Competitive events – a brief introduction for newcomers

Competitive events – a brief introduction for newcomers

Not everyone wishes to play in competitive events, but for those that do, there is ample opportunity at SCCC (that’s us - Sussex County Croquet Club).

There are also very good reasons for competing:

  • You can learn a great deal from playing other players

  • You play against a wider range of opponents

  • Whatever age you are, there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from challenging yourself in a match environment

  • There is never any shame in losing, but success is always nice when tasted.

The various types of events are explained below. However, if you are just getting started the ones to consider initially are probably:

  • Handicap singles

  • Handicap doubles

  • Improvers Cup

  • Drawn Pairs

From time to time there are also specific events for new members, such as the half-day tournament on July 5th 2021 for those with a handicap of 9 or over. If you have not yet received a handicap, there are regular sessions held in which handicaps are assessed.

A brief word about handicaps: some events use handicaps to even up the skill difference between participants. Those with higher handicaps receive extra turns (sometimes known in croquet as ‘bisques’) versus opponents whose handicaps are lower. Alternatively, many events are ‘level play’ where no extra turns are awarded.

Types of Event

There are three types of competitive events held at the club:

  • Tournaments

  • Club Competitions

  • Matches


Tournaments are one day or multi-day events (2-7 days) which run all day from typically 9.30am to 5.30pm.

Tournaments are either organised or hosted by the club. The events hosted by the club are managed by either the CA (Croquet Association), the SECF (South East Croquet Federation) or the WCF (World Croquet Association).

Club tournaments are open to everyone both inside and outside the club (but for the top-level, CA and WCF events places are given to the best players in the country or world first.)

Club Competitions

Club competitions are only open to club members of SCCC They run throughout the season and it is up to participating members to arrange their own matches. Prizes are awarded at the end of the season.

Interclub Matches

Matches are played between SCCC and other clubs. Either ad-hoc friendlies or as part of an organised event such as the SECF league covering clubs in our area. There are also national CqE organised GC (Golf Croquet) and AC (Association Croquet) knock-out competitions.

How to enter

Club competitions are entered using the club’s website. Tournaments organised by the club are entered via the club website. CqE tournaments (some of which are held at our club) are entered via the CqE website and you have to be a member of the CqE to enter. All SCCC members are automatically members of the CqE unless they specifically opt out.

Selection for club matches is made by the team captain. Details of teams, captains and handicap ranges are shown on the club website. Members can register their interest in playing in matches on the website or by direct contact with the captain.


A brief word about rules. There are some arcane rules relating to topics like double-taps, crush shots, etc and more clear-cut issues such as what happens after a wrong ball is played. The good news is that there are many experienced players around who can help inform and advise. In addition, the Academy can supply rule books as well as sometimes running 'etiquette' courses which address some of the above.


  • Apart from winter, there is a dress code of whites for competitive events. In our club competitions, this can be a white top or trousers if not full whites. This is not just because for tradition’s sake: it also helps inform members who might be playing on other lawns that a competitive match is in progress.

  • When playing Interclub matches or tournaments full whites is the norm. But do check with the captain if you are uncertain.

  • Players should turn up in a timely fashion for their matches, at least 10 minutes before play is due to start.

  • If it is an Interclub match or tournament you will be sent directions regarding times.

  • Time limits need to be agreed and adhered to.

  • If playing a club match and you arrive before your opponent, it is not courteous to practise on the lawn you will be playing your match on. Either practise on another lawn or when your opponents arrive, agree to practise on the match lawn. 

  • In Interclub matches and tournaments you will be told when you can practise

  • The usual consideration of stopping when close to players taking shots and avoiding being in their sight line applies.

  • It is important to report the result of a match as soon as it is completed, either to the onsite manager if Interclub match or tournament or to our club through the website if it is a club match..

  • If possible, stay until prize-giving at the end of the event. The manager also has to ensure that facilities are left in a proper state at the end of the day so any help in ensuring that is achieved would be appreciated.

  • It is also polite and considerate to show appreciation by way of thanking the manager at the end of day.


The links to information about competitions are on the club’s home page in the pull-down menu labelled ‘Croquet’ near the top left of the page.

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