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Dr Ian Plummer

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Croquet Tournaments

For information on tournaments taking place around the UK see the tournament section of the Croquet Association (CA) web site.

This section collects together information on the management of croquet events. It includes standard recipes, tricks and hints on how to manage tournaments effectively. Note that for new players attending their first tournament there is a guide to etiquette. If anyone would like to contribute to, or comment on, these pages please contact me.

The details of the following events can mostly be found in Regulations F of the Regulations for Tournaments (technically these rules apply only in the domain of the CA). Certain aspects are amplified below.

Note the coaching section has a section on Handicap Play which may allow timing issues to be resolved when planning a tournament, e.g. using the Yorkshire Variable Base and other systems.

Oxford Croquet is pleased to offer an online version of the classic 'Croquet Management' manual by Don Gaunt and Roger Wheeler. THis encapsulates many of the formats discussed below. This manual is also sold by the Croquet Association.


Online Management Software

Online Results Website


Alternate Stroke Doubles

An excellent method of coaching if a good player is paired with a beginner and also ideal for getting new players introduced to others in the club.

American Blocks (or Round Robin)

In 'American Blocks' or a round robin everyone in a block plays everyone else. This all-plays-all can be especially successful in handicap play if there is a wide handicap range within a block. There are standard recipes for generating the cycle of play so that all the games can be played without a log jam. Two different ways of deriving this are given below.

Egyptian Events

The Eygptian format was devised by Paul Hands of the Cheltenham Club and has subsequently been tinkered with.  In essence the tournament is a challenge ladder and you can challenge anyone, or sit out as you choose. To win the tournament you have to increase your initial index, which is related to your handicap, by winning games.  The amount your index increases depends on the index of the person you have just beaten.  This format benefits from minimal management and complete freedom for players to arrange their time as suits them.

Knockout Events

A one-life tournament where only winners progress through to the final. In the first round there need to be 2N players hence if there is a smaller number then byes are introduced. The procedure for assigning byes, seeding, etc. is in the Tournament Regulations.

Draw and Process

A double life knockout event guaranteeing two games. See the Tournament Regulations on the Croquet Association web site for more details.


Normal croquet but with only one ball per side. Encourages accurate shooting and hoop running. It is also quick and ideal for playing in cold weather as each turn is generally short.

Speed Doubles

14-point Association Croquet (Law 44) with chess clocks - great fun and the death of Aunt Emma players!

Swiss Events

In essence players are ordered (this may be random or seeded) for the first round; 1 plays 2, 3 plays 4, etc. Once the round has been completed there will be one winner from each match and they float in order to the top half of the table; the losers sink in order to the lower half of the table. Again with the new ordering the top player plays the second etc. In essence players with the same number of wins are playing each other (or approximately the same in the later rounds). So after the first round 50% have 1 win and 50% no wins. After the second round 25% have 2 wins, 50% have 1 win and 25% have 0 wins.

This pattern continues until one person has more wins than anyone else. It is unwise to play further rounds or ties can occur.

See here for the formal recipe.

Burridge Swiss

This is a formal Swiss event with the following extra conditions:

  • Players winning a threshold number of games will progress to the knock-out and will not play any further Swiss games
  • Players no longer able to achieve the threshold number of wins will be removed from the Swiss.
  • The Swiss will continue for a pre-determined number of rounds (approximately twice the threshold number of wins).

Flexible Swiss Events

In Swiss tournaments players are randomly selected and placed on a ladder.  The people in places 1 and 2 play each other, 3 and 4 play each other and so on.   Players who win rise to the top of the ladder, losers fall to the bottom.  The initial order of the players does not need to be maintained. You play a person on the same or near to the same number of wins, but irrespective of the starting order. The result is that people find players of their own ability. 


A Swizz tournament is an almost free-form tournament where the target is to maximise the amount of play. The aim is to match players with similar records. People however can play as few or many games as they like. The winner is the person with the most wins or higest percentage of wins above a minimum number of games.

Tournament Management Software

Note that the Swizz option above is a management program.


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Updated 16.vii.17
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