Queensland Gateball’s Program for 2018

Queensland’s Gateball’s new directors have set themselves an ambitious program for 2018

In the area of coaching they aim to have:

  • Three people trained as Trainers of Coaches as conducted by the QLD Director of Coaching.
  • Each club that plays Gateball to have a qualified Australian Level 1 Coach for Gateball
  • Each club that plays Gateball to have a minimum of two players who participate in three coaching updates organised in 2018

In the area of refereeing they aim to:

  • Have their two international referees gaining  reaccreditation following the successful reaccreditation of Keith McCleod and Bruce McAlister in 2017
  • Ensure each club that plays Gateball competitively has a minimum of one qualified Australian Referee
  • Have att least three Level 2 Referees in QLD pass the theory and practical examination to become Level 1 Referees
  • Have  at least five players in QLD pass the theory and practical examination to become Level 2 Referees.
  • Each club that plays Gateball has a minimum of three players who participate in Referee updates organised at designated Competition venues in 2018.

The program of activities to support these worthy aims reads as follows:

  • The program of training for gateball coaching and officiating was outlined to players at the McIlwraith Tournament on the 24th March,  The training program was explained including the necessity for completion of Australian Sports Commission on-line course “Introductory Officiating- General Principles” and timetables announced for Level 1 and Level 2 Referee examinations.
  • A coaching program for team captains will be presented on 5th May, at the Rockhampton Challenge
  • From 2-3rd June at the Ipswich Challenge, level 1 and level 2 referee theory examinations will be conducted
  • An information session for recorders and lines persons  will be presented on the 30th June at the Southport Gateball Tournament.
  • On 14th July, at the Redcliffe Teams Event, a session will be conducted on using the Basic Skills Cards for coaching
  • On 4th August , at Eildon,  a referee Q&A session with explanations will be presented.
  • Practical tests for Referee candidates for Level 1 and 2 will be conducted from 17-20 August at the State Teams and Doubles Championship in Rockhampton while a Foundation Coaching Course will follow from the 21st-22nd August in Rockhampton.
  • Finally, from 29 September at Toowoomba, specific details about the assistant referee role and positioning will be presented.

More detailed documents were presented in the area of coaching and refereeing and are available and can be found in the documents below.

Anyone who wishes to be accredited as a referee or coach in Victoria should contact Philip Brown, the Victorian Coordinator of GB. In CNSW contact Manual Guttierez the State Coordinator of Refereeing to become a referee. John Park, National Coordinator is the contact for coaching for CNSW, SA and WA. For refereeing in SA contact Geoff Crook at Woodville.

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Complex or what?

Australian gateballers may remember John Swabey who played at the 2017 Australian Gateball Championships with the “Internationals” team. John was visiting us from Germany and is one of the movers and shakers in the European Gateball League. John kindly sent us the following article. His rules summary is certainly recommended for new players.

Complex or what?

Across Europe in the Gateball League, we don’t have many players competent as yet to rule even on relatively simple issues such as when a ball is out.

The 2015 WGU rules of Gateball run to 42 pages, plus another 27 pages of “terminology”. In addition, there are 60 pages of “Guide for Referees”, much of which it is also important for the player to be aware of.

On top of all that, the WGU found it important to publish a 207 page Q&A booklet, sub-titled “The rules made clear” (sic). Such a convenient reference document!

What we needed, I decided, is a summary (yet another, you may say?) of practical answers to the frequently occurring situations, in an easily accessible, weather-proof format. Hey presto: my summary in just 18 laminated A5 pages, including diagrams, set in a font size (Arial 12) that even my aged eyes can easily manage to read at a glance.

I started with a German language version for the 4 clubs across Germany, but also distributed the summary in English across the additional 5+ clubs in the rest of the Gateball League (in Belgium, France and Switzerland) and to an Italian club and to the UK national centre in Ripon. The pagination is the same, for ease of discussion when different cultures clash on court.

Reference is also made to the WGU rule in question, to facilitate use of these practical answers for setting our first ever exams for would-be referees in Europe, planned for later this year. Any Australian referees travelling to Europe before October would be welcome to adjudicate exams and of course any player is welcome to sign up for one or more of our tournaments (see below).

John Swabey

http://johnswabey.wixsite.com/gateball-league/2018-tournaments

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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 https://learning.ausport.gov.au/auth/login/

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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New Year – A New Club, New Coordinators and more

Happy New Year to all Gateballers!

The new year sees some changes in our game. This is an update about a new club at Deception Bay in Queensland, changes in personnel and some background on our coordinators and initiators.

The New Club. Ros, the new President, has provided the following information: “We are excited to announce the recently formed Deception Bay Gateball Club and that we will commence play on the 3rd January 2018 at The Deception Bay Club greens at 32 Bayview Terrace, Deception Bay Queensland. Deception Bay Gateball Club plays Monday and Wednesday nights (excl public holidays).

We have been welcomed by The Deception Bay Club committee and volunteers who have created beautiful greens, including marking out the gateball courts for us. The additional feature of flood lights makes this a perfect venue for summer and winter gateball. There is also the bonus of a community club to enjoy food and beverages following the games. This is a family friendly venue.

“We have chosen to create a club that plays evening gateball to better suit the Queensland climate and to encourage players from all age groups, including those who work and have family commitments on weekends. We are keen to attract junior members over time.

“We have been blessed with support from Geoff Morris from Redcliffe Gateball Club, Jennifer Morris from Eildon Croquet Club and Barbara Northcott who provided their guidance and support in getting the processes in place to commence the club. Geoff has kindly loaned the club a full gateball kit to get us started. We also hope to have Redcliffe gateball players come to share their skills and coach others as we expand the club.

“We have had some preliminary games and the club has already attracted some new members from other clubs who frequent The Deception Bay Club such as the Deception Bay Darts Club.

Deception Bay logo“We have a wonderful logo designed by Maddie Crowe and have our new uniforms with the logo embroidered. We look forward to wearing our designs and playing as The Deception Bay Diamonds when the time comes to enter competitions. For now we will continue with evening play and hopefully as the days get cooler we may expand to some Sunday afternoon sessions”

 

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New coordinators in Queensland are State Director of Gateball, Barbara while husband Jim takes the new role as Assistant. Margaret Barnard takes on a new role coordinating refereeing in the State. Some details about these new incumbents are listed below

Margaret Barnard has played all codes of mallet sports and started playing gateball about 10 years ago. She has been an international referee for 4 years so is well suited to her new role. She recently acted as tournament referee at the 2017 Australian Gateball Championships in Bateau Bay. Margaret and husband Barry retired to Broadbeach having previously been business owners in Melbourne. Margaret has plenty of previous experience in voluntary organisations having been an ‘Akela’ in a scout troup in Melbourne where she joined alongside her three sons.

Barbara Northcott: After a career spanning 40 years as a teacher and working in QLD, ACT, NSW, China, Lithuania and Japan, Barbara chose to spend her golden years in her home state of QLD. She played competitive hockey until she was 55 representing her state as a youth, adult and veteran. Always involved with coaching and umpiring of hockey, she found it easy to settle into the croquet world where many aspects of the sport were similar to hockey. Barbara joined Southport Croquet Club in 2006.

Barbara plays association croquet with a handicap presently at four and golf croquet with a 3 handicap. Barbara was very pleased to begin playing gateball at Southport in 2007 (with Keith McLeod the visiting coach) because she had seen the game played in Japan. She went with the Southport Gateball team to the World Gateball Championships at Shanghai in China in 2010 and to Niigata, Japan in 2014. Barbara also played in the Asian Championships in Macau in 2012, in the British Championship in 2015 and the Asian Championship Namwon in South Korea in 2016. Vitally interested in attracting people to sport, she enjoys coaching in all codes of croquet and has devoted many hours to coaching school students.

Jim Northcott A.M.Jim has been a soldier in both the British and Australian Army with service in Germany and two tours to Vietnam. He represented both the British and Australian armies in hockey and qualified as a state level coach and umpire. While in the army one of the highlights was his appointment as Chief Marshal of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane 1982. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1983. Retiring as a major, he took on the role as QLD Director of Australia Day celebrations for 10 years during which time he was also the Chief Marshal of the Brisbane ANZAC Day parades. Joining Southport Croquet Club in 2006, Jim played all the codes but specialises in ricochet because it is easier on his body with arthritis causing problems.

Barbara and Jim have thoroughly enjoyed their trips overseas playing gateball and regularly play in Japan where they visit their family twice a year. Through their friendships at WGU they play in competitions in Tokyo, Nagoya and Matsumoto.

They are both qualified as Level 1 coaches for all codes of mallet sports, and Level 2 referees for gateball.

These three new incumbents are replacing Bruce McAlister who has stepped down after a long stint as Queensland’s Gateball Director. The fact that the role is to be divided amongst three people is a credit to the amount of work that Bruce has uncomplainingly shouldered for over a decade. Gateballers throughout the country owe a debt of gratitude to Bruce for all the work he has done. Thanks Bruce.

In NSW, Mary Dunn is taking over as the Chair in CNSW. In the early days of gateball in Australia, the game was run by a primarily Sydney based committee and the coordinator in that state is always referred to as the Chair. Mary relishes the chance of giving it a go. She started playing gateball when players accompanying the CNSW GB coordinator visited Nowra in 2011 where she was a player at the time. Many CNSW gateballers remember calling “foot first” whenever Mary showed a sign of wanting to kick the balls together.

Previous CNSW Gateball Chairs, Kerrie Sutherland and Judy Squelch, have stepped back from their joint post as Co-Chairs of gateball for CNSW. They took over the role in 2015 and have been appreciated for the calm and methodical way they have approached the role.

Kerrie says she only started playing the game in late 2009. She tells us that on 28th Dec 2009 Gilon came to her club – that was her first attempt at gateball. Newcastle National Park Club started playing on a Saturday afternoon but Kerrie worked so could not play. In July 2011 she had holidays and she did play one Saturday. She went home, downloaded the rules, read them and then downloaded the tactics. 3 months later she played in the Australian Championships at her club in 2011. She had a few months off due to major surgery and then played at Mosman in the 2012 NSW Championships. From then on she has played as much as she is able (still working 4 days a week).

Judy started at the same time as Kerrie and the pair have worked together for several years. Judy is currently facing some health issues, still plays gateball and we hope she will soon be back to the best of health.

Kerrie and Judy are both qualified coaches and referees and have had great success in encouraging and developing enthusiam for the game in the Hunter Region. During their time as coordinators CNSW has settled into a pattern of regular club and state competitions which are well attended by all clubs. Relations with CNSW have always been cordial and the state claims a special record. Over at least the past 10 years, every Chair/President of CNSW has played in a state or national gateball competition while in office!

Thanks for all your work Kerrie and Judy.

Glenda and Manuel Gutierrez will be assisting Mary as Gateball Referee Coordinators for CNSW. They took on this role to ease the burden on the State Chair. Glenda and Manuel play at the Jamberoo club where the game was introduced after players from the club gave the game a try at a CNSW Gala Day in early 2012. Manuel’s talks during CNSW comps keep all participants up to date with interpretations of the rules and the correct actions that referees should be taking. His attention to detail suits him for this role. He and Glenda organised the equipment for the 2017 Nationals, and, before the games began, not only did they check the courts but also took great care in checking that all equipment was of the correct size. Manuel takes refereeing seriously; he states that he does not like to see games won or lost because of poor refereeing or courts not set up correctly.

In South Australia, lead club Woodville, where Trish Fazackerley and Geoff Crook play, continue to promote the game. Hyde Park club now has regular playing sessions. Gateball’s contact on the ACA board, Hon Sec has is an enthusiastic advocate and is working with Croquet SA to hold a doubles event which we all hope will be supported by players from other states.

Murray and Kerry Loane – In WA, at East Fremantle, Murray Loane has organised two playing sessions each week. Murray and Kerry Loane started playing gateball a few years ago. They visited the Blue Mountains and Jamberoo and started playing at Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

NSW Gateball lost touch with Kerry and Murray as they moved to WA but on a quick trip to visit with grandchildren in NSW, Kerry and Murray met John and Penny at a McDonald’s eatery on the Hume Highway at Sutton Forest. A chat over chips resulted in Kerry and Murray buying enough gear to introduce gateball to East Fremantle Croquet Club. Some ACA gear has also been loaned.

Their challenge is to get a nucleus of players with at least basic knowledge.

According to Murray, the game is totally unknown in WA. All, and any, ideas are welcomed by him. Any visitors to the west could get in touch and lend a hand.

Kerry and Murray only claim they have limited experience but they are keen and are, at the moment, the most experienced gateball players west of the Nullabor.

East Fremantle Croquet Club is totally behind the planned introduction. They have been invited to Croquet WA meetings in Jan and Feb, as gateball representatives. Those meetings are to ponder ways to encourage younger players to mallet sports.

At Fremantle, they have 12-13 players. (only counting those who have returned on a third occasion). A Sportsmans’ club north of the river is their next ‘area of interest’. They have lawns under-used by bowls and are looking for other ways to bring in members.

“I thought you might like to contact them and suggest gateball, Murray,”, said a nice lady from Croquet WA. Naturally they accepted the challenge.

Anyone reading this article is encouraged to send Murray anything and everything that might help with the sales pitch to Inaloo Sportsmens’ Club.

Philip Brown continues as the Coordinator in Victoria. He tells us…

“My role is the Gateball Director for Victoria. This involves promoting the game to new players and new clubs, and organising the Victorian Championships each year (normally the last weekend of April).

“I came to gateball in Canberra. I had just moved to Canberra to start a new job and was a 30-ish year old looking to meet some like-minded people. A school friend who also lived in Canberra told me that there were quite a few people playing a game called gateball down at the croquet club on Sunday afternoons. So I came down one afternoon to join them.

“I am a mathematician, of sorts, and I work in the research department of a major bank. I am attracted to the ‘board game’ aspect of gateball, with the richness of tactics and strategies it offers. I am also an amateur thespian, when I can find the time to do it.

I have two children, Freya (nearly 5) and Rhydian (18 months) who can often be found underfoot at the tournaments…. ”

Philip is a level 2 referee and has recently qualified as a level 1 coach.

John Park continues as National Coordinator and thanks all previous and continuing incumbents for their previous efforts. He welcomes new volunteers to their roles and looks forward to working with them. John started playing at McIwraith in Brisbane when son Alex presented him with a stick and said, “Here you are Dad, you’ll enjoy this.” He did and has now been playing for 10 years. Moving to the Blue Mountains in 2011 John and Penny introduced the game and now play at Lithgow. After a few years as Chair of CNSW gateball John took on the national role at the beginning of 2015. He has thoroughly enjoyed playing overseas in the UK, France, Hong Kong and Korea. He looks forward to working with as wide a group of volunteers as possible to promote the game in Australia. He is particularly excited about the growth of the game in SA and WA and hopes that visiting gateballers from the Eastern states will call in for a game at clubs who have recently started playing. Expertise would be welcomed.

August 2017 WGU Meeting

20170818_143615A meeting of the World Gateball Union was held in Tokyo in August 2017 primarily to review the rules. Gateball Australia was invited to attend and participate in the deliberations.

In the opening address it was stressed that the rules of gateball need to be easily understood so that it is simple for beginners to start playing but that the game should still provide a challenge for those who are highly skilled. Improving the image of the game, simplifying decisions for referees and reducing the number of fouls were seen as components of this general direction.

A fascinating issue that the game has to deal with is the phenomenal size of the game in China. Growing skills and standards in that country have encouraged the CGA to adapt the rules for internal competition. Zhang Na, the Chinese Secretary General constantly reiterated that, although variations to the rules were used in China, it was understood that in international competition the WGU rules would be followed.

Topics that were discussed included: coloured balls, shapes of mallet heads, hats, the resolution of tied games, consideration of balls on gate lines, gate touches and touch gates, indicating the start of games, laser pointers, how the rules are set out, fouls at start stroking, movement of balls after a spark, gateball for the disabled, the 12th WGU championships in Brazil 2018 and the Kansai World Masters Games 2021.

A more definitive report to Australian gateballers will be possible once the official outcomes of the meeting are issued by the WGU.