Winter Rules are not in operation
Revised 20 April 2023
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V8: AC rolls allowed but discouraged.
V7: AC rolls restricted.
V6: Jawsed ball moved 1½" clear of the hoop.
V5: No need to play from the side of the hoop.
V4: Winter Rules apply from when the Committee decides each year.
V3: Blocking balls should be moved when a ball is played from beside a hoop.
Restriction of hoop running during warm-up and practice.
See also the Bye Laws.
The first user of a lawn each day must swish away any worm casts before play starts. Swishing can be necessary year-round, and is especially important during the wetter times.
Worm casts are very common at this time of year and treading on one creates a muddy patch that generally kills the grass underneath. That grass won't regrow until spring.
The Winter Rules may be called into force by the Committee or Grounds Secretary to reduce the risk of long-term damage to the court surface due to play when the ground is softened. When in effect, they apply to all use of the lawns, AC and GC.
During the winter period, the lawn surface is softer and the grass slower-growing so it's easy to cause long-lasting damage. In particular, indentations (called rabbit runs) form where a ball runs through a hoop and these seriously affect playing the game. The (completely valid) tactic in GC of jawsing a ball (playing it into but not through the hoop) means that a ball is on an exact spot in the middle of the hoop, concentrating wear precisely where we don't want it.
These Winter Rules help to preserve the surface whilst allowing us all to enjoy a game. The intention is to interfere as little as possible with the tactical balance of the games and the Committee welcomes your views on improving them.
The hoop's jaws is 'the space enclosed by the inner surfaces of the uprights and the planes of the playing and non-playing sides' - it's the green bit in this hoop-and-ball plan view. A ball is 'in the jaws' if any part is in the green bit.
Take note of the hoop positions as these can be over a yard from where they normally are. Some boundaries have also been moved, and courts are not full-size. These changes will have a big effect on some shots
Games played under Winter Rules should not be recorded on your handicap card.
The Committee is interested in your feedback on the rules modifying play (jump shots, jawsed balls, and starting positions).