Following four weeks of closure, Nelson Bay Croquet Club was able to resume playing social croquet as exercise on August 31.
Exercise was permitted under very strict guidelines and on a carefully managed level including that the clubhouse remained closed; no competitive croquet; members only, initially with only two players per court but more recently with four; and sessions had to be pre-booked and pre-paid.
Croquet is a perfect sport to play when physical distancing is required.
A croquet court measures 32 metres by 26 metres, almost the size of two tennis courts.
The players play one at a time in sequence and strike a stationary ball - the next player cannot play until all the balls in motion have stopped.
The 2021, restrictions have lasted over 100 days and appear to impacted people significantly more than the restrictions in 2020.
On returning to play, many members of the Nelson Bay club have commented on the relief they feel having a sanctioned reason to get out of their homes and into the fresh air.
While the restricted play is very positive for members, the fact that they have not been able to socialise at morning tea is a negative for many of them, which underlines how important the social aspects of playing sport and being a member of a club like this actually are.
Croquet is good exercise and provides many health benefits.
Players get a chance to be outside in the fresh air, spend time with friends and use their minds to add the right precision in getting their ball through the hoops.
Just walking around the croquet court provides health benefits too.