spectating a game

Playing at Bristol Croquet Club

Issue: 3, 18 May 2020

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 follow 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!

Do not enter the club grounds if you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating.

Do Not Enter the Clubhouse

Until further notice, you cannot use the clubhouse, nor the toilets. Hand-washing facilities are available outside. The clubhouse must remain locked shut.

If your mallet is inside the clubhouse, you may enter on one single occasion to collect it but then take it home with you. Observe all necessary precautions by assuming everything that you touch is contaminated: door handles, surfaces, your mallet. We recommend that you clean your mallet with disinfectant or suitably diluted bleach.

If you do not own a mallet, please adopt one from the stock in the clubhouse and treat it as your own as described above, returning it to the clubhouse only when these restrictions are lifted.

What is Permitted

What is Not Permitted

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 I Park In The Club

Moving the car into the club creates an unnecessary contamination risk in combination with with the gate - as the first or last person you need to get in and out of the car, and in between touch the padlock and gate, potentially contaminating the car controls. Even if you are not the first, you might be the last. It's a small thing, but completely avoidable by parking outside.

Why Can't I Touch 'My' 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 Can't We Use Clips?

We want to keep the hoops untouched by human hand to reduce the contamination risk not only for players but for and from the people who remove and replace the hoops when cutting the grass and a hoop is often touched when placing or removing a clip.

Clips also represent an unnecessary cross-contamination risk - a clip often falls off when picking up an opposing clip and when running a hoop and is usually then picked up.

Someone might stick in a hoop and be peeled through in the subsequent turn (or in advanced play, multiply peeled through).

Maybe someone can come up with a device for each lawn that no one needs to touch that holds a set of clips and only one of the players moves them at the end of the turn? Then we could keep a set of clips in the detergent with the balls.

Again a tiny risk, but completely avoidable.

Will There Be Any Club Completions This Year?

We are taking one step at a time and nothing is ruled in or out. Things will become clearer as time passes.

Why No Spectators?

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 no Guests?

In fairness to members, access to the very limited facilities is restricted.








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