Despite the concern that accommodation would be a difficulty because of the “Beef Week” promotion that was being held at the same time as the Gateball Challenge, seven teams travelled to Rockhampton for the two days of the Team competition and one extra day for the Doubles. The setting of Rockhampton Mallet Sports Club is a magnificent one surrounded by huge trees and situated in a quiet area as part of the famous Botanical Gardens as shown in the photo below.
Everything was well organised with four courts and a practice court painted on the ground. The clubhouse and covered area gave good shelter to everyone when there were a few showers on Sunday and Monday. Delicious food was served and plentiful supplies of tea and coffee fuelled everyone. There were new players to Gateball Competition so it was very good to welcome the team from Capricorn Coast led by Greg Featherstone as well as the team from Caloundra with three new players led by Glenda Windust. A composite team called the ‘Beach Beauties’ came from Eildon, Deception Bay and Bribie Island. The other teams were Ipswich Snoopy’s, Redcliffe, Rockhampton, and Southport Red.
There were very close games and it was not until the final round was completed that the placings were decided. Southport Red and Ipswich Snoopy’s each won 5 games but first place went to Ipswich because of a better tally of net points. Third place was secured by Rockhampton. It is very good to note the improvement in this team’s performance and a home ground advantage came to the fore.
The Ipswich Snoopy team is presented with First Prize by Don Close.
The President of Croquet Queensland, Mr Don Close, was able to attend the presentation. He was able to meet so many of the players and the visitors to Rockhampton.
Southport Red receives second prize from Don Close.
The Gateball Doubles were played in two block with 5 pairs in each block. In the semi- finals Peter and Bruce from Block A played second place-getters in B Block- Lynne and Margaret. Geoff and Paul, winners of Block B, played Jim and Barbara who were placed second in Block A. Lynne and Margaret had a tough tussle to defeat Peter and Bruce so they could meet Jim and Barbara in the Final. This Final was a close game but Jim and Barbara managed to secure first place in the Doubles Challenge.
Jim and Barbara Northcott receive the First Prize from Don Close with Lynne and Margaret placed second.
Once again Rockhampton Mallet Sports Club demonstrated how good they are at organising Gateball Tournaments. Congratulations to all of the club members for their hard work and to Lynne Farry for her tireless efforts as a player as well as the Manager of the Challenge. This club will be hosting the QLD Gateball Teams and Doubles 17-20th August and we look forward to seeing many teams competing here at that time in Rockhampton where the weather will be so good for all of those who can visit from the southern states.
Greg Featherstone achieving an ‘agari’ for his Capricorn Coast team.
Since 2012 Southport Croquet Club has been hosting a one-day Triples Competition. Held this year on Sunday 22nd April, there were 8 teams that participated. It is always a busy day to fit in 7 games for each team. However, the usual smooth running of the event was ensured by the careful planning by Julia Vickers. In the photo below the happy group are waving to the photographers.
Just a few light showers arrived in the middle of the day but nobody was fazed by that. Plenty of delicious food sustained everyone thanks to the generous donations by club members. There were plenty of supporters from Southport CC who were assisting the Gateball players by scoring or by organising the food for morning and afternoon tea and a BBQ lunch.
Three games per round had to be refereed by two teams ( 6 or 7 players) so it was ‘all hands on deck’ to complete the tasks needed to referee a match. The teams co-operated very well so there were no difficulties in covering the refereeing tasks. Some of the teams had 4 members so there was one player available to take on a role.
Every team had at least 2 wins and it was until the second-last round that a clear winner emerged. It was a team from Redcliffe. Second place was a team from Southport- the Bombers. Congratulations to these place getters and to all of the participants who made it another good event on the QLD Gateball calendar.
Redcliffe wins the first prize presented by John Turner, President of Southport CC
Southport Bombers accepting the second prize with John Turner.
Thanks to Philip Brown from the Kew Croquet Club who created the puzzle which was used as the basis for the tactics session at the 2017 Australian Gateball Championship.
Readers should leave a reply in the comments.
Gateball Puzzle #5: Order in the House!
The score is 10-9 with 15:00 remaining in the match.
Ball 2 has just made Gate 3. What should it do next?
Now change teams. What should Red do with Ball 3?
Previous gateball puzzles are available at the links below:
Gateball puzzle #1
Gateball puzzle #2 - difficult
Gateball puzzle #3
Gateball puzzle #4
Gateball puzzle #1 also included information on the format of the puzzle and outlined how you can submit your own puzzle.
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.
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.
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
2nd place Blue Macs
View of the clubhouse
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!
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.