AC Association Croquet

The Anderson Shield is once again being run as a B-level competition between club teams, but this year played to Handicap Advanced rules.

Anderson Shield results
by year:

Entry fee: £11 per team

Last year's winner: Letchworth

L-R: Stephen Mills, André Machell,
Arthur Reed, Alan Clark
Click on images to enlarge

This year the Watford and Pinchbeck clubs met for the final of the Anderson Shield, which was played under Handicap Advanced rules, and to keep it a ‘B’ level event it was restricted to handicaps 0+ and with a team aggregate handicap of 10+. The format used mirrors that of ‘The Mary Rose’. Unfortunately, the weather was anything but kind, being overcast with a strong south-westerly gusting wind which on the exposed lawns made it rather difficult to control the mallet swing. Nevertheless the contestants settled down to play under these most difficult conditions.

In the morning session, which comprised a doubles game and two singles, Watford struck first with Stephen Mills overcoming Charles Ostler +10. Next to finish was the Pinchbeck doubles of Peter Hanley and Ken Knock, beating Arthur Reed and André Machell +10(T) bringing the current result to one game each. The third game between Alan Clark Watford and Gordon Mills Pinchbeck was a bit of a cliff-hanger and went into extra time with Alan having a good 4-back leave when time was called. However, not to be outdone Gordon suddenly found his form and proceeded to run a last minute break to overhaul Alan, running out with a last gasp win of +3(T), leaving Pinchbeck at lunchtime with a 2 – 1 lead.

In the afternoon session which comprised 4 singles games played in handicap order, Pinchbeck seemed to lose their way with Watford hitting a winning streak. First was the game between Arthur Reed (Watford) and Peter Hanley (Pinchbeck) in which with 1½ bisques Arthur proceed to go round on a 12 hoop break without any assistance. With Peter not making any reply, Arthur than commenced another all-round break making use of his bisques to peg out winning +26. This was almost immediately followed by a win for Alan Clark over Charles Ostler +21, giving Watford a 3 – 2 lead. Next to finish was a further win for Watford with Stephen Mills overcoming his namesake Gordon Mills +13, which meant that as Watford now stood at 4 – 2 they could not be caught and had therefore won the day. The remaining game between André Machell and Ken Knock proved to be a bit of a cliff-hanger, swinging this way and that. However, Ken with his 5 bisque superiority proved too much for André, and Ken ran out the winner by +3.

This meant that Watford won the day 4 -3 and were presented with the Anderson Shield by the Federation’s President Tom Anderson.

Thanks go to the Wrest Park club for permitting the use of their lawns.

Report & photo by Terrey Sparks
by 29 June
by 31 August
Colchester Newport
  Pinchbeck Pinchbeck

The Anderson Shield
Deadlines for rounds:
Round 1 29 Jun
Semi-finals 31 Aug
Watford 07910 789787
Downham 07593 098706
Pinchbeck 07930 865932
Newport 07971 016633


See also:

GC the EACF Ken Wheeler Shield
AC the national Inter-Counties Championship
AC Anderson Shield winners summary.


Anderson Shield Regulations - 2023

Print version PDF

  1. All member clubs in the East Anglian Croquet Federation shall be eligible to participate.
  2. The competition will operate as a knock-out with the early rounds operating on a regional basis wherever possible, with clubs determining home and away by using the EACF Virtual Coin Toss if there is no previous history in this competition, otherwise the opposite of their previous encounter. However, clubs with only one serviceable court may elect to play any home games away.
  3. The responsibility for arranging fixtures rests with the home club. However, a degree of mutual co-operation is expected between both clubs.
  4. Courts should be full size and in adequate condition such that there is a possibility of accurate positioning, and hitting a ball from one corner of the court to the opposite corner.
  5. The minimum allowed handicap allowed is 0. There is no maximum allowed handicap. The aggregate team handicap must be at least 10. The team captains should ensure that handicaps are correct and have been assessed by the club handicapper in accordance with the CA Handicap Guidelines. No player may play for more than one club in the course of any one season. However, members of a near neighbour club are permitted to play.
  6. All games shall be standard 26pt games played to Handicap Advanced rules, of 3 hours duration if single-banked or 3¼ hours if double banked, played under the current Laws of Association Croquet. Time-limited games shall be played to a result in accordance with CA Tournament Regulation T2 ("Limit on Number of Turns").
  7. Where two or more courts are available teams should normally consist of 4 players, with 1 doubles and 6 singles games in the match, making 7 games in total. Players are to be listed in handicap order by the Home ('H') and Away ('A') team captains and play their opposite numbers according to the following formula:
    • a.m.: H1 & H4 v A1 & A4, H2 v A3, H3 v A2
    • p.m.: H1 v A1, H2 v A2, H3 v A3, H4 v A4
  8. Where only one court is available teams should instead consist of 3 players, with only one player in each team playing in two doubles at the captains' discretion, giving a total of 4 games in the match, and no games may be duplicated. In such a 3-a-side match the team aggregate handicap must be at least 7½. If the number of games won by each team is equal, then the winner is the team winning the most games within time. If the result is still undecided it shall then be determined by using the Nottingham Tie Break (2-ball breaks by each team starting in corner IV, with each player in the team by rotation playing one stroke until the turn ends; if necessary the exercise is repeated until a winner emerges).
  9. It is expected that the home club will provide refreshments including a light tea at the end of the match at no cost to the visitors.
  10. In the event of a dispute all clubs concerned should make representations to the Manager, whose decision shall be final.