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!
An additional Golf Croquet Improvers Course will run on 28th April.
I have added a number of photos from last year's cycle of coaching.
We received the following extract from the Bear of Rodborough CC Newsletter. Caroline is a past student of the Croquet Academy.
Bear of Rodborough Croquet Club
Special Edition Newsletter January 2014
It has just been announced that Caroline has been awarded the Croquet Association’s prestigious Steel Memorial Bowl. This award is made annually to the most improved female player in the country. We nominated Caroline at the end of last season but had no idea of who else may be nominated so it has come as a wonderful surprise to hear this news. The nomination we presented read:
Caroline started learning croquet and joined this club three years ago and also joined Cheltenham Croquet Club earlier this year.
Caroline started 2013 on a handicap of 20 (index 995) and ended the season on 8 (index 1322).
In April, she played in the Budleigh High Bisquers Handicap Tournament which she won;
In May, she played in the Latham Cup Handicap Tournament in Bristol and won;
After playing in the Cheltenham Handicap May Weekend, her index had 25 points added to give her a handicap of 12;
She was the runner up in the Bristol High Bisquers tournament in June;
She won the Cheltenham High Bisques tournament in June;
She entered the Cheltenham Class tournament in July; (cont)
After these and other club matches her handicap came down to 8 by late August.
At Cheltenham Croquet Club this weekend, she won the D class club competition.
She has also played in club competitions at The Bear and has played in fixtures in the South-West Federation leagues.
Of the 91 games she has played this season, she won 63 ( 69.2%) of them.
Caroline will have to wait until the CA AGM in October to receive the award but in the meantime, we can all celebrate her amazing progress and wish her continued success in 2014.
The newsletter subscription box has been removed from the website. It was felt to be no longer useful as Academy communications have been re-organised and it was unlikely further website-based newsletters would be produced.
Virtually all subscribers have other connections to the Academy so they can expect to continue to receive communications from us.
An extra GC Improvers Course is running on 5th May and can be entered now.
The Croquet Academy Winter Coaching Programme 2013/2014
From October to next March, The Croquet Academy are offering one to one and small group coaching.
Suitable for GC and AC players of all levels seeking to improve their game.
Courses will be run by experienced Academy Coaches. Each session will last 3 hours
Cost for non SCCC members -‐ £20 per session including tea or coffee and biscuits.
Session timings will be agreed individually between the coach and the player.
To apply, download, complete the application form and post or email it to: Janet Hoptroff, 111 Mallon Dene, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 2JW Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Academy administrator will identify a suitable coach to meet your needs and arrange for the coach to contact you.
This coaching season is over. Thanks to all who came on courses and helped the Academy.
Once the new programme for 2014 is finalised it will be posted here and a newsletter sent to all registered addresses.