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.