This page provides the latest available news and advice about the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as it applies to the activities of the club.

Update 21st December

The courts are presently still closed for winter maintenance. Following Watford's move into the new "Tier 4" of Covid-19 restrictions, until further notice the only play that will be permitted when the courts are re-opened is single-banked singles, except if all the players on a court are from a single household or support bubble. Booking a court in advance remains mandatory, and the new pavilion will remain unavailable (it is currently in the middle of being decorated anyway). These restrictions will be essentially the same as they were earlier this year between 19 May and 1 June (see below).

Update 1st November

In view of the latest lockdown restrictions, with effect from 5th November for a period of at least 4 weeks ALL courts will be closed and the opportunity will be used to carry out essential winter maintenance.

Update 25th October

In accordance with the latest Croquet Association Covid-19 guidance, with effect from 26th October play is now allowed for up to 6 players per court. So for example a game of singles may now be double-banked with a game of doubles. Two games of doubles may NOT be double-banked.

Advanced booking is still required, and the booking MUST list the names of all those playing.

The rules about 2m social distancing and hygiene in the previous updates below still apply.

Update 1st June

With effect from 1st June, play is now allowed for up to 4 players per court, either double-banked singles or single-banked doubles. Advanced booking is still required.

The block preventing bookings for secondary colours on the courts has now been removed, but ALL individual court bookings must have at most 2 people. So if you want to arrange a game of doubles you should make 2 bookings, one for the "primary" slot and one for the "secondary" slot on a court, with 2 names in each slot.

The rules about 2m social distancing and hygiene in the previous update below still apply.

Update 18th May

Limited play may resume with effect from tomorrow, Tuesday 19th May. Until further notice, play is restricted to singles only, with no double banking. (Exception: doubles are permitted if all 4 players come from the same household.) Key conditions:

The Croquet Association has produced a guide for the main points: CA COVID infographic

Please note that there are still NO public toilets available anywhere nearby.

Update 30th March

The closing date for all the club's all-season tournaments has been put back to 30th April, but it will not be extended beyond that date even if play still isn't possible by then. From the beginning of May all tournaments will be then be available for play to start whenever that becomes possible.

Update 25th March

The Charity 1-Ball tournament scheduled for Thursday 22 April has been postponed until August, and all tournaments and events scheduled for specific dates in May at the club have been cancelled or postponed. Subsequent events will be reviewed later.

Update 24th March

Given the new 'Stay at Home' restrictions introduced by the government, all social and competitive play at the club is suspended until further notice.

General policy

All members should follow the latest government advice at all times in order to protect their own health and the health of others. Beware any unverified information from other sources, even if it appears plausible and comes from someone who claims to be an "expert". Some of this other information is simply wrong, and some of it is even positively dangerous.

The club will try to remain open and available for use by its members to the extent that it is compatible with government advice. Members are asked act responsibly for the welfare of both themselves and other members. However, members use the club at their own risk and should not assume that everyone else has acted responsibly.

Specifically therefore, only when stay-at-home restrictions are lifted and then until further notice, as far as possible wash your hands before and after handling any club equipment, including chairs, the hoop trolley, hoops, balls and especially mallets, and allow only one person at a time inside the storage hut. If you don't have some alcohol-based hand sanitizer, you can bring your own soap and towel and wash your hands using water from the nearby standpipe. Don't socialise inside the new pavilion when it is finished. If you wish to eat or drink at the club you should bring your own drink, mugs and food, and consume them outside at a safe distance of 2m from other people. Then take them and your own rubbish back home for cleaning or disposal; don't leave them in the hut. And remember that you might be spreading the virus onto anything that you touch even if you don't have any symptoms.

Update 22nd March

Government advice is that everyone should practise "social distancing", but that - except for those who have been advised to self-isolate at home - outdoor exercise is still a good thing as long as you maintain a distance of at least 2m from other people. Croquet is a game where it is perfectly possible to play normally while remaining at least 2m away from everyone else at all times, and it can therefore be a useful form of exercise.

All-season club tournaments

All of the internal all-season club tournaments this year will be using a different format than usual, called "Flexible Swiss", which provides the maximum flexibility for members during this time of restrictions and uncertainty. The key points are:

1-day and 2-day tournaments

All tournaments that were originally scheduled to take place on specific dates in the summer will continue being reviewed in the light of the latest circumstances. In line with CA national policy, at least 2 weeks' notice will be given of cancellation of any tournament, and probably more, unless revised government policy or legislation requires changes at shorter notice. Some of these events may instead be postponed until later in the season in the hope that conditions will be better by then.

Inter-club matches

One of the main obstacles to match play is that travel to "away" venues using shared transport is not compatible with "social distancing", so team members would have to travel in their own transport.

Some revised rules for the all-season AC and GC leagues have been introduced, though it is unclear at this point whether it will be possible to complete the leagues this year, as clubs typically have fewer players than usual available to play. The original schedules of rounds have been scrapped or delayed, and clubs can choose when and if they play. It is possible that in some cases the end of the season may be extended through the winter, perhaps to March 2021.

The policy of the Croquet Association in respect of national inter-club competitions has just been published, along with revised deadlines for rounds.