All teams are invited to practice on the lawns at Nelson Hinemoa Croquet Club on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th January during some part of the day (exact hours will be announced closer to the event). If any teams would like to practice prior to these two official practice days, the club will try to accommodate the request, with the exception of 1pm – 4pm on the previous Sunday and Tuesday. Please contact Annie Henry at [email protected].

Tournament Schedule

The provisional schedule is as follows:-

Day 1 (Monday) - Day 3 (Wednesday) - two blocks of four with each team playing one 'Test Match' each day. The format of each of these block stage 'Test Matches' is two doubles in the morning and four singles in the afternoon. Therefore, it possible to tie a test 3-3.

From a spectating perspective, it means that all 32 players will be in action in the first session of each day, playing doubles. Thereafter, one of the blocks will play their 8 singles matches in the second session after the doubles are completed and then the other block will play their singles in the third session after the other singles are completed. All matches will be best of 3 13-point, single banked without time limits.

The intention at present is to try and keep 'Tests' on the same side of the clubhouse, to enhance the atmosphere, i.e. all AvB will be on one side and all CvD will be on the other side. Hopefully, this will make spectating your favourite team easier as well.

One month prior to the event starting, the teams will be seeded based upon combined world ranking (grade) of their top 4 available players. The order of play for the 4 teams in each block will be:-

Day 1 Monday 1v3, 2v4

Day 2 Tuesday 1v4, 2v3

Day 3 Wednesday 1v2, 3v4

After the blocks are completed, the top 2 teams will progress to the semi-finals which will be played on Day 4 (Thursday) and Day 5 (Friday). The winner of Block A will play the runner-up in Block B and vice versa. The winners will play the final and the losers the 3rd/4th play-off on Saturday and Sunday (Days 6 and 7).

The format for the semis and final is as follows:-

Day 6 Saturday morning- two doubles

Day 6 Saturday afternoon - four singles

Day 7 Sunday morning - one doubles and two singles

Day 7 Sunday afternoon - four singles

Therefore, these Tests are best of 13 to guarantee a winner.

The Consolation event will be:-

Day 4 Thursday A3 v B4, A4 v B3 best of 6

Day 5 Friday A3 v B3, A4 v B4 best of 6

The result of A3 v A4 and B3 v B4 will be carried forward to the Consolation block after which the 5th will play the 6th team and the 7th will play the 8th team in a best of 9 Test on Days 6 and 7 (Saturday and Sunday).

The team that finishes last (8th) will be relegated to Tier 2 in 2024, so will not play in Tier 1 for at least 8 years.