AC Association Croquet

This Tournament is an informal one-day Association Croquet singles competition held at Watford. It is primarily for club members and is not in the CA calendar, but there may be a few players invited from other nearby clubs in order to make the numbers up.

Title: September One-Day AC Tournament AC One-Day Tournament
results by year:

Handicaps: AC: any
Date: Saturday 14 September 2013
Number of places: 12
Manager: Simon Hathrell
Entry fee: £5
Format: Flexible Swiss, 4 rounds
18-point games (variant 44(b)(4) in the Laws book),  2-hour time-limit per game.
Mixed formats: Level Advanced, Handicap Advanced or simple Handicap, with the higher handicap player choosing in each game.


  1. Play starts at 09:30, and entrants should expect to play until 6pm.
  2. Refreshments and a light tea are provided but please bring your own lunch.
  3. Winner: the player with the most wins. Tie-breakers, in order:
    1. Wins vs. those tied if they have all played each other.
    2. Net index point gain (so wins played level against a stronger opponent count for more than handicap wins).
    3. "Quality of wins" (i.e. number of wins scored by defeated opponents).
    4. Wins within time.
  4. There will also be a consolation prize for the player, other than the winner, with the largest net index point gain.
  5. Whites are optional (but the manager thinks they look nice).

The weather forecast before the event had suggested that it would be a rather wet affair in the morning, but in the event there was no rain at all and the worst the players had to contend with was rather long wet grass from a downpour the previous night. The sole visiting player, Gabrielle Higgins of Hampstead Heath, was fresh from her participation in the World Championships in August and winning the Spencer Ell Cup only a week earlier. At -1½ she was in a handicap league of her own amongst the crowd of Watford players, who ranged from 2½ up to 24 for Janet Carleton, the only other lady participant. Negotiating her way through the forest of bisques arrayed against her, Gabrielle gallantly tried every possible opportunity to execute a quadruple peel, but unfortunately none was forthcoming on the day; while at the other end of the handicap spectrum Janet Carleton also gamely opted to play all of her games Handicap Advanced and was rewarded with three good wins.

Brian Havill (8) and John Smallbone (4) both made good progress, and by the end of the third round were the only two players on 3 wins out of 3, so the final round saw them playing each other for the tournament title - a manager's dream with no worries about complicated tie-breakers. Electing to play just a simple handicap game, Brian had established a solid lead, but as the time limit approached sent striker's ball off the lawn in a long take-off when both his balls were for peg and peg. John took the opportunity to make a few more hoops but was unable to catch up before time expired, so the game and the title went to Brian.

Meanwhile Mark Homan (7) had cleverly opted to play Level Advanced against 6-handicappers in two of his three wins, thereby gaining 11 index points for each win instead of 10, and the extra 2 index points were sufficient to win him the second prize for the largest net index point gain amongst the remaining players.


Brian Havill     +4T       +7T     +3   +14 4 +38 6 2
Robin Barry     -2T +8 +8             +4T 3 +20 7 2
John Smallbone -4T +2T                 +14 +4T 3 +20 5 1
Mark Homan   -8       +13 +5       +18   3 +22 4 3
Janet Carleton   -8       +8       +13 +6   3 +20 4 3
Gabrielle Higgins       -13 -8   +4   +8       2 -9 2 2
Geoff Johnson -7T     -5   -4     +1T       1 -15 1 0
Nick Archer                 +6 -7 -1 -9T 1 -17 1 1
Arthur Reed           -8 -1T -6   +7     1 -17 1 1
André Machell -3       -13     +7 -7       1 -20 1 1
Alan Clark     -14 -18 -6     +1         1 -21 1 1
Adam Huby -14 -4T -4T         +9T         1 -21 1 0
Handicap Level Advanced Handicap Advanced
Brian Havill
Name Club H'cap
Gabrielle Higgins Hampstead Heath -1½
Arthur Reed Watford
John Smallbone Watford 4
Alan Clark Watford 6
Geoff Johnson Watford 6
Mark Homan Watford 7
Brian Havill Watford 8
Adam Huby Watford 10
Robin Barry Watford 10
Nick Archer Watford 14
André Machell Watford 20
Janet Carleton Watford 24

Handicap change: John Smallbone 4 to 3½