Croquet Victoria
Advancing Croquet in Victoria

Tournament Management

Managing a tournament

Your club has decided to hold a tournament. You have been asked to take on the role of Tournament Manager. What do you need to do?

This page provides the essentials from Croquet Victoria's Managing a Croquet Tournament (2018)*, plus links to additional resources.

It includes a preamble and three sections:

What makes a good tournament manager?

During the tournament
Follow up

If you have a question which isn't covered or a suggestion for a topic to be included, do get in touch - email

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the development of these resources.

* Managing a Croquet Tournament (2018) was funded by a Supporting Victorian Sport and Recreation grant to Croquet Victoria from the Victorian Government. It was distributed at a workshop for tournament managers in October 2018. A copy is also being provided to each club, and a small number of copies will be available from the Administrator, Croquet Victoria.

What makes a good tournament manager?

Passion, commitment and enthusiasm - demonstrate it
Positive attitude  - no negatives
Able to work with people - listen
Innovative - be able to adapt to blockers
Stand firm on your decisions - resist prima donnas
Strong communicator - be clear, precise, encompassing.

Source: Brian Reither




List of forthcoming tournaments:

Events earlier in the season:

Set the date

Discuss the proposed dates and times with your club committee.

Most tournaments are listed in the calendar issued each June by the Croquet Vic Tournaments and Fixtures (T&F) Committee. If you can, get your tournament listed in this calendar – closing date is 30 April each year. Email

If you’re too late to do this, check your dates online to avoid clashes. Notify the chair of T&F of your event so it can be included in the online listing. Email

See the Croquet Australia Tournament Regulations, on the Croquet Australia regulations page .

Plan the event

Establish a Tournament Committee

Manager, referee, handicapper, other club members. Catering Manager if you have one.

Laws / Rules
Current AC Laws can be downloaded from the ACA website at

Current GC Rules can be downloaded from the ACA website at
(you may need to scroll down to find them).

Current booklets are available from the Croquet Victoria office, as per the order form.

Hoop width
Normally 3 11/16" for Div 1, Open, low handicap events; 3 12/16" for other events. Tolerance is +- 1/32". See the Croquet Australia Tournament Regulations on the Croquet Australia regulations page.

Time limits
If games are untimed, the tournament manager may still impose a time limit in advance of a particular round or in the case of a game exceeding 2 hours (AC) or 1 hour (GC). See the ACA Tournament Regulations 16.1 and 16.2.

Calculating numbers
Use this document if you need help working out how many sessions, games and participants your courts can accommodate during the days you have available.

Determine the scope of the event

  • Handicap or level play?
  • Singles? Doubles? both?
  • Sections and handicap ranges. Entry fee, prizes if appropriate. Start and finish times each day. Hoop width. Balls to be used. Dress requirements (Croquet Vic policy is whites and club colours).
  • Untimed games or timed games (how long? finish on bell? or extra turn after bell?)
  • Referees: supervising or on call?
  • Will participants be able to specify times they can’t play (eg “protection for weekend players”)?
  • How many participants are you planning for? How many sessions and games can your courts accommodate? - see Calculating Numbers on the left.
    It is helpful to start thinking fairly early about how you might manage the draw - see Organise the draw, below.
  • Set a closing date for entry and a date for announcing the draw.

You will need to include these points in the Tournament Conditions on your flyer.

You also need to mention that the event will be played under the current Laws of AC / GC, and that entry is limited to affiliated members of WCF member associations.

Most tournament flyers indicate that the tournament will be played in accordance with the ACA Tournament Regulations. Do read through these regulations, especially the section on American Events. This covers requirements for round robin events including how to decide the winner.

If your flyer mentions using these Regulations you are bound to abide by them. You can announce different rules if you like, but they must be included in your flyer.


The catering team at Monash

Other activities

  • Will you offer lunch, a BBQ, an evening meal?
  • Who will be responsible for refreshments / meals?
  • Do you want to run other activities in conjunction with the tournament, eg raffles, book fair, sale of goods?
  • Do you want to get sponsorship?
  • Will you offer billeting?
  • Prior to the tournament, will players be able to practise at the courts you are using?
Check the Upcoming Tournaments page for example flyers.

Prepare your flyer

  • One in .pdf format for your club website* (this will automatically be published on the Croquet Vic tournament website and be sent to all clubs).
  • Maybe another one for local distribution.
  • Keep it simple and attractive. You do need to include all the tournament conditions and the dates and venue/s of the tournament. It is usual to include a proviso that handicap ranges will be finalised depending on entries.
  • Acknowledge any sponsors already supporting the competition. Mention meal and practice arrangements, and billeting if available.
  • Ask entrants to provide name, ACAID, club, current handicap, any restrictions on availability (if you are offering flexibility).

* Get someone to proof read this document for you. You need to be sure it is complete and accurate before you publish it on your club website! It will be automatically emailed to about a hundred people.


Contact the players in your area

Approach players who have attended regularly in the past and others you think may be interested. Don’t wait for them to contact you. A personal approach is compelling.

AHS1 handicap reporting form
This is suitable for both AC and GC.

Reference manual for club and tournament handicapping

Hilary Hughes-Jones, Drysdale, who has recently been training to become a tournament manager. (From Facebook.)

Organise your resources

  • Contact person for prospective participants
  • Members to help run the tournament; advertising; catering. Venue managers if you are using more than one venue.
  • Referees including venue referees if required (Tournament Referee does this if you have one)
  • For handicap events, a Tournament Handicapper. This role may be taken by the Tournament Manager
  • Download the AHS1 handicap reporting form from the website.
  • Sponsorship: confirm involvement with your sponsors, check if they would like to attend at the beginning or end of the tournament.


Contact the Croquet Vic office if you do not have the username and password for the tournament page on your club website.

If you are new to Croquetscores, use the site for practice.
Contact the chair, Tournaments and Fixtures, if you can't find anyone locally to advise you on Croquetscores.

Go online

  • Check the tournament information on your club website – are the dates and sections correct?
  • Will you want to use Croquetscores? If this is new to you, ask around for someone to show you what to do.
    Maybe other club members can learn to use Croquetscores too.
    Very useful for processing results, as well as publishing them to anyone who is interested.



Decide on the format of the opening

Do you want to book a dignitary to open the tournament?
This will need to be done well in advance.





Brian marks the lines at Brunswick; Rex with the super sopper at Essendon.

Physical preparation

Get the lawns ready. Talk with green keeper or members involved with court maintenance about mowing, court preparation, moving hoops, marking lines.

Arrange with partner organisations if you are using other lawns (bowls, tennis?)

Inspect all courts to be used and identify any special damage or conditions for which relief will be given.

Check condition of your balls. Use the best batches of balls (don’t mix batches).

Check equipment: timers, hoop clips, centre pegs and extensions, corner pegs and flags, thermometer in case of hot weather. Coins for tossing. Drinking utensils, water containers. First Aid box. Is everything in good order? Repair, repaint, check batteries.

Useful items to have on hand: icepacks (in case of injury); jellybeans and gatorade or staminade, to help players maintain energy levels and hydration.

Eric checks index points for the AHS1 form.

Get your documentation going

Keep a running record of player entries. Name, ACAID, handicap, club.

Enter these details on your AHS1 form.

Prepare results slips or results sheets.

Organising your draw

The ACA Tournament Regulations include a section on draw formats including blocks, knockout, Swiss and Egyptian.

Herewith some additional guidance on designing your tournament and keeping players informed.

Round Robin explanation

Roger Buddle's schedulers can be downloaded from
Designed for AC but scheduler and scoring work for GC.
Windows only.

It would be great to hear from clubs (if there are any out there) who have developed their own scheduler for GC with auto handicap and index points calculator (including for doubles games). Email

Oxford Croquet has a useful Round Robin generator at

Warm up policy

It is standard to allow 5 minutes warm up before a player's first game of the day. This can be extended to 10 minutes if their opponent has just played.

Provided all participants are advised, you can open the courts for practice the day before the tournament starts, and/or at a specified time each day before play begins.

Determining the winner/s

This can be problematic. Our guidelines give you the background and some options.

Organise the draw

Finalise the sections in your competition based on entries. In level play competitions, aim to keep handicap ranges reasonably close.

Plan the program taking into account:

  • how long the games will take - will there be a time limit? If so, add an allowance for time after the bell or time for a golden hoop.
  • time between games. Your players will need to complete their handicap cards, and possibly have some refreshment or a toilet stop. You may wish to include a short meal time which players can have together.
  • how many games you can accommodate on your courts - single banked? double banked? Add a time allowance where games are double banked. Try to avoid double banking for critical games towards the end of the tournament.
  • how many games each participant will have. Lower handicap players will probably want more games than high handicap players.
  • arrangements for final session of play and possible social event. Ideally you want there to be an audience for the presentation of the prizes at the end.

Decide on the format of play, eg round robin in blocks, knockout, Swiss, Egyptian. See the links in the Resources section for options.
If entry numbers are small, consider a double round robin format.

Will there be finals, and if so who will play whom? This needs to be clear to everyone in advance. Check the regulations you are using - what do they say about determining the winner/s? See also our guidelines on this.

If possible, avoid round robin games between couples / members of the same club.

Advise players of the draw and the days/times they will need to attend. Ask them to attend half an hour before commencement of play. Mention practice times and warm-up policy. Provide directions to the club (driving or by public transport).

Set up the tournament on Croquetscores.

Finalise referees (Tournament Referee does this if you have one in place).

If the competition has a perpetual cup, arrange to get it back from the current holder, hopefully inscribed and polished.

Organise a float so you can give correct change for entry fees / meal payments. Identify a safe place to keep cash during the tournament.

Arrange for Club President or other dignitary to attend prize giving and congratulate successful players.

During the tournament



Croquet Vic Adverse Playing Conditions policy

AHS1 handicap reporting form

Sample photograph permission form

Set up

It’s handy to have a team of helpers ready to undertake these tasks from about an hour before play starts each day. Allocate responsibilities so everyone has a job and knows what to do.

  • Set up the court: hoops at required width, flags in corners, half way pegs for GC, corner pegs for AC. Balls and timers ready for play. Coins available for tossing. Water and cups nearby. Thermometer (if needed) in the shade, ideally with air circulating around it.
  • Display the tournament notice, the draw, the game schedule and the Croquet Vic Adverse Playing Conditions policy where players can see them. Also posters acknowledging any sponsors.
  • Have refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits / bun) ready.
  • Provide receipt book, registration list, AHS1 form, attendance book.
  • Welcome players as they arrive and ask them to sign the attendance book.
  • Ask permission for photographs and publication (eg on your web or Facebook page).
    Depending on your club privacy policy, you may wish to have participants sign a release form (sample provided) or tick/cross a permission column in your attendance book.
  • Take entry fee, any lunch / dinner bookings and money. Provide receipt, note payment/s on registration form.
  • Check details on AHS1 form.
  • Advise participants where their possessions will be safe, or suggest that valuables are taken on to the court.

Tony Hall (ACA) and Jim Clement (VCA) open the WCF Under 21 GC Worlds, February 2017

Open the tournament

Schedule the tournament opening for fifteen minutes before the advertised start of play – you have asked players to arrive by this time.

  • Introduce yourself and other officials
  • Welcome and introduce any dignitaries.
  • Reinforce times of play and meal or refreshment breaks, conditions of play, adverse weather policy, arrangements for managing clocks, reporting results. Encourage speedy play.
  • Remind players of etiquette expectations including respect for other players in double banked games. Ask for mobile phones to be turned off and left in clubhouse.
  • Remind players they should advise the Tournament Manager if they wish to leave the venue before their games are complete.
  • Acknowledge sponsors, if any.
  • Outline plans for finals and encourage players to stay on for the presentations.
  • Announce who is to play whom and where in the first session.
  • Ask Tournament Referee to outline any issues, including status of referees (on call or supervising) and any damage or conditions where relief is available.
  • If relevant, invite dignitary to declare tournament open.


Brian Foley refereeing at Brighton.
With rug.


During the tournament

It may be useful to bring in additional club members to undertake some of these tasks, for example scoring, taking photographs.

  • Stick to the tournament conditions.
  • Monitor weather, state of the courts, and condition of players. Halt play if necessary.
  • Check court allocations so players are fairly treated.
  • Ensure scores are recorded and handicap cards updated after each game. Note any changes to player handicaps. Update Croquetscores regularly if used.
  • Keep games moving along. Ensure players are ready to play at the appointed time. Tournament Manager is entitled to declare a default if a player does not attend within half an hour of the appointed time.
  • Take a few photographs along the way.
  • Liaise with Tournament Referee (if there is one) to ensure referees are comfortable and have breaks and refreshments.
  • Prepare certificates for prize winners. Polish cups, if need be. Prepare envelopes with prize money.


Late afternoon play at Swan Hill

See Oxford Croquet for a sample peg down sheet.

Pegging down a game

If playing conditions (lightning; no light) make it impossible to complete a game on the scheduled day, it may be resumed the next day at an agreed time.

You need to peg down the game. Use a peg down sheet. Mark the ball positions, whose turn it is to play, any special circumstances, progress score, time remaining on the clock. Get both players and the Tournament Referee to check and initial the sheet.

Croquet Vic Adverse Playing Conditions policy

GC Rules: see

ACA Tournament Regulations

Play by the Rules has a wide range of resources to support safe, fair and inclusive sport.

Croquet Australia's Member Protection Policy provides codes of conduct and procedures for handling complaints.

Managing possible issues

If very late without good cause, player forfeits the game (26/0 or 7/0). If late with good cause, you have discretion. If it is impracticable for the game to be played, you may determine that the late player should forfeit.

Unless the Adverse Playing Conditions policy applies, a player withdrawing from a partly-completed game concedes a win to the opponent (26:n or 7:n), but retains the score for any hoops made.

If a player withdraws from the event after having completed one or more games, the results of their games count for the player and their opponent/s in terms of handicapping. Keep a separate record of them for this purpose. Include the player who has withdrawn on your AHS1 form, with a note indicating that they withdrew part way through the tournament.
Scores against a player who has withdrawn do not count in the tournament results. You need to delete them from the results calculations.

As Tournament Manager you are responsible for supervising off-court behaviour of players, officials and spectators. See the GC Rules (section 14, Etiquette) and the ACA Regulations (section 14, Etiquette). Breaches of etiquette include not accepting decisions of or arguing with referees or managers, disturbing other players, and abuse of equipment. A serious breach may result in a reference to the Tournament Committee or a formal complaint to Croquet Victoria.

2018 GC Regionals: NEDCA team temporarily holding the Lefel Shield

At the conclusion of the tournament

  • Make sure all players have provided their final handicap and index for the AHS1 form. You'll need to phone anyone who slips away without doing this. 
  • Collate scores
  • With your invited dignitary (if any) announce results, present prizes
  • Thank referees and club members for their assistance and players for their participation.

Follow up



John Grieve finalising tournament results.

Publish the results

  • Publish the results in the tournament section of your club web page – this not only updates your page, it means the names of placegetters are automatically published on their club web pages.
  • Ensure Croquetscores is up to date with the final results. Members from other clubs may be watching your tournament via Croquetscores!
  • Prepare a report, preferably with pictures. If you email your report and your pictures to your message will go to members responsible for Malletsports, the Croquet Vic Facebook page, and the Croquet Vic website. Please attach your pictures separately in .jpg format (original size is best).
    You might also like to post your report and pictures on your club web page and/or Facebook page.

Submit your paperwork



Reflect on the process

  • Write a summary report for your club committee with recommendations for future events.



State Goverment Victoria

Victorian Croquet Centre, 65 Nobel Banks Drive, Cairnlea, Vic 3023

03 8361 8887
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