Venue for 2018 WGU championships announced
It has just been announced that São Paolo will host the 2018 WGU championships. A date in September or November will be chosen.
If current selection policy is to be continued this will mean that the National Gateball Championships to be held in EDSACC, Bateau Bay, NSW, will be where the selection will take place.
Gateball Australia will review the current process later this year. Submissions will be welcomed from anyone interested.
Europe tries some creative solutions
Having promoted Gateball Come and Try Sessions for a number of years in Belgium, France, Germany Switzerland and the UK, a European brains trust of David Underhill, Bernard Thys and John Swabey have decided to promote a Gateball League.
The difficult challenge of finding two teams with at least five players in each team has led the European team to organise a series of events in a Gateball League. Each tournament in the series will follow the same format which will run over three days. The first day will largely be training and explanations which will allow beginners to start playing. On the following two days, usually over a weekend, doubles and singles will be played. A detailed description of the league format is described here.
Events for 2016 have already been planned at Einschmidt in Germany from the 22nd to 24th April and at Beaune in France from the 1st to the 3rd July. This link provides further information.
The events are open to visitors from other parts of the world.
The Europeans have structured their events like this for a number of reasons. They hope that it enables them to develop a track record as organisers of gateball events which will establish their credentials with prospective sponsors. They plan that this is a step towards gateball teams events in Europe and would like other countries other countries to adopt their format.
Jim and Barbara Northcott, Satoshi and Keiichi
Jim uses the huge brush to smooth over the surface at the end of the day’s games.
Before Christmas 2015 we were invited to play Gateball on one public holiday (Emperor’s Birthday) at Higashi Urawa north of Tokyo. Our host was a young, well known and an expert player/ tactician of Gateball -Satoshi Kamijo. The former International Director of WGU, Keiichi Imagawa, came along with us as well. The competition was for doubles, triples and teams – depending on what the players could organise. So a doubles team could play a game against a triples team or a team of 5 players, The entry was approximately $15 a player.
High School players from Tochigii Prefecture who arrived by school bus
Some of the players from Adachi Prefecture
The New Year Celebration at a Sukiyaki restaurant
We played as a Triples and then as a team of four in an interesting arrangement. When playing like that, we each have a set number and then the number 9 or 10 is rotated through the group. So player 1 plays ball 2 and ball 10 and in the next round player 2 plays ball 4 and ball 10. Next round player 3 plays ball 6 and ball 10 etc.
In this competition the games are self refereed but are all started and finished with a hooter. Six courts were in use and it was a relaxed atmosphere off the court but demanding on the court. Altogether 6 games were played over the 6 hours of the day. We met a group of High School students who had travelled by school bus from Tochigii Prefecture.
At the end of the day results were announced and we looked at the prizes which were very practical items like bottles of sauce, oil, coffee, or sachets of detergent, shampoo or packets of biscuits or other delicacies. The prizes were distributed with the losers getting first pick off the table and the winners have final choice. It was a fabulous day of Gateball. Thank you Satoshi for inviting us.
Two weeks later we visited our friends at Adachi Prefecture. We are regular visitors to this gateball hub and are always made so welcome. With fine but cold weather were able to play regular team games all day on the courts that are provided by the region. Later we had a celebratory meal of sukiyaki. Again, Keiichi Imagawa came along and later in the week played in a 20 team competition for that prefecture. He is a very sincere friend and a great promoter of Gateball around the world.
5 Adelaide Croquet Clubs gave Gateball and visitors John and Penny Park a warm welcome from the 5th to the 8th January in typical South Australian New Year weather.
The week started with a 6pm session at the Hyde Park Club. 8am and 6pm sessions were scheduled at Holdfast Bay, Woodville and North Adelaide clubs to avoid the heat of the afternoons.
The program was well coordinated by Hyde Park’s Barry Haydon and a story in the Adelaide Advertiser drove attendance ever higher. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/sport/gateball-croquets-t20-to-be-played-at-5-adelaide-clubs/news-story/bae85cc7764fbbd299b31ec0cb7afb1f
By the final session on Friday, approximately 40 people arrived at Brighton Croquet Club to participate. A number of these were people new to mallet sports, who were happy to play any code they were presented with. The local club arranged a Golf Croquet session for these people. 30 people were introduced to Gateball on 3 courts by John, Penny and Barry.
Local ABC attended some sessions and a report headed the sports news on ABC SA’s 7pm News. A report was also posted on the ABC News Website.
A proposed mini competition was to be held on Sunday at SACA HQ, but South Australia’s hot weather policy halts play when temperatures of 38 degrees are forecast. It is hoped this can be rescheduled to 8am on Monday at Hyde Park CC.
We are seeking a local volunteer to take responsibility for promoting Gateball in SA. A set of ACA gear for short term loan will also be left with a local club.
Visits from interstate Gateballers would be a great support. So, if you are planning to visit Adelaide on holiday, or to see family or friends and have time to call in and assist at a club starting to play GB, email email@example.com for contact details.
The Japanese Gateball Union has launched Gateball TV http://gateball.tv/. Gateball TV is a new portal for viewing gateball matches online.
Gateball TV provides a step-up in the number of matches available to view online and is a useful resource for comparing tactics, techniques and overseas playing conditions. Video from all 119 matches in the featured competition are currently available. It is expected the site will continue to be updated for future competitions, The website is in Japanese but is easy to navigate as outlined below.
Guide to Gateball TV
The home page includes (1) a link to videos of the 119 tournament matches and (2) a summary video of the featured tournament.
After clicking on the link to the tournament matches users can navigate through and view individual games. To watch a match click on the button (D) below the score. Matches are divided into first round blocks (A), second round blocks (B) and the knockout rounds (C) which determined the tournament winner.
Of interest to Australian readers will be that more Japanese players are transitioning to the between the legs, croquet style, which was first introduced to gateball by Australian players and has been adopted with great success by other countries including the current world champions from China.