Lee’s trip to Singapore

lee in singaporeLee Robertson, a member of Jamberoo Croquet Club, was keen to play gateball on a recent visit to Singapore. Lee was inspired by a story from Chris Thompson of Hurstville Croquet Club who played in Singapore in 2016. See Chris’s story here.

Lee’s trip was a great success. She contacted the Bedok group in Singapore and played with them on Friday and Saturday, 14th and 15th July. The artificial lawn at the Bedok Community Centre gateball court took a bit of getting used to but she was able to adjust to it soon enough to enjoy the games.

Lee stayed on to watch the one-day Bedok Gateball Competition on Sunday which included teams from Japan and China, as well several Singaporean teams. In the photo from the competition, the China team is in red, the Japan team in white and the rest are from different groups of gateballers around Singapore. The competition winner was the Tampines group from Singapore.

Lee’s contacts in Singapore, James & Sebastian, asked her to try to organise an Aussie team to play in their one-day tournament next year in July or August. They will need to know by March 2018 if anyone is interested in taking part.

If any Australian gateballers are visiting Singapore and are interested in playing, email info@gateball.com.au and you will be put in touch with Chris and Lee who have developed contacts in the island state.

August 2017 WGU Meeting

20170818_143615A meeting of the World Gateball Union was held in Tokyo in August 2017 primarily to review the rules. Gateball Australia was invited to attend and participate in the deliberations.

In the opening address it was stressed that the rules of gateball need to be easily understood so that it is simple for beginners to start playing but that the game should still provide a challenge for those who are highly skilled. Improving the image of the game, simplifying decisions for referees and reducing the number of fouls were seen as components of this general direction.

A fascinating issue that the game has to deal with is the phenomenal size of the game in China. Growing skills and standards in that country have encouraged the CGA to adapt the rules for internal competition. Zhang Na, the Chinese Secretary General constantly reiterated that, although variations to the rules were used in China, it was understood that in international competition the WGU rules would be followed.

Topics that were discussed included: coloured balls, shapes of mallet heads, hats, the resolution of tied games, consideration of balls on gate lines, gate touches and touch gates, indicating the start of games, laser pointers, how the rules are set out, fouls at start stroking, movement of balls after a spark, gateball for the disabled, the 12th WGU championships in Brazil 2018 and the Kansai World Masters Games 2021.

A more definitive report to Australian gateballers will be possible once the official outcomes of the meeting are issued by the WGU.

June Long Weekend Gateball Promotion in Adelaide

Adelaide Trip 9th – 11th June

From the 9th to the 11th of June, I visited Adelaide in South Australia in an attempt to teach, promote, and generate interest in the game of gateball. Across the three days when I was in South Australia, 3 different croquet clubs were visited, Woodville, Hyde Park and North Adelaide. Over the three days, approximately 30 – 40 people gave gateball a try, many of whom were croquet players, including Australia’s current No. 1 golf croquet player, Greg Fletcher. The players’ ages ranged from as low as 9, to people in their 70s.

Immediately, those who tried gateball noticed there were many different skills involved when comparing it to croquet; the main one being sparking. Although at first most people found the game a challenge, by the end of the sessions all seemed to have gained a much more thorough understanding of the game. For those who had previously played and had an understanding of the game, there were also strategic elements and teachings which were incorporated into the introductory sessions.

Overall, the entire weekend went smoothly and was very enjoyable for myself, as well as those who were new to the game, with many expressing interest in playing again. I would like to thank Geoff, Trish, Peter, and Chris, who were my hosts and welcomed me with open arms, and also John Park for allowing me to travel to South Australia on behalf of Gateball Australia in an attempt to develop and increase the interest of gateball in their great state.

For those interested in playing gateball in South Australia, please contact Geoff and Trish at trishfaz@hotmail.com

David Hughes

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Victorian Gateball is on for Young and Old

The Victorian Gateball Championships were held over the weekend of 29-30 April at the Victorian Croquet Centre at Cairnlea. The weather co-operated with mainly clear skies and moderate temperatures20170430_162530Canberra WinnersKew Runners Up

The event had a strong family atmosphere with youngsters from multiple teams attending and watching – and even competing in the case of the Crooks from South Australia.
The Teams Event was held on Saturday with six full teams and representatives from three states. Kew made the early running going undefeated across their first four games. But Kew couldn’t hold off a rampaging Canberra team in the final game of the round robin. Canberra’s immaculate play earning them a massive 17-8 win and enough to tip the final results their way. Canberra placing first with 4 wins, 1 loss and +27 points ahead of Kew with 4 wins, 1 loss and +23 points. BrunswYK placed third.
Victorian gateball lost a pioneer last year, with the passing of John Bradley. He was a member of the first ever Victorian Championship winning team (Essendon in 2000) and was instrumental in teaching many of the current players how the game should be played. This year, the pairs event was renamed the John Bradley Trophy, in his honour.
Thirteen pairs competed across two blocks. Glen Whitehead & Hillary White made short work of Block A, winning 6 games from 6 and with +51 points. Last year’s Winners, Bryan Johnson & Gilon Smith placed second in the block with 4 wins, 2 losses, and +15 points.
In Block B the perennial contenders (and multiple previous winners) Alec & Maxine Maclachlan managed to place second in the block behind the makeshift, but dominant pairing, of Chas Quinn & Greg Deakin. Chas & Greg won the block with 4 wins and 1 loss using an ultra-aggressive style that left many opponents pole-axed within the first 10 minutes of play. (Your correspondent was down 15-5 after about 12 minutes…)
Both Alex & Maxine and Chas & Greg won their respective semi-finals, leaving an all Block B grand final.
Some uncharacteristic early errors left Chas & Greg struggling and Alec Maclachlan’s cool captaincy never let them back into the game. Alec & Maxine running out winners and taking the inaugural John Bradley Pairs Trophy.
Congratulations to all who participated, but especially Canberra as teams champion and Alec & Maxine as deserving winners of the John Bradley Trophy.