Club partial reopening for members

Good news from Nottingham Croquet Club – partial re-opening for booked play

Following the closure of the club for the first part of the 2020 season due to government restrictions on movement arising from the coronavirus epidemic, we are very pleased to announce that as a result of the recent relaxations of the "lockdown" rules, we are now able to re-open our lawns – albeit in a rather limited way – for pre-arranged singles games between members. 

Sadly we are not at this time able to run open days, matches, tournaments or coaching events, nor to welcome new members, visitors or spectators. We look forward in due course to being able to resume those activities too.

Before you all start dusting the cobwebs off your mallets and finding those shoes you know you had last year, there are some strict rules that you must read, which have been sent by email and are copied below. Please follow these rules – it looks a lot of reading but most of them are common sense and they are required to comply with the Government’s and the CA’s guidelines, along with some of our own local rules to keep everyone safe.

The club is strictly members only under these temporary restrictions and only players (no spectators) should go to the club.  We now have an online lawn booking system which must be used – no-one is permitted to turn up and play without booking. A guide to using the booking system has been sent to members by email and is available via the new "Lawn booking" menu item, which also contains a link to the system. Your username and password will be sent by email on Friday morning. If you do not receive a username and password, check your spam or junk box first. If it is not there it probably means you have not paid your subscription yet this year.

There will be a lot of members wishing to get out in the sunshine and play, so please be considerate to your fellow members when making bookings. You will only be able to make one booking a day and there is a maximum time limit of 3 hours.

Finally, for those of you who will not be able or willing to venture out yet, we have not forgotten you and look forward very much to when we can all meet again in much more normal circumstances.

Take care everyone and look after yourselves.


Nottingham Croquet Club

Additional local rules for play during the covid-19 crisis. Issued May 12th 2020

Following UK government restrictions due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the club has been closed for the first part of this season. Government announcements on Sunday 10th May provide a partial relaxation of the restrictions on activity in public spaces, including certain outdoor non-team sports, which will allow us to partially re-open the club for play with some very specific constraints.

The committee has considered the Government advice and that of the Croquet Association, and believes play at the club can be resumed from Saturday 16th May 2020 subject to a range of limitations and protocols explained below. These limitations and protocols are intended to keep our activities legal and responsible and to keep everyone safe.  The pavilion will be equipped with extra supplies to support the more stringent cleansing measures now required.

A: Access and Booking

  1. First and foremost, do not come to the club if you or someone in your household are experiencing any symptoms of a cold or flu, in particular a cough or high temperature. Use the NHS website or helpline and seek advice. For your own protection, follow government advice about self-isolation and shielding if you are, or are living with, someone in one of the vulnerable groups.
  2. Only members who have paid at least an interim subscription this season are permitted to play.
  3. You must have booked a lawn on the club’s new online booking system ( before you arrive at the club. If you do not have access to a computer or are having any difficulty using the system then you can book by contacting Rob Edlin-White or Beatrice McGlen, at least a day in advance. Guidance for use of the online system is provided on the club website.
  4. When booking, please have consideration for those members who are working. If you are available during the day on weekdays please book these slots first. As usual, to prevent excessive wear, please don’t book lawn 1 if alternatives are available.
  5. So that Charlie can work safely, no bookings will be allowed when the lawns are marked for maintenance.
  6. Only two people are permitted on each lawn unless you all belong to one household. The name of every person playing must be on the booking.
  7. Guests, visitors and spectators are not allowed. The park is open to the public but please close gates where possible to discourage onlookers.

B: Preparation

  1. Please arrive and depart as close to your booking time as possible. Do not stay at the club to socialise.
  2. Our normal car park is closed and locked. The car parks by the Djanogly Lakeside pavilion (5 minutes’ walk east of the club) are recommended. After 4:30 and at weekends the university parking is unrestricted. The layby remains for deliveries and blue badge holders only. There may be one or two places in the entrance to the hockey club but these should be used only by those who cannot walk as far as the Lakeside, and entrances must not be blocked. Bicycle racks are provided by the main gate.
  3. Bring your own mallet. If you leave your mallet at the club it should be clearly labelled with your name (not just initials). If you do not own a mallet then you can select a club mallet and clearly label this with your name on a band around the shaft. Do not use a mallet with someone else’s name on it.
  4. Bring your own chair if possible. 
  5. Arrive dressed for the game if at all possible. If you need to change footwear, do it outside.
  6. If you wish to eat and drink, please bring your own supplies and consume them outside.
  7. There will be no clips or bisques. Bring paper and pen to note clip positions, or counters for bisques. There will also be no corner flags or corner pegs.

C: Arrival and setup

  1. All required equipment will be stored in the East (“croquet”) pavilion. The padlock has the same 4 digit code as last year – please ask if you don’t know it. There should be no need to access the West (“bowls”) pavilion.
  2. The park staff may have left the normal gate to the East lawns locked, to discourage unwelcome visitors, in which case use the side gate. The code for the padlock is as above.
  3. The pavilion is to be used only for hand washing, equipment storage, and any necessary toilet usage, not for socialising, eating, changing, cooking, using the bar or lockers, sheltering from weather etc
  4. On entering the pavilion please wash your hands and then use one of the wipes on the manager’s table to clean the padlock, door handles and anything else you have touched, then wash your hands again.
  5. Fill a bucket with soapy water using washing up liquid and take it with a cloth and the trolley to your lawn. Clean the balls, hoops and peg using the cloth and soapy water. There will be no corner flags, corner pegs, bisques or clips.
  6. Set up your lawn then wash your hands again. When setting up or taking in the equipment, only one player should touch any hoop, ball or centre peg.
  7. If you need to use a club chair, clean it thoroughly before and after use. Prefer the park benches or hut benches where available, or bring your own camping seat. Seats should not be shared.
  8. Avoid using the toilets if possible. If you use them, wash your hands before and after, and also sanitise anything you have touched (flush handle etc).

D: Play

  1. During play, and at all times, remain always at least 2 metres from your opponent (and anyone else). Observe the Government’s social distancing guidelines assiduously, including when going to and from the lawn. Consequently, do not shake hands before or after a game.
  2. Use your feet rather than hands to position balls where you can do with sufficient precision. Use pen and paper or counters instead of clips and bisques.
  3. Players should be their own referees and acknowledge faults and errors if they occur.
  4. The stop boards may not all be put out yet. If you regularly hit the ball hard then please book one of the bowls lawns (6-8). If you anticipate a ball going off a boundary where it may go missing, please ask your opponent to try to stop it by foot or mallet. If you do lose a ball then immediately mark where you think you lost it and if you cannot then find it please let the club secretary know with a detailed description of where you last saw it.
  5. Do not move stop boards; if your backswing is hampered by one, if necessary agree a minimally sufficient ball movement with your opponent.

E: After play

  1. After play, use the cloth and bucket of soapy water to clean everything that you have touched i.e. all the balls, hoop tops, peg and trolley handles before returning the trolley to the pavilion. Wash your hands again before leaving.
  2. Take all rubbish and personal belongings home with you. Do not leave it in the pavilion or in any indoor or outdoor bins.
  3. If you start to feel unwell with a cough and/or temperature or if you have a positive covid-19 test at any time after playing at the club please let the club secretary, Ellen Gee, know immediately for contact tracing purposes.