On Sunday 25 September 2022 on a cool but fine day, there were 28 players taking part in the Inaugural GC Handicap Advantage Tournament. Due to numbers, the event was run over two venues with 20 players in three blocks at Fendalton Park Croquet Club and 8 players in one block at Holmes Park Croquet Club.
Canterbury Croquet Association in New Zealand is the first to run an Advantage Handicap Tournament with so many players, and there was some good feed back from the players to send to the organizers in the UK to improve the system further. Auckland also ran Advantage Handicap Tournaments on Sunday with fewer players and limited handicap ranges.
The overall response from our players was very much in favour of this new system of handicapping and as the UK organizer noted, we are still learning and refining. The different starting score and method of using pegs for a positive or negative score was taken on board by the players with some great croquet being played. I wish to thank the players for their sportsmanship, great atmosphere and being willing to learn about the different method of scoring and pegs.
My thanks go to Gay Jones as the assistant manager at Holmes Park, and to Mike Dawson and Sylvia MacFarlane as referees for the day and to the host clubs.
The final results were Winner: Patrick Conolly from Cashmere Croquet Club with Runner-up Kevin Freeth from Blenheim. Third was Neville Turner from Rangiora and fourth was Mike Bunce from St Martins.
Full results are at https://croquetscores.com/2022/gc/cca-singles-handicap
Vilna Gough-Jones (Tournament Manager)