History

Gateball was first introduced to Australia during by a visit in October 1986 by Mr Sasakawa, then President of the Foundation Corporation, Japan Sports Club Society. Mr Sasakawa made a promotional gift of gateball equipment to his acquaintance, Mr Douglas Sutherland, the then Mayor of Sydney. The Japan Sports Club Society had been instrumental in establishing gateball in many countries and overseeing the conditions and rules of play.

On Valentine’s Day in 1989, a group of Japanese visitors, including the President of the Japan Gateball Union, demonstrated gateball at the Coogee Croquet Club in Sydney. This is the first recorded game of gateball being played on Australian soil. Australian players joined in and received coaching from the visitors.

Shortly after this event, Japan’s International Study Regulations Centre arranged a promotion visit of Japanese gateball players from Kanagawa. This event was held at Mackey Park, Tempe, Sydney and further stimulated interest from Australians in gateball.

Then, in 1991, gateball was again displayed by a party of about 30 Japanese visitors at Hunters Hill, Sydney.

In 1996, Australian players in Sydney started to try the sport. And on 17 January, 1997, a gateball day was held at Tempe, Sydney to host a large group of 80 Japanese tourists.

Later in 1997, 30 gateball players from Korea were welcomed at Tempe.
In 1998, gateball was well established in NSW and Victoria. When an invitation was received from the World Gateball Union to compete in the 7th World Gateball Championships, two teams of enthusiastic Australian players responded. The teams travelled to Hawaii to represent Australia at this premier international gateball competition.

The sport steadily expanded and the inaugural Australian Gateball Championships were played in Sydney in 1999 and attracted 11 overseas teams in addition to local and interstate teams.

In 2003, Australia was elected as a member country of the World Gateball Union.

In 2004, two teams representing Australia played in the 8th World Gateball Championships in Toyama, Japan.  Australian teams have also competed at the World Championships in Jeju Island, South Korea (2006) and Shanghai, China (2010).