From 17 May 2021 the Club will be open for play, subject to some less stringent conditions than those currently in place. There are still restrictions designed to protect everyone from infection and to comply with the instructions and guidelines issued by HM Government.
All members will be eligible to play provided that they have paid the annual subscription of £110.
Members must use of the on-line booking system to book a court but, from 17 May 2021, it will not be necessary to book for the “roll up” GC sessions to held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings . These will re-commence on Tuesday 18 May 2021 and continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., thereafter. Those who attend these sessions must inform the Secretary by email (email@example.com), so that she may keep a record for “track and trace” purposes.
It is to be hoped that, after 21 June 2021, arrangements will revert completely to “normal” but we must, of course, have regard to official regulations and guidance. In the unlikely event that more than 30 members and guests “roll up” to the Club at any one time, those whose attendance would result in a breach of the outdoor “Rule of 30” will, of necessity, be politely required to leave the area by the 30 people already there.
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.
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.
Members or guests who are experiencing symptoms of a viral infection, in particular a cough or high temperature or loss 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 still be limited because of the difficulties that would be encountered in consistently complying with the indoor “Rule of 6”
A selection of club mallets is still 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 is being 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.
The current system will remain in place for time being but it is expected that the return of all club mallets to the clubhouse will take place on, or just before, 21 June 2021.
Use of the clubhouse
The rule that no more than one person may enter the clubhouse at any one time will remain in force for the time being, save as set out 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.
All necessary equipment, including hoops, balls, pegs, clips (for use in AC games) and corner markers will continue to 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. 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 generally be used for shelter in the event of adverse weather conditions. Members and their guests must continue to bring their own umbrellas, parasols or other protective equipment of their choice and store them in the open air when not in use. In the event of adverse weather or other intolerable conditions, members and guests may, exceptionally, use the accessible parts of the clubhouse for shelter, if, but only if, there are 6 or fewer players and spectators on the site at the time. It is envisaged that this exception will apply, for example, when a Club team (of 3 players) is entertaining another, opposing team (also of 3 players), so that the Club may avoid the charge of being unnecessarily inhospitable. However, it will also apply whenever there are 6 or fewer members and guests on the site. Adverse weather conditions (and/or other, potentially relevant conditions, such as swarms of insects) are not specifically defined in these rules. It is expected that members and their guests will remain in the open air (so as to reduce the risk of the spread of Coid-19 infection) unless they reasonably, and unanimously, conclude that the balance of risk would favour this limited, exceptional use of the indoor facilities.
Any member or guest entering the clubhouse for any reason must wear a face covering (a mask, scarf, bandana or similar) and must maintain social distancing of at least one metre whilst in the confined area.
All of the equipment used during a session of play (including any folding chairs used 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 30 players using or waiting to use the courts during any session of play. It follows that there may be two games of doubles on each court and that the courts may be divided in half when this is required. “Triple banking” is not recommended but it will no longer be forbidden. 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.
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 times, both on and off the courts
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.