Day 1 (Friday) at the Australian Gateball Championships is primarily a day for practice as teams often arrive during the course of the day.
Overseas teams are kept busy as they are scheduled to play Australian teams from the opposite pool. Games are also scheduled between teams in opposite pools but from different states. The games are played in a casual manner without referees.
In 2019 other activities were fitted in to the program. Gilon Smith, our latest international and tournament referee, conducted a session for all those not qualified as referees but who would be involved in duties as lines people and recorders. National Coordinator John Park held a meeting with State Coordinators and their nominees to look at future directions for gateball.
The opening ceremony started at around 4.30. Chaired by VCA’s Gateball Coordinator Philip Brown, the assembled players were addressed by the Vice Chair of the VCA, the Mayor of Brimbank and ACA Deputy Chair Jim Nicolls. The mayor opened the event by stroking a ball through gate 1 – after removing her heels out of respect for the Cairnlea lawns. The Melbourne singers entranced us with a great rendition of the national anthem, “We are one we are many” and an encore at the end as our opening ceremony finished early! Finger food followed before the crowd dispersed.