spectating a game

COVID-Secure Playing at Bristol Croquet Club

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Issue: 7, 28 July 2020

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History of Changes

Issue 8: Removed reference to "no club competitions" as new club's competitions get underway.
Issue 7: Toilets available. Always put the balls in the bucket after a game. Double-banked singles and single-banked doubles permitted for both GC and AC. Booking times extended to 3 hours max. You may now handle your balls, but not your opponent's. GC clips must not be used. AC clips may be used.
Issue 6: Double-banked AC singles permitted. Limited number of visitors, guests and spectators permitted. Suggest to bring and use your own seat. GC doubles not permitted. Carry the ball bucket to the lawn.
Issue 5: Use of lawn shelters (huts) permitted. You may bring and use your own clips.
Issue 4: Parking and doubles allowed. Court 3b open.
Issue 3: Added advice to consult bisque tables before visiting the club and to bring paper/pen to record scores.
Added an FAQs to help explain some of the new rules.
Issue 2: Firm hoops after lawns have been cut.


Club members are required to comply with everything on this page. Please read it carefully.

This describes how members may use the croquet club while COVID-19 remains a threat and will be updated as we gain experience and learn more.

Playing croquet at BCC is not as safe as staying at home, but these measures mitigate in part the major risks. Each individual is responsible for their own safety and must decide for themselves what risks to take. Make no assumption that someone else has done something for your safety.

Be aware that anything at the club might be contaminated with the virus: entry gate, door handles, surfaces, playing equipment, mallets, balls, bench arms.

Where we recommend wearing protective gloves, we mean disposable (plastic) protective gloves, or domestic "rubber" gloves that you can wash (with soap) or suitably diluted bleach.

Observe Social Distancing by remaining at all times at least 2 metres away from any other person who is not a member of your household. Stay alert! Take special care in the lawn change-over period when lots of people are passing in front of the clubhouse - watch where you walk. Don't be afraid to pull someone up if they get too close to you or someone else: 2m separation means you should not be able to touch anyone with your mallet on an outstretched arm. If you can hit someone with your mallet, they are too close!

If you do not feel the arrangements are safe for you, please talk to the Chairman or another committee member to see what we can do to make you feel more safe.

Do not enter the club grounds if you are feeling unwell and might have COVID-19, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating.

Do Not Enter the Clubhouse

You cannot use the clubhouse, except for using the toilets as described. Hand-washing facilities are available outside. The clubhouse must otherwise remain locked shut.

If your mallet is inside the clubhouse, or you don't own one, contact our equipment manager Wayne Wiseman, who will be happy to issue a mallet or recover yours. Wayne will issue any beginner with a mallet to treat as their own.

What is Permitted

What is Not Permitted

Procedure for Using the Club Toilets

Using the toilet carries a risk and we advise against it. The virus is still around and anyone could be carrying it, though current infection rates are lower than the peak, any surface at the club could be contaminated so stay alert.

Use of Lawn Shelters

You may use the Lawn Shelters next to lawns 2, 3a and 3b (main clubhouse remains closed), but are advised not to.

Procedure for Playing Croquet

That's it!




On this page is the "justification" for some of our decisions. Please feel free to make suggestions for things you think could be improved.

Most of the frequently-questioned rules can be understood by knowing that one key goal was to reduce the possibility of touching something touched by another person - and thereby risk transferring virus from hand to hand and then to respiratory tract.

Whenever something is touched that's not completely under the control of the individual when not wearing protective gloves we recommend immediately washing with soap.

In addition to the government guidelines, The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them is an easy-to-read article on some of the risks.

Why can't we huddle in the lawn shelters?

Social distancing! It is not possible for two people in a shelter to be 2m apart, and, since touching any surface carries a risk of transferring contamination, using the lawn shelters is advised against, but is permitted as described.

What's the Problem with Using the Toilet?

The virus is in an infected person’s body fluids, whether or not they have symptoms. Exhaled droplets remain in the air indoors and deposit on surfaces. Flushing a toilet generates an aerosol that remains in the air and deposits onto surfaces. Any surface touched gives rise to a disease transfer risk.

Why Shouldn't I Touch the Balls

If practising alone, there's no reason not to handle the balls, however, whilst in AC you might initially think that only the striker's ball is touched and when placing it to take croquet, a counter-example is when an opponent's ball is rushed off the lawn, which is particularly common when you hit-in over a long distance or even roquet a yard-line ball. A hand-to-hand contamination risk therefore arises.

Why Shouldn't We Use GC Clips?

GC clips are necessary only for spectators to figure out the state of play. If double-banking, before playing a jump shot, the striker might need to get all four people around the hoop to remove their clips - a completely unnecessary risk.

AC clips are necessary for all but those with an exceptional memory.

Why Limit Guests, Spectators and Visitors?

Government guidelines restrict the number of people who can gather together and we interpret this as meaning "at the club" and the limit is how many people can be on or around one court at any time.

Why Can't we Double-Bank GC or Play GC Doubles?

GC requires all players to be on the court at the same time and it is too easy to break social-distancing rules whilst engrossed in a game or to get in each other's way as the games cross over the hoops.








For more information, please email Chris Frew, who will be happy to help.