Sydney Epstars celebrate while Mosman and Epstars plan for 2019

Sydney Epstars gathered at Epping recently to celebrate their win at the recent CNSW Teams Gateball Championship, unveil their plans for 2019 (click here) and to welcome the return to the club of Epstars stalwart Clare Poole after a spell in hospital.

Players from Newcastle, Toronto and Lithgow joined the Epstars core players from Epping, Eastwood, Killara and Strathfield for one of Epping’s renowned spreads. At the centre of the table were the teams (Epstars) and doubles (Lithgow) trophies from the the recent CNSW championships. It was noted that this was the first time that NSW teams had won both trophies at the same time. In the past, the winners of both events have, primarily, been from Canberra and overseas.

On the following Wednesday, Mosman had organised for John and Penny Park to visit, in order to provide some Gateball instruction. Mosman had been awarded a significant grant by their local council. They have purchased new equipment and hope to engage more fully with the wider Gateball community.They have their sights set on overseas competition in a couple of years.

With Mosman on the move and Epstars having done well at Bateau Bay in the 2017 Australian Championships and at the 2018 CNSW Teams Championship, Sydney is on track to make a statement at the 2019 Australian Gateball Championships, to be held in Cairnlea, Melbourne from 29th November to 1st December 2019.

Gateball at Gold Coast Christmas Party

Because of some enthusiasm for learning about Gateball had occurred among other clubs in the Gold Coast Tweed Region, a demonstration game was scheduled after lunch at the Gold Coast Tweed Regional Christmas Party held at Burleigh Heads Palm Beach Croquet Club. Not many croquet players had even seen a full game or had even tried to swing a Gateball stick or to play a game. A full court was set up, equipment explained and scoreboard was in place.

Spectators observing while Jim Northcott gave a running commentary about the game

Keith McLeod and Jim Northcott

Jim Northcott, Assistant Director of Gateball in QLD  provided a commentary. Margaret Barnard, the Director of Gateball Refereeing, was the Referee. Players from Tamborine Mountain, Broadbeach and Southport Clubs were placed into two teams captained by Julia Vickers or by Keith McLeod. With so many years of experience by these players, it was a good game for the spectators. After the demonstration game these spectators were able to experience the game of Gateball for the first time.

As a result of this interest next year there will be a monthly afternoon Gateball sessions for anyone in the region who wishes to come along to learn or to continue playing games of Gateball. Many thanks to Robert Smillie from Coolangatta CC for offering that club as the venue. Barbara and Jim Northcott will be arranging the sessions.

Barbara and Jim Barbey from Tamborine Mt CC watch Beryl Phillips from Southport in action.

Julia Vickers sending a ball through Gate 1 watched by the Referee, Margaret Barnard.

Eunice Frater is sending a ball through Gate 2 while Trudy Cummins and Beryl Turner watch on.

Julia Vickers is checking on the time while Keith McLeod is explaining the next play to Robert Smillie.

Peter Sweet from Southport Claims a Gateball Record

At the recent Caloundra Gateball event, Peter Sweet of the Southport Red Team achieved a remarkable first for Gateball in Australia.  In a practice session, Peter took just the minimum 4 strokes from the Start Area to Agari!

Since the start of Gateball in Australia in 1996, I have been offering a bottle of French Champagne to the first person to achieve a 4 stroke Start Area to Agari.  Now Peter has claimed both the Champagne and the honour of the achievement. Peter said that the superb condition of the Caloundra courts contributed to his success.

Peter received his award and the Champagne at the regular Tuesday twilight Gateball session at the Southport Croquet Club.

Keith McLeod

28 November 2018

NSW Gateball Championship 2018

The 2018 NSW Gateball Championship, hosted by Canberra, saw gateballers from five states represented at a gateball competition for the first time. Gateballers travelled from Queensland (Bruce McAlister), Victoria (Kerrie Seipolt, Trish Watts, Philip Brown, Gilon Smith and Elaine Coverdale), South Australia (Geoff Crook, Trish Crook and Ann Hassall) and for the first time, Western Australia (Torben Bak and Bethwyn Johnson). In addition two experienced players from Korea competed while visiting their daughter and her family in Canberra. Teams from NSW/ACT also attended the event including from Newcastle and Toronto, Sydney, Jamberoo, Lithgow and Canberra. In total 63 gateballers competed over the three days.

The weather was overcast and mild and the four gateball courts looked and played well with black painted lines used at Canberra for the first time.

On the Friday nineteen pairs competed in four blocks to qualify for the semi-finals. Three of the four block winners progressed undefeated. In the semi-finals John and Penny Park defeated Glen and Kristina Whitehead 10-9 while Moonki Kim and Yongsoon Yeh defeated Bryan Johnson and Gilon Smith 23-7.

The final was played on Sunday in front of a crowd of 60. John and Penny took an early lead and through accurate hitting late in the game won 15-7.

The teams competition was tight with all teams recording multiple wins and losses. The leader board was dominated by Epstars and Jamberoo throughout Saturday but on Sunday the Canberra Mavericks and Kew started to chase them down as they recovered from slow starts.

The final rounds saw Epstars defeat Jamberoo and Canberra Mavericks defeat Kew to secure positions in the final.

The Epstars won the toss and elected to lead and quickly piled on scoreboard pressure with accurate hitting. After a couple of false starts the Canberra Mavericks got control late in the game but it looked like the change had come too late. Trailing 14-7 at the start of the last turn Peter Freer nearly snatched victory by sparking two balls through gate 2 before going through himself, he then sparked a ball through gate 3 and after going through himself missed a ball near the peg by a matter of millimetres that could have secured the win. Congratulations to the Epstars on their second NSW Championship.

The Canberra Mavericks were awarded the best new team as they were the highest placed team with gateballers competing in their first competition (Torben Bak and Craig Oxley).

Thanks to IGA Ainslie for sponsoring the event, thanks to Judy Tier and all of the Canberra volunteers who ensured a smoothly functioning event and thanks to all the gateballers who travelled to Canberra.

The 2019 NSW Gateball Championship will be held on 20-22 September with Taree hosting for the first time.


Photos by Peter Freer, Glen Whitehead and Kim Schranz.

Caloundra’s Masters and Apprentices Gateball Teams and Doubles Tournament

On Saturday, 10th and Sunday morning of the 11th November there were nine teams assembled at Caloundra to participate in the annual Masters and Apprentices Gateball Teams and Tournament. Clubs or individual players that were represented were Capricorn Coast, Caloundra, Deception Bay, Eildon, Ipswich, McIlwraith, Redcliffe, Rockhampton, Southport and Toowoomba. For quite a few players, from both ends of the age spectrum, this was their first time to compete at this Tournament. It is always good to welcome new players.

Group photo at Caloundra Clubhouse

The organisation by the Tournament Manager, Glenda Windust, was very good. The club members of Caloundra Mallet Sports Club ensured the courts were in tip top condition and the food supply was excellent. Just prior to the 11:00 a.m. Remembrance Day Ceremony, Vietnam veteran, Jim Northcott A.M., gave a moving speech recalling the sacrifice by so many people world wide in all wars. One hundred years since the 1918 Armistice was foremost in everyone’s consciousness.

The Capricorn Coast team that was travelling away to compete for the first time were very competitive and hopefully will be inspired to enter more Tournaments. Also the newish team, Deception Bay, gained some more experience in competitions. Two of their team – Ros Crowe and Keith Chur-Hansen were presented with their badges since they have qualified as level 2 Referees.

By the end of the teams section, there were 3 teams that had each achieved 6 wins. Then a review of the net gates scored placed Redcliffe in first place followed by the strong Southport contingent- Southport Red (2nd) and Southport White (3rd).

Redcliffe being presented with their reward by Glenda Windust, Manager of the Tournament.

Southport Red came second and the presentation was made by Howard Williams, President of Caloundra MSC

The Doubles Competition was held on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. Two Blocks of four teams played off. Block A was won by Peter Sweet and Bruce McAlister. Lynne Farry and Margaret Gall had a clean sweep of Block B. In the Finals of the Gateball Doubles, Peter and Bruce won. Lynne and Margaret were 2nd and Frances Wregg and Helen Donaldson came 3rd.

Bruce McAlister and Peter Sweet were congratulated by President, Howard Williams.