Presentation to Keith McLeod

At the closing ceremony of the Australian Gateball Teams Championship held at Bateau Bay, north of Sydney in NSW, a special, surprise presentation was made to Keith McLeod of Southport Croquet Club. Keith has been a dedicated croquet player since 1985 when he joined Dandenong Croquet Club. Initially he played Association Croquet but quickly moved to include Golf Croquet and Gateball to his skill set.

As a prime mover for the development of Gateball, Keith was State Director of Gateball for Victoria and organised that state’s first team and singles championship. In 1999 Keith was appointed the first National Gateball Director within the auspices of the Australian Croquet Association. He held this position until 2007. Importantly, Keith promoted and managed the first Australian Gateball Teams Championship in Melbourne in 2001. Two teams came from New Zealand and five from Japan. So it was fitting that at this Australian Championship Keith was given a wonderful portrait created by Frances Wregg who is an accomplished artist belonging to the McIlwraith Club in Brisbane.

Frances Wregg the artist with Keith McLeod the subject.

Frances Wregg the artist with Keith McLeod the subject.

Keith has represented Australia in 1998 in Hawaii and that was the first time Australia had sent a team to compete in the World Gateball Championship. Then he continued attending World Gateball Championships- Toyama in Japan in 2002, Busan in South Korea in 2006, and in Shanghai China in 2010. A big milestone for Australian Gateball occurred when Keith took two other referees to represent Australia as official referees for the first time in the World Gateball Championship in Niigata in Japan in 2014.

Wherever and whenever he could, Keith and his wife, Val, travelled all over the country at various times to spread the ‘seed’ of Gateball much like Johnny Appleseed spread the apple seeds in the USA. Now, there are players in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland as well as Victoria where he started his Gateball career. After all of these ‘firsts’ in Gateball, Keith never tires of helping all the players who wish to learn about the tactics, the skills, the rules and the knowledge he has gained. Selflessly, he has hastened the spread of the sport of Gateball so it was a wonderful thing to see Keith’s surprise when he received the painting as a token of appreciation in front of all of the local and overseas players and dignitaries.

Garden City Gateball Teams Tournament, Toowoomba

Toowoomba Croquet Club held its annual Garden City Gateball Teams Tournament over the weekend of 30th September until 1st October. It had been an unusually dry and warmer winter so everyone experienced a very warm Saturday for the first day of the event. Nine teams were competing with two from Toowoomba and two from Southport. Rockhampton players made the long drive from home to compete and were warmly welcomed. Many of these teams were gaining the necessary practice required for the Australian Gateball Teams Championship that is being held two weeks later at Bateau Bay.

The President of Toowoomba Croquet Club, Paul Reynolds, welcomed everyone and  Cr.  McDonald opened the competition by successfully sending he ball through Gate 1. All of the games were completed as per schedule on day 1 and the standard of catering was very good. Sunday came along and what a change in the weather! Clouds formed and the welcome rain was heading Toowoomba’s way. But all went well for the completion of the games and the presentation of prizes and the drawing of the raffle prizes.

The results were very close and it was not until the final game that all placings were decided. Winning 6 games the Ipswich Snoopy team was in first place just as they did last year. Then, with 4 teams each winning 5 games, a count back was needed so Net Points were calculated. Second place went to Blue Macs, third place went to Southport Red, fourth place went to Redcliffe Roses and fifth place went to Southport White. All the teams planning to compete at the Nationals will have some fine tuning to do. Rain started falling as most people drove home.

1st place - Ipswich Snoopys

1st place – Ipswich Snoopys

2nd place Blue Macs

2nd place Blue Macs

 

View of the clubhouse

View of the clubhouse

Big crowd of players during the break in play

Big crowd of players during the break in play

The Doubles Tournament followed the Teams event on Sunday afternoon. By Monday morning a heavy fog descended over the area. Despite this and the difficult conditions the wet lawns, play continued.

Monday's weather- Fog!

Monday’s weather- Fog!

Hard to see the Grandstand through the fog

Hard to see the Grandstand through the fog

The Final of the Doubles tournament was between Block A winners Geoff and Kurt and Block B winners Sandra and Jan. Congratulations to  Sandra and Jan who won the Doubles. (Thanks to Dianne Sweet for the fog photos)

Referee is Bruce McAlister seen through the rain.

Referee is Bruce McAlister seen through the rain.

Queensland Gateball Team Championship 2017

The Queensland Gateball Team Championship 2017 was played at the McIlwraith Croquet Club over the week-end of 19th and 20th August.

Sandy Ridgway, President of McIlwraith Croquet Club, welcomed guests and players to the thirteenth Queensland Gateball Team Championships over the week-end of 19th and 20th August. A first ball was successfully played through Gate One by Ali King, Community Liaison Officer for our local MP Steven Miles.

Windy but fine conditions encouraged players out into the sunshine.  McIlwraith Croquet Club lawns are in good condition ready for the National Golf Croquet Championships being held there in September.

There were 647 winning points scored in the 45 games played. Seventy players representing 18 clubs played in 10 teams over the 2 days. Two games were decided on a count-back and one game with a tie breaker shoot-out. Many games had close scores showing competition was intense.

All teams won at least 3 games with just one team winning 8 games. The “Old Macs” winning team consisted of Philip Brown from Kew in Victoria, Bruce McAlister from Ipswich CC, Helen Donaldson, Bernie Finnigan, John angus and Frances Wregg representing McIlwraith Croquet Club.

The “Old Macs” won the Queensland Teams Gateball Championship and the Lola Whyte Gateball Memorial Trophy, wresting it from the six-time winning team from Canberra. Alan Whyte, Lola’s son, presented the trophy to the “Old Macs” team.

President of Queensland Croquet Association, Valda Wintzer presented medallions to the winners and second placed team “Canberra”.

Results are available at gateballscores.

Championship play
Perfect weather as play gets underway at McIlwraith for the Queensland Gateball Teams Championship.

Canberra Team
Valda Wintzer, President of QCA, gives medals to the runners-up who came up from Canberra escaping the winter weather.

Lola Whyte Trophy presentation
Alan Whyte presents the Lola Whyte Trophy to Philip Brown who captained the winning team the “Old Macs” at McIlwraith Croquet Club.

Old Macs and Trophy
Winners of the Queensland Gateball Team Championships were the “Old Macs” who won the Lola Whyte Trophy. The team are Bruce Macalister, Philip Brown, Bernie Finnegan, John Angus, Frances Wregg and Helen Donaldson.
Frances Wregg – August 2017

Mallet Sports on the Broadwater- Teams Event

MSOB was held over a typical QLD weekend in winter where the weather was perfect, the sun was shining and the winds were negligible. Seven teams participated- Ipswich, Beyond Blue Macs, Redcliffe Roses, Woodville in South Australia, Southport White, Southport Red and Broadwater. The Broadwater team was a composite one  which had Glenda Windust and Pat Burton from Caloundra, Bruce McAlister from Ipswich joining two new members from Southport- Julia Tai and John Cheng. The team that travelled the furthest was the young team from Woodville, captained by David Hughes from the Gold Coast.

A group photo of the competitors in the Teams event.

A group photo of the competitors in the Teams event.

The Patron of Southport Croquet Club and local Councillor, Dawn Crichlow OAM, officially welcomed the players and sent a ball through a make-shift gate created by Bruce McAlister QLD -Director of Gateball- and John Park -Australian Co-ordinator of Gateball. The schedule flowed smoothly, the lawns were in good condition and the catering supplied to the players was, once again, of a high quality. By 10:30 on Sunday morning the round robin format was concluded and the results were finalised.  In first place was the Southport Red team with 5 wins. This is the third time in four years that Southport has won this Teams competition. The newest member, Roy Huang from Taiwan, was a welcome asset to the team.  Second place went to Beyond Blue Macs, also with 5 wins but with 12 fewer net points. Third place was taken by Southport White. The presentations were made by Michael Hare, owner of the Sponsor -Vision MichaelHare EyeCare Plus.

Southport Red displaying the trophy with the sponsor, Michael Hare.

Southport Red displaying the trophy with the sponsor, Michael Hare.

Second place getters- Beyond Blue Macs

Second place getters- Beyond Blue Macs

Third place went to Southport White.

Third place went to Southport White.

Gateball Puzzle #4

Thanks to Philip Brown from the Kew Croquet Club who submitted gateball puzzle #4 based on a real situation from the NSW gateaball championships in 2015.

Readers should leave a reply in the comments.

Gateball Puzzle #4:
3 to play. The score is 3-6 with 25:00 remaining in the match.
What should 3 do on it’s turn?
Puzzle4

Previous gateball puzzles are available at the links below:

Gateball puzzle #1
Gateball puzzle #2 - difficult
Gateball puzzle #3

Gateball puzzle #1 also included information on the format of the puzzle and outlined how you can submit your own puzzle.