This year, as in recent years, we plan to keep some lawn capacity available for out of season play for those hardy members who enjoy this.
Out of season play is not ideal for the long term quality of fine turf; the turf is wetter and colder on average than in the season, more susceptible to cumulative micro-damage which doesn't repair when the grass isn't growing, and also more suscpetible to damaging fungal infections such as fusarium. Additionally, compaction and wear (particularly around hoop holes) are on a higher scale, the turf takes longer to recover etc. Therefore we will again have some restrictions.
The plan currently is for all 5 lawns to have limited autumn maintenance work in early October, and then a week recovery time. Lawn 5 will be out of action for maintenance for longer to repair some damage near the south boundary. When lawns become available, this will be visible in the lawn booking system. To minimise the effect of wear amd provide some recovery time, a maximum of 2 full lawns will be available on any day, on a rotating basis.
During off-season play, a booking does not guarantee that you will be able to play. It merely gives you priority if the lawn is playable when you arrive. Please note that lawns may be taken out of play, possibly at short notice by Charlie the groundsman, if they are needed for maintenance work, turf recovery or if play would be harmful. We will publish any such unavailability in advance where possible. In any case, if there is snow or frost on the grass we are not permitted to play, and should leave the lawns free for at least an hour afterwards. Play is discouraged if there is significant rainwater or dew visible on the playing surface. The long handled yellow switch may be used to remove dew. Bookings before noon are allowed this winter but there is likely to be dew and also higher level of cumulative harm, so please favour afternoons where possible.
To allow recovery of turf and soil structure around the full lawn hoop holes, new winter hoop holes will be available somewhat offset from the normal positions, and these must be used, or better still use half lawns where the holes have acquired less accumulated wear over the playing season.
We have provided some advice on this website on double banking and on adapting to full lawns after half lawn usage and vice versa.
We may need to review these arrangements in the light of experience, so please keep an eye on this page.
2. Booking and use of half-lawns and full lawns
At a practical level, the lawn booking system has been modified to show each of the 5 east lawns as two entities, suffixed "L/P" and "R/S".
- When a lawn is used as two half sized lawns, then "L" and "R" are relevant: L is for left, as seen from the pavilion and R for right. Double banking on half lawns is not recommended (but of course doubles play is).
- When a lawn is used as a full lawn then it may be double banked (with a game in the same "code"), and in this case "P" is for Primary colours, and "S" for secondary.
When you make a booking, the booking Type will default to "Half Lawn". If you wish instead to book a full lawn, simply change the Type to "Association Croquet", "Golf Croquet" or "Other". The other half of the lawn can then be booked by double bankers so long as they choose the same Type.
When two halves of a lawn are in use, there will be a need for 12 hoops. The right half should use the trolley for the relevant lawn number. The left half can use hoops from a west lawn trolley (6, 7 or 8) or a set of aluminium hoops or even - depending on the users of the lawn - wire hoops.
When any of the eastern lawns is used as two half lawns, the hoop nearest to the pavilion is always hoop 4. When used as full lawns, the hoop nearest to the pavilion is always hoop 1.
Members may - as last year - book a lawn and in the text say they are looking for an opponent. If you do so, we hope you will be willing to concede your space if someone else has an opponent and nowhere else to play. You may also book lawns for solo practice, but please avoid busy times.
Finally remember that if you are having difficulty getting a booking which you want, need or deserve, please contact Rob Edlin-White, or in his absence Beatrice McGlen, or in both their absences, Ian Vincent and we will do what we can to help.
3. General conditions for club play during the COVID-19 pandemic
The club has adopted some temporary rules which can be found here: Rules during COVID-19 Epidemic. These rules must be observed for the safety, health and reassurance of all our members, to comply with the law and to avoid any kind of reputational damage.
The rules refer to the lawn booking system which must be used to book lawns in advance. The system can be found here: Croquet Lawn Booking System. It can be used from desktop or laptop computers or tablets or any device which supports a web browser and has a screen large enough for you to see the content.
Guidance notes have been circulated and can be accessed here: Lawn booking system user guide.
Please always check the lawn booking system before making a journey, even if you have made a booking, just in case something has occured which may affect your booking.
FINALLY PLEASE REMEMBER:
You must remain 2m apart at all times ; particular care must be taken when playing GC not to congregate around hoops.
If you have been to the club and then become sick, have a positive COVID-19 test or have to self-isolate because someone in your household is unwell, then you must inform the club secretary, Ellen Gee, immediately.