What happened next?

Geoff Crook has devised this sneaky scenario for your consideration. Let us have your answers in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below. We’ll publish the answer in about a week’s time.

When I was a lad there was a long-running quiz show on TV called “A Question of Sport”.  One of the rounds was the “What happened next” round where a video would be played and the contestants would guess, believe it or not, what happened next?

So, I thought I would expand on the scenario concept and ask not only what would you do as Red 5 in the scenario below, but also ask “What happened next” in the video which shows what I actually did………

Here’s what I did, and question 2 is “What happened next?”

Southport Croquet Club

Southport Croquet Club’s publicity machine has been working overtime and we thought you would like to see the recent story featured on ABC Gold Coast.


And Jim and Barbara Northcott have given us more information about gateball at the club.

From a small number of members keen to learn about gateball back in 2006/7 the numbers of gateball players at Southport CC have grown to 24 members who play this code of croquet. Our initial coach was the legendary, Keith McLeod, who is still as enthused as has always been, and a much loved member of the club. His knowledge and expertise is widely shared and he inspires everyone. 

In the news item the first person to speak is Jim Northcott, Club President, who plays gateball and is a Level 1 referee and a coach. Listening to the story you are introduced early on to Beryl Phillips who has been so keen to play gateball. She explains so well why she loves the game. Trudy Cummins also in her 90s is a regular player. Our young boy Ronan Chilton is entering his first year of competition and joins his brother Ethan in travelling to compete.

Speaking of competitions, Southport will send 3 teams to play in the McIlwraith Gateball Challenge 13-14th March. Then comes the annual Triples Competition at Southport on Sunday April 11th.  The inaugural triples competition in Australia began in 2012 at Southport and this is the 10th year it has been held – 2020 had to be cancelled. 

The next set of competitions at Southport will be the MSOB Gateball Teams and Doubles Competition that is scheduled from 26-28th June. All registered ACA players are welcome to attend and can contact the club at southport@croquetqld.org 

Hazelbrook Mini-Comp

As a result of Covid, NSW Gateballers have been missing the round of competitions we have come to enjoy in recent years.  The last time we met up for interclub competition was the Newcastle Triples event this time last year. We were all looking forward to things picking up again in 2021. So it was very sad that the Lithgow lawn was not quite ready to re-open for the first competition of the year in February. How could we get some much needed competition practice?

A few of us put our heads together and came up with the idea of a Covid Claytons Competition – a mini-comp for a strictly limited number of players from around the Sydney region, to be hosted by the Hazelbrook Croquet Club, where Gateball has recently been introduced by Lithgow exiles and which now boasts a small, but keen contingent of Gateballers.

The format of the competition was three rounds of three games, played on one lawn. In each round, each team played two games and officiated once.  Teams consisted of six players, with two trained referees in every team and everyone else taking on the other duties. Definitely no time to relax!

We never know what the weather will be like in the Blue Mountains, but Valentine’s Day dawned bright and clear, the mist and rain having cleared miraculously overnight. And, amazingly, it stayed fine all day!

The major challenge for our visitors (from Newcastle, Toronto, Strathfield, Epping and Lithgow) was the super-fast lawn at Hazelbrook, as we play on a bowling green. However, outballs notwithstanding, players adapted to the conditions and we all enjoyed some exciting games, played to competition standard, with strict time limits and effective refereeing. Petula Shun, from Strathfield, successfully completed her Level 2 Referee practical assessment during the competition. Congratulations to her.

In the end, the home ground advantage worked in favour of the Hazelbrook team, who won all their games, which was a really positive outcome for the 3 players from Hazelbrook experiencing competition standard GB for the first time. But many of the games were a real tussle and so very enjoyable for both competitors and spectators. (I enjoyed overhearing comments from a group of bowlers sitting enjoying a beer at the clubhouse and watching the sliding and bombarding and the interplay between Referee A and B. “Like snooker, isn’t it? Looks quite complicated. Think I’ll stick to bowling!)

We were well supported by the Hazelbrook Bowling and Sporting Club, who opened the clubhouse early for us – and even offered to have the bar open at 9am!  (Which perhaps relates back to the comments above!!)

All in all, a low key, but positive start to competition for Gateballers in NSW in 2021. Thanks to all who participated in any way.

Penny Park

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Strathfield Gateball News


Our club was fortunate to have visits from two highly experienced and talented Victorian Gateballers, who graced our lawns in December, and put us at ease, as we had fun and learnt as much as we could from these experienced players. I must admit I did not know much about either of them until this visit. So what did I do in this situation, I ‘googled’ them.  I have just scratched the surface in my knowledge of them. These Gateballers are Gilon Smith and Anthony Dask. Hopefully, they will return to play with us when in Sydney. They would be most welcome.

Gilon Smith has been a past National Director of Gateball, is an International referee and has played Gateball in international competitions.     

 Ann (Bronze AC Champion, has recently joined our ranks as a Gateballer)

Anthony Dask is Assistant State Director of Gateball (Vic) and President – Elsternwick Croquet Club. Gilon has represented Australia in both U21-GC, and also represented Australia in Gateball.  Anthony referees in Japanese and translates into English. He has recently produced coaching videos.  See them at



We played at both our regular Sundays (the 1st and the 3rd of month). We now have our QR code operating for contact tracing, and have a prepared group list with contact numbers, so we were able to speedily get on with the pleasure of playing Gateball. We had 16 players who turned up that first Sunday. On the second occasion in December we had reduced numbers so had lots of turns…marvellous! Despite rain showers that were a bit of a dampener, we had several games of Gateball, as those living close to Strathfield knew and trusted it was just ‘Strathfield Rain’…sure enough, it cleared up by 10.30am!


Sunday Gateball was to resume on the 3rd January 2021, but the starting date has been postponed due to increased Covid-19 concerns in Western Sydney. Contact me via our club website https://www.strathfieldcroquet.com if you don’t have my mobile number, and would like to know more about this and other GB sessions currently conducted at our club throughout the week.


This influence on our club began in November, 2016, when John Creelman and I attended a ‘Come and Try Workshop’ at Tempe. We knew nothing about Gateball till then, and certainly did not know if it was possible to include such a game at our club.  But on my return from Tempe, I shared with our club’s management committee, those first good impressions. Glenda and Manuel looked so professional both in manner and attire. The committee was interested, and encouraged me to learn the game, which I did at Eastwood and Epping.  Later on, I certainly enjoyed participating in Jamberoo Gateball triples and teams tournaments.

Both Glenda and Manuel set the benchmark high. They supported one another, and guided their team well. On occasion, Manuel conducted some short referee sessions and another time, a two day workshop (in winter) at Lithgow, which a couple of us attended (and nearly froze to death). I am pleased that in 2020, Petula Shun took up the referee baton, and does enjoy that role. It was also, whilst on a visit to Jamberoo, where we received from John Park, ACA Gateball equipment (on loan to the club). In 2019, Strathfield purchased its own GB equipment. Since our success as members of the inter-club Epstars team at two State GB Championships (winners-2018/2019), SCC has had a steady increase in both interest and in numbers of our members who now play Gateball. Our educational programs (Strathfield Girls High School, U3A and Seniors Festival Sessions) include Gateball coaching.

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Thank you Glenda, Manuel, and Jamberoo gateballers for being such a positive influence and supporting our growth. We are pleased to hear that although Gateball may not be played at Jamberoo, they have told Gateball Australia that they will be looking for other players to form composite teams for future competitions. Apparently they are also considering an offer forCNSW gateball to run a Referee Workshop later in 2021.

Ebb and flow….change is a constant!

Ruth Bridger
Strathfield Croquet Club

President’s Trophy – SA State Gateball Doubles Competition

Third time lucky!  After two cancellations of this event due to Covid-19 restrictions, a smaller format event was held on Wednesday 30 December 2020 at Hyde Park Croquet Club.

Unfortunately, the continuing travel uncertainty meant that we had no competitors from outside metro SA.

So, four pairs battled for the trophy in sunny conditions on the smooth, fast court.  Looking at the pairs, I thought the teams could beat any of the others, so an interesting tournament was in store.

The games were all hard fought with moments of brilliance (long range bombards, soft bombards using the team’s own ball to nudge off an opponent, and some long range touches very tight to the line), sprinkled with Gate Touches, some long range touches and well judged sparks.  More surprising was the number of mistakes – particularly short touches (mostly by my team initially, but I think we inspired others!). 

This reminded me that competition play, with the added pressure of referees and a strict 10 second rule can affect even the best, and I encourage any newer players to try competition play – it really is a different challenge.

Ultimately every team had a win, but Barry and Karen were undisputedly the most consistent players and took out the tournament with 2 wins from 3 games and a net gates score boosted by a 23-7 victory in their second game.

An honourable mention should go to Peter M and Peter W.  Peter W has only been playing Gateball for a few weeks and to be runner up in a State tournament is a solid achievement. Well done to both Peters.

Everyone had a go at officiating – either as Chief referee, Assistant referee or Recorder, and the tournament was played in a friendly and sporting manner.

Many thanks to the competitors, spectators, Graeme Thomas for organising and Hyde Park Croquet Club for their warm welcome and professional tournament management.

Hope to see more people at the tournament next year.

Geoff Crook
Woodville Croquet Club