Referee Committee 2020

Every year Gateball Australia is obliged to hold a Referee Committee meeting. Our 5 International Referees and each state’s coordinator participate. This year’s meeting meeting has concluded. This is a summary of our deliberations. Establishing a preferred position by exchange of emails is a challenging task and in our 2020 meeting we resolved some issues by voting through Survey Monkey.

This year the Committee’s major decisions were as follows:

  • GA will require teams entering the AGC to make every effort to include a referee or referee in training in their team.
  • Bruce McAllister will work at the presentation of the level 1 Exam in consultation with Gilon Smith, Geoff Crook and Philip Brown. After some discussion, the committee indicated that it wished to ensure that the assessment of field position and the rotating roles of Referee A and B needed to be included in both the written and practical assessment. The Committee re-iterated that operating as a pair of referees, where Referee A decides on the stroker’s play and Referee B decides on the movement of the ball, is such a crucial element in refereeing that it needs to be assessed in the written, practical and annual re-accreditation cards.
  • In some parts of the Gateball world, mainly China, laser pointers are used by captains to show players where to place  balls. The issues of extending their use has been raised at WGU meetings. Your Referee Committee decided that, although it was still opposed to their use, we would make efforts to discover exactly what is permissible in Australia. High powered pointers strong enough to make a mark on a lawn are currently not allowed in Australia.
  • A default forfeit procedure  for for GA was revised and is posted on our website. This process should be used if you do not devise your own process for your competitions. This topic produced some lively debate around what is fair to all concerned. 
  • There was some discussion about the referee re-accreditation process and  the format of the annual cards. The committee decided that if anyone wished to come up with an improved process, they were welcome to do the research and table improvements in advance of next year’s meeting. Re-accreditation cards, that all referees need to complete annually, are available on our website
  • A number of referees have been deemed to be inactive. See the official list of GA’s on the page “Officiating, Rules and Refereeing” which can be found under “About Gateball” on our website. Players lose their accreditation when they cease to be members of the ACA or because they have not completed the necessary online course or annual re-accreditation cards. The Committee agreed to a new process by which inactive referees can become re-accredited. Check the details on our website or discuss with your State Coordinator of Refereeing. The full updated document describing our accreditation and reaccreditation process for Gateball referees is available on our website 
  • An appeal for national consistency in calling player to start stroking was resolved by reference to the rule book and Q and A. At Start Stroking we should call “Player No 1” etc (p 92 Rules and Guide for Referees.) The Q&A book (eg p 29 & 30) indicates that during the game “Number 5” etc is appropriate.
  • A challenge for some people who may wish to become referees is obtaining the necessary training. A Referee Course Workbook has been drafted and Bruce McAllister is adding some additional material. However, usual practice is for trainee referees to have a mentor to help them through the process. The workbook may be more valuable for those remote from the wider Gateball community.
  • Gateball Australia armbands circulated to each state should now be available for use at all competitions – just contact your State Coordinator to ask to borrow them.

Documents related to refereeing can be found at any time  on the page  “Officiating, Rules and Refereeing” is nested  under “About Gateball” on our website.

Again, thanks to all those who continue to referee and those making the effort to become accredited.

New Zealand


Dennis Bulloch from the Rose Garden Croquet Club at Palmerston North in New Zealand has recently been in touch with Gateball Australia about a Gateball Tournament which will be held next year in New Zealand. The event has been posted on the WGU website . Dennis has played Gateball at Ripon in England, along with Gateball Australia’s long-standing friend and mentor, Keiichi Imagawa. He also played in Germany and wishes to hold a competition at his Croquet Club in Palmerston North. He has already made great strides, with 25 people playing Gateball at his Club!

Dennis tells us “Our gateball players are able to play three set times per week  (Wednesday and Sunday at 1.00 PM and Thursday at 5.00 PM which provides competition for workers and those still at school) and some go the club to play Gateball of their own accord. We have excellent quality lawns which are quite fast and the sets of Gateball gear are in good condition.  Our gateball sticks vary from ancient but serviceable to modernish but worn.  Something to invest in in the near future!   I’m in the process of organizing a Gymkhana based on gateball for our players. Will let you know how I get on! They seem enthusiastic about the idea.”

A fortuitous link with New Zealand has also been forged through the Southport Croquet Club. The new President of Croquet New Zealand is Kathie Grant. Many Queensland players met her because she is a member of Southport Croquet Club and played in the Mallet Sports Competition this year. Southport players are keen to participate in the NZ event and, for some, this is  because they are closely connected to NZ by birth or through family members.

Previous attempts have been made to establish Gateball in New Zealand. Keiichi Imagawa recently reminded us that he visited Takapuna, New Zealand with Jun Nogami to promote Gateball in 2000 when he was the Director General of the World Gateball Union. Shortly after some NZ teams played at the Australian Gateball Championship in the early 2000s

Our next contact with NZ  is recorded  two posts on our website: and

Since that time we have not heard any more and the link to the NZ GB website no longer functions.

Dennis’ recent contact and Kathie’s interest will hopefully see the game on a sound footing in NZ.

2019 Australian Gateball Championship Draw

The draw has been completed for the Australian Gateball Championship.

Block A

Hu Nan, China

Join, Korea

Southport White, Queensland

Pine Rivers, Queensland

Capricorns, Queensland

Essendon, Victoria & CNSW 

Woodville Australian Friends, South Australia

Sydney Epstars, CNSW

Canberra, CNSW

Block B

Shen Yang, China

Woodville (International)

Kings, India

Southport Red, Queensland

Redcliffe Roses, Queensland

Multimacs, Queensland

Kew, Victoria

Lithgow Lightning, CNSW

Hunter Allsorts, CNSW

Glen Whitehead completed the draw and is working to produce a playing schedule. The draw was nested to ensure that teams from different states or clubs are shared evenly between the pools. For example, each of the two Southport, Victorian and Chinese teams were randomly placed in different pools. Where there was larger representation, for example from CNSW and Queensland, teams were randomly allocated, with the proviso that only half the teams were allocated to each pool.

A team from Pakistan who registered several months ago, were refused visas. Kings, India and the Chinese teams are waiting to hear the outcomes of their visa applications. This process has become more difficult over the course of the last three Australian Gateball Championships. No teams were rejected for the 2015 event in Queensland but in 2017 we lost two teams. Let us hope there is only one rejection for 2019!

Hong Kong Duo play in WA before heading to Cairnlea at the end of November for the Australian Championship

WA’s gateball fraternity might be small and relatively recently  underway, but when 2 visitors from Hong Kong expressed a hope to catch some play  while here on holiday , a call to accommodate brought a fine response.

Cambridge Croquet club hosted the morning and, in perfect sunshine, we gave Nicole and her sister Julie a taste of play that might come close to conditions they will experience in Melbourne next month.

 Not sure about the quality of competition they sampled!

These two delightful ladies were very appreciative and we now constitute a fan club that will follow their fortunes in the Nationals.

Pictured…Murray, Judy, Kerry ,Robyn, Sandy ,Nicole  and Julie.

With Brian obligingly behind the camera.

Takayoshi UemuraThanks Gateballwest for the story. Nicole and Julie are joining Woodville International Friends for the forthcoming Australian Gateball Championships at Cairnlea. other members of the team are Woodville’s Chris Crook and Trish Fazackerley, Graeme Thomas of Hyde Park, Takayoshi Uemura and Tadashi Takahashi of Japan

The list of teams participating in the event is



Pine Rivers


Southport Red

Southport White

Redcliffe Roses



Lithgow Lightning

Sydney Epstars


Hunter Allsorts



Woodville (Aus)







Join, Korea

Woodville (International)

Kings, India

China 1 (The CGA still have to provide the names of their teams)

China 2


Australian Gateball Championships 2019: Winning Koreans visit Sydney for warm up games!

In 2017, Korea’s Unicorn team won the Australian Gateball Championship. They are back to defend their title at Cairnlea in 2019. Only two of the players from the original team are playing and they have renamed themselves “Join”

They were a highly skilled team and look like being so again. Their name change was explained as follows:

“I named my team “Join”. Before the gateball, my teams were all different. I went to the gateballs where they lived, and I built up friendships.
Gateball is a sport that connects balls to balls, and you can play good games only when the balls are gathered and connected. The player is the same. Only when you connect with the next player will a good game be created.

So I named it “Join”, the most suitable word for a gateball.”

They are coming to play in Sydney and the Blue Mountains before the Australian Gateball Championships in Melbourne the following weekend. Anyone interested or passing through Sydney is invited to turn up at one of the venues where the Koreans are playing.

Please contact  if you would like to play the Koreans before they head to Cairnlea. Your enquiry will be passed to the appropriate club. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.

The program is listed below:

-Thursday 21st November,Epping Croquet Club 

-Friday 22nd November, Mosman Croquet Club

-Saturday 23rd November to Monday 25th November, Blue Mountains and Lithgow Croquet Club

-Tuesday 26th November, Strathfield Croquet Club