Southport Croquet Club’s Gateball Triples Competition

On Sunday 28th April Southport Croquet Club hosted its annual Gateball Triples Competition. This competition began in 2012 when Southport CC initiated the first ever Triples Competition in Australia. Growing in popularity, this version of Gateball enables more strokes being played by players who may be playing two numbered balls in the correct sequence eg. 1 and 7 or 2 and 6; 3 and 9 or 4 and 10. One person will play #5 and the opponent will play #6.

Triples Competitors

There were very close games and plenty of excitement right up until the final ball was played. One example was Margaret Fitzgerald’s final ball that passed successfully through gate 2 and was stroked across court to touch a ball close to gate 3. She then sparked that off the court and touched another ball closer to gate 3 and sparked it off. On a winning streak, she scored a Gate & Touch on Gate 3 and ended up using her two turns to gain an agari to win the game on a countback. That was a play to remember!

The winning team was called “The Wrong Team” with the team members being Ethan Chilton, his mother Julia Tai, and Jim Northcott who is an octagenarion. A three generational team indeed! The presentations were made by David Housden who is the President of Southport Croquet Club. Second place went to “The Invincibles” comprising a husband and wife duo- Lee and Amanda Wentworth- and Gaye Pitman. A team from Broadbeach Croquet Club came third.

“The Wrong Team” L-R Jim Northcott, Julia Tai and Ethan Chilton with David Housden
“The Invincibles” Lee and Amanda Wentworth with Gaye Pitman and David Housden

The beautiful, autumn weather at the Gold Coast combined with the excellent food was conducive to the very active atmosphere on the day. There was a player from Bribie Island and one from New Zealand along with several others for whom this was their first ever Triples competition or their first ever Gateball competition. Visitors and potential players also came along to watch the games. Thanks to all the members of Southport CC for their very good planning and preparation of courts.

2019 Rules and Guide for Referees Changes

A brief summary of the minimal changes are available here. All International, Level 1 referees and State Coordinators have a more detailed version of the changes and can clarify any questions you may have. No doubt explanations will be forthcoming at future events.

Hard copies of the new rule books will be forwarded by the WGU to the Gateball Australia National Coordinator when they are prepared. All current referees and Gateball playing clubs will receive a copy.

Volunteers are adjusting the Level 1 and 2 exams and states informed when these changes are completed.

Please also note that a Q&A facility has been added to this website. Go to About Gateball/Officiating, Rules and Refereeing/ then select “Click here for the Q&A forum.” You can reply to one of the posts already on the page or post a new question in the Leave a Reply Box which starts a new thread. Remember when you post a question to tick the boxes below to make sure you know when your question is answered.

South Australia holds its second state doubles competition.

At the SACA headquarters at Hutt Road, Adelaide, 8 pairs contested the SA President’s trophy. Clear winners by Sunday lunchtime were the pairing of Leah O’Neill from Mt Gambier and Philip Brown from Kew, Victoria. The pair had been undefeated throughout the competition. Leah’s accuracy as an experienced AC player who has played for state teams paired well with Philip’s skills and sound strategic understanding of Gateball. Runners up were John and Penny Park from Lithgow, NSW.

Players from Hyde Park, Woodville and Mt Gambier constituted the South Australian contingent at the competition. Both Woodville and Hyde Park hold weekly playing sessions and pairs from both clubs played skillfully and achieved some good wins. Mt Gambier have recently become re-enthused and return home intending to encourage others to play more Gateball.

Hyde park players face off in an early round

Unfortunately, on Sunday, one of the Hyde Park pairings had to withdraw from the competition because of sickness. Rather than using the recently posted Gateball Australia default forfeit procedure, it was decided to delete all previous games by this pair from the scoring records.

Woodville’s Geoff and Trish contemplate their next game

On both afternoons some short courses were conducted. On Saturday afternoon 4 existing coaches of other codes of mallet sports completed the Gateball endorsement. Another group were introduced to draft level 2 coaching materials for gateball and tried their hand at the draft level 2 skills card which is available to all on this website. On Sunday a rather tired group were briefed on how to become a referee. They were left with self help materials which the state’s only existing referee, Geoff Crook, will hopefully be able to use to support and encourage others in becoming referees.

Graeme Thomas made a great job of organising the competition and his efforts were appreciated by all. Graeme recently resigned from his position on the ACA board, where, as well as being the Hon. Sec., he has been a committed and effective advocate for Gateball over the past few years. He was thanked by the National Coordinator for his efforts and a small presentation was made.

McIlwraith Gateball Challenge

It was a memorable weekend of competition at the recent McIlwraith Gateball Challenge Cup held at McIlwraith Croquet Club 30-31st March.

The nine teams who competed for the annual cup were from Rockhampton, Capricorn Coast, Redcliffe, Pine Rivers, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Blue Macs (McIlwraith), Broadbeach and two teams from Southport. We welcomed the Pine Rivers and Capricorn Coast teams who were competing in the competition for the first time.

This first competition of the year is always well attended as players get back into ‘the swing’ of the the season. Each team won at least two games over the week-end. The Competition was won by Southport Red team with the Challenge Cup being presented by Club President Sandy Ridgway. Southport White team were placed second.

Southport Red Team won the McIlwraith Challenge and are displaying the trophies

Southport White were presented with the second prize by McIlwraith Club President Sandy Ridgway

All players were enthusiastic about McIlwraith’s well kept greens and facilities. Because of the imminent threat of rain on Saturday, McIlwraith’s organisers ensured the break between the games were held a shorter than normal to complete the matches before the heavy showers.

The Toowoomba team get ready to play

Ten teams also competed in a Doubles competition on Sunday. This was won by Geoff Morris and Paul Ekberg from Redcliffe in a hard fought game against Lee Wentworth and young player Ethan Chitton.

Paul Ekberg and Geoff Morris – winners of the Doubles competition

The Suzuki Cup 2018, an award honouring the founder of Gateball in Japan, for the best team playing in most Gateball competitions was presented to Southport Gateball Red and White teams.

Southport Red and White teams grouped around the Suzuki Cup which was won by the Red team in 2018 for being the most consistent team in QLD. The presentation was made at McIlwraith.

Our well supported Raffle helps to keep entry fees down to make travelling to the competition more accessible for regional teams. Judith’s smiling face at the Raffle table meant that this year we sold double the usual number of tickets.

Judith selling Raffle tickets to Jan Wells from Ipswich

Frances Wregg

Manager  McIlwraith Gateball Challenge 2019

Kew goes back to back at the Victorian Gateball Championships

(Story contributed by Philip Brown, VCA Gateball Coordinator. Picture: New players to VCA GB champs stroke their balls through the ceremonial gate.)

A windswept but undaunted Victorian Gateball Championships were held over 29-31 March at the Victorian Croquet Centre at Cairnlea.
For the second consecutive year Kew prevailed as the Teams Champion, though the final standings were very close this year. Kew won four games of six, as did Canberra. However Kew prevailed with a much higher net hoops score of +32 compared to the second-placed Canberra who had +10.
The matches were of high quality and with a diverse range of tactics on display. Your correspondent was both heartened and slightly miffed to see successful tactics I had used at previous tournaments being used back against my team with clear success.
The Championships continue to attract players of a large age range and with vastly different levels of experience. There were two teenagers playing, as well as octogenarians and most decades in between. There were players with decades of experience and newcomers with only a few months’ worth. The active role of Gateball captains makes the team game a wonderful way for payers to learn the sport without needing to worry about the tactics of the game. The Kew team included two of those newcomers and still secured the Championship.
In the pairs, the rise of John and Penny Park continues. The pair had previously won the NSW Pairs Championship last November and prevailed again in Victoria by going undefeated in the block. They were presented with the John Bradley trophy for winning the Victorian Pairs Championship. The runners up were Elaine Coverdale and Maxine Maclachlan.
A special mention should be given to Chas Quinn and Heather Fraser, who’s high-risk, high-return approach to the Pairs competition created some very memorable games. Their game against Geoff Crook and Trish Fazackerly looked as if it might finish at 21 all, until some missed shots at the goal pole left the final score at the still-memorable 21-17.
The rise of the South Australian Gateball players cannot be ignored. The game there is growing and they are starting to complement their already excellent hitting with a more nuanced understanding of the tactics of the game. The South Australian Gateball Pairs competition over the weekend of 13-14 April should be an excellent example of the game.
Victoria was pleased to welcome visitors from NSW, ACT and South Australia competing in this tournament. There will be even more visitors, and from further afield, when the National Gateball Championships are held at Cairnlea in late November.