European Gateballers Come Together in Paris

Near Paris on  the weekend of 18th-19th September 7 teams from across Europe met for the first time in a series of Gateball tournaments arranged by Europe en Sport for 2021. This grouping only play 5v5 so it needed some adjustment of thinking by the German team from Gransdorf in the Eifel who normally play in the European Gateball League events of singles and doubles. What took even more adjustment was playing on artificial grass … very slippery sparking!

Most other teams had only recently started playing again, after months of Corona-induced lethargy and one team of youngsters had only been introduced to Gateball two months ago so that, while they mostly sailed through gate 1 their tactics were poorly developed.  Indeed only one other team managed to arrange a pass-touch in their games whilst Gransdorf was frequently able to destroy their opponents’ positions by creating pass-touch opportunities.  We lost in the round Robin games against the Italians from Sardinia with 15 points each but they had 2 Agari against our 1, a great game. In the final we met them again but the gransdorf team fell apart. Cagliari were consistently better than us at judging distance to the line… they play outdoors winter and summer.

The overall standard of refereeing was amateur despite my passing around the “what if” guide developed by me and checked by Bruce McAlister … maybe it was my version in French that was distracting them. The others need to practise their gestures as refs.

Anyway, it was a great weekend and at last a chance to build some bridges between them and us; I plan a triples tournament which should be a halfway house they find acceptable between pure 5v5 and Gateball with more playing time.

(Thanks to John Swabey for sending us this story. Australian Gateballers may remember that John and his wife Bettina played in the 2017 Australian Gateball Championships at Bateau Bay in NSW. Gateball Australia enjoys hearing from its overseas friends and is looking forward to a time when we can play together again. Some Australian players may also remeber the EGU players that many of us met in Brazil in 2018 )

QLD State Gateball Team and Doubles Championships

Having had to be delayed one month because of the Covid 19 pandemic, the QLD State Gateball Teams and Doubles Championships were held at Ipswich Croquet Club 17-19th September. These dates were originally set aside for the Australian Gateball Championships which had to be postponed to 1-3rd April 2022 – again because of the pandemic. Ipswich Croquet Club was important in the history of Gateball. The Trophy for the winning team in QLD – The Lola Whyte Trophy- was donated by her family who wanted to honour Lola’s efforts in introducing Gateball to this Club and to the wider croquet community.

There were ten teams in the State Championship with a wide spread of clubs represented from Rockhampton to Canberra. Unfortunately because of the change in the date, 2 teams had to withdraw. At the end of the ‘round robin’ competition there was a clear winner – Southport Red team which had 7 wins. With 6 wins each, Eildon White was placed in 3rd position because of the tally of ‘net gates’ scored compared to the Moreton Bay Team which was placed 2nd. The presentation of the Lola Whyte Trophy was carried out by Mrs Fiona McAlister who is the younger daughter of the late Lola Whyte.

Mrs Fiona McAlister presented the trophy to the winning team- Southport Red

2nd place- Moreton Bay team

The State Doubles competition was also a ‘round robin’ with 13 teams playing so necessitate a long two days of playing in unusually warm weather. This was closely fought competition with two teams scoring 10 wins each and 2 teams scoring 9 wins each. The results depended on the ‘net gates’ yet again.

The winners of the QLD State Gateball Doubles Championship were Peter Sweet (Southport CC) and Bruce McAlister (Ipswich CC). The second place went to Warren Dowse (Moreton Bay GC) and Chris Kele (McIlwraith CC)

The Wanderers won the State Gateball Doubles Championship with the Bruce McAlister Trophy on display.

Chris Kele and Warren Dowse were 2nd in the QLD State Gateball Doubles Championship

Play Virtual Gateball

At the launch of the Australian Croquet Academy this week,  mallets sports simulations also featured. At this point in time, the Gateball and Golf Croquet games are playable but creator Gareth Denyer wants feedback to enable him to perfect the games. He already has a list of improvements generated through his previous consultation with a couple of GB players. Gareth stresses that we are at a stage where we have product that is good enough for people to experiment with but it is very early in the development process There is a very high chance that he will  be able to act on good suggestions in a timely manner

He also tells us he knew virtually nothing about Gateball a couple of weeks ago. This makes his progress outstanding. Thanks are extended to Gareth and the ACA for including this development in conjunction with the launch of the  Australian Croquet Academy

To get started, check Gareth’s introductory Picture Based GuidePower Point and Youtube presentations. Then try the simulation.

The picture at the top of the screen shows some aspects of the simulation. You will notice that there is both a 2D and 3D view of the court. An information panel shows up and when a touch is made, the smaller touch screen clarifies what has happened. Gareth explains that the platform he has used for this “gets the physics right.”  During the Croquet Academy presentation, he demonstrated a bombard which showed that the stroker’s ball had to be hit a bit harder and how carefully the lining up has to be done. Those annoying bombards, where the sparked ball stops dead because it has been hit too straight, with be faithfully reproduced by the simulation! We can all learn from this game, as well as have a lot of fun with it, especially during lockdown!!!

Gareth also recommends trying out some set pieces like bombards, pushoutsgates and touches and slides . This will test out the simulation. Do remember to send him any thoughts you have 

The central aspect of the Croquet Academy presentation was also to show aspects of the online coaching platform. Manuals, videos, log books, booking forms and certificates will all be available through this medium. A brief introduction to the Croquet Academy is available on Facebook, while a lengthier video can be found on the ACA website  More details will be forthcoming.