Change to Golf Croquet Handicap System.  


Croquet Association (CA) Council has authorised the national roll-out of the Golf Croquet (GC) handicap “New System” in good time for the 2016 season.  Information about it will appear in the February issue of the Gazette (which will be delivered around 10th February), and full details will be on the CA website by 10th February too, but I thought you might appreciate an early “heads up” so you can deal with questions from your members as they arise.


You will be aware that the CA Handicap Committee has been working to find a GC handicap system that is fair for all players.  The Effective Handicap trial was introduced in 2014 to gather information about some of the changes that would be required.  The CA Handicap Committee collected results for 8,300 handicap singles games under both the Effective Handicap trial and previous systems.  From an analysis of this, a New System has been developed which is believed will be stable over the long term and will treat all players fairly.  In 2015, this New System was trialled in the East Anglian Croquet Federation area, with very positive results.  The results of 3,000 further games were collected and assessed, and confirmed the New System works fairly across all handicaps.


The good news is the New System works much like previous ones – only the handicap range and trigger points have altered.  The range has been extended, pulling both upper and lower extremes further apart - and away from the majority of players who have “middle” handicaps (between 11 and 4).  Further good news is that for the majority of players, the conversion to the new system is very simple.


For most players, their handicap will remain the same, but with a new higher index.  Beginners may start at 14 or even 16 if necessary, and at the other extreme the strongest players will have their handicap index set initially from their ranking grade, and their handicaps may run to -3 or more.  There will be some cases which are not so straightforward, such as players with little recent evidence of handicap play, and very low handicap players with no ranking grade.  The attached document gives you more details of the New System; further guidance for handicappers on dealing with these problematic cases will be found on the CA website from 10th February.


Coincidentally, the CA is issuing a new style of handicap card, for both Assotiation Croquet (AC) and GC this year, and these will be sent out to members and clubs shortly by the CA Office.  These new cards will have separate inserts that carry the trigger point table and “points exchanged in level play” information – poster versions of these will be available for club noticeboards too.


Handicap Card Changes


Following a review, the Handicap Committee has had both AC and GC Handicap cards redesigned to make them easier to fill in, as mentioned above.  Each individual member of the CA will receive on in their annual membership pack and clubs will  be given a supply for use from the 2016 season onwards.