The recent Thailand Gateball Championships were attended by many teams from overseas- two teams even travelled from Europe. Friends of ours from Japan- Keiichi Imagawa and Satoshi Kamijo- enjoyed their experience and were place getters.
One thing puzzled me was in the photos of Satoshi wearing bibs with letters on them. I asked him about this and Satoshi’s reply is worth noting.” This tournament is worth visiting. They use letters marked ‘A’ to ‘D’ bibs in doubles. A and C players are on the same team and B and D on the other side. The stroking order is circular. Player A plays balls 1, 5 and 9 and Player B plays 2,6 and 10 in the first turn. C for 3 and 7 and D for 4 and 8. In the second turn A and C switch their roles”.
We all know how it can be confusing in a Doubles Championship as to who plays next- particularly when refereeing- so this use of letters on the bibs would seem to be very helpful. Judging from reports from Keiichi and Satoshi, the whole competitions was colourful, competitive but so friendly. Sightseeing around the area of Pattaya was especially popular.
So, perhaps if you planning a trip next year and Thailand is in the mix of your tourist destination, consider forming a composite Aussie team. Everyone knows how friendly a country Thailand is. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The Lithgow competition this year was the last on the old lawns. The grant to upgrade the facilities will see future events have the use of 3 gateball courts. The Lithgow/Blue Mountains competition is the longest running open CNSW Club Gateball Competition and 2020 will hopefully be a celebratory 10th!
The 2019 competition was played in cooler weather than previous year at Lithgow but clashed with popular croquet competitions. Held shortly before Canberra’s Tavender Trophy and close to the Victorian State Championships, the number of participants was reduced.
Given the smaller numbers, Lithgow needed to be innovative with the format of the competition.
A round robin between four teams takes three rounds and referees are not possible. The club decided to include only a single round robin for the 4 teams on Sunday. Teams winning one of these games won two points per game.
For the rest of the comp each team split in two halves: A and B. Players were permanently assigned to a half – no switching mid comp
As a result there were 8 half teams. Each half team played all the other half teams, except the other half of their own team. As a result, each half team played 6 games. In contrast to the full team games, the winner of a half team game won one point towards their team total. This format ensured games were refereed.
After all the half team games had been played, Torpedoes and Epstars had both compiled 7 points while Lightning were close on 6. Torpedos pair, Judy and Ruth from the Torpedos had played outstandingly well to win all their half team games.
Both the Torpedoes and Lightning won their first two full team games leaving them on 11 and 10 points respectively. With two points up for grabs in the final round the game between the Torpedos and Lightning was essentially a final. Somewhat of an anticlimax, the last game did not produce the standard of play that both teams had been able to demonstrate previously. Lightning won the game and event after number 9, Robyn clinched the win with an agari in the last 5 minutes to secure a 2 point win.
Thunder and Epstars had not won a game in the team round robin and tussled in the final game which Thunder won on countback.
While results are posted on gateball scores as usual, this table tabulates the combined result for the full team and half team blocks
|Half Team A wins||Half Team B wins||Total points for half team games||Total points for full team games (2 pts per win)||Overall Points|
Competitors were delighted with a visit from previous club president, Cindy, partner Steve and youngsters Beth (now known as Eliza) and Paul. Lithgow still claims to be the only club at which its President gave birth while in office! Beat that!
A short refereeing workshop was held before play on Saturday. The intricacies of ‘Start Stroking’ were discussed. A few misconceptions were clarified. The diagram and wording on pages 69 to 74 of the 2015 rulebook were the most useful reference. Referee reaccreditation cards for 2019 werealso distributed. Robyn Hayes of Lithgow and Helen Chalmers of the Torpedos also completed their referee assessment. Thanks to you both for taking on the challenge.
Taree Croquet Club on the Mid North Coast of NSW will host the NSW Championships for 2019. Taree CC has 3 croquet lawns, with a member base of 50 plus and currently do not play gateball. Along with the opportunity of hosting this event, Taree is hoping to enter a team and maybe add another code to their club.
6 experienced gateball players from Toronto, Newcastle National Park, Epping, Lithgow and Jamberoo headed to Taree on a very hot day to present a coaching and basic refereeing workshop. Taree CC was well prepared with one gateball court already marked.
Attendees came from Taree, Port Macquarie and Forster clubs, all very experienced croquet players eager to learn about gateball. Lots of laughs and some very unique stances developed as the drills session kicked in.
Sparking, as always was proving to be a challenge, but by the day’s end most had mastered the technique.
Several games were played with modified rules to ensure continued flow and interest in the game. During play some of the complex rules that govern our code were explained to our newest players.
Gateball will now continue to be played at Taree as the club has been able to borrow CNSW equipment through NSW Gateball Director Mary Dunn.
A brief meeting was also held with dedicated members to discuss the intricacies of gateball tournaments. This will see that this year’s Championship is one not to be missed.
So put September 20-22 in your diary, come for a few extra days and explore the Taree region as well.
Glenda and Manuel Gutierrez
Jamberoo Croquet Club
Gateball at Government House, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Australia Day 26/01/2019.
A sparkling day with sparkling views. What a great way to spend Australia Day with family, friends & playing gateball at Government House.
We were invited to play by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales, Patron of Croquet New South Wales.
We appreciated the invitation and being able to showcase both gateball and golf croquet to the visiting public.
While the New South Wales Police Band played an enjoyable selection of music, we were able to engage with the public & have them play gateball. We were pleasantly surprised by the standard of play by some of the visitors with one achieving agari. A lot of interest expressed and contacts made.
A few of us took the opportunity to tour Government House & the gardens. We were there when the Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A aircraft conducted a flypast and later the new Qantas Airbus A380 circled low over Sydney Harbour, all part of the 2019 Australia Day celebrations.
As volunteers we enjoyed a welcomed cup of tea, with sandwiches, fruit & cake in the staff room at Government House.
A very enjoyable Australia Day.
Epping Croquet Club