20+ Tournament

Trophy:  A Silver Quaich donated by the SCA.

Open to players of handicap 20 and over. 

Until 2003, this was played under full bisques handicap rules, usually with 18-point games.  After two years of cancellation because of lack of numbers, it was decided from 2006 that it would be played under Short Croquet Rules.

Although it has not been confirmed that this was the first edition of this tournament, a report of an SCA One-Day Tournament for ‘seniors and others’ at Lauriston Castle on 28th August 1996 has been found, which was won by Nigel Gardner.  A second edition was held at Lauriston on 3rd September, 1997, won by Donald Lamont, but the records for the 20+ event show a different winner, in Betty Blaikie, so there may indeed have been two different events.  Indeed the 1999 report states that this had been the first time the event had been held at Lauriston, so the origins of the official 20+ Tournament remain obscure.

Roll of honour:





Nigel Gardner

Betty Blaikie and Alex Coull


A: Donald Lamont

B: Betty Blaikie

A: Joe Henderson and Pat McCann
B: Kenneth Travers


Sheila Crearie

Robert Macdonald


Sheila Crearie

Alan Wilson


Sheila Crearie

Betty Blaikie


John Clark

Sheila Tibbels


Robert Lay

Peggy Bartlett


Allan Hawke

Joe Lennon


not played



not played



Robert Inder

Joe Henderson


Robert Inder

Four joint second


Andrew Macmillan

Jola Jurasinska


Andrew Macmillan

Vivien Wightman


Joe Lyske

Brian Cosford


Roger Binks

Andrew Milligan


Mike Wilson

Robert Drummond





28 August, 1996 at Lauriston Castle:

(Report by Ian Wright)

SCA One-Day Tournament

The Edinburgh Club was asked by the Scottish Croquet Association to hold a one-day tournament for ‘seniors and others’ on the 28th of August.  The idea was to include people who did not usually play in tournaments, and to give them plenty of play, so shortened, 14 points, handicap games (6 hoops and the peg) with one hour time limits, were played.  This had the added advantage that 14-point games do not affect players’ handicap indices.  Although all clubs in Scotland had been circulated, entries came from only three – Dunfermline-Carnegie, Kinross and Edinburgh itself.  There were eighteen entries altogether and this turned out to be ideal.  They divided conveniently into three blocks of six players, the three courts were each divided into half courts with one half double banked, and everybody was able to play all the time.

Keen Contests

The next problem was the weather because the forecast had been for rain.  But within minutes of play starting the cold patch of blue sky appeared, and from then on the day just got better and better until it was glorious.

The combination of high handicap players and Edinburgh’s diabolically sloping lawns meant that just over half the games went to time, but it also meant that there were no whitewashes either, which could easily have happened with 14-point games.  In fact, games were keenly contested and there were many close finishes – in one block there were five scores of +1, four of them on time, in their 15 games.

By 4:30 five rounds had been played and all the blocks completed.  Nigel Gardner (5) and Alex Coull (18) each won their block outright with five wins, but in the third block Betty Blaikie (20) and Donald Lamont (16) had each won four games.  Close examination of the scores showed that Betty had just pipped Donald with a net score of +16 against his +15!

New Variation

The final problem was finding an overall winner from the three block winners.  An interesting solution had been promised, and it turned out to be a form of three-sided croquet.  The players first tossed for the choice of playing with red, blue or white, while black was the common partner ball.  Three pairs of clips were put onto hoop 1 – red and yellow, blue and black, white and pink.  As this was a 14-point game the players had to get their own ball and the black ball to the peg.  So when they put their own ball through a hoop they advanced the clip of that colour, and when they scored a hoop with the black ball they moved their other clip.

In the earlier 14-point games players had halved the difference in bisques (as in doubles), but this seemed unfair on the lowest handicapped finalist, bearing in mind the short time limit for a three-sided game.  So Nigel Gardner’s five bisques were deducted from the handicaps of the others and they each received one third of the remainder.  All highly complicated, but then, this was a very serious game!

Who follows who?

Next the three tossed for order of play.  The three balls were then played into the court, the black ball was rolled to the centre of the court by the referee, and they were off!  There was a fair amount of shooting at the black from various positions at the start.  It was a while before anyone did anything, but eventually there were three clips on hoop 2 – a normal game of croquet, you might say.

Gradually hoops were scored, Betty and Alex making good use of their bisques.  As time drew near they had both amassed a score of five hoops while Nigel was trailing on three.  But a good hit in on black, with the other balls favourably placed, gave Nigel a chance and he managed to score the three hoops he needed to get his nose in front, where he stayed.  Yet another win of +1T (or, with two opponents, was it +1T²?).


To round off a very enjoyable day, Donald Lamont, the Club Captain, thanked everyone for their contribution, with special thanks to Alec Cowie for all his work in getting the courts ready, and asked Mrs Mona Wright to present the trophy to Nigel Gardner.

(A)  3 September, 1997 at Lauriston:

(Report by Pat McCann)

This one-day competition was aimed primarily at high handicap players and, in fact, of the twelve players from Edinburgh and Kinross who took part, eight played off 20.

The numbers allowed three blocks of four players, giving each three rounds with a one-hour time limit.  The winner was decided on a three way play off with each player having one ball plus the fourth ball (black) as a common ball.

The final was a dour struggle between Donald Lamont, Joe Henderson and Pat McCann.  In his final turn, Donald went for his hoop from an impossible angle (for us lesser mortals) and appeared surprised at our astonishment when the ball sailed through and won him the trophy.

Our thanks to Ian Wright for a well run event.

(B)  No records have been found.  Winner: Betty Blaikie.  Runner-up: Kenneth Travers.


No records have been found.  Winner: Sheila Crearie.  Runner-up: Robert Macdonald.

30 May, 1999 at Lauriston:

All players in this year’s 20+ Tournament started with ten bisques and, since all games were played to a very tight time limit of 1hr 40mins, it was important to use them in good time to avoid getting caught out with some left.

The result was never seriously in doubt after the first couple of rounds.  Defending champion Sheila Crearie was in excellent form with double figure wins in both her first two games.  With her superior stroke play and tactical skill, she only once looked in serious danger of losing a game when Alan Wilson very nearly stole the couple of hoops needed.  Alan, who pipped Robert Macdonald to the runner-up spot on points, took his two wins comfortably but too often failed to take advantage of strong positions.

This is the first time the lawns at Lauriston Castle have been the venue for this event.  The lawns, overlooking the Forth, are in a superb setting and it is to be hoped the Edinburgh Club will volunteer to host it again next year.

28 May, 2000 at Lauriston:

(Report by Fergus McInnes)

This was the second year that the ‘20+’ was held at Lauriston Castle rather than at Bush.  This year Lauriston’s previously slow lawns had been much improved by the use of the Edinburgh club’s new mower; a bright sunny Sunday morning made a welcome contrast to the previous day’s rain, and the manager’s umbrella, which he’d left in the clubroom on the Saturday evening in the expectation of needing it, remained furled under a bench for most of the day.

With seven entrants and only one day to find a winner, a two block format was adopted.  The four players in Block ‘A’ had three games each, while the three in Block ‘B’ had two each, but by way of compensation for getting less play, had the use of the relatively flat lawn one throughout while half of Block ‘A’s games were consigned to the slope of lawn two.  The final between the block winners then occupied lawn one while lawn two was available for optional play offs between the second placed and third placed players.  The games were of 18 points, with full bisques off a base 10, scaled down appropriately; as all the contestants had handicaps of 20 this worked out at seven bisques each in every game.  Time limits of 1 hr 40 mins allowed three rounds of block games plus the final to be completed by late afternoon.

In Block ‘A’, after the first two rounds, local players Joyce Cowie and Sheila Crearie emerged as the leaders, each having overcome both Brian Smith and Mona Wright.  Brian suffered an unexpected setback in his second game when the shaft of his mallet broke and he had to continue with one borrowed from the clubroom.  Meanwhile in Block ‘B’ Betty Blaikie ensured her place in the final with victories over George Kirk and Alan Wilson.  (It was observed at this point that having a name ending in ‘ie’ seemed to be the criterion for success.)  The decisive game between Sheila and Joyce in Block ‘A’ was won by Sheila.  Mona took third place in the block by one point in extra time, by playing her ball into the jaws of penult, from where a roquet, not quite gentle enough, by Brian’s ball, also for penult, peeled it through.  Alan had a narrow win over George (despite taking two bisques to run hoop 4 in the wrong direction) to take second place in Block ‘B’.

The third placed players declined another game, and George and Brian headed back across the Forth, but Alan and Joyce joined battle on lawn two – Alan emerging the victor – while the final between Betty and Sheila got under way with Mona and the manager as spectators.  Now the clouds, which had been increasing during the day, began to fulfil their threat, but all was finished well before the real downpour came.  Sheila established a lead, reaching penult and peg, while Betty was on hoop 5 and rover; then Betty fought back, advancing steadily in a series of turns to level the scores on rover and peg.  It was Sheila who ran rover in the closing minutes of the game; in the last turn after time was called she surprisingly declined to peg out either of her balls, but she had done enough to win for the third year in succession, and retain the quaich.  The manager, on the lookout for a capable high bisquer, immediately snapped her up as his doubles partner for the Edinburgh Tournament in August.

27 May, 2001 at Lauriston:

(Report by Fergus McInnes)

This year’s 20+ tournament was played, like its predecessors in 1999 and 2000, on the last Sunday in May on the Edinburgh Club’s beautifully situated but not altogether level lawns at Lauriston Castle.

Three players from the home club – John Clark, Sheila Tibbels and Evelyn Mackenzie – were joined by three from further afield: George Kirk and Andrew Harvey from Kinross and Robert Macdonald from Glasgow.  Three rounds of 18 point games with 2¼-hr time limits were scheduled, with one game in each round subjected to the slope of lawn two while the other games suffered the alternative hazard of double banking on lawn one.

All three first round games were finished within the allotted time.  Evelyn, playing Robert on lawn two, was in good form and was the first to achieve a result, in a speedy 80 minutes.  John, playing George, was next to finish, despite taking a surprising number of turns to make the peg out.  Finally Sheila completed her win over Andrew with just two minutes to go.

In the second round, by way of variety, all three games went to time – though Evelyn got close to finishing against George, with one of her balls pegged out.  She and John, being the two contestants unbeaten so far, met in the decisive game in the third round, in which John prevailed by a clear margin, while Sheila narrowly achieved her second win of the day over Robert, and George had a win against Andrew to break his duck.  Robert could take consolation from the narrowness of two of his defeats.

The manager had made contingency plans for a three way or four way play off, should the three rounds fail to yield a clear winner, but had neglected to specify how the runner-up should be decided.  However, it seems clear that second place should go to Sheila, who was equal with Evelyn on games won (2), on points scored (40) and on defeated opponents’ wins minus winning opponents’ losses (1), and just ahead of her on net points (+9 to +8).

26 May, 2002 at Lauriston:

(Report by Fergus McInnes)

The 20+ tournament was held, as has become traditional, on the last Sunday of May at Lauriston Castle.  As last year, there were six entrants, which allowed the manager to reuse last year’s format: three rounds of 14 point games with time limits of 2 hrs 15 mins and bisques for all.  The weather was cool and showery with the occasional glint of sunshine; the lawns were slow and rough in places because the usual winter maintenance had been lacking and the grass had not been cut short this season.

Locals Peggy Bartlett, Jean Forshall and Sheila Tibbels were competing with George Kirk and Brian Smith from Kinross and Robert Lay from Glasgow.

In the first round Peggy and Robert had good wins over George and Brian respectively, while the other game, on the sloping lawn two, progressed slowly and ended with six hoops scored by Jean and four by Sheila.

Peggy and Robert continued their successes in round two, beating Jean and George, while Sheila and Brian had a very close game, won by Sheila in extra time 9-8, using the bisque that she had failed to use before time was called.

In round three, Sheila was back on lawn two playing George, but this time she pegged out – as did Brian against Jean.  The closest and longest game in this round was the decider between Robert and Peggy.  Peggy, for 3-back and rover, failed 3-back in the last few seconds before time was called; Robert failed penult, on which he had both his clips; Peggy hit with her forward ball and attempted a peel to equalise, but this too was unsuccessful, and so Robert took the game and the Quaich by a margin of one point.


No report has been found.  Winner: Allan Hawke.


No tournament.


No tournament.


From this year the format was changed to Short Croquet.

This report is already on the web.


This report is already on the web.


This report is already on the web.


No report has been found.  Winner: Andrew Macmillan.


This report is already on the web.


This report is already on the web.


This report is already on the web.


1996:     14-point handicap games:
Block Winners:
Nigel Gardner, Betty Blaikie, Alex Coull
Final (three-sided 14-point handicap game):
Nigel Gardner beat Betty Blaikie and Alex Coull +1T

1997:     (A)
14-point handicap games:
Block Winners:
Donald Lamont, Joe Henderson, Pat McCann
Final (three-sided 14-point handicap game):
Donald Lamont beat Joe Henderson and Pat McCann +1T
No results have been found:
Betty Blaikie
Kenneth Travers

1998:    No results have been found:
Betty Blaikie
Kenneth Travers

1999:     Sheila Crearie (4 wins) beat Alan Wilson +1, Robert Macdonald +5, Brian Smith +9, Dale Lyon +10
Alan Wilson (2 wins, +11 net points) beat Brian Smith +5, Dale Lyon +8
Robert Macdonald (2 wins, -1 net point) beat Alan Wilson +1, Brian Smith +4
Brian Smith (1 win) beat Dale Lyon +4
Dale Lyon (1 win) beat Robert Macdonald +1

2000:   18-pt handicap games
Block ‘A’:
Sheila Crearie (3 wins) beat Joyce Cowie +4T, Mona Wright +9, Brian Smith +10T
Joyce Cowie (2) beat Mona Wright +6T, Brian Smith +7T
Mona Wright (1) beat Brian Smith +1T
Brian Smith (0)
Block ‘B’:
Betty Blaikie (2 wins) beat Alan Wilson +5T, George Kirk +2T
Alan Wilson (21) beat George Kirk +2T
George Kirk (0)
Sheila Crearie beat Betty Blaikie +1T
Third place:
Alan Wilson beat Joyce Cowie +2T

2001:    18-pt handicap games
John Clark (3 wins) beat George Kirk +12, Sheila Tibbels +3T, Evelyn Mackenzie +13
Sheila Tibbels (2) beat Andrew Harvey +11, Robert Macdonald +1T
Evelyn Mackenzie (2) beat Robert Macdonald +17, George Kirk +4T
Andrew Harvey (1) beat Robert Macdonald +1T
George Kirk (1) beat Andrew Harvey +5T
Robert Macdonald (0)

2002:    Robert Lay (3 wins) beat Brian Smith +14, George Kirk +12, Peggy Bartlett +1T
Peggy Bartlett (2) beat George Kirk +16, Jean Forshall +7
Sheila Tibbels (2) beat Brian Smith +1T, George Kirk +11
Brian Smith (1) beat Jean Forshall +12
Jean Forshall (1) beat Sheila Tibbels +2T
George Kirk (0)

2003:    Allan Hawke beat Joe Lennon +11, Sheila Tibbels +10, Robert Macdonald +12
Joe Lennon beat Sheila Tibbels +5, Robert Macdonald +3
Sheila Tibbels beat Robert Macdonald +13

2004:    No tournament

2005:    No tournament

From 2006 the format was changed to Short Croquet

2006:     Robert Inder (25 pts) beat Joan Marshall, Seonaidh Edgar
Joe Henderson (23) beat Seonaidh Edgar, Robert Inder
Seonaidh Edgar (18) beat Joan Marshall
Joan Marshall (16) beat Joe Henderson

2007:     Robert Inder (5/5) beat Hamish Duguid +4T, Joe Henderson +7, Joan Marshall +4T, Janice Duguid +6, Ruth Munro +4T
Joe Henderson (2/4) beat Ruth Munro +4T, Hamish Duguid +2
Joan Marshall (2/4) beat Janice Duguid +2T, Jola Jurasinska +1T
Ruth Munro (2/4) beat Janice Duguid +4T, Jola Jurasinska +11
Jola Jurasinska (2/4) beat Joe Henderson +7, Janice Duguid +14
Hamish Duguid (1/4) beat Joan Marshall +5T
Janice Duguid (1/5) beat Hamish Duguid (+7)

2008:     Andrew Macmillan (4/5) beat Ruth Munro +7, Joan Marshall +2T (11-9), Joe Henderson +11, Sarah Duguid +3
Jola Jurasinska (4/5) beat Sarah Duguid +2T (8-6), Joan Marshall +4T (9-5), Andrew Macmillan +2T (9-7), Ruth Munro +3T (10-7)
Ruth Munro (2/4) beat George Geis +8T (12-4), Sarah Duguid +13
Joan Marshall (2/4) beat George Geis +6T (9-3), Joe Henderson +4T (9-5)
Sarah Duguid (1/4) beat George Geis +4T (9-5)
George Geis (1/4) beat Joe Henderson +3T (10-7)
Joe Henderson (1/4) beat Jola Jurasinska +1T (10-9)
Andrew Macmillan beat Jola Jurasinska in a peg shoot-out play-off

2009:     Andrew Macmillan (4/4) beat Vivien Wightman +5T (10-5), David Houston +1T (9-8), Anne Maclean +11, George Geis +7
Vivien Wightman (3) beat George Geis +7T (13-6), Anne Maclean +13, David Houston +3T (9-6)
David Houston (2) beat Anne Maclean +14, George Geis +3T (9-6)
George Geis (1) beat Anne Maclean +5T (12-7)
Anne Maclean (0)

2010:     Joe Lyske (4/4) beat Brian Cosford +6, David Houston +11, Jim Carden +6, George Geis +2
Brian Cosford (3) beat David Houston+7, Jim Carden +10, George Geis +14
David Houston (2) beat Jim Carden +14, George Geis +8
Jim Carden (1) beat George Geis +4
George Geis (0)

2011:     Roger Binks (3/3) beat Alistair Malcolm +1T (10-9), Lyn Gilpin +8, Andrew Milligan +8
Andrew Milligan (2/3) beat Lyn Gilpin +7, Alistair Malcolm +3T (10-7)
Alistair Malcolm (1/3) beat Lyn Gilpin +11
Lyn Gilpin (0/3)

2012:     Mike Wilson (5/5) beat Jonathan Stark +12, George Geis +3T (12-9), Robert Drummond +3T (10-7), Ian Stark +9, Roger Binks +14
Robert Drummond (3/4) beat Roger Binks +7, Lyn Gilpin +8, Jonathan Stark +8
George Geis (3/4) beat Ian Stark +1T (6-5), Lyn Gilpin +10, Roger Binks +10
Ian Stark (2/5) beat Jonathan Stark +1T (7-6), Lyn Gilpin +1T (11-10)
Roger Binks (1/4) beat Ian Stark +4T (10-6)
Lyn Gilpin (1/4) beat Jonathan Stark +2T (10-8)
Jonathan Stark 0/4