Nottingham Croquet Club welcomes new members of all ages and backgrounds, including people who are completely new to croquet, and offers a range of activities and support to help you try out, learn, enjoy and master this fascinating, engaging sport, and participate in the life of the club.
Our normal programme of open days, taster events and introductory courses had to be modified in 2020, following club closure due to the CoVID-19 pandemic in the early part of the season. By mid season we were again welcoming potential new members, offering free taster sessions for individuals or single household groups, and running Beginners' Coaching courses.
If you are interested in learning croquet in 2021, do please contact us at any time using the enquiry form. We will do our best to accomodate your needs. Dropping in at the club during the season is also possible - we welcome visitors - but there may or may not be someone present who is free and available to help.
There are two main croquet games commonly played competitively in this and other countries: Association Croquet and Golf Croquet. They have different rules and tactics, but use the same courts and equipment (hoops, balls and mallets) and have the same basic objective of getting balls to go through hoops. In both games the Red and Yellow balls play against the Blue and Black, either as doubles, in which each of the four players has one ball, or singles, in which each player has both balls of a side.
Golf Croquet has the simpler rules and is the more interactive game. Each turn consists of a single stroke and the balls are played in strict sequence: Blue, Red, Black, Yellow, then back to Blue again. Each hoop is a contest in its own right: the side whose ball first scores it gets a point and then all balls immediately go on to try and run the next hoop in order (as with matchplay golf, after which the game is named). As soon as one side has got the agreed number of points (normally 7), the game is over.
Association Croquet is like snooker in structure, in that a turn can consist of more than one successful stroke, in which several points can be scored. The winner is the first side to get both its balls round the course of hoops and hit the peg in the centre of the lawn. Extra strokes are earned by causing the ball you are hitting with your mallet either to run its next hoop or to hit another ball. The latter entitles the striker to two extra strokes: a "croquet" stroke, before which the ball in play is picked up and placed in contact with the ball it hit, and a continuation stroke played from where the ball in play ends up.
The text below describes our New Members' Programme for 2020 as planned prior to the pandemic. The text is retained for illustrative purposes. When we have a 2021 programme this will be updated.
Nottingham Croquet Club welcomes new members of all ages and backgrounds, including people who are completely new to croquet, and offers a range of activities and support to help you try out, learn, enjoy and master this fascinating, engaging sport, and participate in the life of the club. The best way to start is to come to one of our popular free Open Days in May - details here - and then if you would like to take it further, follow it up with our Introductory Membership and Coaching programme detailed below.
In 2020 the club will be running the following Introductory Coaching Courses, mainly for the benefit of new members who have little or no prior croquet experience. They are also relevant if you have played croquet in a back garden or a hotel but haven't played club croquet with tournament class equipment, and may also be suitable for people who joined as new members last year and would value a refresher.
You may participate in any or all of these three courses:
Tuesday evenings, May 19th and 26th at 6 p.m. - 'An Introduction to Croquet' with Derek Blow.
Tuesday evenings, June 2nd to July 7th at 6 p.m. - Follow-on Beginners' Course with Ailsa Lines.
Thursday evenings, June 4th and 11th at 6 p.m. - Moving on with Golf Croquet with Roger Berkeley.
The 'Introduction to Croquet' course is designed to help you quickly learn how to take advantage of the club's facilities, to teach you some strokes and hoop running techniques, and to put it all together in a game which you will be able to play with friends and other club members by the end of the course. There is no need to be a full club member to participate in this course. An Introductory Membership fee of £30 will cover membership for this period, access to the club, use of equipment, the coaching course and coaching materials.
At the end of this course you will be invited to take up full membership of the club for the remainder of the year (to 30th April 2021) for a reduced rate of £60 if you have already paid the £30 Introductory membership (or £90 otherwise). This will entitle you to all the benefits of membership, a Welcome Pack for new members, participation in the follow-on coaching courses, subsequent ongoing support and an opportunity to take part in a beginners’ tournament at the end of the season.
The six-week follow-on Beginners' Course is intended mainy for new members. This course will extend your skills and understanding of the game, teaching you a wider range of strokes and introducing break building and strategy. By the end of this you will be on your way as a croquet player and will be able to participate in a range of activities designed for new players.
'Moving on with Golf Croquet' is a two-week follow-on course consolidating the skills you have already learned, building your confidence and getting your first handicap so you can complete with other club members.
All our courses are intended to be enjoyable and sociable as well as instructive. No croquet equipment is needed; just come with flat-soled footwear and suitably comfortable clothing for an outdoor activity.
This year's beginners will be invited to play against each other in a one day tournament on Saturday 19th September and compete for the Derek Blow Trophy for beginners.
For more information or to register an interest, please contact our membership secretary by using the Enquiries form.