Mallet Sports in SA

Mallet sports in SA – A different view

Ricochet & Gateball played at Hutt Road ( HQ for, SA Croquet, on the Queen’s Birthday Holiday

The Queen’s birthday public holiday Monday provided an opportunity for 35 intrepid croquet players to try a new mallet sport – Gateball or Ricochet …. or both.  [Ed: Members not from SA may not realise that these two sports are not regularly played in SA.]

The groups were almost evenly split across codes with 17 people trying Gateball and 18 giving Ricochet a go.  There were slightly more in the morning perhaps wanting to get in before the bad weather arrived.  The bad weather didn’t arrive, fortunately. 

After an initial introduction to the rules, everyone was invited to play a game (or in the case of Gateball 4 games!) [Ricochet is similar to AC in game duration while Gateball games stop after 30 minutes.]

Ricochet players were expertly coached by Eileen Ferguson and Jim Grindrod, with Gateball being overseen by Geoff Crook and Barry Haydon on one court and Peter Martyniuk and Peter Woodward on the second court.

All participants were enthusiastic and despite the threat of rain, all sessions were conducted without wet weather gear, and everyone reported enjoying the fun sessions and all claimed they had learnt something during the session.

A big thank you to Karen Magee for organizing the event and to each of the coaches who gave their time to introduce Ricochet and Gateball to new players.

If you missed out, wish to know more about these intriguing games, or are visiting SA then you can play Ricochet at Brighton on Monday mornings or Aldinga on Saturdays at 1.30pm.  Gateball is played at Hyde Park on Wednesday afternoons, Woodville on Tuesday nights & Mount Gambier on Mondays.  Coaching can be provided if required. Please contact the clubs directly. 

Written by Karen Magee / Geoff Crook / Barry Haydon

( Postscript: Gateball has been growing in SA since  2016 

After Covid postponed their State Championships twice in 2020, they would welcome visitors for their 5th event from the 27th to 28th November 2021.

Maybe, one day, we can play an Australian Gateball Championships in Adelaide?)

Australian Gateball Championships, postponed to the 1st to 3rd April 2022.

Entries  for the Australian Gateball Championships, 1st  to 3rd April  2022,  are invited from Australian and any overseas teams that can visit Australia. The deadline for entries will be announced early in 2022. Entering team information before the deadline will assist with administration for the event.

As well as the regular Teams Championship, an Inaugral Open Doubles Championship will also be held. Teams that enter the main teams event may nominate one pair for the doubles. If more than one pair wish to nominate, the club team submitting the entry should hold a play off to determine which pair will be nominated. Wildcard entries may also be proposed and additional pairs may be included in the event. Teams and doubles pairs need to include either a referee or referee in training.     The  entry form and detailed conditions of entry for the doubles  and teams event will be found in the  Event Information will be posted on the ACA website. Payment by credit card is required once all information has been submitted.

Emergency Contact information. Team captains need to collect this information for their team and keep it with them at the event. The entry form also asks players with First Aid qualifications to be listed

Games will be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s program will also include an opening ceremony, BBQ, practise sessions, friendly team games and coaching/refereeing workshops. 

Future International Representation. Players also need to note that anyone interested in representing Australia in 2022/3  at World Gateball Union, Asian Gateball Union or Asia Pacific GU events should indicate their interest on their entry forms. Final selections will be made when Australia is asked to nominate teams. The Captains of the 3 best performing clubs will be core members of the GA Selection Committee and will select from nominating players to build a team in a club’s name. The committee is obliged to produce the strongest teams possible to represent Australia. Check ACA Selection Committee Terms of Reference and  ACA Selection Policy for details. 

Anyone wishing to join a composite team to participate in the event should email if they have not been able to build a team from their own contacts 

Accommodation is available at the northern end of the Gold Coast near Runaway Bay where the Gold Coast Performance Centre is located. Most are closer to Labrador and Southport but are not within walking distance. 
There are lodges attached to the Sports Centre. Gateball Australia has a temporary hold on this accomodation. They usually cater for school groups or sports groups. Rooms with two bunk beds per room are located on two levels of the Lodge as well as two en-suite twin rooms. Players may book a room for individual use or opt to share There is a classroom / meeting room / kitchen in the Lodge. At the time of writing we do not have enough interest to secure the booking.
The closest, private  accommodation to the Centre is the Runaway Bay Motor Inn. which is about a 20 minute walk from the Sports Centre. There are many places that are overlooking the Broadwater in the suburb of Labrador. 
Food. Lunch boxes for will be available and distributed early in the day.  Contents can be consumed for morning and afternoon breaks as well as lunchtime. While there are café facilities on the site, queueing at times of peak demand will be an issue. A barbeque will be held early on Friday so that local players have time to drive home. A venue for an evening meal on the Saturday can be booked if there is enough interest from those staying on the Coast. When details are finalised, teams will be asked to complete a proforma and make payment for their food orders. 

Balls for sale! 8 sets of new balls with three numbers will be used. They will be offered for sale after the event. The sale of these balls will be handled by Gateball Solutions. Please email if you are interested in purchasing a set. If more clubs nominate to buy these balls than there are sets to sell, names will be drawn at random.

Please post any general questions below or email if they are more specific.




A National Coordinator of Gateball Refereeing


Pic: Refereeing at a WGU Championship

At its meeting last week, the ACA Board appointed Bruce McAllister as National Coordinator of Gateball Refereeing. Bruce was selected from a field of three high quality applicants, all of whom had much to offer the Gateball Community in administering this specialised aspect of the game. 

Bruce has been on the Gateball scene for almost 20 years. His first exposure to the game in the early noughties came through his parents-in-law, who were early adopters of the game at the Ipswich CC. They had managed to co-opt Bruce’s son into playing too! But, because he was working long hours, it took a while before Bruce decided to go along. His intention at the time was primarily to play with his son and in-laws.  He remembers that it did not take long before he was engaged in playing at the small circuit of competitions at Queensland Clubs, which included McIlwraith, Ipswich and Rockhampton. 

Keith McCleod, the first National Director, moved from Victoria and started playing at Broadbeach. He encouraged Bruce to apply to be the Queensland Director of Gateball from 2005. Bruce held this role for 13 years.

Although the first priority at the time was to grow the game, the WGU also encouraged Gateball Australia to develop a refereeing system.  At the 2005 Australian Championship in Mossman about 10 players (3 Vics, 1 NSW and 6 Qld) were given a written exam by Jun Nogami from the WGU and, on passing, deemed to be referees.  Bruce was one of that number and went on from here to provide practical support for Keith McLeod as they developed the foundations of our current GA system: Levels 1 and 2 and a practical component, for which Bruce was a strong advocate.

At the AGC in Rockhampton 2009, three Australian players, including Bruce, took the International Referee Examination.  Two of this trio were the core of a group of Australian Referees that formed a team to officiate at the 2014 World Gateball Championships in Japan.

Since those early days, as Qld Director of Gateball and more recently as a member of the Gateball Australia Referee Committee, Bruce has been an advocate for the maintenance and improvement of our standards and for there to be processes in place which are known and followed by all.

In his new role Bruce has thought about a few general directions, which include:

– continuing to develop the role of the GA Referee Committee. 

– continuing to align GA processes with those of other codes of mallet sports and Sports Australia processes

– implementing and reviewing GA processes 

– conducting a review of processes around International Referees

– referee training course

– recorder training course

– on-line referee theory exam

– on-line referee practical training

– on-line referee practical assessment

Over the next month or two the NCGB and the NCGBR will complete a handover of GA referee functions.

Gateball Coaching

Gateball Coaches have now been trained in 4 states in SE Australia.

There are 3 levels of coaches for Gateball:

A Level 1 coach is trained to work alongside beginners to develop the basic routines for stroking, sparking and sliding, to work with a captain and develop the ability to stroke, spark and slide with increasing accuracy and to a variety of lengths.

At Level 2,  a coach is working with players who are aiming to become consistent in a series of plays as part of a team aiming to compete effectively in interclub competition. 

At level 3, a coach also needs to be a referee and  has the skills to work with others to develop  a player’s strategic understanding and ability to call a game as a captain. Teams aiming to do well in higher level competition and to participate overseas should work with a Level 3 coach. 

Unlike our refereeing processes that are managed internally by Gateball Australia, coaching is managed in each state by a State Coordinator of Coaching. Arrangements in each State are to be found through the links below:

In Queensland, the latest count of coaches trained is shown on the CAQ website . There are 11 Level 2 coaches and 6 Level 1 coaches

In CNSW 8 Level 2 coaches and 6 Level 1 coaches are listed on the Gateball Coaches page.

Croquet Victoria has a dedicated coaching page which lists both its processes and the State’s 1 Level 1 and 2 Level 2 coaches.

In SA 4 Level 1 Coaches have been trained and are listed on the State’s Coaching page.

One of our Qld coaches is a part time member of a Tasmanian club, so we could claim there is half a coach there! It is hoped that a visit to WA will train some Level 1 coaches