enough to play until at least 8.00 pm.
Practice: players will be able to practice from 9.15 am each day on their allocated court and for 5 minutes before the first game of each match.
Lawns: SCCC has 11 full size croquet courts available. A speed in the range 10-12 Plummers is anticipated assuming normal weather conditions.
Hoops: the hoops used will be
Aldridge Competition Quadway hoops [6.3.23 please note change to hoop type that will be used], set as specified in the WCF Sports Regulations (as close as possible to, but not less than, 1/32” clearance). Hoop alignments, widths and firmness will be checked prior to the start of play and at the beginning of main event matches. Players themselves will be permitted to firm up the hoops by gently tapping with a suitable mallet before playing a hoop stroke.
Balls: Dawson balls will be used.
Practice: players wishing to practise before the event starts will be welcome at SCCC between 11 am and 2.30 pm on Sunday, 6th August, though some lawns may be unavailable at times for maintenance and hoops will not be set to tournament standards.
Opening Ceremony: A formal opening ceremony will be held at SCCC on Sunday 6th August with a light finger buffet.
Accommodation and Travel: SCCC is easily accessible by train or car from London or Gatwick Airport. SCCC is close to Brighton and Worthing which are large urban areas with a wide range of hotels bed and breakfast and rental properties. A list will be put on the event website with contact details. The area attracts a lot of visitors in the summer. Players should be aware that early booking of accommodation is essential.
We anticipate that most players will stay in accommodation in the Brighton to Worthing area and so will be able to reach SCCC by public transport if they have not hired cars. It is suggested that players find accommodation within 20 miles (32 km) of SCCC.
Catering and Social: SCCC, has a long-established tradition of providing good quality home cooked lunches with kitchen facilities in the club house and a team of volunteers who cater throughout the season.
Morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea would be available for sale to all players at all venues. SCCC also has a bar that will be staffed throughout the Event.
Internet, publicity and Communications
Wireless internet connections will be available. Live streaming is expected to be arranged on some days. A dedicated website for the event will be available a few months before the event starts.
Main Event Key Dates
This is the date that Members will be formally invited to send players to participate in this event.
This is the date by which Member nominations for Ranking and Wild Card places must have been received by the WCF Management Committee. Members must also specify the number of Membership Places they wish to take up and RCO's should advise if they would like to request a Membership Place.
The World Ranking List to be used to determine the initial allocation of Ranking Places is that published at the end of the Allocation Date.
By this date the breakdown of places will be advised and players awarded an Initial Ranking Place or Wild Card will be announced.
This is the last date Members can nominate players for their Membership Places. Within 1 to 2 days the MC will announce recipients of Membership Places and Replacement Ranking Places.
Player Contact Details & Bios
This is the date by which players are asked to provide their contact details, bio's and a headshot photo.
Entry Fee Due Date
Per Sports Regn Appendix 2 6.1. Any players awarded a place on the Announcement Date will lose their place if they have not paid by this date.
Main Event Cut-off Date
This is the date after which returned places are generally filled by creating extra Qualifier Places instead of Replacement Ranking Places.
Qualifier Key Dates
Qualifier Entries open
Entries will open upon publication of the CA Fixtures Book (on-line and in print)
Qualifier Allocation Date
Entries received by this date will be accepted in ranking position order as shown in the Qualifier Ranking List.
Qualifier Closing Date
Last date any players will be accepted into this event.
Chairman of Organising Committee
WCF Event Lead
CA Event Lead