The challenge was to get 20 people playing on the lawn at the same time on the day the lawn re-opened after Spring maintenance.
Really there were 2 challenges; one was to get 20 members to turn up and play on a cold grey day and the other was to find a game that they all could play.
The latter was achieved by dividing the lawn into four 2-hoop courts to play compact croquet, plus utilising the practice area as a fifth. The game on the practice strip was a form of GC, if a little wacky, where no ball could run a hoop until it had “roqueted” a fixed centre ball.
Players were paired into hi-lo handicaps and played doubles GC (10 golden hoops) to ten points followed by alternate stroke doubles AC (turns ending after each hoop was run) to 10 points. Games were limited to 40-45 minutes.
Over the day this sequence was repeated with different pairings. Members came and went during the day, but for a short period either side of noon there were actually 20 players playing – challenge met!
The cold was assuaged by a splendid hot lunch by Freda (and the Chairman is in no doubt that’s the reason why so many turned up!)
During lunch, everyone was asked to vote by secret ballot (discussed over lunch by some) for their “player of the day”. When votes were counted Freda won by a large margin, and received the appropriate bottle of fizz.
As regards the competition itself, much to his amazement, newcomer Brian accumulated the greatest number of points and was declared the winner in his absence. When the following week he gratefully accepted his bottle of fizz he claimed all credit was due to his partners on the day – Geoff and Doug. It just goes to show that in croquet you are in with a chance of winning at any level!