With the emergence of Covid-19 in 2020, Croquet New Zealand developed the Tournament Guidelines prior to the 2020-21 season to help ensure transparency and clarity for players on how decisions would be made for CNZ Tournaments. These guidelines incorporated player feedback to ensure they were comfortable with the how tournaments would be managed.
The emergence of the Delta variant in New Zealand at the start of the 2021-22 season has resulted in CNZ having a thorough review of the current Tournament Guidelines. This review has included consulting with players who provided feedback with the original guidelines, 2021-22 CNZ Tournament Managers and Associations.
The feedback received during this consultation process varied and resulted in a robust discussion by the Tournament Committee. The feedback is summarized below:
Associations: Feedback from Associations (and Clubs) was split evenly between whether or not the Guidelines should be changed to allow CNZ tournaments at Alert Level 2 or to remain at Alert Level 1. Many provided examples of the current rules in place at Clubs which included not having access to the clubrooms (except for the toilet) and not touching the equipment.
Most Associations were in favour of the Island Championships being able to proceed if the entire Island was in Alert Level 1 at the decision date.
Players: The survey was sent to 126 players who had also been sent the original survey in 2020. 53 players responded which was down from 72 last year. 37 players who responded indicated that they would like to play CNZ tournaments at Alert Level 2.
As with the Associations, many players were in favour of the Island Championships being able to proceed if the entire Island is in Alert Level 1 at the decision date.
Managers: Most Managers would be happy to manage CNZ tournaments provided appropriate guidelines were in place and there was a process to ensure that they could be enforced.
Based on this feedback, taking into account the players feedback, current Club rules and logistics around how CNZ could ensure any Rules / Guidelines were enforced, CNZ has made the decision to retain the current criteria of Alert Level 1 for CNZ tournaments. The safety of players, officials and volunteers is paramount and everyone must be comfortable in hosting CNZ tournaments which requires people to travel around New Zealand.
The Island Championships will now be able to proceed so long as that Island is at Alert Level 1 at the decision date. This will restrict entry to players from that Island only.
Based on the feedback received, the notice period for postponing / cancelling a CNZ tournament will be reduced from 4 weeks to 3 weeks prior to the start of the tournament.
The updated 2021-22 Tournament Guidelines can be found here. These Guidelines are developed specifically for CNZ tournaments and do not prevent Association and Club tournaments from proceeding under Alert Level 2 provided all Government Guidelines are followed.
Summary of the key aspects to the 2021-22 Tournament Guidelines:
- The criteria for CNZ Tournaments to be played remains Alert Level 1.
- The notice period for New Zealand to be in Alert Level 1 will be reduced to 3 weeks.
- Island Championships can proceed if that entire Island is at Alert Level 1, 3 weeks prior to the start date. Only players from that Island may enter.