There have been complaints from our guests about smoking on the courts, under the gazebos, and on the veranda. Butts have been found near the gazebos and surrounding the veranda, causing additional work for staff. The CFA, as owner/operator of the National Croquet Center, reviewed this issue recently, and considered establishing a full ban on smoking at the NCC except for the parking lot.

The National Croquet Center is one of a very few public or private facilities that is not smoke-free. While the great majority of our guests are non-smokers, we do not wish to impose restrictive rules if there isn’t a need. We are willing to maintain the ability to smoke at the Center if rules are followed so that our non-smoking guests are not affected. The only way this can be the case, however, is if smokers are extremely diligent and sensitive to the concerns of non-smokers. Unfortunately, there are recurring instances where this was not the case.

The CFA Board deferred action on a recent proposal to implement a strict no-smoking ban for the site, conditioned on smokers complying with our rules in the future, such that non-smoking guests are not affected and complaints cease.

CFA (and National Croquet Club) Policy currently allows smoking on the South Veranda with three exceptions: During the Saturday Morning Free Public Lessons; on any occasion where non-smoking guests are seated in that area; and when the wind would blow that smoke northward along the East Veranda.

Smoking is conditionally allowed under the gazebos, but only with the express permission of all others that might be affected by the smoke, including nearby/downwind courts). All butts must be fully extinguished and properly disposed of (not on the ground or in the bushes). Smoking on the courts is prohibited at all times. By law, there is no smoking allowed in the equipment shed, as potentially flammable and explosive materials are stored there; and of course the Clubhouse and front entrance are no-smoking areas.

Some of our patrons are highly allergic to smoke, especially cigars, while others are concerned about second hand smoke as a health hazard. Some simply find it unpleasant and offensive. Whatever the objection, for many people, it makes our Center a less desirable place to be, when they are exposed to smoke.

Some smokers believe that their smoke is diluted outside under the gazebos or on the veranda and should not be offensive. Depending on wind and weather conditions, however, smoke can linger, and for many non-smokers, even slight exposure at some distance (especially cigars) can trigger a reaction. When in doubt, please don’t smoke!

If you smoke in conditionally approved areas, please be extremely sensitive to the possibility that your smoke could be bothering someone. Note that it is not enough to expect people to ask you to stop smoking if they are bothered. You must be proactive and ask permission. The less you smoke at the Center, and the more careful you are, the lower the chance of others objecting and requesting a complete smoking ban. Anyone creating an issue by smoking in violation of these rules will be subject to possible sanctions, and such behavior will greatly increase the likelihood of a total ban.

While future action by the CFA Board is not predictable, following these rules and extreme sensitivity to non-smokers is the only way that a total ban will be avoided.

Thank you for your cooperation.

W. David McCoy, Chairman, Croquet Foundation of America

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