UPDATE: the New System is rolled out nationally with effect from 2016. See the CA website
for details. Though essentially the same as the new national scheme, the 2015 EACF trial details
are retained here as a matter of record only.

Players New to Croquet

When a new player starts playing competitive Golf Croquet, it is essential that be given an appropriate handicap – not every beginner is the same! It is generally the task of the Club Handicapper to set the initial handicap.

There are a few simple guides to setting the initial handicap. These are quite approximate and any initial handicap must be reviewed after the player has recorded their first five to ten results, and corrected if necessary.

The simple test for players new to croquet is known as the Three Times Round test. The player starts from corner four and counts the number of strokes required to run hoops one to six inclusive, completing the exercise three times. Table 3 is then used to convert the aggregate number of strokes taken for the three exercises into an initial handicap. If the player's aggregate is less than 50 the player's handicap should be separately assessed. It should not be used for players who have played Association Croquet and have AC handicaps less than 10.

Table 3 - Three Times Round test

Strokes Taken Initial Handicap Initial Index
50-54 7 1350
55-60 8 1300
61-64 10 1200
65-70 12 1100
71-78 14 1050
>78 16 1000

The practice of setting all beginners at a handicap of 16 must be avoided. Most players have some natural ability which deserves a handicap less than 16 – only set a handicap as high as 16 if the Three Times Round test suggests it is necessary.

It is entirely reasonable for Clubs and Federations to set an upper handicap limit for players in their leagues, matches and events, such as 12 for example.

Existing AC Players

The following table suggests an equivalent GC handicap for an AC player with a handicap of less than 10:

AC Handicap Suggested GC Handicap
Less than -1 -3
-0.5 to -1 -1
0 to 0.5 0
1 to 1.5 1
2 to 3 2
3.5 to 5 3
6 to 7 4
8 to 9 5