Playing in events – an overview


These are season long events which may be entered by any playing member of the club. Games count for your handicap card except for One Ball. Usually no time limits so do make sure you are available to play to finish – if you have to leave then you lose.

There is usually a closing date and the manager of the event will then arrange what is going to happen based on the number entered.

The format to be used will be down to the manager but is normally either a Block or a Knock Out.

When the event is a handicap event the manager must draw the players into blocks or KO randomly; if level or advanced then the manager is able to seed the draw.

This year (2020) we are trialling a Grass Roots Preliminary event with winner(s) qualifying for the Final in Watford. This is a GC event for handicap 8 and above. To be held on just one day and will have an entry fee.


Finals (if there is one) MUST be played on Club Finals Day so if you are not available on that day it is suggested you “Retire on the Peg” which is a fancy way of saying conceding at the end if it looks like you are going to win. Your opposition will obviously play in the final and you LOSE the points on your handicap card.


Also known as an American Block and often referred to as “All Play All”. Each person in the block will play the others in that block – check the instructions as to if these are single games or perhaps best of 3. The winner will write the results into the block – remembering there are 2 results to enter. The loser should check everything entered properly.

Block winners are determined firstly by number of wins but it is quite normal to have more than one player on a certain number of wins and how these people are considered is written within Tournament Regulations and differs for AC and GC. The manager should write clearly in the instructions how winners will be decided upon.

Both players of any block game are responsible for contacting the other with regard to setting a date and time to play – do not just sit back and wait for the other person to get in touch.      Make sure you are clear on the deadline for the block to be completed.

Obviously a block involves several games – smallest blocks are probably 4 people so everyone will have 3 games to play.

More often than not block play will lead onto another phase of the event and this is usually a KO. I prefer to write out the KO BEFORE the blocks are sorted out – so I would have for example Red 1 will play Yellow 2 etc etc and this way there may not be any jiggery pokery or suspicion of the Manager giving themselves or their best mates an easy ride in the KO.

If just perhaps 2 blocks then often just block winners go to final.


Literally that – you lose and you are knocked out. Think of this as Winner Stays On (Loser Goes Home!)

Each round of the KO will have a deadline date and if you do not play by this date the Manager will need to make a decision on what to do and depending on circumstances will put either one or neither through to the next round.

You will also see what are described as Draw & Process KO events – these are 2 life Knock Out events where the first KO is arranged (either random draw or seeded) and then a second KO is worked out based on the position of players in the first drawn KO. The Process side of the KO (ie 2nd KO) is worked so as you do not play the same opposition again until a much later stage. Sounds complicated to work out eh? And it was....but by someone else and then written down for all to use.

So – a straight forward KO is just one life and a Draw and Process is 2 lives. Therefore unlike a block once you lose a single game in a KO you are out for the rest of the season and the same applies but with 2 lives in the Draw and Process.

Where a Knock Out is used for the internal competition it is possible to also enter the event above your handicap range. For blocks A/B/C/D for example – if you are handicap 6 which enables you to enter C event which is a Draw and Process, you are also able to enter B event. Total minimum games to play is therefore 4.

Please Note:- where blocks are used “playing up” is not permitted as the number of games to be played could go from say 7-10 up to 14-20.

Knock outs are just as it says on the tin so do not progress to another phase. The final of the KO will be played on Finals Day.

  FESTIVAL WEEK (Club members only)

Different AC and GC events, singles and doubles, handicap and level/advanced so really something for everyone – have a look at the entry form and chose something appropriate.

The events are held over 6 days - Monday/Tuesday has seen AC and GC doubles usually handicap play. With only 2 days to get a result it is often necessary to play more games on Day 1 to ensure a final on Day 2. Three games first day and 2 the second is the norm. Wednesday is GC. Thursday/Friday/Saturday is AC Singles.

Depending on entry double banking is used for AC and GC – games are also subject to time limits so bring a timer.

Lunch and afternoon tea – the Manager will try to ensure morning play finishes in time for lunch. The bell is rung for afternoon tea at which point players should have a chat and decide when they will go to take tea – just don’t be hours as delays mid-afternoon lead to late finishes. Don’t forget that everything needs sorting out again each evening so don’t just disappear after your last game – even a quick tidy of the bar area and a bit of washing up helps enormously.

Possibility of a social evening.

Lawns and clubhouse still need to be prepared before play commences so EVERYONE should arrive good and early to help otherwise just 2 or 3 people are lumbered doing everything. Bri These other more official events will be either run by Cheltenham Croquet Club without reference to the CA, or, they are listed within the CA Fixtures Book.

2.1 Non fixture book events Again these are open to playing club members and might also attract entries from visiting players. All such events will have a closing date and it is essential you enter before then.

   There is a cost attached to entering.

Whist Cheltenham CC endeavours to run these events in accordance with Tournament Regulations it is not an absolute necessity.

Lunches may or may not be available. Afternoon tea usual – volunteers?

There are lots of jobs to be carried out prior to the start so members are expected to arrive quite early in order the tasks may all be shared out. As a CCC Member you should be coming to help REGARDLESS OF WHICH CODE THAT DAY’S PLAY WILL BE!

These events have advertised dates and might be 1, 2 or 3 days (or longer) so make sure you know how many days you are expected to play.

2.2 Fixture Book events

These are advertised in the printed Fixture Book and also online within the CA Website.

Players may pay and enter online. 
Must be fully within Tournament Regulations. Open to individual members of CA only.

These will have an allocation date and a closing date – what is the difference? Well, so players might know in advance if they have a place in an event they will enter before allocation date. If there are 32 places available and only 30 people enter by allocation date then all 30 will get a place – if 35 people have applied on allocation date then Premium Members of the CA will receive priority and the rest will go into a ballot for the remaining places. If too many Premium Members they will be the only ones in the ballot.

People may still enter after allocation and before closing date – if the event is full they will go onto the waiting list – if not full places are allocated in order of receipt of entry.

Players pay to enter these events.

Some of these are top class events ie The Coles or the Cheltenham GC A Class but many others are either handicap (so anyone might enter) or Class Singles where anyone might enter and people will play in blocks according to handicap ranges. There are also B Level and C Level events so check out the details to find ones you are able to enter.

One or two events are Selection events such as the Ladies 6’s, if you fancy your chances make yourself available online before the deadline dates and see what the CA Selectors decide.

The Club pays a levy to the CA for utilising the Fixture Book system. Standard Members also pay a levy of £5 per day over and above the amount payable by a Premium Member – this £5 per day levy is due to the CA and forms part of the “tournament” invoice dealt with between the CA and our Tournament Secretary. There are normally 2 entry fees minimum so an Entry Fee for Standards and an Entry Fee for Premiums. CCC also allows a small discount for Club Members entering.

There are more jobs to do each day before play starts such as hoop setting/replacing boards – if events are of a certain grade hoops must be in fresh holes and set each day – daily mowing sometimes a requirement too.

Lots of CCC income earned from these events and it is hoped to attract lots of visitors and get their money out of their pockets.

Lunches are part of the arrangement and must be pre-booked. Afternoon teas expected so volunteers welcomed.

We have been able to provide evening socials if there are lots of visitors; in recent years there have been Chilli Nights, Italian Nights and a BBQ. These extras earn money for the Club – keep people spending at the bar and ensure late play nights are more please watch out for notices as volunteers will be needed.....perhaps to lay tables, help serve, man the bar, do the washing up...every little helps.

If you have not long started playing there is no charge to simply come and watch – you might even learn a thing or two and make some new friends at the same time.

Hope this brief guide helps explain the events put on by Cheltenham Croquet Club. Your Committee does try to ensure a good range of competitions are held thereby giving all Playing Members the chance of entering something – this has to be balanced with hosting CA events such as the British Opens or GC Inter Counties as these do bring in valuable income from not only entry fees/lunches/bar takings but also lawn and ball hire. If you think you might like to enter something but are not too sure please, please contact the event Manager for a chat at any time...or grab me (Julia) – will look forward to it! Bringng a packed lunch but hopefully afternoon tea will bThe lunch area inside and out should be kept clear at all times of paperwork etc and the tables and chairs left in place for everyone to use.

Usually a social 6 days so try to enter – closing for this is very late in the day and last minute entries might be possible so speak to the Manager of the event you fancy and grovel!