The annual association croquet High Bisque tournament was held at Southwick on 30/31st July.
There was a good entry of 18 players with handicaps ranging from 14 to 24. Unfortunately, one player had to drop out on the morning of the 30th as his wife was ill so a little problem arose! An odd number of players. This was solved by the generosity of SCCC members, David Marcus and Gerald Gooders, who gave some players a game over the 2 days.
Everyone was able to play 6 x14 point games over the tournament.
The event was run as a flexible Swiss- we ended up with 5 players on 4 wins – Anne Bolland (now an 11), Nicholas Beard, Isobel George, Ann Beard and Janet Hoptroff.
The winner was Carol Driver from Purley Bury with 5 wins- well done Carol. She has played in the event before and has participated in some Academy courses and made full use of her bisques to make breaks, so a worthy win.
Many thanks as ever to the coaches who assisted and gave sound advice at the end of the games- Clive Hayton, Morgan Case, Hilary Smith and Deborah Marcus.
Thanks to Southwick for providing excellent catering and lawns.
Finally, my thanks to all the players who helped to make the tournament friendly and fun. Plus, they played some good croquet!
Frances Low- Manager and Coach
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The annual AC High Bisque Tournament was held on 31 July/1st August at Southwick.
We had 16 players in the draw – the format was changed this year and we did not have a 'very high bisquer' section. Anyone with an AC handicap of 14 or more could enter. The handicaps ranged from 14-22 so a good mix.
We also decided to make all games 14 point so players had a chance to peg out! A lot did so it worked well! There were 3 games on both days so a lot of play which is what people want.
The coaches role changed – we went over openings, laws, etc. in the classroom, then the coaches took charge of a lawn. They were available for questions on the laws or adjudicating possible faulty shots, and they de-briefed players at the end of each game.
The play was very interesting with some excellent 4-ball breaks-we were so pleased to see players taking that on board as the easiest way to get round the 6 hoops!Some players need consolidation with the shots and tactics- plenty of courses available for that!
The semi final places were filled by Anne Bolland (Compton)who played David Wicks (Ipswich), and Janet Hoptroff (SCCC)who played Vernon Hewitt (SCCC).
Anne and Janet were victorious and so played in the final. Anne had won all her games so was the slight favourite, but Janet triumphed in the end with some brilliant roqueting and hooping – 14 v 11.
Well done Janet – the winner of the High Bisque Salver!
Janet and Anne also had handicap reductions from 16 to 14.
Congratulations to all who participated. Everyone improved!
My grateful thanks to Clive Hayton, Katharine Minchin, Jonathan Isaacs and John Munt for their coaching skills and support.
Thanks to the SCCC for the excellent lawns and food.
We had brilliant weather with sunshine and blue skies. A very enjoyable, and productive 2 days.
Frances Low – Manager and Coach and Referee
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High Bisque Tournament run by The Croquet Academy.
1/2 August 2016 at Southwick
The annual High Bisque tournament attracted 19 entries this year. 3 were in the supervised group and the rest in the main event - The High Bisque Salver.
The supervised group was run by Katharine Minchin assisted by Steve Lewendon. They had coaching and then supervised games on day 1. On day 2, they took part in the main draw playing 14 point, full bisque games.
The main event was run in 4 blocks of 4 with a base of 10, with the top 2 from each group going through to the quarter finals.The rest played a swizz event of 14 point games. The closest quarter final was between Janet Hoptroff (SCCC) and Pam Gooders (SCCC), with Janet winning 11-10. In the semi finals Janet had a comprehensive victory over Charles Corker (Preston)while Simon Dobson (Rottingdean) narrowly beat Anne Bolland (Compton).
The final was a fascinating contest with many swings of fortune. In the end Simon triumphed over Janet by 18-9. So a new name on the Salver. Simon was playing in his 1st AC tournament and had never pegged out in a match before! To do it in the final was a great achievement. Congratulations to Simon and to Janet for playing some open and positive croquet.
We saw some interesting and competitive matches but some of the stroke play lacked accuracy. Some tactics were unusual but...........................!
Well done all of you and thank you for your support.
It was lovely to see Don and Gene Mears at the final which Don kindly refereed. Gene was of course responsible for running the event for many years.
Hope to see you in 2017 and good luck with your croquet!
Frances Low (Manager and Referee of the tournament)
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The annual high bisque tournament remains a popular Academy event. This year we had 19 entries only – 1 late withdrawal and a clash with Hurlingham seemed to affect numbers.
The High Bisque Salver was contested by 10 players with some excellent croquet and sporting games. The winner after a close contest was Chris Rolph who beat Chris Coull in the final +6. Both players had deserved handicap changes as did Deborah Marcus. We were pleased to see some newcomers and hope they enjoyed the play.
The Supervised group was ably managed by Katharine Minchin assisted by her team of coaches. The higher bisquers played some 14 point games with supervision and as ever the coaching and advice was well received.
The Club provided delicious lunches and we are grateful to all the volunteers from the Club and the Academy who supported this event.
The weather was interesting with an absolute deluge on the first day accompanied by thunder and lightning! What a start – we tried 3 times to start playing but each time had to abandon the games. Thanks to the higher lawns and fast draining we were lucky to get in so many games!
I would like to thank those who took part and we hope to see many more of you next year. It is a marvelous learning tournament with an opportunity to get advice from experienced coaches,and a chance to play new opponents and to have great fun!
The Croquet Academy
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Location: Sussex County Croquet Club, Southwick, West Sussex
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The annual High Bisque tournament was run by the Croquet Academy at Southwick on 14/15 August. There was an exceptionally good entry of 30 players with handicaps ranging from 14-26. The weather was typical hot sunshine one minute, torrential rain the next! The players coped well with all the seasons in one day and just got on with playing!
The main event, the High Bisque Salver was closely contested. Block A was won by Robin Wootton from Sussex CC, and Block B by Charles Ostler from Hunstanton. Both men won all their block games. The final took place at the end of a very tiring day and both players were tense-Robin triumphing in the end! So our chairman Jonathan Isaacs was delighted to present him with the High Bisque Salver he also had a handicap reduction from 14 to 12. The standard of play was higher than last year in the main event with many games being pegged out. My thanks to Pat Jackson for refereeing the final.
We ran 2 supervised blocks this year due to the varying nature of handicaps. The main supervised event was monitored by Jonathan Isaacs and the final resulted in a close contest. David Westall from Chelmsford narrowly beating Janet Hoptroff from Sussex CC. David pegged out in the final and had his handicap reduced from 20 to 18. The other supervised group for very high bisquers and beginners was managed by Katharine Minchin who nursed the players through their games and explained the 4 ball break thoroughly. As ever, some players did not have the shots to cope with the demands of playing a game so that is something for them to work on!
We saw some very interesting and good play and it was pleasing to see many try to use their bisques affectively and set up and maintain the 4 ball break. We were delighted to welcome players from Compton for the 1st time, and parties from Hurlingham and Rottingdean.
The event would not be possible without the support of our loyal coaches and I thank wholeheartedly Jack Davies, Richard Jackson, Steve Lewendon, Alan Theobald, Clive Hayton, Katharine Minchen, Pat Jackson and Jonathan Isaacs for their help and encouragement. I spent most of my time refereeing and I now know that we need a reminder of the laws for everyone in the main event before we start next year! I must also thank Janet Hoptroff, the Academy Secretary, for her patience and efficient administration, and help over the 2 days. Thanks also to Robin Wootton for his hoop setting and the division of lawn 10 into 2 short courts.
We were well served as ever on the catering front by Sharon Theobald, and we remain grateful to all the volunteers who make the tournament possible.
We always take on board suggestions to improve the event, so watch this space for the High Bisque event next year!