COVID-Secure Playing at Bristol Croquet Club
Issue: 7, 28 July 2020
History of Changes
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
AC clips may be used.
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.
: Use of lawn shelters (huts) permitted. You may bring and use your own clips.
: Parking and doubles allowed. Court 3b open.
: 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.
: 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
- Use of a court booked in the online booking system before travelling to the club to play:
A game lasting no more than three hours:
Singles can be double-banked on full lawns,
Doubles must be single-banked (max. 4 people to a full-size court)
Single-banked singles bookings are permitted from 5PM for people who feel unsafe double-banking
- For a single-banked booking, book both primary and secondary slots on the lawn. Please only do this if you feel unsafe, not because you
don't like double banking
- When double-banking, allocate benches to games to ensure social distancing
- Individual (or household) practice session lasting no more than one hour
- Bring your own food and drink if you want it
- Bring your own chair if you want to be sure of a seat - there might not be enough bench space to maintain suitable distancing
- You may use your own personal AC clips that you bring with you, but must avoid touching the hoops - do not use GC scoring clips
- You may use the lawn shelters (huts) subject to details below
- Up to 2 spectators per lawn are welcome, but members only. They must
maintain social-distancing and notify Derek Stanley by email within 24
hours for track-and-trace recording (players are in the DBS).
Seating priority for players - spectators should bring their own chair to be sure of somewhere to sit
- Members may bring guests as in the normal club rules, but their names must be given to Derek Stanley by email within 24 hours for
track-and-trace recording. The member must ensure that their guests are aware of our COVID-19 rules.
What is Not Permitted
- Don't enter the clubhouse for any reason other than to use the toilets as described
- No more than 4 people allocated to a lawn
- Avoid physical contact: no shaking hands! Observe social-distancing: remain more than 2m away from all others
- Do not use GC scoring clips: agree the score as each point is scored
- Do not use bisques or extra-stroke markers: use your own method or agree at each turn - do not leave coins lying around (they can damage machinery) - use fir cones or sticks if you need to
- Do not touch court equipment, including stop-boards: don't touch the hoops or peg
- Move your ball into court if obstructed by a stop-board
- Do not touch your opponent's balls with your hands during play: position them with your feet or mallet
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.
- Do not enter the clubhouse other than to use the toilet; do not enter the kitchen area or any other room.
- A mallet on the top step outside the clubhouse is a signal that the toilet is occupied and no one else should enter the clubhouse. Place your mallet there to signal others.
- Leave a minimum of two minutes between the clubhouse being vacated and you entering it.
- Use the hand sanitiser gel before touching the clubhouse door handle.
- All internal doors are propped open and should remain so even while the toilet is in use. If you must close the door for privacy, make sure you sanitise what you touched.
- Leave the windows open, don’t touch the light switch (leave lights switched off).
- After using the toilet, close the lid before flushing to minimise aerosol spread.
- Use the disinfectant spray and paper towel on anything you touched as well as around the toilet and hand basin bowls. Don’t put wipes or paper towels into the loo.
- Wash your hands.
- Dispose of the used items in the big bin (there's one just inside the clubhouse door).
- Wipe the exit door’s inside handle with disinfectant spray and paper towel, dispose of the items in the bin
- Lock the clubhouse door behind you and sanitise your hands and the handle.
- Report your entry to the clubhouse within 24 hours to Derek Stanley. This is essential for effective track and trace.
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.
- Both doors must be fully open and pinned back
- People inside a shelter must be more than 1m apart and must not face each other (face the entrance)
- Sanitise hands after touching the doors or any surface inside
Procedure for Playing Croquet
- Before travelling to the club:
- Book a court in the online booking system
- up to 2 hours for a game, up to 1 hour for practice
- Gather what you will need to use at the club:
- Soap, towel, hand-sanitiser, plastic or rubber gloves, pen and paper
- Consult bisque adjustments in shortened games and for smaller lawns.
- If playing in a competition, check the rules
- On arrival at Cedar Park:
- If first at the club, for maximum protection, we recommend that you wear protective gloves to unlock the gate, and right through the following until you are ready to play, remembering that getting back into your car without washing might contaminate the controls
- Do not enter the clubhouse
- The available lawns are set out except that corner pegs and flags are missing
- Do not move or touch any of the court equipment
- The first players after lawn mowing must use the rubber mallet (with protective gloves) to firm the hoops on their (and any unoccupied) court. The mallet is in the white-lining shed
- Retrieve balls, which are stored in (strong) detergent solution in buckets in the white-lining shed (behind and to the left of the clubhouse) - take the bucket to your lawn
- If you take-over the balls from a previous game, we recommend that you wash the balls as described
- Wash your hands using the tap on the right-hand end of the clubhouse and the soap and towel you brought with you (there might be soap and hand-sanitiser available, but don't rely on it)
- When you finish play:
- Place the balls to the bucket and return it to the shed unless there are other waiting to play.
Do not offer to leave the balls out for the next game on - they must go into the detergent between games.
- Ensure that the balls are covered with the strong detergent liquid by topping-up if necessary
- Close the shed door and use the rotating tags to keep it shut - there is no lock
- Wash your hands
- Take your mallet home
- If no one remains on the club premises, lock the gate
- We recommend you wear protective gloves to do this - assume the gate and padlock are contaminated, remove the gloves before getting into your car
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.
Will There Be Any Club Competitions This Year?
A number of semi-informal competitions are underway and you can join in by contacting the organiser.
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.