March 2014 Newsletters

WCF March 2014 Newsletter

The newsletter provides a summary for WCF Members of what the Management Committee has been doing recently and what is on the agenda for the coming month.  Your comments are always very welcome.  It is also made available to all on the WCF web-site and via the Nottingham list and other croquet bulletin boards.

Council debates and decisions

The following Topics were decided between December and mid-March.:

Topic 19:          A new allocation procedure for WCF Singles events was approved.

Topic 25:          The 2014 Business Plan was approved.

Topic 26:          The 2014 Budget was approved.

Topic 27:          David Walters was elected as Independent Examiner.

Topic 28:          Gabrielle Higgins was elected as Treasurer.

Topic 29:          The establishment of a Governance Working Group was approved.

Topic 30:          An amendment to Statute 303.3.1.2 was approved.

Topic 31:          A proposal to open two new bank accounts was approved.

What have we been doing up to mid-March?

Most of the WCF Topics in the last quarter were concerned with end-of-year administration.  However, three were of broader interest.  The Governance Working Group (Topic 29) is tasked with reviewing how the WCF and MC operate and reporting back to the MC with its conclusions and any recommendations.  We are grateful to Stuart Lawrence (USA), Ian Lines (ENG) and Sue Piper (NZE) for taking this on.

Statute 303.3.1.2 (Topic 30) deals with changes of national allegiance when a player’s last international croquet appearance was before 20 August 2013.  The amendment clarifies that, providing that they do not represent their current country in the 13 months before 20 September 2014, they will be entitled to change country after that date.  However, subject to what is called a “material change of circumstances”, anyone who has represented a country since 20 August 2013 will have to spend 36 months without playing representative croquet before they can change country.

The Topic of widest player interest is undoubtedly the approval of a new rankings-based allocation procedure for WCF singles events (Topic 19).  This was accompanied by helpful comments from England and Scotland which formed the basis for some re-drafting to shorten the documents, add some further definitions and clarify a few points.  There were no material changes in the substance of the proposal and the new Appendices 1 and 2 are now official and have been sent to Members.  They will appear on the WCF web-site in mid-April as part of a new release of the Sports Regulations.  They apply to all future WCF singles events starting with the 2015 GCWC but not to the Over-50 GCWC and Women’s GCWC whose lifecycles were started last December.  The new procedure combines greater discretion for Members in allocating membership places with the use of a ranking-based method to allocate most of the rest of the places and deal with most withdrawals.  This is intended to be a simple, objective and transparent process.

Topic 30 (the amendment to Statute 303.3.1.2) also prompted a question from the USCA about how the intent of Statutes and Regulations could be made clearer to avoid interpretative problems later.  Recommendations to Members to approve a change are routinely accompanied by an explanatory e-mail from the S-G.  Discussion with Martyn Selman led to the agreement that this was sufficient for the shorter and simpler recommendations while more complex issues, such as the drafting of a substantial amount of text (e.g. Appendices 1 and 2 of the Sports Regulations under Topic 19) probably required a separate document – such as the Invitation Guidance Notes that were submitted to Members in draft as part of the Topic 19 process.  The final form of these will be published at the same time as the new release of the Sports Regulations in mid-April.



Forthcoming WCF championships

2014 Association Croquet World Team Championship

The ACWTC began in January with the MacRobertson Shield as Tier 1 and continues in May with Tier 2.1 at Carrickmines in Ireland from Monday, 12 May to Saturday, 17 May and a merged Tier 2.2/Tier 3 at Southwick in England from Sunday, 11 May to Friday, 16 May.

Tier 2.1 will be contested by teams from Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and Wales (holders).  Each team will play each other in two-day Test Matches.

The merged Tier 2.2/Tier 3 event arose as a result of an entry of only three countries for Tier 3.  However, very happily, the four Tier 2.2 entrants enthusiastically agreed to compete in a merged event which will use a “Jamboree” format to allow all seven countries to play each other (in matches consisting of eight singles and four doubles) over six days.

2014 Over-50 Golf Croquet World Championship

This will be held in Cairo from Sunday, 5 October to Saturday, 11 October.  An entry of 40 is expected.  Members have until 1 May (the WCF Closing Date) to announce the players who will take up Membership and Wild Card Places.

2014 Women’s Golf Croquet World Championship

This will be held in Cairo from Sunday, 16 November to Friday, 21 November.  An entry of 40 is also expected for this event and the WCF Closing Date is also 1 May.

Topics completed between December 2013 and early March 2014

MC 249:           WCF web-site – a new site is under construction.

MC 251:           The 2014 Women’s GCWC allocations have been made.

MC 252:           The Governance Working Group is appointed and under way (Topic 29).

MC 254:           The MC election process was completed.

MC 258:           The 2014 Over 50 GCWC allocations have been made.

MC 259:           Review of MC communication procedure.

MC 260:           Extension of Statute 920-925 process submitted to Members (Topic 24).

MC 262:           The Wimbledon Cup transport to Australia was completed.

MC 263:           Topic voting and confidentiality – remitted to GWG.

MC 264:           A press quote issue was explained and dealt with.

MC 265:           MC Report and 2014 Business Plan were submitted to Members (Topic 25).

MC 266:           MC election procedure – remitted to GWG.

MC 267:           WCF 25th anniversary –commemorative medals generously provided by the WCF President to the winners of all national AC and GC championships in the year commencing July 2014.

MC 269:           Wales comments on documentation and Member relations.

MC 270:           Investment proposals or new bank accounts were submitted to Members (Topic 31).

MC 271:           Statute 303.2.1.2 amendment – submitted to Members (Topic 30).

MC 272:           E-mail archive of MC decisions created.

MC 273:           MC’s role in WCF Council voting process clarified.

MC 274:           Confirmation that a Member’s votes and subscription level for a year is determined with reference to its member count on 1 January of that year.

MC 277:           The MC has established a Development Sub-Committee to look into what the WCF can do beyond the current offerings of supporting attendance at the Croquet Academy and part-funding coaching trips to European Members.

The above list shows the breadth of issues that the MC deals with using its fortnightly Skype conference calls and e-mail exchanges to reach decisions.  While we aim to give every topic adequate attention, we also aim to reach a decision and close them as soon as possible and not allow topics to drag on indefinitely.


Open topics as at 18 March

MC 250:           2014 AC World Team Championship – preparations are well under way for the Tier 2.1 event at Carrickmines and the merged 2.2/3 event at Southwick respectively in May 2014.

MC 268:           Proposal from Belgium to support a joint croquet/gateball promotion exercise to be funded mainly by the EU Erasmus+ programme – this is still under investigation.

MC 275:           Statute 305 (Reciprocity of Membership) – the English CA has raised some questions about the interpretation and intent of this Statute.

MC 276:           World Croquet Day – the President has suggested that an annual World Croquet Day could be of benefit to the game and to clubs.

MC 278:           Inactive Observer Members – the MC is considering whether to require an annual report from Observer Members on the degree of croquet activity in their domains.

MC 279:           Coaching request from the Croquet Federation of India.

MC 280:           Financial assistance request from the Italian Croquet Federation for lawn improvement at the Lucca Croquet Club.

Outlook for March and April

After deciding a plethora of WCF Topics by successful use of the new e-mail voting procedure, there should be a quieter period ahead for Members for a month or two.  The MC has plenty of open topics to consider with development occupying a high profile (e.g. Topics 268, 276, 277, 279 and 280).  In relation to Topic 268, the MC will consider whether the generally positive Australian experience of encouraging both gateball and croquet should be recommended for investigation and adoption in other Members.

It is intended to publish the next Newsletter at the end of April and monthly thereafter.

Stephen Mulliner

Secretary-General 18 March 2014