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

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Inaugural South Australian Gateball Doubles Competition

Kerry, Philip, Referee Barry J, Geoff and TrishThe Easter weekend saw the inaugural South Australian gateball doubles competition held at Hutt Road.  The lawns were in fantastic condition and the weather gods smiled on us, with beautiful weather on the practice day, Friday, and on the main competition day, Saturday.

Six teams entered, with two from Woodville, two from Hyde Park, one team from Kew (Victoria), and a composite Hyde Park/ Millswood team.

A refereeing workshop was held on Friday afternoon, led by Philip from Kew, which proved extremely informative to the group of assembled novice “referees”.  Given that there were no refereeing bloopers during the main event, it is safe to say that the workshop was an invaluable exercise, and provided encouragement to at least one participant who remarked how much they had enjoyed refereeing after the event.

On Saturday, a round robin was held using two courts, with the two highest placed teams playing off in a final.  Competition was fierce with some very close games and all teams won at least once.

Ultimately, experience showed with Philip and Kerry from Kew, Victoria winning all their round robin games.

The final with Geoff and Trish from Woodville was at times a close and tense match, but with three out balls in the final round for the Woodville team, Philip and Kerry scored enough points to take an unassailable lead and win 14 points to 9.

Thanks to all the competitors and spectators, Graeme Thomas for organizing the event, Philip Brown for conducting the referee workshop and Croquet SA President Eileen Ferguson for donating and presenting the trophy. A great time was had by all and hopefully we’ll see a few more of you next year!

Geoff Crook

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McIlwraith Challenge

IMG_1529Queensland’s first gateball event of 2018 was closely fought. As the final team games were about to be played, 5 of the 9 teams playing in the event were on five wins apiece. Blue Macs, Ipswich, Redcliffe, Southport Red and Toowoomba were all in with a chance.

In the final round Ipswich were to play Southport White. Toowoomba and Redcliffe faced one another on court 2 while Southport Red and Blue Macs played on court 1. 5 teams all had a chance of winning the competition!

Southport White defeated Ipswich while the Blue Macs went down by a point to Southport Red. In the remaining game Toowoomba failed to put all their balls on court and Redcliffe won the game by a convincing 7 points. This margin gave them a 1 net hoop advantage to win the comp over runners up, Southport Red.

The McIlwraith lawns were in great condition after a wet start to 2018. Although conditions were humid, play was only interrupted for about ten minutes during a brief heavy shower which was considerate enough to schedule its arrival between games.

In the doubles competition an innovative format allowed ten pairs to contest three rounds in which teams were matched by a random draw. After three rounds two pairs were undefeated and thereby faced off in a closely fought final. Jim and Barbara Northcott won 12 to 11 over Claus Jehne and John Park. The game was still in contention until the last stroke.

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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
strathfieldcroquet@gmail.com
Eastwood, second Sunday of the month
gateball@eastwoodcroquetclub.org.au
Epping, fourth Sunday of the month
kenclarepoole@gmail.com

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 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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