The Sydney Sunday Gateball Circuit

Several Sydney clubs have now established the Sydney Sunday Gateball Circuit. Players gather on a succession of Sunday mornings at Epping, Eastwood or Strathfield. Visitors are welcome.

Venues, timing and contacts for the circuit are:

Strathfield, first Sunday of the month
Eastwood, second Sunday of the month
Epping, fourth Sunday of the month

Anyone interested in playing should make contact by email to register their intention to play and to make sure that sessions will go ahead as scheduled.

Sessions commence at 9.15 and continue until about noon. Morning teas are described as “lovely” and anyone who has benefited from the hospitality of gateballers at these clubs will attest to their culinary magnificence. A retired chef at one of the clubs sets a standard that the others match!

strathfieldStrathfield has recently joined this circuit of venues and were delighted to find their first two sessions were well attended. In February, 23 players attended for the opening session. The March session attracted 14 players and last weekend at Eastwood numbers were up to 16.

Players have a rich background in the whole range of mallet sports and attract regular visitors from Toronto, Killara, Newcastle and Hazelbrook.

Players from these clubs have, for several years, played under the name Epstars – a composite of the founding clubs of the circuit Epping, Eastwood and Killara. Does the last s now represent Strathfield? The Epstars have had some success as a team. They were the third placed Australian team at the 2017 Australian Gateball Championships, have once won the NSW Gateball Championships and have had successes in NSW club competitions.

Lithgow Gateball Tournament 2018

group photoTwo years ago, as a thunderstorm raged around them, the Lithgow players were pondering suitable names for their team. Lightning was a natural choice and, as the number of players grew, teams Thunder and Storm joined the list.

So it is fitting that the Third Annual Lithgow Gateball Competition should have gone out with a bang. Forecast storms circled around the town throughout Sunday but all games were completed – until the final was due to start!

It had been a great tournament until then. Seven teams took part; one each from Canberra and Newcastle, two from Epstars and three from Lithgow. With 7 teams taking part, Lithgow was once again challenged as to how to structure the comp. We played a round robin on the Saturday extending to the first game on Sunday. With not enough time to play a second round robin we played a modified seeded double elimination knockout on Sunday This ensured each team had at least two extra games but a problem was that in abbreviating the knockout we may have upset its integrity.

The round robin was very even, one team on 4 wins, 5 teams on 3 wins and one on 2 wins. The knockout provided some interesting games and finally the two finalists were decided – Canberra and Lithgow Lightning. But as we prepared for the final, thunder and lightning descended and a discussion took place between the two teams who agreed that the last game should be abandoned and a draw declared.

Organising a draw for 7 teams is always tricky. Comments from participants and readers on how to structure a 7 team comp to run over two days but to finish early enough on the Sunday for players to drive home would be very welcome.  If anyone has any suggestions please write your ideas in the comments section below.

During the weekend Peter Freer completed his level 2 referee assessment and was presented with his badge on Sunday. An appeal was made for more people to qualify as referees with a target set of at least 2 referees for every team entering a comp. Gateballers were asked to note that the first step to becoming a referee is to undertake the Community Officiating General Principles Course available on the Australian Sports Commission website at

Judy Tier completed her training as a level 1 gateball coach and was presented with her certificate alongside Ruth Bridger who had been accredited at a session in December at Strathfield. The prerequisite for this qualification is another ASC course, Community Coaching General Principles, which is available through the same ASC learning portal.

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Woodville Christmas Doubles

woodville 11It’s quite amazing sometimes how good stuff happens with Gateball – what started as a simple request for me to nick off from a conference in Melbourne (unfortunately it was the weekend of the NSW State tournament) ended up with an impromptu doubles tournament at Woodville Croquet Club this morning (27th December 2017).

7 teams competed – Ben & Ann, Trish & Bev, and Geoff & Chris from Woodville (SA); Barry & Peter and Graeme & Philip from Hyde Park (SA); Phillip from Kew (Vic) played with David from Millswood (SA) and John & Beryl travelled furthest from McIlwraith (QLD).

The draw was divided into 2 blocks – one of 3 teams and one of 4 with the winners of each block playing off in a final. Ben and Ann from Woodville won both their games in Block A and faced the composite team of David and Philip in the final after they won their 3 Block B games.

woodville 4Experience showed with Philip captaining a perfect game to take out the tournament.

Many thanks to all players and helpers, and maybe we’ll see a few more interstate players next year!

Geoff Crook, Woodville Croquet Club

Advanced Notice: South Australia are considering hosting a doubles competition. Maybe around Easter 2018 or 19. More info when decisions have been made.

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Kew dominant at the CNSW Gateball Championships

Jamberoo and Kew prepare for their final game

Jamberoo and Kew prepare for their final game

The NSW Gateball Championships were held in Young, NSW, over the weekend of 17-19 November. New South Wales was represented by 6 teams, one of which was strengthened by the inclusion of Queensland’s Bruce McAlister. Victoria was represented by five players from Kew and one from Essendon. The remaining CNSW team was from Canberra.

Young had generously stepped into the breach to host the tournament on short notice and provided an excellent venue for the event. This was Young’s first gateball competition and their friendly welcome was appreciated by all. High-quality gateball was on display for the entire weekend.

The pairs competition was held on the Friday, with 14 pairs competing. Philip Brown and Kerry Seipolt went through the rounds undefeated, topping their block and winning a semi-final over Kerrie Sutherland and Judy Squelch. Peter Freer and Hilary White topped the second block, but lost to Elaine Coverdale and Trish Watts in the semi-final. That left four Victorians playing the doubles final. Nerves got the better of both pairs early in the final, before giving way to a free-flowing and hard-fought game. Elaine made a magnificent touch-and-gate, but tactical positioning of sequential balls saw Philip and Kerry win back control and go on to take the final 12 points to 9.

Some CNSW players remembered a visit to Young to introduce gateball 6 years earlier when temperatures had reached 40 plus! This weekend  did not reach extremes of temperature but was was an exercise in contrasts with torrential rain on the Saturday dampening the courts, but not the spirits of the competitors. The rain had cleared by the Sunday and the tournament finished in blazing sunshine.

The hosts, Young, made their competition debut and impressed everyone with their sharp improvement over the tournament and won the prize for the best new team in the process. The final match of the round-robin saw eventual semi-finalists the Newcastle Sabres scrape home 14-12 over the home team in front of a cheering crowd.

Kew and Jamberoo dominated the round-robin stage, both taking six wins from the seven games. Kew’s sole loss was to Jamberoo, while Jamberoo were bested by perennial strong performer Canberra. It seemed fitting that the team final saw Kew and Jamberoo take each other on for the second time.

Jamberoo made the early running in the final, but an excellent long-range touch from Elaine turned the tables. Kew dominated the middle third of the game, scoring heavily and scattering the opponents’ balls. While Jamberoo came back in the later stages of the match, Kew held on to win by 13 points to 10.

In his winner’s speech, Philip acknowledged the tussle between the two teams in both the round robin and finals stages. As runners up, Jamberoo’s Manuel Gutierrez noted that his team had won the new teams trophy at Maitland a few years ago and thereby set up the challenge for Young!

As always, detailed results are available on

The event was opened by local Mayor, Brian Ingham who stroked a ball through the ceremonial gate with the aplomb of an experienced player.

Also worthy of note was that the event was run by the concerted efforts of a number of CNSW clubs. The position of state chair of gateball has been vacant since mid October. Mary Dunn has volunteered for the position and she will be sending her nomination in to CNSW as soon as possible. Mary awarded the prizes at the end of the competition. Thanks were also given to Maggi Williams of Lithgow who undertook the administration necessary for the competition  to proceed.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone involved in making a wonderful tournament happen.

Mayor, Brian Ingham's perfect shot

Mayor, Brian Ingham’s perfect shot

Caloundra Masters Gateball Teams and Doubles

Despite the heavy rain elsewhere, Caloundra experienced fine weather for their annual Masters Teams and Doubles competition. Always a very good venue, the courts were in tip top condition for the fast games in Gateball. The proceedings were smoothly controlled and with the very friendly club members, everyone was welcomed. There were many good close games although not really high scoring ones.

Six teams vied for the placings. In the photos you will see Susan Bertram, President of Caloundra MSC, and Glenda Windust, Tournament Manager, presenting first prize to the Toowoomba  team. Second place went to Redcliffe Roses team and in 3rd place was Southport White.

Toowoomba were the winners.

Toowoomba were the winners.

Redcliffe Roses came 2nd

Redcliffe Roses came 2nd

Southport White was 3rd

Southport White was 3rd

Redcliffe Roses with Jen's Friends' team

Redcliffe Roses with Jen’s Friends’ team

Jan Wells in action

Jan Wells in action

Toowoomba team read to play the Rocky Point team

Toowoomba team read to play the combination Rocky Island team.jpg

Seven teams contested the Gateball Doubles event. Paul Ekberg and Geoff Morris won that in a close finish against Barbara Ridgeway and Pat each with five wins. It was good that several “new faces” competed over the weekend. Always, new players are welcomed to Gateball competitions. 2018 awaits and hopefully more new players will enter the competitions.

Niki and Nikki are ready to shine in the Doubles Competition

Niki and Nikki are ready to shine in the Doubles Competition

(Thanks to Julia Vickers, Julia Tai and Redcliffe Gateball club for their photos and comments for this article. Barbara Northcott)