This note is a short introduction to taking part in CA sponsored tournaments and will probably be of interest to newer members of a year or more playing and particularly (but not exclusively) to those playing Golf Croquet. Entering CA tournaments is good for those wishing to increase their competitive play against a wider range of players and visit a greater number of clubs both within and outside of the North West Federation.
The CA sponsors a large number of GC and AC tournaments at clubs through England, and also many instruction courses. GC tournaments are graded by handicap indices. For A level your handicap must be higher than 0 and not greater than 2. B level is 3 to 6 and C is 7 to 12.
Interestingly, you cannot enter tournaments below your ranking but you can enter tournaments above your ranking. So, a 5 handicapper is a B level player and may not enter C level tournaments but is allowed to enter an A tournament. You can enter upwards but not down. A high handicap C level player can enter both B and A tournaments but might well get a thorough thrashing – if they actually get to play.
If a tournament is over subscribed (they typically have a limit of 12 or 16 or 24 places) there is a ‘weeding’ system largely based on handicap with the weaker players not getting a place. This procedure occurs a few weeks before the tournament at the Allocation Date which is specified in the Tournament Calendar. If you lose out you get your entry fee refunded.
The entry, payment and refunding system take place within the Fixtures Calendar. Go to Croquet Association (or Croquet England) website and touch the ‘Compete’ button at the top. Then immediately under ‘Tournaments’ touch ‘Fixtures Calendar’. To get any further you need to sign-up or sign-in; if any problems with this get in touch with me.
The calendar is colour coded, pink/purple for Courses, blue for AC tournaments and yellow for GC tournaments. Please note that virtually all tournaments are Level Play – no handicap matches. Touching the small blue ‘i’ in a circle of any entry takes you to the tournament details. The three most interesting are the Allocation date, ‘enter and pay online’ if you wish to enter and ‘view entries’ which tells you the number of players who have already entered and paid, and their handicap index. Remember that it is not a first come, first served system if over subscribed. A place is only secured by the Allocation system on the Allocation date regardless of when you applied. When this process takes place the unsuccessful players are placed on the reserve list in ranking order. Those at or near the top of the reserve list often get to play due to players dropping out, often very near the start date. B and C level tournaments are one full day of play and A competitions span 2 days.
A few Chester members play in these tournaments and really enjoy them. For example Sarah Clements reached a C level tournament final last year and has entered at least one other C already this year. I played four last year and have applied for three B’s and two A’s at clubs within the NW Federation and in Brighton (Sussex County) and Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Sandy has entered 3 C’s. AC players are also active in these tournaments. At least one couple have signed up for an instruction course.
These CA competitions and courses are a significant resource and are worthy of consideration. The CA website can seem a bit daunting at first but it’s worth persevering. If you need help or want to know more or would like help with pairing up with someone else to have a go then please get in touch with me.