President’s Report

 I take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and, as Kaye would say, Happy Hooping in 2020.

Your 2020 CCC Calendar will be included in the February Newsletter. Robert King, President, 0419 419 272

Play at Sydney Croquet Club

Sydney Croquet Club has kindly invited us to play at their Club from Monday 16 December into January, whilst our greens are being rejuvenated. Their Club is available on Wednesday mornings, Friday afternoons and Saturday afternoons. I have the key – ring 0419 419 272. Fee = $5.00pp each visit. Address is 50 O’Sullivan Road, Double Bay (same entrance as Woollahra Golf Club).

Skills and tactics have been our focus on the greens in November.

Alix Verge and Alison Sharpe, both elite Australian GC Champions, have given us lots to think about and practise, during their coaching sessions. If you see little red books on the lawn you might like to encourage the scribes as they record their successes.

Alison Sharpe’s ‘Sharpe Shots’ Coaching Clinic

Alison Sharpe (GC Australian Champion) ran two coaching workshops in November. They were extremely informative, with all participants appreciating Alison's willingness to share her wealth of knowledge. She encouraged us to play lots more singles games to work on our handicaps. We have set aside Thursday afternoon especially for handicap singles (no doubles!).  This year that means on 5 December (but not on 12 December as we have a social hiring). These afternoons will give members a chance to improve their skills without having a partner to rely on or blame!!! Alison is available for personal coaching on or 0423 105 913.

PPEP – Player Pathway to Excellence Program

CCC hosted a very successful two-day workshop funded by the NSW Government and sponsored by CNSW during November. Alix Verge was the leader, assisted by Alison Sharpe. How lucky we were to have two World Champions coaching us on how to improve our croquet skills! The program was aimed at supporting middle handicap players to improve their skills with coaching, including videoing each player’s stroke, planned practice drills and discussing the importance of psychology and a positive approach. There were 18 participants, ten from Coogee, some from Mosman and Sutherland too. It is expected that the majority of these players will go on to use their improving skills in external croquet competitions. Alix Verge set us numerous practice tasks.

Expect to see little red books on the lawn as members record their performance at each practice task. Maybe Coogee will see another World Champion one day?

A special thank you to Helen Sen who organised food for two days and arranged a great group of helpers. Thank you: the food was much enjoyed, and support of many club members appreciated.

Playing at Other Clubs in 2019

In the November Newsletter there was a report on the Makara Competition. Here is a further report of our members ‘playing out’. It’s great to have members entering outside competitions, and to note Kaye's invitations to referee at other Clubs’ competitions.

The Mosman Prize and Other Events

Coogee was represented at Mosman on 1-3 November by Kaye Martin, Val Lloyd, Werner Kos and Steve Burns all of whom acquitted themselves in their usual friendly way. Werner, Kaye and Steve all came third in their respective blocks, so congratulations to them. As always, all three days were played in a competitive and friendly manner, much enjoyed by all those who took part. The lawns were a pleasure to play on with the ball for the most part ending up where it was directed! We plan to be there again next year with more Coogee players. Congratulations to our adventurous players!

Val, Kaye, Werner and Steve at Mosman

Playing croquet with other Clubs is a great chance to develop skills and tactics. Croquet: life - be in it! We hope you plan to play at other Clubs next year and take a mini holiday at the same time.


CCC has an increasing number of members playing in external competitions and if a player changes handicap during one of these competitions it would be appreciated if you could email CCC Handicapper, Sue Hamilton ( to ensure all records are kept up to date.

You should also be aware that you can bring your handicap up to date on the CNSW website: Croquet New South Wales

Our Club Competitions

Competitions have been fun this year. Club winners will be celebrated at our Opening of the Season and Awards Presentation on Saturday 8 February 2020. Randwick City Council Mayor Councillor Danny Said and our State Government Local Member of Parliament – our Patron – Marjorie O’Neill MLA, have been invited.

80 and Over Competition!

We are looking forward to a fun afternoon on Friday 6th December with our 80 and Over Competition being run before the Christmas Party. If you are 80 and over (or soon will be) and are keen to enter this competition but have not yet spoken with Sue, please contact her ASAP at or call 0413489743. It is expected the competition will start at 2pm but this time may change depending on the number of entrants. All competitors will receive the draw by Wednesday 4th December. As only one green will be in use, others can still play.

The Hi-Lo Handicap Competition in November proved to be a huge learning curve for some and a pleasant time over two days of play, in spite of the heat on Day 1.


The Tuesday Community College classes for the public have been successfully run by Sue Hamilton with assistance from Robin Sen. How many of us joined after these great introductory lessons?


Planning to Play at Other Clubs in 2020

Let’s ‘play out’ next year … and take a 'mini holiday’…

Other Club Competitions and those run by CNSW are well worth the time to enter, as continuous play for 2 to 4 days can (hopefully) improves one’s game, besides being a great opportunity to watch some of Australia's best players. New friendships are made, and much social chat ensues.

I would like to strongly encourage more members to think about a few days ‘away’, maybe in the country or in the city. Transport can always be arranged.

Val Lloyd, Games Captain


  • Check out the CNSW website (CNSW web link to the ‘Events’ page) to see where and when other clubs are playing competitions, or just plan to visit another club. NB: Invitations from other clubs for 2020 have been emailed to you AND a copy will be posted in the white folder on the bench in the Clubroom.

  • Werner recommends – a separate website from CNSW. It gives you croquet competition scores from around the world, including major play in Australia with tournaments in which Coogee members participated.


  • The CNSW website links include a list of handicaps that you can adjust yourself, coaching tips, details of every club in NSW and besides CNSW events, other club events are listed. Set up your own ‘sign in’ to access personal details.

Referee’s Rambling

The Hi-Lo handicap competition was hotly contested with new and not so new competitors all acquiring new tips and tricks. Following are some incidents which required rule application.

Ball off the Court.

Black misses clearing Yellow from the playing side of hoop 9 in a forceful stroke, hits the Bream Street boundary and bounces back onto the court a couple of yards. On his next stroke, does he play from there?   No, the ball must be placed back precisely where it crossed the white boundary line. Rule 6.5.3 Relief may be claimed if necessary.

Overlapping play.

The owner of Green plays from beside Hoop 1 towards Hoop 2. The owner of Pink which had run Hoop 1 plays before the Green ball has come to rest. Two balls cannot be in motion at the same time as the result of strokes played by both sides. The Pink ball was replaced, and the next stroke of that Pink ball was treated as having been declared to have been played, ie. Pink didn’t get to play again after the Green ball stopped. Rule 12.

Wrong Ball.

The owner of the Blue ball played Black.  The opponents realised a partner ball had been played and chose the ball swap option. It was a wise choice; they won that hoop. Rule 10.4.2

Interference. This happened more than once. A struck ball hit another player’s foot. The question was: is this a fault against the person attached to the tingling foot? No, it is not a fault but is referred to as interference. It doesn’t matter if it was the opponent’s or partner’s foot or the referee’s.  The stroke is not replayed. The ball is placed where the sides judge that it would have stopped had there been no interference. Rule 9.2.4

Scoring Clips when used, are to be placed on a hoop immediately after it is scored unless doing so would interfere with the next player striking their ball.  It is to be placed prior to the next hoop being run. This is not in the Rule Book but is common practice.    For example, at a tournament away when I was refereeing, the player of Green ran hoop 12, placed the clip on and announced the score as 6 – 5.  At hoop 12!  When I queried that he said it was because his opponent had one clip remaining. Not placing clips can lead to confusion either during or at the end of the game, as that one did.

Faults. One ball was struck quite strongly from an angled position, close to the hoop. This resulted in the ball, while still in contact with the mallet touching the hoop, therefore a crush with the ball between the mallet and hoop. Rule 12.2.6   Two balls were in very close proximity, the striker played her ball away but accidentally touched the other ball with the side of the mallet. Rule 11.2.8 Opponents in both cases had the option of leaving the balls where they came to rest or replacing them where they were before the stroke was played.

Order of Hoops. It is surprising to note many members, not necessarily the newer ones, are not familiar with the order of hoops. For the last three plus years new members have received a diagram explaining the order.  If you would like another diagram, let me know by email.  We set up our courts with Blue and Red topped hoops diagonally opposite.  Remind yourself that the Blue top is Hoop 1 the first time round and 8 the second. The Red topped hoop is 3, and 10 the second time around, then 13 if required. So Blue is 1 and 8, Red is 3, 10, 13. Remember that and you can’t get lost.

Timed Games. The games in the Hi-Lo competition had a time limit of 50 minutes. The timer of one game may be paused if play is held up by the other game. This occurs generally when both games are playing toward the same hoop, naturally from different directions.  However, it may also be stopped if the player from game one needs to play through the balls from game two. Stopping the timer is usually more practical then asking for all four balls to be marked and lifted to allow game one to play across. Rule 17.3

Thank you all for your willingness to abide by the rules and in many cases, for making a concerted effort to become familiar with them. I believe it makes a positive difference to our game and as well, has us dancing to the same beat!

Happy hooping, Kaye

Club Newsletter
December 2019