Winter Croquet at Southwick
Croquet is at its best on warm sunny summer days but three well-attended tournaments showed that there were water-proof and wind-proof players eager to anticipate the new season by playing in February & March.
The first was a “10/10 doubles” tournament, at the end of February. The named indicates that each pair has 10 minutes on court, the timing overseen by equally weatherproof time-keepers (pictured).
The clocks are large-scale equivalents of chess clocks, which the time-keeper switches as soon as the ball stops or goes off court. It was won by Liz Farrow and Graham Tucker.
Early in March Jeff Rushby and Nigel Trotter won an alternate stroke handicap doubles tournament which lasted all day, finishing just before the light gave out. The runners up, Liz Farrow and Phil Dunk, had won as many matches but their last game resulted in a loss to Jeff & Nigel
Sunday saw the last of the series, a level-play Golf croquet tournament, entries for which had closed some weeks earlier, with a reserve list for the tournament. After six rounds three of the sixteen players had won five games each; this included a circular pattern of wins where each had beaten one of the others so manager John Low had recourse to the dark arts of quality of wins which resulted in Janet Hoptroff edging past Liz Farrow and Jonathan Isaacs.
The season starts in full on 2 April with four lawns refurbished last year and three the year before all in action. The programme will consist of Presidents versus Chairman's teams playing a variety of events and with the bar or tea or coffee going full blast. The following day there is a heat of a National “one-ball” tournament in which the winner is selected for the National Final in Winchester and the tournament fees contribute to a National Collection for Myeloma UK (bone marrow cancer) which last year raised several thousand pounds.
Ray Hall (who also took the pictures)
Internal and Team Competitions
Games and Lawns Updates
Winter Programme 2017-18
Prints for Sale