2016 Asian Gateball Championship

UPDATE 24 OCTOBER

Here are some photos from John Park. The team lineup for the final,  a shootout in the knockout rounds and Nam, Australia’s very popular translator.img_20161023_155622 img_20161023_131738 img_20161023_142129

UPDATE 23 OCTOBER PM

Correction: Kangaroos d Kan Onji Japan 17 – 11.

With two wins and one loss the Kangaroos only miss out on the knockout round on for and against. A fantastic showing against strong teams from Korea, China and Japan. Well done team.

In the knockout rounds China continued their dominance of international gateball with Shandong defeating Chun Jiangxi 9-8 in the final. Chinese teams filled six of the top eight positions overall. The knockout results are below:
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UPDATE 22 OCTOBER

Good results by the Kangaroos in their first two matches:
Kangaroos d. Fuyang China 10 – 7
Daejeon Korea d. Kangaroos 15 – 11

One game to come against the currently undefeated Kan-Onji (Japan). The Kangaroos need a big win (by 10) to progress to the knockout phase.
Full results are available at: http://gateball.or.jp/

Some pictures from the practice day and opening ceremony are below courtesy of the Japanese Gateball Union.

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UPDATE 21 OCTOBER

Good luck to Jim and Barbara Northcott (QLD), Gilon Smith, Bryan Johnson (ACT) and John Park (NSW) who will be representing Australia at the Asian Gateball Championship in Namwon, South Korea from 21-23 October.14732220_1141066439275598_5493714809670863295_n img_0220
The Kangaroos have drawn a tough block in the 96 team competition with international powerhouses Daejeon (South Korea), Kan-Onji (Japan) and Fuyang (China) in Block 6A.
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The opening ceremony on Friday and knockout rounds on Sunday will be broadcast online on YouTube (recommended) or Ustream (not recommended) as per the times and links below. The YouTube channels include a useful countdown to start time. Note times are Japanese local times.

●Friday,October 21th
Opening Ceremony 17:30~18:50
YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDXpagcmirc Ustream:http://tinyurl.com/nraeq2s

●Sunday,October 23th
1nd Round on Championship Tournament  12:30-13:00
2nd Round on Championship Tournament  13:15-13:45
3rd Round on Championship Tournament   14:00-14:30
Semi-Final                  14:45-15:15
Final                    15:30-16:00
YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhkMtvKeecY
Ustream:http://tinyurl.com/nraeq2s

Results are expected to be published progressively published at: http://gateball.or.jp/

 

Gateball in Singapore

singapore 1We visited Singapore for a few weeks in August, and were keen if possible to have some games of Gateball while we were there.  At the time we were unable to get information as to the current state of the game in Singapore, although Mr. Keith Macleod kindly gave us contact details for the person he knew some time previously as President of the Singapore Gateball Association, Mr Wong Kwai Wah.

Before leaving for our Singapore visit, we therefore contacted Mr Wong who, it transpires, still holds the office of President for the next two years.  He told us that there are a number of Gateball lawns in Singapore which are all provided, mowed and maintained free by the Singapore government as part of their policy to encourage their senior citizens to be active.  The lawns are provided with floodlights, also free, which come on when the sun sets about 7 pm.

Mr Wong arranged for us to play with the Bishan East players on a Gateball lawn in the Bishan estate in Singapore.  The Bishan East players play three times a week from 6 pm to 10 pm (to avoid the heat and humidity of the day), and they are very good players.  They were very helpful and hospitable to us.  There was no clubhouse at the lawn, but the Gateball players brought a folding table and chairs, together with a trolley of home-cooked food and drinks for the evening.  Hence, we were eating and drinking whenever we could manage a bite.

Mr. Wong himself turned up later in the evening to meet us.  He told us that he no longer actively plays Gateball due to his back injury.  He said they don’t subscribe to the World Gateball Union because the fee is too high (US$500 per annum) and they don’t get sufficient benefit from it to warrant their membership.  From our conversation with him, we have the impression that the Gateball community in Singapore is quite small, there being perhaps 18 to 20 different groups of players.  They seem to be happy enough to play among themselves without the need for international competition.

As President of the Singapore Gateball Association Mr Wong is still the contact person for Gateball Singapore.  He has said that we can refer our friends to him if they would like to play Gateball in Singapore.  His e-mail address is guihua@email.com and he can be contacted on his mobile number +6594503347.

John and Chris Thompson

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Gateball Open de Beaune 1st ­- 3rd July 2016

The second 2016 event in the European Gateball League calendar was held in Beaune, Burgundy, over the first weekend in July. A multicultural contingent included European League players from France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany, supplemented by players from Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Norway and Australia.

It was a wonderful weekend, hosted by Gateball Bourgogne Franche Compte, a club new to the game of Gateball. The most experienced local players had only played for 5 months, others for a few weeks and some only a few days before the event. Undaunted, the locals, under the leadership of Laurent Gueraud and Anne Sirot, organised an event which showcased their region and demonstrated that they will be a future force in Gateball.

Playing and practice was interspersed with a great range of local activities,including a visit to the site of Beaune’s hospice, a Middle Ages Medicare facility that provided a service for the local population. Local player Anne took us all to her family vineyard for wine tasting and supper on the first night. The random draw for the competition was conducted at the cellar door, while we sampled Anne and Pierre Sirot’s wines.

Although the Burgundians wore maroon uniforms similar to Queensland colours, we were thankful that the similarity did not extend to Queensland starting times. At a civilised hour the following morning, play in the doubles began and games in three pools of four teams were completed that day. The singles were played in a knockout format, completed on the second day.

On Saturday evening participants enjoyed a meal of local delights at a restaurant in a nearby village. The first course pate, the Boeuf Bourguignon to die for, the dessert and creamy local cheeses were all washed down with local wines. The evening ended shortly before midnight.

On the second day, early stage games were completed and final series games took place. In the singles event Danny Davids, a Swiss/Belgian player, fought hard before John, playing a patient game, pulled ahead. Australian players John and Penny Park played John Swabey and Andre Bozanovic from the Eifel. The latter pair demonstrated a developing understanding of the game, forcing the Australian pair to work hard for their eventual win.

For players who have not been playing for very long, the Europeans played really well. Remembering the positions of balls in order to spark into attacking positions, resisting the temptation to spark through gates, placing balls together, being patient in setting up and using gates and touches are all aspects of Gateball where European players are developing their understanding of game strategy.

The site for the event was a soccer stadium outside Beaune. The surface was even although once balls were sparked, the well watered surface was bunkered and balls tended to jump. Slides were difficult to play.

Keiichi Imagawa is well known to many Australians for his role in supporting the development of the game Down Under. His ‘retirement’ project has been to establish Gateball in Europe.  His charm and enthusiasm made a great impact on his audience. New players benefited from his patient coaching prior to and during the tournament. He has worked very successfully with the European Gateball League triumvirate: John Swabey of Germany, Bernard Thys of Belgium and Dave Underhill of Switzerland.

With limited numbers playing at this stage, the European Gateball League has proposed a round of competitions playing singles and doubles at different places in Europe. The next competition in a month or so is to take place in Geneva at CERN. A round of similar events is planned for future years and Gateballers from Australia are encouraged to check out the list of these open events on the Gateball League’s website. A link is to be found on Gateball Australia’s website under Contacts –  Links. The European organisers have told us they will keep us informed of dates of events in future years.

An exciting element of the French situation is the government support they receive. The French Goverment makes a deliberate effort to keep its rural communities healthy. Local organisations are part of the Federation Nationale Sport en Mileu Rural . The National President, Brigitte Linder, accompanied by the Vice President, attended the event and is obviously excited about the potential of the game and is prepared to lend support to its development in France.

Vive la France!

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Canberra Visitors in Hong Kong

Dave Roberts from Canberra recently visited Hong Kong and was keen to have a taste of gateball at a local club. Here’s his story.

HK VisitWe took the MTR from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station to Kwai Fung in the New territories. Samuel Fung (middle red check shirt) and his friend (far left blue sweater) met us at the MTR. Then we went by bus to the activities park where there are two gateball courts which are also used for junior soccer. The grass is greener and longer than Canberra so the court was slower and more bumpy.

There are more than 1000 gateball players with 11 courts around HK but then there are 7 million in Hong Kong.

Sam and the guy on the far right in a red cap are both very good players. The club president is in the centre of the photo.  More people turned up after this photo was taken.  I’m afraid to say I embarrassed the Canberra gateball standings in 3 games in HK. There were a couple of very good players. I think one of them managed to spark all the opponent’s balls off during his turn.

Anyway it was fun. The rules are slightly different as they can keep going round the hoops.** Also some of them have mallets which are only legal in China – 1 end is flat vertical as normal but the other end is sloped back which puts back spin on the ball and you can hit a ball and yours will stop or reverse.

I played three games before Josie and I had to leave and return to the hotel to go to a symphony concert. Josie plays GC croquet but has never tried Gateball so she sat out and talked to some interesting people.

It was great fun and everyone was very friendly.

Dave Roberts
Canberra

** Comment from Maggi. These different rules must explain why the timers currently being sold in Australia count up to 25 for each ball!

Overseas News

Venue for 2018 WGU championships announcedWGU

It has just been announced that São Paolo will host the 2018 WGU championships. A date in September or November will be chosen.

If current selection policy is to be continued this will mean that the National Gateball Championships to be held in EDSACC, Bateau Bay, NSW, will be where the selection will take place.

Gateball Australia will review the current process later this year. Submissions will be welcomed from anyone interested.

Europe tries some creative solutions

Gateball league LogoHaving promoted  Gateball Come and Try Sessions for a number of years in Belgium, France, Germany Switzerland and the UK, a European brains trust of David Underhill, Bernard Thys and John Swabey have decided to promote a Gateball League.

The difficult challenge of finding two teams with at least five players in each team has led the European team to organise a series of events in a Gateball League. Each tournament in the series will follow the same format which will run over three days. The first day will largely be training and explanations which will allow beginners to start playing. On the following two days, usually over a weekend, doubles and singles will be played. A detailed description of the league format is described here. 

Events for 2016 have already been planned at Einschmidt in Germany from the 22nd to 24th April and at Beaune in France from the 1st to the 3rd July. This link provides further information.

The events are open to visitors from other parts of the world.

The Europeans have structured their events like this for a number of reasons. They hope that it enables them to develop a track record as organisers of gateball events which will establish their credentials with prospective sponsors. They plan that this is a step towards gateball teams events in Europe and would like other countries other countries to adopt their format.