Covid -19

COVID-19 RULES 2021 (published 20 March 2021)


The Club will be open for play from Monday 29 March 2021, subject to the same,  fairly stringent conditions imposed last year to protect everyone and to comply with the instructions and guidelines issued by HM Government and the Croquet Association.

All members will be eligible to play provided that: (a) they have paid or pay the annual subscription; (b) they are not in the “shielded” group of vulnerable people and (c) they have booked a court in advance, using the on-line system.

All play will be at members’ and guests’ own risk.

Guests and spectators will be allowed provided that they observe the social distancing guidelines at all times but no one should turn up in the hope that there may be someone else (or no-one else) to play.

Members who entertain guests must pay the required guest fee into the Club bank account directly and must not leave cash, cheques or other instruments in the clubhouse.

Those placed in the vulnerable group by HMG (e.g. the over 70s) but not placed in the “shielded” group have been advised not to play, though they have not been required to avoid doing so.  They must make their own decisions.

Members or guests who are experiencing symptoms of a viral infection, in particular a cough or high temperature or less of their sense of smell, must not attend the Club and must self-isolate in accordance with the requirements of HM Government.  Members and their guests should check their temperatures before any proposed visit and, if it is elevated, they should cancel their booking and stay away.

Use of the clubhouse will, of necessity, be extremely limited. 

A selection of club mallets is available for use by members who do not have their own.  Members should appropriate a club mallet after they have used it; take it home, keep it clean and retain it, strictly on loan, until notified that they should return it.  A record will be kept of where the mallets are.  A member taking one should enter his or her name, and the number of the mallet, on the list.  Club mallets are also available for use by guests.  After use they must be thoroughly cleansed using the hand sanitising gel provided and returned to the place allocated to them in the pavilion.

Booking a court

The booking system on the web site will be available for use by members at . You will need a password to gain access.  The password will be supplied to you by Nick Harris ( or Jeremy Kitchener ( provided that they are satisfied that you are a member in good standing.

Instructions as to how to make, alter or delete a booking are available at

Members may book a session of up to two hours, up to a maximum of twice per week.  However, if, at the start of any day, the on-line booking system reveals that there are vacant sessions during that day, members may book an additional session on that day. 

Members who do not feel comfortable (because of the current pandemic) sharing a court with players playing another game may indicate that fact by booking both the primary and secondary colours during a booked session.  This rule will be reviewed if it becomes apparent that members are being prevented from playing unreasonably.

Sessions will commence at 8 a.m. and finish at 8 p.m. save that the first session on each Monday and Thursday will not be available for booking.  During these sessions the ground staff will be attending to mowing and other maintenance operations.

Members who, for whatever reason, find themselves unable to access the web-site should approach Nick Harris (01603 504571) or Jeremy Kitchener (01603 610708 and/or 07884 130048) (by email or telephone).  They will be able to book a session on your behalf.

When booking a court members or their agent must enter the full names of all those who will be playing or watching during the session, since this information may be required by those seeking to trace and/or track those who have had contact with a person infected by the virus.

Members and their guests should attend at least 10 minutes before the start of the session they have booked and maintain social distancing while any previous users vacate the area. 

Members should keep themselves informed as to whether there are bookings following their own.  If there are not, or if the member(s) who have booked the subsequent session do not attend within 10 minutes after the expiry of the relevant session, the member(s) must clear the courts; sanitise the area; lock up the pavilion and lock the gates in accordance with the directions set out and posted in the clubhouse.

Use of the clubhouse

No more than one person may enter the clubhouse at any one time save as provided, by way of exception, below.

The clubroom, kitchen and the former croquet storage area will not be accessible to members generally or their guests and must not be accessed, by force or otherwise, save as provided, by way of exception, below. 

All necessary equipment, including hoops, balls, pegs, clips (for use in AC games) and corner markers will be lodged in the corridor just inside the first door (i.e. the door nearest to the gate) in plastic trays marked with the numbers of each court.  A small number of folding chairs will also be available for use when sitting out during AC games.  One chair should be used by each player or guest and cleansed after use.

Supplies of paper towels; nitrile disposable gloves (latex-free and made of synthetic rubber); disinfectant spray: hand sanitising gel and a cleansing fluid (water with detergent) for use when cleaning hoops, balls, pegs clips and corner markers will also be available in this area.

A maximum of two people should be involved in unlocking and entering the clubhouse at the start of a session.  If there are two, both of them must thoroughly wash their hands or use the hand sanitising gel and then put on disposable nitrile gloves.  One person must spray disinfectant and wipe with disposable paper towels all relevant door handles, locks, keys and light switches. This must happen before and after each session.

The clubhouse must not be used for shelter in the event of adverse weather conditions.  Members and their guests must bring their own umbrellas, parasols or other protective equipment of their choice and store them in the open air when not in use.  Exceptionally, when the Club is hosting an event to which the CA Guidance applies, the clubhouse may be used for shelter at the social distance in force at the time of the event.

Any member or guest entering the clubhouse for any reason must wear a face covering (a mask, scarf, bandana or similar) whilst in the confined area. 

All of the equipment used during a session of play (including any folding chairs using for sitting out and any club mallets used by guests) must be cleaned at the end of the session, using the appropriate supplies.

Balls must not be cleaned using the disinfectant spray or hand sanitising gel (since there is evidence from the USA and Australia that the use of some sanitising fluids changes the colours of the balls, which would be inconvenient).

Use of the toilet facilities

Toilet facilities will be available but must be used by only one person at a time.

Members and their guests must cleanse all relevant areas and surfaces, including the toilet seat; the flushing handle, the taps; both door handles (inside and out) and the bolt, using the disposable paper towels and disinfectant spray which will be available in each of the toilet cubicles, after they have used the facility (and before, if they choose to do so).

Members and their guests must clean their hands, using either soap and water or the sanitising gel provided.

The plastic bins with plastic liners must be used for the disposal of all used paper towels.

The last person using the courts on each day will be responsible for removing all full, or nearly full, plastic bin liners and disposing of them appropriately.

Use of the cloakrooms

The cloakrooms may be used for access to the toilet facilities but not otherwise (i.e. for the storage of cloaks; other clothing, over or under garments, bags or other accoutrements).

Members and their guests should attend wearing the clothes in which they intend to play and must not change clothing or shoes in the cloakrooms or elsewhere within the clubhouse.

All bags and surplus garments, when removed, should be placed in the open air and at a safe distance from any areas likely to be used by others.

Use of the courts

There must be no more than six players per court during any session of play.  It follows that there may be two games of singles on a court or one game of doubles and one game of singles.  During “double-banked” games, when waiting for the other game to clear a hoop, the players should vacate the lawn temporarily and return when the hoop is clear.

Division of a court into two half-sized courts is not permitted.

The second of the maximum of two people referred to above in relation to the use of the clubhouse (or, if there is only one person present, that person) must, at the start of each session, set out the allocated equipment for each court to be used and cleanse that equipment in the fluid at the end of each session, before it is re-used or put away.

Members must secure the gate with the padlock during play to prevent casual visitors entering the playing area and the pavilion and must use the disinfectant spray to clean the padlock and surrounding area after doing so.

Members and their guests must adhere to the social distancing rules at all time, both on and off the courts.  Members may use their mallets to calculate the distance of 2 metres, basing themselves on the assumption the each mallet is between 86.36 and 96.52 centimetres long.

Members and their guests must not make any physical contact with each other before during or after play unless they are from the same household.  This means, amongst other things, that there must be no hand shaking or similar activity (even elbow touching).

Members and their guests should wear their own gloves during play if possible.

Members and their guests must not play on the courts in bare feet.

Members and their guests must move the balls around the court before, during and after play using only their mallets and/or their covered feet.

Members and their guests must use their own personal systems for keeping score and recording the number of bisques or additional turns available, save that coloured metal clips may be used in AC games since they are integral to the sport.  Members and their guests must not touch the clips being used by their opponent.  If it becomes necessary or appropriate for a player to move an opponent’s clip, the player must require his or her opponent to undertake that task and give him or her sufficient space to do so.

Corner flags will not be available for use.  Members and their guests must either leave the corners of the court unmarked (save by the white lines) or use the wooden markers provided.

From no earlier than 17th May:

  • Most restrictions affecting playing, coaching and tournaments are expected to be lifted.

More detailed guidance, for players, clubs and tournament organisers, will be issued in the coming days.  A meeting specifically to discuss the effect on the fixtures calendar has been scheduled.