NSW State Gateball Championships 27th to 29th October 2023

Article provided by Judy Tier, retiring NSW State Gateball Coordinator on 5th November 2023

Fifteen pairs and eight teams registered for the tournament held at the National Park Croquet Club (NPCC) in Newcastle.

The make up of teams made this a pretty unique tournament. One half of the team entries included players from two States and another two combinations from different Clubs. Covid, broken ribs, fractured ankle and a broken toe accounted for the changes which were incorporated up to two days before commencement.

Derek Bull, Vice President of Newcastle National Park CC, welcomed players to the pristine lawns and Clubhouse and to Doubles play. In very wet and cold weather players battled it out with new combinations of Kathie Grant & Alan Thomas and Mark Auai & Allan Graham making it to the semi finals.

Glen and Kristina Whitehead, representing Canberra, defeated Emma Mauceri and Kaelan Sweatman from Moreton Bay in a tightly fought game 16 – 13 to take the trophy for the 5th time.

The teams played in two Blocks and results were extremely unpredictable with teams in the final being beaten by the bottom team.

In a break from tradition NPCC hosted a BBQ on Saturday evening with the low $5 cost subsidised with registration fees. Forty six people attended and enjoyed the generous food selection and two options for learning. John Park took several players to work on the Gareth Denyer computer GB simulation game and Kathie Grant from Southport CC gave an address titled ‘The Psychology of the Game’.

She spoke about the rationale for training, how to encourage players to train by encouraging players to set personal goals and the imperative to create an atmosphere of camaraderie at practice and within the team.

Kathie drew inspiration from James Kerr’s book ‘Legacy’ – ‘What the All Blacks can teach us about the lessons of life’. Kerr’s lessons to ensure a successful team include staying focused, being mentally fit and practising humility. This last concept, Humility in Captains was the title of Barbara Northcott’s address at Captains training earlier this year. It is available to read on the GBA website.

The Tournament Referee and the CNSW Referee Coordinator were kept busy with far too many complaints about players questioning referee decisions. We all understand that Recorders and Lines people are part of the referee team, not aggrieved players. On the plus side Bev Mersmann (NCNP) and Judy Tier (CCC) were finally assessed as level 1 referees.

The Clare & Ken Poole Gateball team trophy was presented by Janelle Poole, daughter of Clare and Ken Poole. to Tournament winners Moreton Bay 1. This team finished with 5 wins and 30 net hoops and defeated Canberra with 4 wins and 9 net hoops in a very tight game 12 to 11. Toronto and Moreton Bay 2 came equal 3rd.

Sandra Townley from Epping CC gave a history of the Poole’s engagement in Gateball from introducing it to NSW and Victoria to Clare being the most capped Australian player.

Clare represented Australia at the World Gateball Championship in South Korea; twice, Japan, China & Thailand. Clare along with Ken promoted Gateball going around to different Croquet Clubs demonstrating the game. To further promote Gateball interstate Ken, an early convert to Gateball, organised and drove a mini-bus full of Sydney Gateball players down to the Mornington Peninsula to demonstrate the game at the different Croquet Clubs in that area.

Thanks everyone for competing in this Tournament and ensuring Gateball is alive and well in ACT/NSW. I know I will be leaving GB organisation in competent hands with Petula Shun, Strathfield Club Captain.

Australian Gateball Championships 7th to 10th September 2023 Wodonga Tennis Centre

The Australian Gateball Championships were held on 7th to 10th September at the Wodonga Tennis Centre. The courts were curated by Shayne Ried of the Wodonga Tennis Centre and marked out with assistance from Bruce McAlister, Tournament Referee and Keith Chur-Hansen, Assistant Tournament Referee. Practice courts were available each day commencing from Wednesday 6th September.

The Doubles event was played on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th September. While Thursday was a cooler day, the sun was out and showed us all how lovely early spring can be. There were 32 teams from around Australia, Japan and India competing in the Doubles event with the event played in 8 blocks of four teams. The top two teams from each block proceeded to a Round of 16,  with the winners from the Round of 16, competing in the quarter finals in the last match on Thursday afternoon.

The semi-finals and final was played on Friday morning. Unfortunately, Friday was not good to us, with rain and sleet and a bitterly cold wind for most of the day with players requiring wet weather gear.

Despite the weather, the Doubles final was an exciting close match played between Glen and Kristina Whitehead of Canberra and Sakai Kono and Yoshihiko Karaue of Japan. The Japanese team were the eventual winners with a score of 11 to 10. The Doubles winners were presented their trophies by World Gateball Union President, Keiichi Imagawa and Mr Keith McLeod, the first appointed Gateball Australia Coordinator.

The official opening ceremony for the event followed the Doubles final and while it continued to rain, the ceremony that was planned for outdoors, quickly moved indoors. The Sing Australia Wodonga choir sang our national anthem and a selection of Australian songs for us. Wodonga Croquet Club President Bev Zuber welcomed players to the venue, a message from Federal Member for Indi, Dr Helen Haines, was shared, State MP for Albury Mr Justin Clancy welcomed the players to the region and the Wodonga Mayor Ron Mildren spoke and officially opened the ceremony by hitting a ball through the ceremonial gate. Mr Keiichi Imagawa spoke of how wonderful it was to see the growth of Gateball in Australia and to see old friends again.

The start of the team games on Friday afternoon was wet and dreary but Saturday brought a much better day. Sixteen (16) teams competed in two blocks of 8, with play continuing over to Sunday. The standard of play was high and a lot of games were decided by only one or two points. It seems that the Captain’s Course that was held earlier in May has inspired team captains and has raised the standard of play for Australia teams.

The final was a close match between Rockhampton and Kew White that ended in a draw with both teams on a score of 11. A shoot out was required to decide the winner, the first time an Australian Championship Team event has been decided by a shoot out. Congratulations to the winners, Kew White, who won the shoot out with a score of 5-4.


One of the wonderful things that Gateball offers is the opportunity to play in mixed teams of all ages, often with family members. Both the Kew and Rockhampton teams and many others, had wonderful combinations of mothers, fathers,sons, daughters, husbands and wives and other family members playing in the same team. Gateball really is a unique sport in that way and something we are all very proud of.

On Saturday evening, at the Commercial Club in Albury, we celebrated Gateball Australia’s 20th anniversary of membership of the World Gateball Union. Past ACA President, Peter Tavender, Keith McLeod, the first appointed Gateball Australia Coordinator and Keiichi Imagawa, President of the World Gateball Union spoke about the path to becoming a World Gateball Union member. Keiichi was presented with a gift from Australia, by ACA Board Gateball Representative Barbara Northcott. The evening was a wonderful opportunity for old friends to connect and for the Gateball community to celebrate the growth of the sport in Australia.

The Championship and dinner would not have come together without the local support offered by the members of the Albury-Howlong team and especially Assistant Tournament Manager, Kathie Maloney, Kevin Maloney, Geoff and Veronica Richardson. First aid and morning tea was provided by volunteers from Wodonga Croquet Club who are located at the Wodonga Tennis Centre and lunches were catered by the Wodonga Tennis Centre volunteers. We thank all the volunteers who assisted us and especially Gerald from the Wodonga Croquet Club who worked tirelessly along side us for the whole event and to Craig Farrar, the Tennis Centre President, who was our liaison for the event and his wife, Frances, who both went above and beyond to make our event wonderful. We thank all the volunteer referees including our Tournament Referee Bruce McAlister and Assistant Tournament referee, Keith Chur-Hansen.

Thank you to all the photographers who shared their photos and especially Keiichi Imagawa, Rita Jenkins and Stephen Greenway and to the wonderful creatives in our sport who made the program and all the other aspects of the event so fantastic. Thank you to Malcolm Grant for doing Gateball Scores for us and to Peter Freer who helped set up the knockout phases on Gateball Scores.

Thank you also to all our wonderful sponsors, Wodonga Council, Nichiyo, Crazy Arms, Gateball Solutions, Albury Visitor Centre, Bunnings Albury and Bunnings Wodonga, The Great Australian Sign Company and Federal Member for Indi Dr Helen Haines and State Member Bill Tilley who provided donations for prizes and team bags. 

You can see all the photos of the event on the Gateball Australia Facebook page.

You can read more about Gateball and the event on the Gateball Australia website.

Gateball – the 20/20 of mallet sports

Recently on “Thank God You’re Here” on Channel 10, Hamish Blake, introduced people to the futuristic Big Bash Croquet. The uniforms were fantastic and the Golden Mallet sensational. But what is truly amazing is that a 20/20 style mallet sport really exists!

Gateball is a mallet sport, which uses smaller, lighter metal mallets. The games are short, at 30 minutes, perfect for after school or after work activities. Each turn must be played in 10 seconds, keeping the game moving. Gateball as a team sport, has matching uniforms and while not as short as demonstrated on “Thank God You’re Here” are  as varied and colourful as the teams that wear them.

Gateball is played in teams of 5 and the age of participants varies from 6 to 96. Men, woman and children of all ages can play in the team together.

The best news is that the Australian Gateball Championships are being held next week at the Wodonga Tennis Centre from the 7th to 10th September. Players from around Australia, Japan and India are coming together to play in a Doubles and then Team event. Spectators are welcome to come and see Gateball being played. We hope that Hamish and the crew from “Thank God You’re Here” also come to watch a few games!

Ros Crowe – National Coordinator – Gateball Australia

Australian Gateball Championships to welcome international teams to Wodonga

It has been several years since Gateball players in Australia have had the opportunity to play with international competitors and they are excited to be welcoming them back to the Australian Gateball Championships for 2023. The event will be held on the 7th to 10th September at the Wodonga Croquet Club, located at the Wodonga Tennis Centre.

Teams from Japan and India will join Australian teams from Queensland, Victoria, NSW and South Australia. The World Gateball Union President, Mr Keiichi Imagawa, will be attending the event and a celebration dinner marking the 20th anniversary of Gateball Australia’s membership of the World Gateball Union will be held at the Commercial Club in Albury.

Gateball players are looking forward to welcoming back old friends and making new ones. Spectators are also welcome at the event from 8.30am to 4.00pm.

Ros Crowe, National Coordinator – Gateball Australia


Queensland State Gateball Championships – 12th to 14th August 2023

The Queensland Gateball Team and Doubles Championships were held at the Pine Rivers Croquet Club, on the 12th to 14th August 2023.

The Championship was incident free and compliments flowed about how the event was run, the catering, and the overall event. A big thank you goes to the Pine Rivers Tournament Committee for their support, enthusiasm and work ethic that they displayed during the months of meetings and planning. I would also like to thank the club members, who volunteered during the tournament, for their enthusiastic approach and the way that they embraced the 3 days as their chance to show that even though they are a small club that they are quite able to take on a tournament like the Queensland State Gateball Tournament, and do it successfully, with a minimum of fuss. A special  thank you to Mr Sep Hines for the weeks of hard work in getting the courts into a great standard for the Championships and his dedication to providing the players with the best possible surface to play on.

The team event was played over the 12th to 13th August, and the Doubles over the 13th to 14th Aug 2023. The Team event was won by Moreton Bay 1, with Southport Red in second place.

The Doubles event was won by Julia Tai & Lee Wentworth – Southport, with Emma Mauceri & Kaelan Sweatman – Moreton Bay, the runners up.

I would also like to thank all the sponsors who gave great support to the tournament.

Robert Roose – Queensland Gateball Coordinator